S.B. No. 972
  relating to training academies for public school teachers who
  provide reading comprehension instruction to students in grades
  four and five.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter J, Chapter 21, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 21.4554 to read as follows:
         Sec. 21.4554.  READING-TO-LEARN ACADEMIES. (a)  The
  commissioner shall develop and make available reading-to-learn
  academies for teachers who provide reading comprehension
  instruction to students at the fourth or fifth grade level.
         (b)  A reading-to-learn academy developed under this
               (1)  must include effective instructional practices
  that promote student development of reading comprehension and
  inferential and critical thinking; 
               (2)  must provide training in the use of empirically
  validated instructional methods that are appropriate for
  struggling readers;
               (3)  may include material on writing instruction; and
               (4)  must provide participating teachers with access to
  the academy training materials through the Internet after the
  teachers attend the academy.
         (c)  The commissioner shall adopt criteria for selecting
  teachers who may attend a reading-to-learn academy. In adopting
  selection criteria under this subsection, the commissioner shall:
               (1)  require granting a priority to teachers employed
  by a school district at a campus at which 50 percent or more of the
  students enrolled are educationally disadvantaged; and
               (2)  provide a process through which a teacher not
  employed at a campus described by Subdivision (1) may attend the
  academy if the academy has available space and the school district
  employing the teacher pays the costs of the teacher's attendance.
         (d)  From funds appropriated for that purpose, a teacher who
  attends a reading-to-learn academy is entitled to receive a stipend
  in the amount determined by the commissioner. A stipend received
  under this subsection is not considered in determining whether a
  district is paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under
  Section 21.402.
         (e)  On request of the commissioner, regional education
  service centers shall assist the commissioner and agency with
  training and other activities relating to the development and
  operation of reading-to-learn academies.
         (f)  This section expires September 1, 2027.
         SECTION 2.  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, 2015.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 972 passed the Senate on
  April 23, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 972 passed the House on
  May 23, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 103, Nays 37,
  one present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House