Government Relations Report January 2021
87th Legislative Session
The Texas Legislature convened on Tuesday for its 2021 session. The Texas House and Senate have put precautions into place for members and invited guests, including all who enter the Capitol must take a Covid-19 test and Texas State Troopers will be guarding the Capitol. During the first days of session, the House and Senate will vote on the rules that will govern their chambers. Some items of question will include giving Texans the options to watch committee hearings and offer testimony virtually.
Texas House Speaker: Dade Phelan (R)
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced Senate committee assignments for the 87th Legislature.
Three Priorities for the Agenda The three priorities that have emerged for the agenda are the budget ($950 million deficit), redistricting (delay in 2020 census; now due to states for redistricting by April 1, 2021), and the pandemic. Census delays due to Covid-19 may result in one or two special sessions.
SBOE New faces on the SBOE
District 5 – (San Marcos Area) Rebecca Bell-Metereau, San Marcos - D
District 6 – (Houston) Will Hickman, Houston - R
District 8 – (Greater Houston/Southeast Texas) Audrey Young, R-Nacogdoches
Find your representative here.
SBOE Meeting 1/26 - 1/29 Agenda not yet posted Livestream Link TEA Updates
Student Assessment Contract Cambium Assessment, Inc., along with Pearson have been awarded the student assessment contract effective September 1, 2021. Cambium will host and manage the testing platform while Pearson will be responsible for item development and test form construction. TEA feasibility study for 100% online testing was due 12/1. What happens next depends on the legislature but Cambium (and technology access due to Covid) make it more feasible for online testing to be required by 2022-2023. HB 3906 requires action by the Legislature in order for the plan to move forward. TEA Announcement
A-F Ratings Pause On December 10, 2020, TEA announced that A-F ratings will be paused for the 2020-21 school year. The test will proceed for the year for data purposes. TEA is providing flexibility for those schools that incorporate STAAR results into teacher evaluations.
26 Texas Schools Receive 2020 National Blue Ribbon Honors List is available under Agency News on TEA Website
Covid-19 Support Website TEA has set up a Covid-19 support site with Public Health Order that includes Public Health Orders, K-12 COVID-19 Testing Project, Case and Test Reporting and other information such as vaccinations
TEKS Revision plan was revised in September 2019. CTE courses that qualify for mathematics credit will be considered alongside mathematics TEKS review and revision. This will be a topic for the SBOE meeting January 26-29 and it is possible it will be pushed back.
TEKS Review in 2021-22 school year
TEKS Adoption in 2022-23 school year
Instructional materials review in 2023-24 school year
Instructional materials adoption in 2024-25 school year
Instructional materials and revised TEKS implementation 2025-26 school year
President-elect Biden’s Choice for Education Secretary: Dr. Miguel Cardona
Dr. Cardona (Connecticut) has a background in elementary and secondary education including teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and Commissioner of Education for Connecticut.
President-elect Biden’s Proposed ‘American Rescue Plan’
$1.9 Trillion stimulus package includes $170 billion for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education