The Senate has relatively few deadlines, but bills need to be moving out of that chamber in order to meet House deadlines – the last day for a Senate bill to get through a House committee and be considered on the House floor is May 23. Here are some of the education bills that have passed the Senate recently:

  • SB 30 by Sen. Royce West requires training for both peace officers and students (in the required curriculum) regarding proper interactions with peace officers during traffic stops and other encounters.
  • SB 179 by Sen. Jose Menendez expands bullying laws to include cyberbullying and addresses disciplinary options for students who have engaged in more serious forms of bullying (such as inciting suicide or violence, or releasing intimate visual material of a minor or student).
  • SB 195 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia expands the current law that allows a district to apply for an additional transportation allotment amount for use within two miles of a school due to hazardous traffic conditions, to also allow use of the allotment if the student would face a high risk of violence by walking to school.
  • SB 196 by Garcia requires districts to notify parents if a school does not have a full-time nurse, counselor or librarian assigned to be at the school for more than 30 consecutive days in a school year.
  • SB 384 by Sen. Konni Burton requires the SBOE to make reasonable efforts to schedule end-of-course exams so that they do not conflict with other scheduled assessments (such as AP and IB exams).
  • SB 463 by Sen. Kel Seliger extends the authorized use of individual graduation committees (which may allow a student to graduate despite failing one or two EOC exams); the statute creating the IGC program is scheduled to expire in 2017.
  • SB 640 by Sen. Van Taylor would require districts to provide equal opportunities for home-schooled students within  district boundaries to participate in UIL activities on behalf of the school.
  • SB 801 by Seliger requires that instructional materials on the recommended list be determined suitable for the subject and grade level, and reviewed by academic experts in the subject and grade level.
  • SB 826 by Chair Larry Taylor removes sequencing requirements (e.g., completion of Algebra I and geometry prior to enrolling in certain math classes) for students enrolling in an advanced math or English class. (This bill passed the Senate several weeks ago but saw recent action in the House when it was voted favorably out of the House Public Education Committee).
  • SB 1634 by L. Taylor (filed by the chair at TCTA’s request) would allow districts that reduce the number of instructional days to reduce required teacher days proportionately without a reduction in salary. (This bill also passed the Senate weeks ago and was voted out of House Public Education this week.)
  • SB 1886 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt creates an office of inspector general at TEA to investigate criminal misconduct, fraud, waste and abuse in the administration of public education.