H.B. No. 1518

relating to accountability for public school dropouts and students at risk of dropping out of school and to the evaluation of school campuses. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Section 29.081(c), Education Code, is amended to read as follows: (c) Each school district shall evaluate and document the effectiveness of the accelerated instruction in reducing any disparity in performance on assessment instruments administered under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, or disparity in the rates of high school completion between students at risk of dropping out of school and all other district students. The evaluation shall include an analysis of the effectiveness of each program described in the campus and district improvement plans for reducing the disparities described by this subsection. The commissioner shall ensure that each school district complies with this subsection. SECTION 2. Subchapter C, Chapter 29, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 29.088 to read as follows: Sec. 29.088. DROPOUT DATA OVERSIGHT. The Legislative Budget Board, the office of the state auditor, and the comptroller shall review the agency's standards and definitions for dropouts and students completing school before the agency implements the standards and definitions. SECTION 3. Section 39.072, Education Code, is amended by adding Subsection (d) to read as follows: (d) For purposes of Subsection (c), the board of trustees of a school district may decide whether a student who attends a program serving students who are pregnant or who are parents that is based at a single campus but serves students from more than one campus is considered to be: (1) a student at the campus to which the student is regularly assigned; or (2) a student at the campus that the student actually attends. SECTION 4. Sections 42.152(d) and (r), Education Code, are amended to read as follows: (d) The agency shall systematically evaluate the effectiveness of accelerated instruction and support programs provided under Section 29.081 for students at risk of dropping out of school. The agency shall organize and share the information it collects during its evaluation with local districts. (r) The commissioner shall adopt rules under which the commissioner must grant a one-year exemption from the requirements of Subsection (q) [(g)] to a school district that consistently achieves significant reductions in the disparity in performance between students described by Section 29.081(d) and all other students. The commissioner may not grant an exemption to a district that does not make consistent significant progress in reducing its dropout rate [in which the group of students who have failed to perform satisfactorily in the preceding school year on an assessment instrument required under Section 39.023(a), (c), or (l) subsequently performs on those assessment instruments at a level that meets or exceeds a level prescribed by commissioner rule]. Each year the commissioner, based on the most recent information available, shall determine if a school district is entitled to an exemption for the following school year and notify the district and the district's board of trustees of that determination. SECTION 5. This Act applies beginning with the 2003-2004 school year. SECTION 6. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2003. ______________________________ ______________________________ President of the Senate Speaker of the House I certify that H.B. No. 1518 was passed by the House on April 30, 2003, by the following vote: Yeas 137, Nays 0, 2 present, not voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B. No. 1518 on May 28, 2003, by the following vote: Yeas 139, Nays 0, 2 present, not voting. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House I certify that H.B. No. 1518 was passed by the Senate, with amendments, on May 26, 2003, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0. ______________________________ Secretary of the Senate APPROVED: __________________ Date __________________ Governor