The Educator Quality Subcommittee of the House Public Education Committee heard a number of bills Monday afternoon, many relating to teacher training and preparation requirements. TCTA testified on several of the bills, supporting one (HB 1865 by Rep. Mary Gonzalez) that clarifies that Districts of Innovation cannot be exempt from certification laws for bilingual and special education teachers, and another (HB 3692 by Rep. Joe Deshotel) that prohibits the use of student performance on state standardized tests as a factor in teacher evaluations.

TCTA expressed concern about other bills, including:

  • HB 3349 by Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, which creates an abbreviated preparation program for skilled trade professionals to receive a trade and industrial workforce training teaching certificate. Many of these individuals do not have a college degree and thus are not eligible to enter an alternative certification program. TCTA's Holly Eaton testified that the bill's proposed 25-50 hours of training on pedagogy is far less than the amount otherwise required in alternative certification programs (300 hours).
  • HB 2924 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac and HB 3044 by Huberty, both of which would relax certain educator preparation requirements. TCTA testified with our concerns about allowing observation of another teacher and serving as a substitute teacher to count as field experience.
  • HB 2941 by Rep. Harold Dutton, which began as a comprehensive teacher quality bill that included controversial provisions regarding teacher appraisals, but Dutton has expressed his intent to narrow the bill to a proposal that requires districts to annually detail efforts to increase the quality and performance of teachers.

Bills in the subcommittee may or may not be taken up by the House Public Education Committee in future meetings.