HBA-MPM S.B. 385 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 385 By: Bivins Public Education 4/23/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, some Texas school districts do not require students to take the most rigorous high school curriculum for high school graduation, even though the option to take such a curriculum is available to the students. Senate Bill 385 requires school districts to enroll students in the recommended high school curriculum or an advanced program unless the student and the student's parent and school counselor, and an administrator agree that the student may opt to enroll in the minimum high school program. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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 1 (Section 28.025, Education Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 385 amends the Education Code to require a school district (district) to ensure that each student enrolls in courses necessary to complete curriculum requirements identified by the State Board of Education (SBOE) for the recommended or advanced high school program unless the student, student's parent or other person standing in parental relation to the student and a school counselor or administrator agree that the student should be permitted to take courses under the minimum high school program. These provisions apply to students entering the ninth grade in the 2004-2005 school year and thereafter. On application of a district, the commissioner of education (commissioner) may exempt the district from the implementation date if it results in an undue hardship on the district. Such an exemption expires at the end of a period determined by the commissioner not to exceed three years and is not subject to existing law governing waivers and exemptions. The bill authorizes a district upon a student's request to petition SBOE to approve any course that does not fall within the recommended high school program in place of a requirement listed as part of the recommended high school program when the proposed course is academically rigorous and addresses documented student needs. S.B. 385 requires districts to notify parents of children enrolling in the ninth grade prior to class registration of the courses necessary to complete the recommended high school program, the procedure for enrolling a student in the minimum high school program, the procedure for petitioning to have a course counted toward the program, and that the recommended high school program is the preferred curriculum for graduation and required to receive a TEXAS grant. A district is authorized to give this notification as part of regular correspondence concerning registration and orientation. SBOE is required to adopt rules to establish procedures for the implementation of the provisions of the bill. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.