The House Public Education Committee and Senate Education Committee held what may be their last hearings of the session this week, given the upcoming deadlines that will shift action to the House and Senate floors. Both committees are moving very quickly on bills to beat the deadlines, with few controversial proposals on their agendas.

Among the bills voted out of committee this week were:

  • HB 769, which prohibits severance payments to a superintendent whose contract is terminated for malfeasance.
  • HB 961 which includes school nurses on a districts concussion oversight team.
  • HB 3012, which requires districts to provide suspended students with a means of receiving all course work provided in foundation curriculum classes.
  • HB 3435, which creates “Texas Girls in STEM Day”.
  • HB 4205, which creates a new option for campus turnaround plan that includes problematic language that would require rankings of teachers likely based on student test performance.
  • HB 4310, which requires districts to provide sufficient time for teachers to teach and students to learn the applicable TEKS, and provides that a teacher cannot be penalized for not following the recommended scope and sequence for a curriculum based on the teacher’s determination that the students need more or less time.
  • HB 663, which requires the SBOE to review and, as necessary, narrow the scope and number of TEKS. 
  • SB 11, a major school safety bill that addresses mental health resources for schools, school safety training and planning, mandatory drills, etc.
  • SB 1453, which requires districts to allow students to use a calculator application on a device (laptop, tablet, etc.) instead of a graphing calculator, unless the district provides free access to graphing calculators.
  • SB 293, which expands educator preparation and staff development requirements to include more training regarding education of students with disabilities.
  • SB 2283, which prohibits a person from serving on a school board if the person has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony.