AUSTIN, TX – State Representative Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs), with input from parents, students, teachers, and administrators filed four education bills to reduce burdensome unfunded mandates, reduce our dependence on standardized testing, and help shift decision making into the hands of local school districts.
HB 1866 adds multiple alternative assessment options for school districts to choose from under the public school accountability system. HB 1867 seeks to eliminate the burden on school districts when the legislature has not appropriated sufficient funds for a district to comply with a state mandate.
Rep. Isaac stated, “It is critical that we start giving options to our local schools so they can have the independence to make choices as an Independent School District. We tell districts how to do too much and then don’t give them the money to do it.”
HB 1868 places a limit on the amount of time required for students to take an assessment. Additionally, the Texas Education Agency would be responsible for ensuring that certain grade levels are given an assessment that can be completed in an appropriate amount of time.
“The urgency and importance of this bill was brought to my attention last December when I had a meeting with several parents and teachers from the district who are concerned with how stressed and anxious students become because of the time allotted for taking lengthy assessments,” Rep. Isaac said.
HB 1869 allows schools to offer a course or activity for vocational credit that applies to the licensing requirements for plumbers and electricians. It would also allow school districts to issue a teaching permit and employ a person who does not have a teaching certificate but has a plumbing or electrical license.
Rep. Isaac concluded, “Texas students deserve a world-class education that prepares them for a future, not just taking a test. I am hopeful that the Texas Legislature will take the steps necessary this session to help our local schools provide every child with a path to success.”
To track the status of legislation, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us.