Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 385
By: Bivins
Public Education


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


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. 


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. 


September 1, 2001.