House Public Education Committee approves mentor bill

The House Public Education Committee met following Monday’s floor session to vote out a handful of bills. The committee approved the following bills unanimously:

  • CSHB 515, which would eliminate writing and social studies assessments and require only end-of-course assessments in reading, math and science as required by federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • CSHB 539, which would allow the children of military service members to enroll full-time in the state virtual school network.
  • CSHB 816, which would create a mentor program for new teachers in Texas.
  • HB 1918, which would create a grant program to provide online professional development courses for new teachers, those teaching out of their certification or those teaching at underperforming schools.
House Public Education Committee meeting on the House floor, April 24, 2017.

House Public Education Committee meeting on the House floor, April 24, 2017.

CSHB 2185 failed on a tie vote, with five members voting for and five voting against the measure. The bill would have specified that immunity from liability and suit of an open-enrollment charter school is not waived unless immunity is expressly waived in statute. It would have treated open-enrollment charters the same as traditional public schools for purposes of zoning, permitting, code compliance and development. HB 2185 would also have exempted open-enrollment charter schools from the requirement to pay impact fees. Voting against the committee substitute, state Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas) explained it would negatively impact Dallas ISD.

The committee will meet at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday to consider more than two dozen bills on the agenda.

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