Via Amanda List

Good morning!This week, the SBOE will hold a special meeting to discuss social studies standards. Here is that and the rest of your updates from last week

TEA & State Updates

  • The SBOE has scheduled a special meeting on Monday and Tuesday, September 26–27, 2022, at 8:00 a.m. to consider proposed revisions to the social studies TEKS for first reading and filing authorization.At the laste SBOE meeting, the board determined that it would not move forward with new social studies standards. Instead, the board asked TEA staff to bring to the next meeting a draft of the current standards that only adds content to address requirements from SB 3 passed during the second special session.
  • Texas House Public Ed and Higher Ed committees held a marathon joint hearing on Tuesday to address the persistent teacher recruitment and retention problem. Some speakers drew attention to the sizeable proportion of instructors who enter the profession without credentials.According to testimony given by TEA Deputy Commissioner Kelvey Oeser, 40% of the newly hired teachers in the previous school year were either uncertified or had completed an alternative certification program.
  • U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 297 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022, including 31 schools in Texas. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Road to Success Back to School bus tour. The list of schools in Texas can be found here.
  • The state subsidy provided through the Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB) Incentive Program for the May 2023 administration will be $39 for each AP and IB exam taken by an eligible student.  The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has provided subsidies for students taking AP and IB exams since 1993 with the enactment of the Advanced Placement Incentive Program. TEA is committed to ensuring AP and IB exams remain affordable for low-income students. More here.
  • According to a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, the majority of Texas voters support voucher-like policies that permit state funds to be used to send kids to private schools. According to the poll conducted among 1,268 registered voters between September 6-13, 60% of respondents favored the school choice option, while 28% opposed it. When asked if they “support or oppose giving parents the option to use state funding to send their children to private school,” roughly 54% of respondents supported the option, compared to 34% who did not.
  • TEA’s Texas Partnerships benefits approval process has upcoming required webinars and deadlines in the coming months. A Partner Training is on Sept 30, and Performance Contract Trainings are on Oct 7 and Oct 14. LOIs and other required documents are due Sept 30. Texas Partnerships offer districts the opportunity to expand the diversity of school options, bring in targeted expertise for innovation and turnaround support, and empower school leaders and partners to give more students access to great schools. More information on the Texas Partnership opportunity here, and the webinars and deadlines here.

DOE & National Updates

  • A new bill sent to Congress on Wednesday by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) would force colleges and universities to be more open about their student transfer criteria. A list of all the institutions from which a student’s credits are guaranteed to be accepted is required to be posted on the websites of two- and four-year schools under the Transparency for Transfer Students Act. Castro noted, “at too many schools, convoluted transfer regulations make it tougher for transfer students to achieve a four-year degree.”

Articles of Interest

Important Dates

  • Monday and Tuesday, September 26–27, 2022 – SBOE Special Meeting
  • Friday, September 30 – Gubernatorial debate in the Rio Grande Valley
  • Tuesday, October 18 – Texas Commission on Community College Finance final hearing

Check out more and Subscribe to Amanda List TX Legislative Updates here. 

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