With only two weeks left, the House and Senate will spend long days in floor debate even as committee meetings continue. Deadlines have already begun to kill bills and a key date next week is Saturday, May 18 — the last day that House committees can report Senate bills. The following day is the last day for Senate bills to be set on the House calendar for floor debate. 

Monday

The Senate Finance Committee will consider HB 4611 and HJR 151, both by Rep. Dan Huberty/Sen. Larry Taylor. The bills would provide for a constitutional amendment that would allow the State Board of Education and General Land Board to increase distributions to the available school fund.

The House Elections Committee will hear SB 1569, one of many bills filed (and moving) this session that are designed to clamp down on the ability of school districts and school employees to use public resources to hire lobbyists or otherwise influence legislation or elections.

Tuesday

The House Public Education Committee has scheduled seven Senate bills for a hearing. They include SB 232 by Sen. Jose Menendez, which requires districts to notify parents of high school students that the student is not required to complete Algebra II to graduate under the foundation high school program, but to include information about the possible consequences of not completing the course such as eligibity for automatic admission to college and financial aid. TCTA's SB 1016 by Sen. Beverly Powell, requiring TEA to audit teacher professional development requirements to seek to eliminate unnecessary training requirements, is also on the agenda.

The hearing will also include a problematic bill by Sen. Charles Perry, SB 1412, which addresses campus turnaround plans for struggling schools by including provisions that would require at least 80% of the teaching faculty on campuses that have opted in to an "accelerated campus excellence" model to have been ranked in the top quartile of teachers in the district, based in part on student test performance and appraisals, with compensation including significant incentives for "high-performing" teachers to remain at the campus.