Across the Lawn – April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023  

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Raise Your Hand Texas has a front-row seat to the Capitol. From our vantage point, public education policy issues have never been more important, and this is why we must make every session a public education session.

One Thing to Do:

Sign Up for Call-To-Action Text Alerts 

As we kick off May and the regular legislative session enters its final weeks, be on the lookout for our most time-sensitive calls to action. Make sure that you are signed up to receive call-to-action text alerts by texting RAISEMYHAND to 40649 and answering a few short questions. If you are already signed up, encourage three people in your network who also care about public education to do the same today. 

Four Things to Know:

1. House Passes School Funding Bill HB 100 by Rep. Ken King

The House passed its school funding bill, which provides public schools an additional $4+ billion over the next biennium through various funding formula changes and new allotments. HB 100 by Rep. King has the following major provisions:  

  • Increases the basic allotment from $6,160 to $6,250 in 2024, and $6,300 in 2025
  • States 50% of funding formula increases must be used to increase compensation
  • Creates an inflation adjustment on the basic allotment using the previous 10-year average
  • Updates the minimum salary schedule based on the type of certification and years of service
  • Increases the small- and mid-size adjustment
  • Moves from ADA to average-enrollment-based funding for certain allotments 
  • Updates SPED funding based on appropriations
  • Creates new allotments for advanced mathematics pathways, rural pathways, grades 6-12 fine arts, and books safety 
  • Increases compensatory education weight
  • Creates an allotment of $500 per evaluation to cover the cost of special education evaluations
  • Extends formula transition grant funding to 2029-30
  • Allows 6th Golden Penny without voter election
  • Increases regular and special education transportation allotment

Rep.Trey Martinez Fischer offered an amendment that would have increased the basic allotment to $6,500, but the amendment failed with a vote of 68-79.  

2. House Passes Teacher Workforce Bill HB 11 by Rep. Dutton

The House also passed a comprehensive teacher workforce bill this week. HB 11 by Rep. Dutton has the following major provisions: 

  • Expands and provides technical assistance for the Teacher Incentive Allotment program
  • Creates a TEA technical assistance program for teacher time studies that provides staffing and scheduling support to school districts; the purpose of this assistance is to ensure teachers are able to fulfill their duties during normal work hours
  • Creates Texas Teacher Residency Partnership Program to enable qualified educator preparation programs to form partnerships with school districts 
  • Expands the mentor program allotment providing schools $2,000 for each eligible classroom teacher participating in the program (no more than 40 teachers per school district)
  • Creates a retire/rehire teacher reimbursement grant program
  • Modifies how sanctions for teacher resignations under certain contracts are imposed
  • Requires TEA to collect data from school districts and charter schools for the recruitment and retention of classroom teachers
  • Prohibits a school district, charter school, or educator preparation program from including any instruction that incorporated a three-cueing education model 
  • Expands the list of children eligible for tuition-free prekindergarten classes offered by a district to include the child of a person employed as a classroom teacher 

3. House Passes School Safety Bills

The House passed three school safety bills this week: 

HB 3 by Rep. Burrows requires school boards to determine the appropriate number of armed security officers (at least one) for each campus during school hours. The bill provides a $100 per student school safety allotment and a $15,000 per campus allotment to pay for school security measures. 

HB 13 by Rep. Ken King requires all school employees who interact with students to complete mental health first aid training. The bill creates a school sentinel program with stipends up to $25,000. The bill also provides a $100 per student school safety allotment, a safety infrastructure grant program, and creates a state school safety fund. 

SB 838 by Sen. Creighton requires each public school district and charter school to provide each classroom with silent panic alert technology that allows for immediate contact with district or charter school emergency services and emergency services agencies. 

4. Upcoming Committee Hearings

The House Committee on Public Education is scheduled to meet at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 2 to hear numerous bills.

Tags: school finance school funding school safety Teacher Workforce

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