Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.B. 623
By: Hochberg
Public Education
Committee Report (Substituted)


The Texas Education Agency pays for and distributes most of the textbooks
used in public schools in this state.  Current 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.  Yet, an
interim study by the Committee on Public Education concluded that current
law may not provide for the most efficient and timely distribution of
textbooks.  C.S.H.B. 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
4 (Section 31.1031, Education Code) of this bill. 


C.S.H.B. 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.  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. 

C.S.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
textbooks at a rate provided by State Board of Education rule or to return
currently-used textbooks to the commissioner in exchange for sufficient
copies of other textbooks on the conforming or nonconforming lists. 

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. 

C.S.H.B. 623 provides that a school trustee, administrator, or teacher
commits an offense if the person accepts a gift, favor, or service 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


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001. The provision relating to the acceptance of
a gift, favor, or service takes effect September 1, 2001. 


C.S.H.B. 623 differs from the original bill by adding the definitions of
"textbook" and "electronic textbook." The substitute conforms to Texas
Legislative Council style and format.