C.S.H.B. 583
By: Maxey
Committee Report (Substituted)


In November 1995, Commissioner of Education, Mike Moses, created a unit
for parental involvement and community empowerment at TEA.  This unit has
been highly successful in promoting and improving efforts to increase
parental involvement in a number of ways.  First, agency personnel provide
training to field service representatives that staff the twenty regional
Education Service Centers across the state.  This training is focused on
ways to encourage and sustain parental involvement.  These field service
representatives, in turn, train teachers and school district personnel in
local school districts.  The Parental Involvement Unit acts as a
clearinghouse for information about parental involvement programs and

However, activities related to parental involvement are still not
centralized within the agency. Parents must be referred to several
departments in order to obtain all of the available services and
information that the agency has to offer.  Currently, the Parental
Involvement Unit operates at the discretion of the Commissioner and is not
required to exist under current statute.  The committee substitute
requires school districts to include information about how to contact the
Parental Involvement Unit.   

Previous to the passage of SB 1 in 1995, local school boards had the
ability to use local citizenship and scholarship awards using local funds.
According to a recent opinion by the State Attorney General, revisions in
the Education Code prohibit local school districts from making this type
of expenditure.  Simple revisions in the language under this section will
restore this type of spending authority to local school boards. 


This bill would require the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to establish a
division that would consolidate all agency activities related to parental
involvement.  This legislation also restores the ability of local school
boards to expend local funds for purposes they deem necessary in the
conduct of public schools, including expenditures for local scholarship an
citizenship awards.   


It is the committee's opinion that this bill grants rulemaking authority
to the commissioner of education in Section 2. 


SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter B, Chapter 7 of the Education Code by adding
Section 7.025   as follows: 
  (a) Requires the agency to establish a parental involvement division
  (b) Directs the parental involvement division to develop, implement, and
administer programs to encourage and maintain parental involvement in
public   schools. 

SECTION 2. Amends Section 39.052(b) and (c) relating to campus report
cards as follows: 
  (b) Requires the following to be included on the school report card:
   (4) Phone number of the agency's parental involvement division on the
school report card. 
   (5) Phone number that parents can call at agency if they have question
about TAAS tests and scores. 
  (c) Amended to require commissioner to adopt rules that conform to the
requirements under subsections (b)(4) and (5). 

SECTION 3. Amends Section 45.105(c), Education Code, to allow school
districts to spend   local funds on "purposes", not just "goods and
services" deemed necessary.  

SECTION 4. This section requires the consolidation of current activities
related to parental   involvement at the agency into the parental
involvement division as follows: 

  (a) Directs the Commissioner to consolidate all programs and activities
related to   parental involvement as of January 1, 1998. 
  (b) Directs the transfer of personnel, money, records, property and
equipment   from the various consolidated programs to the parental
involvement division as of   January 1, 1998. 

SECTION 5. Amendment to Sections 39.052(b) and (c) apply to campus report
cards for the   1997-98 school year and each year thereafter. 

SECTION 6. Effective Date.

SECTION 7. Emergency clause.


The committee substitute to HB 583 adds the requirement to include the
phone numbers of both the Parental involvement unit at TEA and the unit
that can answer questions about the TAAS test or TAAS scores on campus
report cards, whereas HB 583 has no equivalent provision..  The substitute
also includes language that amends Section 45.105(c) that was not included
in the original bill.  This change is designed to allow school districts
to spend local funds on "purposes," not just "goods and services" they
deem necessary.