On the plate? A look at Reading Academies, the additional instruction required for students who don’t pass STAAR (HB 4545), and a review of ‘performance pay’ initiatives
The House Public Education Committee will hear testimony Tuesday on a contentious law—HB 4545—requiring students who don’t pass STAAR to undergo 30 hours of support instruction outside of their usual studies. This unfunded mandate from last session, which replaced the Student Success Initiative, has forced districts to scramble to find already overworked teachers to meet the demands of the law.
The committee will also delve into the 2019 school finance bill—HB 3 and its “fix-up “ bill HB 1525—that infused some desperately needed funds to public schools by upping per-pupil funding and various funding multipliers and allotments. However, this legislation also created the problematic Reading Academies, codified the Teacher Incentive Allotment (so-called performance pay), and did more to cut taxes than fund schools or raise educator salaries.
The Senate Education will examine the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the educator talent pipeline and review recommendations and best practices to improve the process for school districts issuing bonds. The Senate does not have a comment portal, but two Texas AFT members are scheduled to testify at both hearings to address these issues.