The legislative session ends May 29, and key deadlines are now in play. The last day for the House to take up House bills on the general calendar is Thursday, May 11, and that chamber’s calendars get longer each day. Here are some of the education-related bills that have passed the House in recent days:

  • SB 7 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt imposes new reporting requirements for administrators who become aware of educator misconduct, and expands the current prohibition to include a relationship with any student, not just a student in the same district as the employee. The bill includes a TCTA provision to ensure that teachers are not required by district policy to disclose their personal email or phone information to students. It was amended on the House floor to include language prohibiting employees convicted of certain felonies involving a student from receiving a TRS pension. (Having passed both chambers, this bill will return to the Senate for either agreement with House amendments or appointment of a conference committee to negotiate a final bill.)
  • HB 28 by Rep. Dennis Bonnen phases out and eliminates the franchise tax, a key component of school finance funding.
  • HB 2051 by Chair Dan Huberty increases the new instructional facility allotment from $250 to $1,000 per student.
  • HB 2937 by Rep. Terry Canales creates a “medical dual credit pilot program” under which a licensed hospital would offer dual-credit courses to high school students.
  • HB 1174 by Rep. Gina Hinojosa seeks to encourage dual-enrollment programs by including the percentage of students successfully completing certain dual-enrollment classes among the factors used to evaluate districts/campuses.
  • HB 972 by Rep. Helen Giddings is limited to districts with 5,000 or more students; it prohibits the assignment of a student in grades 1-6 for two consecutive years to a new teacher who does not hold the appropriate certificate (with exceptions for non-foundation courses or upon parent agreement).
  • HB 1500 by Giddings includes among the indicators used to evaluate high schools the percentage of students who earn an associate degree.
  • HB 2039 by Huberty creates an early childhood certificate for grades pre-K through 3 (but a person is not required to hold the certificate to teach in those grades, and the EC-6 certificate will continue to be offered).
  • HB 2205 by Rep. John Kuempel requires educators reporting child abuse or neglect to report not only to the Department of Family and Protective Services but also to local or state law enforcement.