HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
NOTICE OF FORMAL REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
COMMITTEE: Public Education
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and challenges in scheduling public hearings at this time, the House Committee on Public Education is conducting necessary oversight functions through an information gathering process under Section 301.014, Government Code.
This is notice that the House Committee on Public Education is seeking information and input from state agencies, interested parties, and the public in regard to the topics and questions outlined below. Submissions received in response to this request will be transmitted to members of the committee and posted on the House website.
The Committee seeks responses to all of the topics and questions outlined below from the Texas Education Agency.
The Committee seeks responses to one or more of the topics and questions outlined below from the following state agencies: Texas State Auditor’s Office, Legislative Budget Board, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
· Submissions must be in Microsoft Word, written in a 10-point font or larger.
· Please submit a separate document for each topic to which you are responding.
· Submissions are to be limited to 5 pages of text in length.
· Submissions must be submitted via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include the following information in the submission email: submitter name, organization, or entity (if applicable and an authorized representative), mailing address, email, and telephone number.
The deadline for all submissions is Wednesday, September 30, 2020.
Comments received in response to this Request for Information will be publicly posted on TLO, TLIS, and the House website. When submitting comments, please remove any personal identifying information, such as your personal phone number, residence address, or e-mail address.
Interim Charge 1: Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
Interim Charge 1[A]: HB 3, which relates to public school finance and public education. Monitor the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) implementation of the bill, including the extensive rulemaking process and broad unintended consequence authority of the commissioner. Examine the pay raises districts have provided to staff and the various approaches adopted to differentiate these salary increases according to experience.
Interim Charge 1[B]: HB 1842 (84R), HB 22 (85R), SB 1882 (85R), and HB 3906, which relate to public school accountability, assessment, interventions, and district-charter partnerships. Monitor the ongoing progress of the TEA's implementation and rulemaking of the A-F rating system, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), and public school sanctions and interventions.
Interim Charge 1[C]: SB 1873 (85R), which relates to reporting certain school district health and safety information. Review the report on physical education prepared by the TEA and determine what, if any, next steps are needed based on the data collections. Related to Behavioral Health (Joint charge with Committee on Public Health) • HB 18, which enhances school safety and mental health resources for students and school personnel and works to reduce the stigma around mental health conditions. Monitor the process by which state agencies coordinate to implement the legislation and their compliance with various requirements, including providing required guidelines and resources to schools.
Interim Charge 1[D]: HB 19, which places non-physician mental health professionals at education service centers to provide resources for educators and administrators in school districts and charter schools.
Interim Charge 1[E]: HB 906, which creates the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services.
Interim Charge 1[F]: SB 11, which creates the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium to facilitate access to mental health care services through telehealth and expands the mental health workforce through training and funding opportunities. Monitor the creation of the consortium and agencies' rulemaking processes. Review how school districts are spending their school safety allotment.
Question 1: Can the state delay implementation of the teacher incentive pay program to push it out to the next biennium? If so, what would be the impact on the current budget, as well as budget implications for the 2022-23 biennium?
Question 2: Does the state have any obligation to ensure that newly awarded salaries are carried forward from year-to-year all other conditions being equal?
Question 3: Is the state capable of providing the additional financial resources so school districts can maintain the new salaries awarded post-HB 3?
Question 4: What impact does the "no new revenue - tax cap" of 2.5 percent have on a school district's ability to continue the pay raises or changes in salary scheduled adopted for the 2019-20 school year?
HB 1842 (84R), HB 22 (85R), SB 1882 (85R) and HB 3906
Question 5: The stated purpose of these partnerships with charters was to serve as incubators of innovative ideas in how to turn around failing campuses. Have any successful programs been identified that can be replicated by struggling campuses?
Question 6: Have certain types of new partnerships been more successful than other types of alternative educational arrangements?
Question 7: What type of resources (financial and other types of supports) have been necessary to implement new turn-around partnerships?
Question 8: What measures of "success" are being used to know if these partnerships are working and sustainable?
Question 9: Can programs that have been deemed successful at these low-rated campuses been replicated at other campuses within the district? If not, why? If yes, have similar results in increased student achievement been realized?
SB 1873 (85R)
Question 10: Other than checking a box that a report has been filed with TEA, has this legislation resulted in any changes in the PE programs offered to students? Is Texas using any of this data or trends that Texas students are healthier and more physically active?
In the event it becomes feasible to safely conduct a public meeting, the Committee reserves the right to hold an in-person hearing on these charges.