Last session, in an attempt to remedy a lag in student performance caused by COVID-19 disruptions, the legislature passed HB 4545. The bill required intensive additional instruction for struggling students, and the burdens on teachers and schools were heavy. Teachers reported significant increases in work outside of the instructional day and in paperwork mandates, and schools already facing teacher shortages were hard-pressed to find enough tutors to meet the requirements of the bill.
HB 1416 by Rep. Keith Bell is designed to ease some of these burdens. The bill includes the following provisions:
TCTA supports the bill, as did nearly all of the witnesses who provided testimony. There was some discussion among committee members of increasing the allowable instruction group size beyond four students, and several members and witnesses recommended data collection to determine provide more information on what factors (class size, method of instruction, etc.) are most effective. The bill is likely to be further refined as it moves through the legislative process, but there does seem to be general support for easing the HB 4545 mandates.
TCTA supported another bill by Rep. Bell that requires districts to resolve grievances within a specified timeline.
Other bills on Tuesday’s HPE agenda included HB 1225 by Rep. Will Metcalf, which ensures that students can take their state assessments on paper upon parent request; and HB 1883 by Salman Bhojani, which prohibits state assessments on specified religious holy days.