The House Public Education Committee met Wednesday afternoon to vote out several pending items. Most of the bills were passed by a unanimous vote:
- HB 23 by Chairman Dan Huberty (R-Houston), which would create a five-year grant program to provide money for districts and charters that provide innovative services to students with autism.
- HB 79, which would eliminate the cap the percentage of special education students who take alternative assessments, as opposed to standard assessments.
- HB 168, would create a voluntary program to recognize licensed before-school and after-school programs that promote healthy eating and physical activity. The committee recommended this bill for placement on the local and consent calendar.
- HB 404, which would create higher education curriculum review teams charged with reviewing changes to the TEKS.
- HB 639, which would authorize districts to obtain health benefit plan, liability or auto insurance for partner businesses and students participating in CTE programs. State Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) voted “present.”
- HB 1556, which would require training for foster parents of a child with disabilities before making educational decisions on the child’s behalf.
- HB 1593, which would add programs and interventions that engage a family in supporting a student’s learning at home to requirements for family engagement strategies. The committee recommended this bill for placement on the local and consent calendar.
- HB 1980, which would allow a transfer student to graduate through an individual graduation committee if they transferred after completing grade 11 in a different state and are unable to comply with curriculum requirements or end-of-course assessment instrument requirements needed for graduation.
- HB 2039, which would create a new Early Childhood through Grade 3 Certificate, which the SBEC is currently in the process of thoroughly reviewing as one of several avenues to help early childhood teachers get the specific instruction needed to best teach early childhood students.
- HB 2729, which would order the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to develop an inventory of certifications and credentials that may be earned through high school CTE programs, including certification fees and salary information.
- HB 2880, which would reduce the offense of threatening to exhibit or use a firearm at school to a misdemeanor if the person does not have possession of or immediate access to a firearm.
- HB 3024, which would add chiropractors to the list of those able to determine that a student might have suffered a concussion and should be removed by an interscholastic athletic activity.
- HB 3563, which would make it more difficult for a school to avoid notifying parents when their child is assigned to an uncertified teacher.
- HB 3593, which would create a new high school cybersecurity program.
- HB 3769, which is the House companion to SB 7.
- SB 7, which is the teacher misconduct bill aimed to crack down on inappropriate student-teacher relationships and end so-called “pass the trash” practices that result in teachers guilty of misconduct obtaining work in other school districts.
- HB 713, which would end the de facto “cap” on special education enrollment unveiled by the Houston Chronicle. The committee reconsidered its previous vote in order to recommend this bill for placement on the local and consent calendar.
Chairman Huberty concluded the formal meeting by reminding members that HB 21, House leadership’s priority school finance bill, is scheduled for floor action next Wednesday. Amendments are due by 5pm Monday.