80R4747 JRJ-D
  By: Giddings H.B. No. 2657
relating to a pilot project to lower teacher turnover rates in
high-need public school districts.
       SECTION 1.  Subchapter I, Chapter 21, Education Code, is
amended by adding Section 21.419 to read as follows:
shall establish a pilot project in school districts selected by the
commissioner to pay salary supplements to teachers who commit to
teach in one of the districts for at least three years.
       (b)  In selecting school districts under Subsection (a), the
commissioner shall select districts that:
             (1)  include a substantial geographical area with a
low-income population;
             (2)  have a substantial number of campuses considered
academically unacceptable under Section 39.132; and
             (3)  have high teacher turnover rates.
       (c)  From amounts appropriated to the agency, the
commissioner shall award grants to school districts that
participate in the program. A grant under this section must be in
an amount sufficient to pay the costs to the district of
participating in the program, as determined by the commissioner. A
determination of the commissioner is final and may not be appealed.
       (d)  A school district may use a grant awarded under
Subsection (c) to pay a salary supplement to a teacher who commits
to teach in the district for three years beginning with the
2007-2008 school year.  The salary supplement is payable only at the
end of the teacher's three-year commitment to the district. A
teacher who does not fulfill the three-year commitment is not
entitled to any portion of the salary supplement.
       (e)  A grant a school district receives under this section is
in addition to any funding the district receives under Chapter 42.
The commissioner shall distribute funds under this section with the
Foundation School Program payment to which the district is entitled
as soon as practicable after the end of the school year as
determined by the commissioner. A district to which Chapter 41
applies is entitled to a grant under this section. The commissioner
shall determine the timing of the distribution of a grant to a
district that does not receive Foundation School Program payments.
An open-enrollment charter school is not eligible for a grant under
this section.
       (f)  This section does not create a property right to a grant
or salary supplement. A school district is entitled to a grant to
carry out the purposes of this section only to the extent the
commissioner makes the grant in accordance with this section and
only to the extent sufficient state funds are appropriated for
those purposes. If state funds are appropriated but are
insufficient to fully fund a grant, the commissioner shall reduce
the grant paid to each district and the district shall reduce the
salary supplement the district pays to each teacher under this
section proportionately so that each selected teacher receives the
same amount of money.
       (g)  Each district shall, in the manner and at the time
prescribed by the commissioner, provide to the commissioner proof
acceptable to the commissioner of the appropriate certification of
a teacher to whom the district is paying a salary supplement under
this section.
       (h)  The commissioner may audit the expenditure of money
appropriated for purposes of this section. A district's use of the
money appropriated for purposes of this section shall be verified
as part of the district audit under Section 44.008.
       (i)  A salary supplement a teacher receives under this
section is not considered in determining whether the district is
paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402.
       (j)  The commissioner may adopt any rules necessary to
implement this section.
       (k)  The agency shall report to the legislature describing
the agency's activities under the pilot project, the effect of the
project on the teacher turnover rate and the academic performance
level for each school district participating in the project, and
the recommendations arising from the project. The agency shall
submit an interim report under this subsection not later than
January 1, 2009, and a final report not later than January 1, 2011.
       (l)  This section expires January 1, 2011.
       SECTION 2.  Section 21.419, Education Code, as added by this
Act, applies beginning with the 2007-2008 school year.
       SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.