Government Relations Report - January 2020
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
2020 is an interim year between legislative sessions. To us, that means that key legislators and state leaders will be meeting to address Interim charges since we are in the interim period between sessions. Since the Legislature is not in session, they cannot pass new laws or amend existing ones; rather, they can provide guidance on how state agencies may implement their intended laws, gather information for upcoming legislative sessions, or additional duties as assigned (sound familiar?) by the governor or lieutenant governor.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has been steadfastly providing districts with guidance to implement the slew of new laws, particularly HB3, the school finance reform bill. They have a page on their website devoted to HB3 implementation.
State Board of Education
There are several incumbent SBOE members who are retiring from their service on the board and not running for re-election. Donna Bahorich (District 6, northwest Houston) and Barbara Cargill (District 8, north Houston and East Texas), both previous SBOE Chairs, will conclude their service when their terms expire at the end of 2020. Mrs. Cargill led the SBOE during our most recent mathematics TEKS revision and Mrs. Bahorich led the SBOE during the adoption of TEKS for Statistics and Algebraic Reasoning and led the board’s efforts to preserve the mathematical process standards while honoring parental concerns about the mathematics TEKS and assessment. Lawrence Allen (District 4, southwest Houston), Ken Mercer (District 5, San Antonio, Austin, and Central Texas), and Marty Rowley (District 15, West Texas) will also be leaving the board at the end of 2020. We appreciate their leadership and wish them well in their future endeavors.
TEKS Revision plan for mathematics was approved in 2017 and revised in September 2019 to align with legislative changes regarding proclamations for instructional materials adoption. Changes are underlined. CTE courses that qualify for mathematics credit will be considered alongside mathematics TEKS review and revision.
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.
There is a new, multilayered process that the SBOE has been using for TEKS review (https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/TEKS%20Review%20Process%20111618.pdf). TEA has developed a flowchart that shows the process and there are multiple (for real!) opportunities for public feedback and comment. It is possible that the SBOE will make changes prior to 2021, but this is the process they have used for the last few refinements/revisions and it has worked well so I would not expect large changes.
This is an election year. We have federal offices, including president, one US senator, and all of our Texas congressmen and congresswomen; state offices, including all of the Texas House of Representatives, a portion of the Texas Senate, and a portion of the State Board of Education; and a variety of local offices on the ballot. All of these elected officials make decisions about education policy that affect Texas classrooms and impact our students.
A trusted colleague and mentor of mine frequently reminds us all that public education is always on the ballot, whether it’s a headline issue or not. So with that in mind, please make sure that you, your family, and your friends are registered to vote! The Texas Secretary of State has a website, https://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/, that makes it easy to confirm your voter registration, register to vote, or update your voter registration. If you moved either within your county or to a new county, your voter registration does not automatically update. Preserve your voice and make sure that your voter registration is current!