• Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Senate Education Committee
    The Senate Education Committee met Tuesday, April 12th.

    House Public Education Committee
    The House Public Education Committee met Tuesday April 12th.
    More on the $830 million in Federal Funding
    This post addresses some of the possibilities on how the $830 million in funding from the Education Jobs program will flow to districts

    Senate Ed to meet Thursday, will consider flexibility bill yet again

    Sen. Florence Shapiro filed SB 12 today, essentially a replacement of SB 3, which relates to the flexibility of the board of trustees of a school district in the management and operation of public schools in the district.

    Fuller Text of Senate Bill 12:  Click Here

    The Senate Education Committee will meet Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in hearing room E1.028 to hear SB 12, as well as three other new bills and nine pending bills.

    TASA and TASB governmental relations staff are analyzing SB 12 now and will provide updated information on the changes from SB 3 as soon as possible.

    The other bills posted for Thursday’s meeting are:

    SB 89 by Lucio et al.: Relating to summer nutrition programs provided for by school districts.

    SB 224 by Nelson: Relating to a program to recognize public schools with successful student health and fitness programs.

    SB 1511 by West: Relating to the preparation, certification and working conditions of educators.

    The pending bills are:

    SB 205 by Whitmire: Relating to school district policies to prohibit bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and intimidation.

    SB 518 by Shapiro: Relating to initiatives designed to improve performance of public school students enrolled at the sixth, seventh and eighth grade levels.

    SB 570 by Shapiro: Relating to beginning teacher induction and mentoring programs for public schools.

    SB 738 by Shapiro: Relating to alternative methods for operating public schools.

    SB 1328 by Watson: Relating to optional dispute resolution methods for school districts and parents of students seeking or receiving special education services.

    SB 1383 by Shapiro: Relating to an appraisal and professional development system for public school principals.

    SB 1483 by Shapiro: Relating to the state virtual school network and virtual high schools.

    SB 1543 by Wentworth: Relating to the authority of independent school districts to invest in corporate bonds.

    SB 1872 by Van de Putte et al.: Relating to revision of open-enrollment charter school charters to add charter schools under certain circumstances.

    To watch the committee hearing, go to the Texas Senate website at
    Senate passes SB 127, lifting cap on charter schools

    Rep. Dan Patrick’s SB 127 – a bill that aims to lift the hard cap on charter schools and lift all restrictions on the number of charter schools serving students with disabilities ‑- passed the Senate today with one amendment.

    The bill eliminates the hard cap of 215 on the number of open-enrollment charters that may be approved by the State Board of Education and replaces it with a limitation that the SBOE can grant no more than 10 new charters for an open-enrollment charter each state fiscal year.

    The bill allows the SBOE to grant charters for schools primarily serving students with disabilities, including students with autism. Charters granted under this provision would not count toward the limit on the number of open-enrollment charter schools per fiscal year.

    The bill permits the holder of an approved charter to establish one or more new open-enrollment charter campuses without applying for authorization from the SBOE as long as certain conditions are met. Those conditions include:

    •    90 percent or more of the charter campuses operating under the charter have been rated "acceptable" or higher for the two preceding school years.
    •    No campus operating under the charter has been assigned an "unacceptable" rating for any two of the three preceding years (unless the campus has been closed.)
    •    The charter holder satisfies generally accepted accounting standards.
    •    The charter holder provides the required written notice to the SBOE and the commissioner, and the commissioner does not provide written notice disapproving the new campus within established timelines.

    The bill requires that the accreditation status of an open-enrollment charter campus would be part of the information the commissioner takes into account as a basis for modification, placement on probation, or revocation of the charter of an open-enrollment charter school.

    It also stipulates that the commissioner must revoke the charter of an open-enrollment charter school if the commissioner determines that the school is insolvent. The commissioner must also revoke the charter of an open-enrollment charter school without a hearing if each campus operated under the charter has been ordered closed under the section of the education code dealing with accountability. Unless a charter is revoked for one of these reasons, the term for which a charter is automatically renewed must be at least 10 years.

    The bill would permit the commissioner, in computing dropout and completion rates for an open-enrollment charter school, to exclude students who were previously reported to the state as dropouts and to exclude students who are court-ordered to attend a GED program but have not yet earned the GED certificate.

    The bill would confer supervisory authority to the commissioner over the impartial organization selected to conduct an annual evaluation of open-enrollment charter schools. Currently, the commissioner designates the impartial organization, but does not supervise the evaluation process.

Last Modified on April 14, 2011