The House Public Education Committee held its longest meeting of the session so far, hearing nearly 40 bills in a 12-hour period. All bills were left pending. Among those heard:
- HB 3804 by Rep. JM Lozano would streamline training and professional development requirements for teachers. TCTA’s Holly Eaton served as a subcommittee lead for the workgroup tasked with evaluating current requirements and eliminating redundancies, and testified in favor of the bill. She noted that teacher training requirements have been layered on over the years, and the bill takes measures to reduce, streamline, and consolidate teacher training requirements in an effort to free up time for teachers to more freely select training opportunities to improve their craft.
- HB 97 by Rep. Gina Hinojosa, a bill TCTA has worked on for several sessions, would limit the ability of charter schools to refuse to enroll students based on their disciplinary history.
- HB 41 by Rep. James Talarico would extend 22:1 class-size limits to pre-kindergarten.
- HB 1504 by Rep. Christina Morales would add ethnic studies to the social studies portion of the required foundation curriculum. Students could add a third social studies credit by earning a half credit in Mexican American Studies and a half credit in African American Studies, or by taking a credit in world geography or world history.
- HB 1776 by Rep. Keith Bell would add an elective course on the founding principles of the US to the high school curriculum, and would require a district to allow and encourage the posting of the founding documents in a classroom.
- HB 2256 by Rep. Bobby Guerra would create a bilingual special education certification.
- HB 2802 by Rep. Jay Dean would require the commissioner to apply for a federal waiver from administering statewide assessments during a year in which a statewide disaster has been declared and school district operations have been significantly disrupted in a majority of districts. If a waiver is not granted, the commissioner cannot consider the results of the assessments for purposes of the accountability system.
- HB 3445 by Rep. Dan Huberty targets school district and charter school fund balances by requiring districts and charter schools to spend excess funds (for districts, any amount over the district’s operating expenses for 110 days; for charter schools, any amount over the school’s operating expenses for 80 days) on certain items.
- HB 3846 by Rep. Matt Krause would prohibit districts from exempting themselves from the start and end dates when either adopting or readopting a district of innovation plan (unless they are operating a year-round system). Adds that the last day of school can be no later than the Friday before Memorial Day.