S.B. 570

By: Shapiro

Public Education

Committee Report (Unamended)






Each school district is currently authorized to assign mentor teachers to each classroom teacher who has less than two years of teaching experience in the subject or grade level to which the teacher is assigned. Some observers express concerns that this mentoring program is underutilized and in need of expansion and enhancement. S.B. 570 seeks to provide for such expansion and enhancement by requiring the establishment of beginning teacher induction and mentoring programs for public schools.




It is the committee's opinion that rulemaking authority is expressly granted to the commissioner of education in SECTION 1 of this bill.




S.B. 570 amends the Education Code to require the commissioner of education by rule to establish a beginning teacher induction and mentoring program under which school districts may participate in accordance with local plans approved by the commissioner that are based on the guidelines adopted for the program to enable establishment of sustainable district-wide high-quality beginning teacher induction and mentoring. The bill requires the commissioner, in adopting such rules, to provide for participating school districts to receive technical assistance and planning and program guidance. The bill establishes that a participating district receives program grants from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) from funds appropriated to the TEA for the purpose of planning for and providing high-quality induction and mentoring to beginning teachers in the manner provided by the bill. The bill exempts a district from being required to participate in the program but authorizes each district to ensure that beginning teachers have access to high-quality induction and mentoring consistent with guidelines established under the program.


S.B. 570 requires the program guidelines to establish quality indicators for each of the following required components of the program: certain research-based program standards; certain mentoring standards to ensure high-quality mentoring; performance standards aligned with the criteria for the recommended appraisal process adopted by the commissioner; certain ongoing professional development requirements; standards-based formative assessments; and provisions for partnership and collaboration, including consistent and regular collaboration between participating districts and appropriate educator preparation programs. The bill requires the commissioner to appoint a committee of interested persons, including agency staff, education policy makers, representatives of educator preparation programs and educator associations, and educators who work with beginning teachers under beginning teacher induction programs, as determined appropriate by the commissioner, to assist the commissioner in developing the program guidelines. The bill requires the commissioner, in consultation with the committee, to adopt the guidelines not later than January 1, 2012.


S.B. 570 requires the commissioner to adopt guidelines for funding the program, including requiring a participating school district to provide matching funds in an amount determined by the commissioner, and to adopt such guidelines for a school district to follow in developing a local plan not later than January 1, 2012.


S.B. 570 requires a district-level committee for a school district that intends to participate in the beginning teacher induction and mentoring program, such as the district-level planning and decision-making committee, to develop a local beginning teacher induction and mentoring plan for the district beginning January 1, 2012. The bill authorizes the local plan to provide for participation in the program by all campuses in the district or only those campuses selected by the district-level committee. The bill requires a local plan that does not provide for participation in the program by all campuses in the district to include an analysis and timeline for future district-wide implementation. The bill requires a majority of classroom teachers assigned to a campus that is proposed for selection to participate in the program to approve participation to be included in the local plan. The bill requires a school district to submit a local plan to the TEA for approval together with evidence of significant teacher involvement in the development of the plan. The bill authorizes the TEA to approve a local plan for implementation beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, but the TEA may approve only a local plan that meets the adopted program guidelines.


S.B. 570 adds a temporary provision, set to expire January 1, 2015, to require the commissioner to provide for the periodic evaluation of the program during the school year by surveying program participants and by any other means determined by the commissioner and to prepare and deliver to each member of the legislature, not later than December 1, 2014, a report describing the results of the program, including the results of the evaluations. The bill specifies the components authorized to be included in a beginning teacher induction and mentoring program adopted by a district.


S.B. 570 requires the commissioner by rule to adopt rules as necessary to administer the beginning teacher induction and mentoring program. The bill defines "beginning teacher" and "program."


S.B. 570 repeals Section 21.458, Education Code, relating to the assignment of a mentor teacher to each classroom teacher below a specified level of teaching experience.




On passage, or, if the bill does not receive the necessary vote, September 1, 2011.