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Senate Committee on Education - 85th R.S. (2017)

Committee Members
Larry Taylor, Chair
Eddie Lucio, Vice Chair
Paul Bettencourt
Donna Campbell
Bob Hall
Don Huffines
Bryan Hughes
Kel Seliger
Van Taylor
Carlos Uresti
Royce West
Charges
• Assess and make recommendations for state and local K-12 hurricane recovery efforts. Examine the crisis management response of the Texas Education Agency and identify changes to the Education Code that would expedite the state response to school districts and public charter schools in the aftermath of any disaster.
• Determine the impact on school finance of possible state actions such as, but not limited to, changes to student enrollment calculations or property valuation. Assess student displacement caused by Hurricane Harvey and consider actions the Commissioner of Education may take to adjust attendance levels or calculations in the wake of a disaster. Make recommendations for legislative action including potential changes to the process and timeliness of payments to districts by private insurers, FEMA, and the state.
• Teacher Compensation: Study current local, state, and/or national compensation strategies for classroom teachers and make recommendations to elevate the teaching profession as well as comprehensive policies to attract, retain, and reward teachers.
• Mandate Relief/Innovation: Review, modify, or abolish chapters of the education code. Specifically, study cost-drivers, unnecessary mandates, reduction/ elimination of inefficiencies, focus on policies or opportunities targeted to improving student outcomes, and better utilization of taxpayer resources.
• Classroom Conduct and Teacher Support: Examine current student discipline mandates in code, study best practice models to reduce classroom discipline issues, and provide direct support for students and classroom teachers.
• Expand High Quality Education Opportunities: Examine high­ quality campus/programs in Texas and other states and make recommendations on incentives to expand high-performing campuses and programs. Review should include but not be limited to: program and course variety, unique public school models, transfer or open-enrollment policies within a district, collaboration between districts or public charters, online learning, and whether children with special educational needs, children of military families, and student populations in chronically high poverty areas should have additional options to meet their unique educational needs.
• Virtual Education in the 21st Century Classroom: Review the Texas Virtual School Network (TVSN) and recommend methods of updating and improving the system to boost online virtual education.
• Dual Credit: Review dual credit opportunities throughout the state, examining the impact of HB 505 (84th Legislature) on students in particular. Look at the outcomes of statewide studies completed in Texas regarding dual credit, and examine the current rigor of dual credit courses, as well as how to improve advising for students in dual credit. (JOINT CHARGE with HIGHER EDUCATION)
• Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education passed by the 85th Legislature , relevant agencies, and programs under the committee's jurisdiction . Make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation including:
• State matching of the federal E-rate program (SB 1),
• Improper relationships between educators and students and reporting of educator misconduct (SB 7), Establishment of a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) and workforce pathways (SB 22),
• A prohibition of a monitoring system performance indicator based solely on the number or percentage of students receiving special education service (SB 160),
• A school district contracting to partner with an open-enrollment charter school to operate a district campus (SB 1882).
Higher Education Committee

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