The House/Senate conference committee on SB 1, the appropriations bill, will begin negotiations to see if agreement can be reached on a state budget. Conferees were named this week: Sens. Jane Nelson, Juan Hinojosa, Joan Huffman, Charles Schwertner, and Lois Kohlkorst; and Reps. John Zerwas, Oscar Longoria, Trent Ashby, Sarah Davis, and Larry Gonzales.
The House Pensions Committee will consider a bill that would expand the Teacher Retirement Board of Trustees from nine members to 12, adding one financial expert and two employee representatives.
The Senate Agriculture, Water, and Rural Affairs Committee will hear legislation requiring that lead service lines in schools and child care facilities be replaced and that schools and child care facilities adopt a plan of action to prevent elevated lead levels in water used for drinking or cooking.
House Public Education has 30 bills on its agenda, including:
- HB 1333 by Rep. Jason Isaac, which revises the accountability system to reduce the weight of STAAR performance in school ratings and to remove it as a metric in teacher appraisals;
- HB 1651 by Rep. Rene Oliveira, which requires districts to reimburse teachers up to $200 per year for classroom supplies;
- HB 633 by Rep. Mary Gonzalez, which prohibits Districts of Innovation from exempting themselves from certain laws relating to student discipline;
- HB 674 by Rep. Eric Johnson, which prohibits out-of-school suspensions for students younger than age six except for the most serious offenses such as violations involving weapons, violence, or drugs/alcohol;
- HB 1180 by Rep. Craig Goldman, which prohibits districts from scheduling the last day of school any later than the Friday before Memorial Day (with an exception for year-round schools);
- HB 1865, which prohibits Districts of Innovation from exempting themselves from the laws regarding the first and last days of instruction, while also revising those laws to begin school no earlier than the Tuesday after Labor Day and end school no later than the Friday before Memorial Day; and
- HB 3635 by Rep. Matt Krause, which revises the District of Innovation law to require the commissioner to adopt eligibility standards (both academic and financial) for districts to become a DOI, and to establish performance objectives.