Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 1143
By: Grusendorf
Public Education


Texas suffers from a widely recognized teacher shortage.  To overcome this
shortage, the state needs to recruit new teachers and retain experienced
teachers.  House Bill 1143 provides teacher retention and recruitment
programs including bonuses for service at low-performing schools and
alternative teacher certification options. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 1143 amends the Education Code relating to various provisions of
public education. 

Teacher Mentor and Induction Programs

To the extent that funds are available, the bill requires the commissioner
of education (commissioner) or a person designated by the commissioner  to
make grants to school districts of $3,000 for each new teacher who holds a
school district teaching permit or alternative certification, and $1,000
for each new teacher who has certification from the State Board for
Educator Certification (certification board).   The bill requires the
school district to use this money for the support of teacher mentoring,
recruitment, and professional development programs (Sec. 21.005). 

Alternative Certification of Person Holding Bachelor's Degree

The bill authorizes the certification board to issue alternative
certification to a person who passes a comprehensive examination
administered by the certification board and who holds a bachelor's degree
in one or more academic majors related to the essential knowledge and
skills curriculum.  The bill provides that a person whose academic major is
related to only one of these subject areas is authorized to receive a
certificate to teach only in that subject area (Sec. 21.0491). 

Parental Notification

The bill requires a school district to give parents or guardians notice
about the qualifications of district teachers at least once each school
year.  The bill removes the current provision that requires a district to
provide written notice to a parent or guardian if a district assigns an
inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher to the same classroom for
more than 30 consecutive school days.  The bill requires TEA to develop
guidelines regarding the required notice no later than October 1, 2001.
For the 2001-2002 school year, a school district is required to provide the
notice no later than November 1, 2001 (Sec. 21.057 and SECTION 3). 

 Bonuses for Service at Low-Performing School Campus

To the extent that funds are available, the bill entitles an experienced,
extraordinary teacher or principal who agrees to serve for three school
years at a campus identified as low-performing by the commissioner to a
$3,000 bonus.  The bill requires the commissioner to adopt criteria to
identify such a teacher.  The criteria must include the teacher's subject
matter expertise, and the performance of the teacher's students and former
students.  The bill requires the commissioner to pay any bonuses from funds
appropriated for that purpose (Sec. 21.411). 

Professional School District Employees and Personal Liability

The bill extends personal liability limitations to a professional employee
of a school district who provides personnel information on a current or
former employee of the school district to another school or district (Sec.


Provisions regarding teacher mentor and induction programs and bonuses for
service at a low-performing school campus take effect September 1, 2001.
The remainder of the Act takes effect on passage or, if the Act does not
receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.  The
Act applies beginning with the 2001-2002 school year.