• Tracene Nechamkin

Government Relations Report - January 2022

87th Legislative Session and Special Sessions - Updates and Details on Bills Passed SB15: Allows a district with an overall rating of C or higher to operate a local remote learning program to offer virtual courses outside the state virtual school network. Requires the program to include at least one grade level in which an assessment instrument is required including each subject for which an assessment instrument is required or a complete high school program, including each course for which an EOC is required to be administered.

SB1267: Relating to continuing education and training requirements for educators and other school district personnel. Some items to note for mathematics: Requires teachers who provide instruction in reading, math, science, or social studies for 6-8 grade students to attend a literacy achievement academy if their campus fails to satisfy any standard on the basis of performance on the reading assessment for any grade at the campus. This bill also requires the Commissioner to develop and make available a mathematics achievement academy for teachers of math at any grade level. Requires, if appropriate for the grade level at which the teacher provides instruction, the mathematics achievement academy to include training in the underlying mathematical skills required to be taught and mathematical instruction techniques that have been scientifically proven to be effective.

HB4545: Specific notes related to HB4545.

  • eliminates the requirement that a student pass the 3rd, 5th, or 8th grade assessments to be promoted.

  • requires school districts to establish accelerated learning committees, including the principal or principal designee, the parent, and the teacher of the subject in which the student did not perform satisfactorily on an assessment (for 3rd, 5th, or 8th grade). The learning committee is required to develop a written education plan for the student prior to the start of the subsequent school year.

  • requires school districts to either allow those students listed above to be assigned to a classroom teacher who is a designated teacher under the teacher incentive allotment or provide the student with supplemental instruction, in addition to the instruction normally provided, for no less than 30 hours, no less than once per week during the school year unless instruction is provided fully during the summer, and that is provided individually or in groups no less than three. Parental approval required to allow groups of 10.

  • prohibits school districts from removing students from instruction in the foundation curriculum and enrichment curriculum for the purposes of accelerated instruction

  • prohibits school districts from removing a student from recess or other physical activity for accelerated instruction.

  • requires school districts to establish a process for parents of a student who fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment to request a particular teacher for the next school year

  • requires the Superintendent or designee meet with the accelerated learning committee to determine why the student failed to perform satisfactorily and if there are modifications required to the education plan if a student fails to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument for a second year.

  • creates a Strong Foundations Grant Program with components for the program adopted by the Commissioner for campuses that serve students in PreK-5. This program combines high quality instruction, materials, and support structures for campuses. Campuses will be required to comply if the campus performs below standard.

SB7: Relating to the composition of districts for the election of members of the State Board of Education. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a delay in the release of 2020 census data, and the data were not available before the end of the regular session. The 3rd Called Session of the 87th Legislature convened on September 20, 2021, to consider state legislative, congressional, and State Board of Education (SBOE) redistricting, among other issues. Changes to specific areas can be found here by entering addresses. Now that the governor has approved them, the new maps take effect Jan. 18. Primary elections are March 1. The image below reflects the changes to SBOE districts and can be found at: https://dvr.capitol.texas.gov/SBOE/41/PLANE2106


SBOE Link to SBOE General Meetings and Committee Meetings

Texas SBOE Elections, 2022: This is a link to candidates running in primary elections (March 1, 2022), runoff elections (May 24, 2022), and general elections (November 8, 2022). The filing date closed on December 13, 2021.

TEA Updates

  • House Bill 4545 Implementation Overview TEA Update on implementation of House Bill 4545

  • Website Link

  • TEA Slidedeck from 6/21/2021 Superintendent Call

  • Accelerated Learning Resource Includes dates for upcoming webinars on HB4545

  • Website Link

  • 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. With the new test format for the 2023 assessment, no more than 75% of points will be from multiple choice. The other question types include:

  • Multi-select (more than one correct answer)

  • Drag & Drop (one correct answer; can have multiple parts)

  • Hot Spot (one correct answer)

  • Inline Choice (one correct answer)

  • Text Entry (one correct answer; numeric, word, or phrase)

  • Match Table Grid (more than one correct answer)

When available, examples of the new questions types will be available here that will be available early 2022. You can see the quicklook for question types from Lead4ward. Preliminary blueprints are available on this page.

More information can be found on the 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

  • Website Link

  • TEKS Revision plan was revised again in April, 2021. CTE courses that qualify for mathematics credit will be considered alongside mathematics TEKS review and revision.

  • TEKS Review in 2022-2023 school year

  • TEKS Adoption in 2023-2024 school year

  • Instructional materials review in 2024-2025 school year

  • Instructional materials adoption in 2025-2026 school year

  • Instructional materials and revised TEKS implementation 2026-2027 school year

Watch

Important Limited PSLF Waiver Opportunity

On Oct. 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced a temporary period during which borrowers may receive credit for payments that previously did not qualify for PSLF or TEPSLF. Learn more about this limited PSLF waiver. This waiver is only available through October, 2022.


Signed by governor: SCR 17 by Sen. Bryan Hughes resolves that the 87th Legislature respectfully urges the U.S. Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision of the Social Security Act. UPDATE: HB 5834 (Equal Treatment of Public Servants Act) has been introduced by Kevin Brady of Texas. The windfall elimination provision reduces the Social Security benefits of retired federal, state and local government workers who spent time in the private sector whose government retirement system does not intend Social Security to be part of their retirement income. US HB5834 would replace the windfall elimination provision with a new formula that would more accurately reflect the proportion of a retiree’s career spent in government compared to their time in the private sector. (November 2021). Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means on 11/3/2021.


Regards,

Tracene Nechamkin, TCTM Government Relations Representative


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