Gov. Rick Perry signed HB 5 on Monday, June 10, along with a handful of other bills relating to career and technical education. At the invitation of the governor's office, TCTA President Grace Mueller and TCTA Executive Director Jeri Stone attended the signing, along with members of the House and Senate education committees and others. Most of the other bills relating to public education passed by the Legislature remain in limbo. The governor has until June 16 to sign or veto any bills passed during the last 10 days of the regular session. Those he signs or does not veto by that deadline will become law.

TCTA has reported generally on some of the major issues since the close of the 2013 legislative session, but we have now reviewed and summarized the education-related bills that passed.

TCTA bill summary chart

Some of the bills are long and complex, and the summaries are extensive, but you should be able to find what you need to know using TCTA's bill summary chart. You may review the list by bill number, or, if you’re looking for a specific category of legislation, by subject matter.

What didn’t pass

A number of bills we were working on or monitoring closely throughout the session – both good and bad – did not pass. Among them:

  • Most of the “reform” measures such as parent trigger legislation, vouchers/tax credit proposals, and the achievement school district bill. (A notable exception was SB 2, which did pass and included “district charters” that will allow school boards to convert existing campuses to charter schools. More details are available on SB 2 in the bill summary chart.)
  • The elimination of writing tests in grades 4 and 7. Two bills that had included their elimination both passed, but those provisions were stripped out of the final versions. Any reductions in testing in grades 3-8 will be in reading and math, and ONLY if the reduction is allowed under federal law (mostly likely via a waiver).
  • The “bad parts” of the Teaching Commission bill. As it was filed, SB 1403 included a number of recommendations from the Teaching Commission report. Some were positive, but others – the ones that caused TCTA and other teacher groups to withdraw from the commission – were harmful, including the elimination of the state minimum salary schedule, required annual teacher appraisals, and a greater emphasis on student test scores in teacher appraisals. All three of those provisions were removed and not included in the final version of the bill (which did not pass on its own but was amended onto HB 2012).
  • The bill requiring video cameras in self-contained special education classes. It had moved quickly through the Senate and was passed by the House Public Education Committee, but was never scheduled for action on the House floor.

Next week, we’ll fill you in on TCTA’s specific legislative accomplishments – in a very difficult session, we managed to have some major successes.