The 87th Texas Legislature convenes Jan. 12, 2021, for a 140-day session. Below you'll find more information about education-related bills filed during the session. Click on the bill's name in the table to see more details about it.

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Bill Number Sponsor Last Action Bill Categories Bill Summary
HB 23 Rep. Valoree Swanson Filed Governance

Adds the Harris Co. Department of Education to the Sunset Review process, beginning with the next set of reviews in 2023. The department must pay the costs of the review.

HB 24 Rep. Alex Dominguez Filed Special populations

Requires the commissioner to distribute funds to provide at least one playground in each district that is inclusive and accessible for students with disabilities.

 

HB 28 Rep. Victoria Neave Filed Mental Health

Provides that a social worker can provide social work services to students and families in a school or district, and must collaborate with school administrators and other professionals to enhance students' learning environments.

HB 30 Rep. James Talarico Filed Special populations

Requires the Windham School District to provide instruction leading to a standard high school diploma for each incarcerated student under age 18, or under age 22 if receiving special education services. Referrals to the program will take into consideration remaining sentence time, educational functioning level, and recommendations by the ARD committee.

HB 31 Rep. Valoree Swanson Filed Governance

Abolishes the Harris Co. board of education, board of trustees, and superintendent unless continuation is approved by voters in November 2022.

HB 38 Rep. Ron Reynolds Filed Students

Prohibits dress/grooming policies, including for extracurricular activities, from discriminating against a hair texture or protective hairstyle (such as braids, locks and twists) commonly or historically associated with race. Applies to institutions of higher education as well. Also applies to employers, labor unions and employment agencies.

HB 41 Rep. James Talarico Filed Class sizes

Requires districts (removing "must attempt to" phrasing) to maintain a ratio in any pre-K program class of no less than one teacher or aide for each 11 students, and to maintain 22:1 class size caps as for K-4 classes.

HB 47 Rep. Terry Canales Filed Health

Adds SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 to current law regarding presumptive coverage for tuberculosis and other respiratory illnesses that currently applies to emergency workers, and adds public school district employees diagnosed with SARS or COVID. The law states that such an employee diagnosed via an approved test is presumed to have contracted the illness during the course and scope of employment at the school district.

HB 51 Rep. James Talarico Filed Early childhood

Creates the Office of Early Childhood within the Department of State Health Services. The primary duties of the OEC are to coordinate and integrate child care, early childhood, and early care and learning programs.

HB 55 Rep. Valoree Swanson Filed School Safety

Revises current laws regarding school marshals. Removes the current provision that says the marshal may not carry a concealed handgun if the primary duty of the marshal involves regular, direct contact with students, and specifically prohibits districts from requiring that a marshal store the gun in a locked and secure safe.

HB 57 Rep. James Talarico Filed Curriculum

Requires TEA to advise districts regarding training materials and resources to help teachers develop civics projects and teaching methods, to understand and teach the relevance of public policy and governmental structures, and to engage students in critical thinking, cooperative work, issue identification, research, evaluation, solution developments and creating public policy or action plans. Adds civics to the social studies foundation curriculum. Civics instruction must occur at least once in grades 4-8 and as part of graduation requirements in high school.

HB 59 Rep. Andrew Murr Filed Finance

Prohibits districts from imposing M&O taxes. An enrichment tax of up to 17 cents per $100 of taxable property value is allowed to to enrich students' educational opportunities. Creates the joint interim committee on the elimination of school district M&O taxes. The committee will evaluate the effectiveness of increasing/expanding or newly imposing consumption (sales) taxes to fund public schools.

HB 62 Rep. James Talarico Filed Discipline

Adds "restorative justice" to the current "positive behavior program" law. Districts must implement a program (in consultation with campus behavior coordinators) to provide an alternative to suspension for students in any grade level, including (new language) conduct that violates a penal law of this state. Adds that the program must be culturally responsive. Defines restorative justice practices as emphasizing repairing harm caused by a person's conduct to another person or the community.

HB 64 Rep. Phil King Filed Miscellaneous

Redistricting bill for the State Board of Education.

HB 81 Rep. Eddie Rodriguez Filed School Structure

Provides that a campus turnaround plan can allow a campus to operate as a community school. Such a plan must include programs to coordinate academic, social and health services and reduce barriers to learning through partnerships and service coordination. Programs can include early childhood education, after-school and summer school programs, college and career prep, service learning opportunities, leadership and mentoring programs, activities to encourage community and parent involvement, health and social services for students and their families, and parenting classes.

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