Action Needed: Special SBOE Meeting Dec. 13 on Instructional Materials, Library Books

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The State Board of Education (SBOE) is holding a special called meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13, to take action on a few issues before the end of 2023. 

First, the board intends to review and approve the rubrics for the new Instructional Materials Review and Adoption Process (IMRA) required by House Bill 1605. The public comment portal is open through Friday, Dec. 15. Teachers from K-8 English or Spanish language arts and reading (ELAR/SLAR) and K-12 mathematics should submit feedback on the quality rubrics: 

  1. Visit the Instructional Materials homepage on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.
  2. In the Announcements section, choose the rubric you want to review.
  3. Submit comments through the public comment form
  • If you want more background and guidance as you review, you can follow along with TEA’s recorded webinars also linked on the page.

The reason for the “extra” meeting is to put the new review and approval process in motion in time for the 2024-2025 school year, allowing districts to access extra funds ($40 per student) appropriated in the bill by choosing to use the “high-quality instructional materials” adopted by the SBOE. The board also will make final decisions for the review process and the suitability rubric. 

Second, the board will consider the collection development policy required by HB 900 and created by the Texas State Library and Archive Commission (TSLAC). Though the SBOE is not required to engage in rulemaking on this policy, it is required to put the TSLAC policy to an up-or-down vote. 

Though an injunction that would have barred HB 900 from taking effect was recently blocked by a panel of judges from the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, HB 900 is still making its way through the legal process. The full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals convened for a hearing this Wednesday to consider the legal challenge, but it is unclear when the court will issue a ruling on the constitutionality of HB 900.