The House Public Education Committee met for a formal hearing after Wednesday’s floor session in order to advance a number of Senate bills. The committee approved the following items Wednesday evening:
- SB 195, which would allow additional transportation allotment funding to districts with children living within the two mile zone who are at a high risk of violence if they walk to school.
- SB 196, which would require parental notification when a campus lacks a nurse, school counselor, or librarian.
- SB 384, which would give the State Board of Education (SBOE) flexibility in scheduling end-of-course exams to avoid conflicts with AP/IB national tests.
- SB 490, which would require a report on the number of school counselors at each campus.
- CSSB 1398, which makes lots of clarifying and limiting changes to the classroom video camera law. Among them, the bill would require requests in writing and only require equipment in classrooms or settings in which the child is in regular attendance or to which the staff member is assigned.
- SB 1484, which would create a web portal and instructional materials repository to assist schools in selecting open education resources. The bill provides for a third party to provide independent analysis regarding TEKS alignment.
- SB 1566, which would hand broad powers to local school boards to compel the testimony of district officials and obtain district documents. Vice-chair Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) voted against the bill.
- CSSB 1660, which would allow districts to choose between using either minutes or days to calculate operation.
- SB 1784, which would encourage the use of “open-source instructional materials.”
- CSSB 1839, which would create a certification for early childhood through grade three, and would grant the commissioner authority to set reciprocity rules regarding the ability of teachers from outside the state to obtain a certificate in Texas.
- SB 1854, which would require district-level committees to review paperwork requirements annually and recommend to the board of trustees instructional tasks that can be transferred to non-instructional staff.
- SB 1873, which would require a report on physical education provided by each school district.
- SB 2039, which would develop instructional modules and training for public schools on the prevention of sexual abuse and sex trafficking.
- SB 2188, which would specify that a student who is 18 or older in an off home campus instructional arrangement is a full-time student if they receive 20 hours of contact a week. Part-time would be defined as between 10 and 20 contact hours per week.
- SB 2270, which would create a pilot program in ESC Region 1 to provide additional pre-K funding for low-income students.
- SB 2078, which would require TEA develop a model multi-hazard emergency operations plan and create a cycle of review.
The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday morning to consider a handful of remaining Senate bills.