HB 1605: High-Quality Instructional Materials
Pre-Written Lesson Plans in Instructional Materials: Currently, teachers can be required to prepare brief, written lesson plans. This bill provides that unit or weekly lesson plans included in materials adopted by a district will count for this purpose.
Educator Preparation Training Requirements: Educator preparation programs must include instruction on how to access open resource materials included on the SBOE list of approved materials.
Planning and Noninstructional Duties of Teachers: Generally restricts districts in requiring specific classroom teachers to perform duties relating to initial plan design and instructional materials selection during their planning and preparation time that are not expected of other teachers in the same subject or grade level unless the duties are included in a supplemental agreement, including creating or selecting instructional materials. If such an agreement is reached, it must explicitly state the duties to be performed that are unrelated to providing instruction.
Immunity from Disciplinary Proceedings for Classroom Teachers: Teachers who, with fidelity, use only materials from the SBOE approved materials list that were adopted by the district are immune to disciplinary proceedings that allege the teacher violated any of a litany of state or federal laws. This immunity acts in addition to any other immunity provided by law.
Parent Access to Teaching Materials: Districts must make tests and teaching materials readily available to parents in person and teaching materials readily available via an instructional materials parent portal offered online at least thirty days before school year begins and thirty days after it ends. This does not include tests that have not been administered, or graded assignments.
Right to Request Instructional Material Review: If at least a quarter of the parents of enrolled students at a campus request that the school board review that campus’s instructional materials, the board must conduct such a review, unless the petition is presented by the parents of less than 50% of the students and, by a majority vote, the board denies the request. The board does not have to conduct multiple reviews of the same subject area or grade level in a single school year.
Required Curriculum: SBOE must specify an initial list of required vocabulary and at least one literary work to be taught for English Language Arts TEKS in each grade level. The chosen vocabulary must support TEKS in other subjects as well.
District Curriculum, Scope, Sequence, and Instructional Materials: Prohibits school districts from penalizing teachers who do not follow the pacing of the district’s scope and sequence or instructional materials for a subject in a particular grade level.
Reading Standards for Kindergarten through Third Grade: Prohibits three-cueing in phonics curriculum,
State Instructional Materials and Technology Fund: Money in the state instructional materials and technology fund may to be used to pay for the reproduction of open education resource instructional materials.
Instructional Materials and Technology Account: TEA must develop and maintain an online requisition and disbursement system for each school district’s instructional materials and technology account.
Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment: Districts may use funds from this allotment to pay for any instructional materials unless they contain obscene or harmful content or would cause the district to unable to submit the certification required.
Agency Purchase of Instructional Materials and Technology: TEA can directly contract with educational materials providers to make purchases of instructional materials and technology for use by districts.
State Board of Education Instructional Materials Review and Approval: SBOE must review materials provided to them by TEA, and before approving the materials, the SBOE may review the materials and must determine that the materials are free from factual error and suitable for the relevant subject/grade level. Approved materials must be added to the list of approved materials. The bill allows, but does not require, the SBOE to put any unapproved materials on a list of rejected materials.
Authorizes SBOE to adopt a wide variety of additional criteria necessary for approval of instructional materials.
If TEKS related to an instructional material change or the material is revised without SBOE approval, SBOE may remove materials from the approved materials list.
Instructional Material Review: The TEA commissioner and SBOE must establish an annual review process of instructional materials to be conducted by TEA that includes a rubric for determining whether the materials are free from factual errors, the quality of the material, the relevant TEKS for and coverage by the materials, and whether the materials contain obscene or harmful content.
After TEA completes this review process, they must provide the results to SBOE to aid them in determining whether to approve or reject the materials.
Instructional Materials Internet Website: TEA must develop and maintain a website to assist districts in selecting approved materials.
Instructional Materials Support: If requested, TEA must assist districts in evaluating, adopting, or using instructional materials. TEA may not require districts to use material TEA has reviewed or anything on the SBOE approved materials list.
Local Review of Classroom Materials: TEA must develop standards with educators and stakeholders to review instructional materials used by a classroom teacher in a foundation curriculum course to determine how much it corresponds to the materials adopted by the district and whether it is appropriately rigorous for the relevant TEKS; TEA must develop a rubric for evaluating the rigor of the materials.
TEA must minimize the amount of time the classroom teacher must spend to comply with these reviews; a teacher does not have to spend more than thirty minutes on a single review, unless unavoidable, and the same materials cannot be reviewed more than once per year.
Availability of Open Education Resource Instructional Materials: TEA must ensure that OER instructional materials are readily available to districts and may purchase licensing that co mplies with all applicable state procurement laws/rules to do so.
TEA must make available OER materials for PK-8 English and Math, as well as all foundation K-5 courses that allow for integrated instruction.
These materials must be made available to all students, parents, teachers, and districts free of charge, except for any printing or shipping fees.
Open Education Resource Advisory Board: TEA must establish an OER advisory board to ensure that OER materials are high-quality, aligned with the relevant TEKS, grade-level appropriate, free from bias/factual error, and that the materials do not violate state laws prohibiting critical race theory instruction.
Content Requirements: OER materials must be reviewed by teachers, parents, and other experts before being made available.
Selection by School District: TEA cannot require districts to adopt OER materials and cannot charge for adopting materials except for printing costs.
Open Education Resource Instructional Material Transition Plan: To qualify for additional state aid when adopting OER materials, districts must create a transition plan to assist classroom teachers who will use OER materials for the first time. A transition plan must ensure that open education resource instructional materials are used in a manner that maintains the instructional flexibility of a classroom teacher to address the needs of each student.
Additional State Aid for Open Education Resource Instructional Materials: State aid when adopting OER materials is capped at $20 per student to pay for printing or shipping of those materials.
Open Education Resource Instructional Material Support Program: TEA must develop and maintain a program to assist districts in adopting and using OER materials, including provisions that maintain teacher flexibility in using the materials to address the needs of students, and scheduling instruction such that teachers have sufficient time to prepare and present the materials in the normal work day.
Instructional Materials Parent Portal: SBOE must adopt standards that require entities that provide instructional materials to have those materials available on a parent portal. These portals must provide parents access to the materials, other than tests or exams, organize the materials by unit and the order in which they are designed to be used, be easily searchable, and provide information for parents to locate physical copies if digital copies do not exist.
SBOE cannot adopt standards that require teachers to submit materials they have created to any parent portal, or that require entities hosting parent portals to include tests or exams.
Additional State Aid for State-Approved Instructional Materials: Districts can receive $40 per enrolled student to procure instructional materials that have been reviewed by TEA and placed on the SBOE approved materials list.