TEA recently announced the establishment of the SBEC Educator Training Clearinghouse, which is the culmination of Senate Bill 1267 passed during the 2021 legislative session. The comprehensive bill is aimed at streamlining educator training requirements as well as increasing the opportunity for educators to self-select meaningful and relevant professional development.
SB 1267 was the result of the work of a teacher workforce workgroup formed by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office during the 2019-20 legislative interim, which was tasked with reviewing existing teacher training and making recommendations to the Texas Legislature regarding reducing and/or eliminating any of these requirements. TCTA was a leading participant in the workgroup, serving as a subgroup lead and presenting testimony to the Senate Education Committee on the workgroup’s recommendations. The workgroup’s report consisting of recommendations to establish a slimmer, more meaningful set of teacher professional development requirements, formed the basis of SB 1267.
Recognizing that how often educators need a particular type of training is often unique to each district and educator, the workgroup recommended that, rather than have training frequency dictated in statute, best practices and industry recommendations regarding frequency should be housed in a clearinghouse published by the State Board for Educator Certification. Local school boards would annually consider the clearinghouse when adopting their local professional development policies to tailor the frequency of any required training to their own educators’ needs. Additionally, TCTA and other workgroup members felt strongly that educators and organizations representing educators needed to be the key advisors on identified best practices and frequency recommendations included in SBEC’s clearinghouse.
Accordingly, SB 1267 requires that SBEC establish a clearinghouse advisory group consisting of educators, including classroom teachers and representatives of organizations that represent educators, to review and provide input for the contents of the clearinghouse. Additionally, SB 1267 requires that by Dec. 1 of each even-numbered year, the clearinghouse advisory group must complete a review of the clearinghouse and submit a report to the Texas Legislature of the group’s recommendations to reduce, eliminate or consolidate requirements.
TCTA worked closely with TEA and other stakeholders on the Clearinghouse Advisory Group in developing the contents of the first iteration of the clearinghouse which is now available on TEA’s website.
Given SB 1267’s requirements that the Clearinghouse Advisory Committee must engage in a continuous review of and make recommendations to the legislature regarding educator training requirements, TCTA anticipates continued involvement in this effort to prevent educator training requirements from building up in order to protect educator time and make professional development requirements more targeted and meaningful for educators.