Below you will find TCTA summaries of the bills passed by the 2013 Texas Legislature, including the bills vetoed by the governor. Several of the session's successful bills were initiated by TCTA.
 
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Bill Number Sponsor Last Action Bill Categories Bill Summary
HB 5 Aycock, Jimmie Don Signed by governor Accountability

Comprehensive legislation changing testing, graduation requirements, and the state accountability system. Click here for a detailed description.

HB 10 Pitts, Jim Signed by governor Finance

Includes an additional $630 million for public education funding for the current school year, and includes the provision that “undoes” the deferral of payments to school districts that had been authorized in the 2011 legislative session.

HCR 68 Farney, Marsha Signed by governor Teachers

Designates the first full week of May as Texas Teacher Appreciation Week, for the next 10 years.

HB 217 Alvarado, Carol Vetoed School district operations

Prohibits schools from allowing the sale of beverages to students on elementary and junior/middle school campuses other than water without added sweetener, milk with one percent fat or less, milk substitutions, 100 percent vegetable or fruit juice. There are exceptions for days in which school is not in session, before breakfast, after the last instructional period, or to a high school campus when the high school is co-located with an elementary, middle or junior high school.

HB 308 Bohac, Dwayne Signed by governor School district operations

Allows districts to educate students about traditional winter celebrations and to allow students and staff to offer traditional greetings such as “Merry Christmas,” Happy Hanukkah,” and “happy holidays.” Districts can also display scenes or symbols associated with traditional celebrations as long as the display includes a scene/symbol representing more than one religion, or one religion and a secular scene/symbol. A display relating to a winter celebration may not encourage adherence to a particular religious belief.

HB 343 Marquez, Marisa Signed by governor Governance

Limited to El Paso ISD, requires school board trustees to file a financial statement with the board and the county commissioner’s court, under provisions that apply to current filing reports for state officials.

HB 347 Pitts, Jim Signed by governor Safety

Adds to current law, which prohibits the use of wireless devices in school zones, to provide that such devices cannot be used anywhere on a campus for which a school crossing zone has been designated, during the time the reduced speed limit is in effect, except with a hands-free device or while stopped. Exceptions are provided for emergency calls.

HB 455 Dukes, Dawnna Signed by governor Students

Provides an excused absence for a student’s doctor appointment for the student’s child.

HB 462 Huberty, Dan Signed by governor Curriculum

Prohibits the SBOE from adopting common core standards, and prohibits districts from using common core standards to comply with TEKS. Prohibits TEA from adopting/developing an assessment that is based on common core standards (but not prohibiting the use of college AP or IB tests). Provides that a district or charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core curriculum.

HB 480 Alvarado, Carol Signed by governor Parents

Allows state employees to take up to eight hours of sick leave per year to attend their child’s educational activities, including parent-teacher conferences, tutoring, volunteer programs, field trips, class programs, school committee meetings, academic competitions, and athletic/music/theater programs. Prior law only allowed the use of eight hours sick leave for parent-teacher conferences.

HB 483 Aycock, Jimmie Don Signed by governor School district operations

Prohibits a school district or other political subdivision from paying an employee or former employee more than the amount owed in the contract unless a public hearing is held, at which the reason for and amount of the proposed payment are given.

HB 525 Aycock, Jimmie Don Signed by governor Accountability

Requires TEA to collect data through PEIMS relating to the number of military-connected students, defined as students who are a dependent of an active duty member of the US military, Texas National Guard, or a US military reserve force.

HB 590 Naishtat, Elliott Signed by governor Special populations

Provides that, in determining a child’s eligibility for special education services based on a visual impairment, the evaluation must include an orientation and mobility evaluation conducted by a certified orientation and mobility specialist in a variety of lighting conditions and a variety of settings. An orientation and mobility specialist must participate on the team evaluating the data on which eligibility is based. If a reevaluation is performed, it must be done by a multidisciplinary team that includes a certified orientation and mobility specialist.

HB 617 Rodriguez, Eddie Signed by governor Special populations

Requires that districts must designate at least one employee to serve as the designee on transition and employment services for special education students. The designee must provide information and resources about effective transition planning and services. TEA, with assistance from the Health and Human Services Commission, will develop a transition and employment guide to assist in the transition to life outside of the public school system.

HB 628 Dale, Tony Signed by governor Governance

Provides that a school board trustees has an “inherent right of access” to district information, documents and records, and is not required to file a public information request to obtain such information. The district can withhold or redaction information to the extent that the item is not subject to disclosure or is confidential. The district must post the cost of responding to a board member’s request(s) if such request(s) total 200 or more pages in a 90-day period.

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