Important bills - including the TRS-Care legislation - continue moving through the process as the final month of the session arrives.


The House Pensions Committee will consider several bills that could increase retirement benefits for school employees, although no such increase would be possible in the retirement system's current fiscal condition (healthy, but not adequately funded to absorb a benefit increase).


The House Public Education Committee's agenda comprises more than two dozen bills, including:

  • HB 615 by Rep. Jeff Leach eliminates the requirement that students pass the 5th and 8th grade STAAR tests for promotion, and provides that the grade placement committees will make the determination about promotion for students who do not pass.
  • HB 1847 by Rep. Garnet Coleman requires districts to notify parents if a school does not have a full-time nurse assigned for more than 30 consecutive days during the school year.
  • HB 3853 by Coleman provides an opportunity for districts to receive additional state aid to provide services by a behavioral health professional.
  • HB 4044 by Rep. Philip Cortez requires that districts' codes of conducts provide for notice to parents of students with autism or similar disorders before beginning a disciplinary process.
  • HB 4170 by Rep. Scott Cosper would expand the virtual school network (currently for grades 3-12) to include K-2 students.


Wednesday's House calendar includes several bills of interest for floor consideration:

  • HB 3976 by Rep. Trent Ashby is the TRS-Care legislation that would revise the provision of health insurance for retirees 65 and over, and those under 65.
  • HB 22 by Chairman Dan Huberty includes significant changes to the accountability system, such as the incorporation of a school climate survey of teachers, administrators, students and parents in the school climate domain; removal of a summative rating for districts and campuses (retaining the individual domain ratings); and delay of full implementation of A-F ratings until the 2019-20 school year.