HB 4545 - accelerated instruction | TCTA
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HB 4545 - accelerated instruction

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Rep. Harold Dutton/Sen. Larry Taylor

Accelerated instruction

  • Repeals laws requiring satisfactory STAAR performance for promotion.
  • Requires districts to establish an accelerated learning committee for each student who does not perform satisfactorily on the third, fifth or eighth grade math or reading STAAR exams. Not performing satisfactorily includes:
    • A student who did not meet grade level
    • A student who did not take the exam (note that a district can give such a student an assessment designed to show TEKS proficiency, such as the beginning-of-the-year test, and use the results to determine whether the student needs accelerated instruction)

Each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily on a STAAR or EOC exam in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, the student must receive accelerated instruction in the applicable subject area during the subsequent summer or school year and either:

  • be assigned a classroom teacher designated as a master, exemplary or recognized teacher in the applicable subject area under the Teacher Incentive Allotment program, or
  • be provided supplemental instruction that meets certain requirements.

While in accelerated instruction, the district cannot remove a student from foundation curriculum classes or recess/other physical activity except under circumstances in which another student not receiving accelerated instruction would be removed.

Supplemental instruction

  • Districts receiving federal COVID-relief funding must include in supplemental instruction targeted instruction in the applicable TEKS, and the supplemental instruction must be provided in addition to instruction normally provided to students, be provided for at least 30 hours during the summer or school year and include instruction at least once a week during the school year (unless provided entirely during the summer).
  • The supplemental instruction must be provided individually or in groups of no more than three unless parents of the students involved authorize a larger group.
  • Instruction must be provided by a person with training in the materials for the supplemental instruction and, to the extent possible, by one person for the entirety of the supplemental instruction period.
  • Districts must establish a process allowing for parents of students failing to perform satisfactorily on the specified STAAR exams to make a request for assignment to a particular teacher for the subsequent school year, if more than one is available. (This provision was a result of a TCTA-initiated amendment to replace language that simply allowed parents to directly choose the teacher.)
  • Replaces grade placement committees with the accelerated learning committee (retaining the same composition).
  • Provides that if a student fails to perform satisfactorily in the subject area for a second year, the superintendent/designee must meet with the accelerated learning committee to determine why and whether the plan developed for the student should be modified and/or additional resources provided. The superintendent’s designee for this purpose may be a regional service center employee and may not be a member of the accelerated learning committee.
  • Requires assignment of a student who fails the STAAR and is promoted to the next grade to an appropriately certified teacher, but allows waiver of the requirement by the commissioner on request of a school district.

Strong foundations grant program

  • Creates a “strong foundations grant program” for K-5 campuses or programs to implement a rigorous school approach combining high-quality instruction, materials and support structures.
  • Components of the grant program include the use of high-quality instructional materials and curriculum, the use of aligned diagnostic and formative assessments, aligned professional supports, practices designed to ensure high-quality supports for students with disabilities, evidence-based practices to increase and maintain parental engagement, and measurement of fidelity of program implementation.
  • Districts/charters receiving grants can use funds to financial support or train educators and staff, pay for other entities to provide preK services, or pay for accelerated instruction.
  • The commissioner can require certain low-performing campuses to comply with all requirements of the strong foundations grant program (regardless of whether the district is participating in the grant program).
  • This requirement would apply to a campus that includes any pre-K through 5 grades, is assigned an overall rating of D or F and is in the bottom five percent of campuses in the state based on 3rd grade reading STAAR performance. If funds are available, the commissioner can award a grant to such a campus.