HBA-JEK S.B. 1817 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1817 By: Bivins Public Education 5/11/2001 Engrossed BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Recently, Texas has emphasized the bridging of primary, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education through partnerships between public schools and institutions of higher education. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Special Commission for 21st Century Colleges and Universities, the Senate Education Committee, and the House of Higher Education Committee have all examined the role of partnerships between public schools and institutions of higher education in the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in institutions of higher education. Currently, no statewide partnership program exists to identify and to improve high schools and districts with low rates of college-bound students. Senate Bill 1817 provides a plan to identify such schools and to increase the percentage of graduating seniors who enroll in an institution of higher education for the academic year following graduation. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 1817 amends the Education Code to require certain school districts to enter into an agreement with the public institution of higher education in closest geographic proximity to develop a plan to increase the percentage of the district's graduating seniors who enroll in an institution of higher education for the academic year following graduation (plan). The bill applies only to a school district with one or more high schools that have had an average of at least 26 students in the graduating class during the preceding five years and that have been, for any two consecutive years during those five years, in the lowest 10 percent of high schools regarding the percentage of students graduating from and enrolling in an institution of higher education the following academic year. S.B. 1817 provides that the plan must establish clear, achievable goals for increasing the percentage of graduating seniors who enroll in an institution of higher education and must establish accurate methods of measuring progress toward these goals. The bill provides that the plan must cover a period of at least five years and may be directed at district students at any level of primary or secondary education. The bill requires a school district to file the plan with the commissioner of education and the commissioner of higher education. The bill authorizes a school district to revise the plan as necessary in response to achieving or failing to achieve goals under the plan. The bill requires the public institution of higher education in closest geographic proximity to the district to enter into an agreement to participate in a plan unless the institution or the school district recruits another public institution of higher education to enter into that agreement. The bill authorizes a district and an institution of higher education entering into the agreement to also enter into an agreement with other public institutions of higher education to participate in developing the plan. S.B. 1817 requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (coordinating board) to identify each school to which this bill applies, and requires TEA to notify each applicable public school and the coordinating board to notify each applicable institution of higher education as soon as practicable after the effective date of this Act but not later than September 30, 2001. The bill provides that a school district must implement the plan at the beginning of the school year following the year during which the district receives notice. The bill requires each initial school district identified to enter into an agreement with a public institution of higher education as soon as practicable but not later than December 31, 2001 and to implement a plan beginning with the 2002-2003 school year. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.