AUTHOR'S / SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Recent education reforms changed high school graduation requirements to allow students more flexibility in their coursework so that students can tailor their courses to better reflect their own goals for college and career success. With increased options for students, interested parties suggest that relevant guidance is a key component of helping them make the most of the opportunities available. H.B. 18 seeks to improve the professional development opportunities for school counselors.
This bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, institution, or agency.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter A, Chapter 33, Education Code, by adding Section 33.009, as follows:
Sec. 33.009. POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION AND CAREER COUNSELING ACADEMIES. (a) Defines "center" to mean the Center for Teaching and Learning at The University of Texas at Austin (center) in this section.
(b) Requires the center to develop and make available postsecondary education and career counseling academies for school counselors and other postsecondary advisors employed by a school district at a middle school, junior high school, or high school.
(c) Requires the center, in developing academies under this section, to solicit input from the Texas Education Agency, school counselors, the Texas Workforce Commission, institutions of higher education, and business, community, and school leaders.
(d) Requires that an academy developed under this section provide counselors and other postsecondary advisors with knowledge and skills to provide counseling to students regarding postsecondary success and productive career planning and include information relating to:
(1) each endorsement described by Section 28.025(c-1) (authorizing a student to earn an endorsement on the student's diploma and transcript by successfully completing curriculum requirements for that endorsement adopted by the State Board of Education by rule), including:
(A) the course requirements for each endorsement; and
(B) the postsecondary educational and career opportunities associated with each endorsement;
(2) available methods for a student to earn credit for a course not offered at the school in which the student is enrolled, including enrollment in an electronic course provided through the state virtual school network under Chapter 30A (State Virtual School Network);
(3) general academic performance requirements for admission to an institution of higher education, including the requirements for automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution under Section 51.803 (Automatic Admission: All Institutions);
(4) regional workforce needs, including information about the required education and the average wage or salary for careers that meet those workforce needs; and
(5) effective strategies for engaging students and parents in planning for postsecondary education and potential careers, including participation in mentorships and business partnerships.
(e) Entitles a school counselor who attends the academy under this section, from funds appropriated for that purpose, to receive a stipend in the amount determined by the center. Provides that a stipend received under this subsection is not considered in determining whether a district is paying the school counselor the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402 (Minimum Salary Schedule for Certain Professional Staff).
(f) Authorizes the center, from available funds appropriated for purposes of this section, to provide to school counselors and other educators curricula, instructional materials, and technological tools relating to postsecondary education and career counseling.
SECTION 2. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2015.