Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 623
By: Hochberg
Public Education


The Texas Education Agency pays for and distributes most of the textbooks
used in public schools in this state.  State law is designed to ensure that
textbooks can be ordered with relative ease and arrive at their intended
school districts before the beginning of the school year.  However, an
interim study by the Committee on Public Education concluded that law prior
to the 77th Legislature did not provide for the most efficient and timely
distribution of textbooks.  House Bill 623 amends provisions regarding the
purchase and distribution of textbooks for public schools. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the State Board of Education in SECTION
2 (Sec. 31.030, Education Code) and SECTION 5 (Section 31.1031, Education
Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 623 amends the Education Code to require the commissioner of
education (commissioner) to implement a program to study the use of credits
for textbook purchases that will allow a participating school district
(district) or open-enrollment charter school (charter school) to receive
credit for textbooks purchased at a cost below the cost limit set by the
State Board of Education (SBOE).  The bill provides that the credit is an
amount equal to the difference between the actual textbook price and the
cost limit for that textbook, multiplied by the number of copies of the
textbook purchased.  The bill requires 50 percent of the district's or
charter school's credit to be distributed to the state textbook fund and
the remaining 50 percent to the participating districts or charter schools
for the purchase of additional textbooks on the conforming or nonconforming
list.  The bill requires the commissioner to prepare a report on the use of
the credit system for the 79th Legislature.  The textbook credit provisions
expire on September 1, 2005. 

H.B. 623 authorizes a district or charter school to requisition textbooks
on the conforming and nonconforming lists for grades above the grade level
in which a student is enrolled except that the total quantity requisitioned
may not exceed the limit permitted by law.  If a district or charter school
does not have sufficient copies of a textbook for use during the following
school year, the bill entitles a district or charter school to be
reimbursed from the state textbook fund for the purchase of used adopted
textbooks at a rate provided by SBOE rule or to return currently-used
textbooks to the commissioner in exchange for sufficient copies of other
available textbooks on the conforming or nonconforming lists.  The bill
requires SBOE to adopt rules to ensure that used textbooks sold to
districts and charter schools are not sample copies that contain factual

The bill requires a publisher or manufacturer of textbooks to provide a
district or charter school an accurate shipping date for back-ordered
textbooks at the time the order is acknowledged, and guarantee delivery of
the textbooks at least 10 business days before the first day of school. 

H.B. 623 provides that a school trustee, administrator, or teacher commits
an offense if the person accepts a gift, favor, or service other than an
instructional material or training that is given to the person or the
person's school, could not be lawfully purchased with funds from the state
textbook fund, and might  reasonably tend to influence a trustee,
administrator, or teacher in the selection of a textbook. 


June 14, 2001.  The provision relating to the acceptance of a gift, favor,
or service takes effect September 1, 2001.