Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Legislative Update - June 2013

Below are my notes from TCEA's Legislative Update Webinar I attended on June 20, 2013

Legislative Update
June 20, 2013
A.    Funding

·         Some funding has been restored

·         Enrollment growth has been funded

·         An additional 3.4 billion of the 5.4 lost in 2011 has been restored


B.    IMA

·         $423,062,452 budgeted for each year of the next biennium for a total of $846,124,904

·         HB 5 was signed into law and allows districts to use their IMA funds prior to Sept 1st if vendor is okay with payment after Sept. 1st

·         Funds must be first encumbered

·         June 30th is the estimated date that districts will receive word about how much IMA funding they will receive

·         If you still have IMA funding, it will roll over and will be added to the new appropriations

·         The new IMA funds will primarily be used for  Proclamation 2014 (Math, Sci, Tech Apps)

·         Next summer is primarily when a lot of the new adoptions/purchases will occur

·         Many district will be saving a lot of their IMA money to purchase for the 2014-2015 school year

·         IMA Expenditure Table http://goo.gl/mZwTR


C.     House Bill 5

·         HB 5 was passed into law

·         It deals with graduation plans and assessment plans

·         It eliminated the 4x4 and created endorsement:

o   Business and Industry

o   Arts and Humanities

o   STEM

o   Public Services

o   Multi-disciplinary

·         TCEA’s Amendments:

o   Insure “technology applications “and computer science can be included in endorsement

§   TEA will decide which courses will be used

o   Add technology applications to definition of applied stem course definition

o   Include technology applications in requirement for SBOE to create applied math courses (from CTE or TA)

o   Add “digital learning environment” to district assessment

o   Allows students to take 2 courses in computer programming languages instead of 2 foreign language courses (however, most colleges still require 2 foreign languages – counselors need to be aware of this)

·         Tech Apps for Math Credit:

o   AP Computer Science

o   Robotics

o   Discreet Math (if passed by SBOE and allow Computer Science certified teachers to teach it)


D.    Other Technology Related Bills

·         Tech Apps Certification Bill

o   HB3573 (Aycock and Patrick) - Effective Immediately

§  Allows TA Certificate holders to teach 2 CTE Courses

§  Principles of Art, audio/video technology and communications

§  Principles of information technology

·         Technology Applications Bill

o   HB 2201 – Effective 9/1/2013

§  Adds technology applications to list SBOE can choose from when determining which courses can count as a fourth math credit

·         Professional Development Bill

o   HB642 – Effective 9/1/2013

§  Gives SBEC the ability to require up to 25% of CPEs credit and the integration of technology y is included in the list

·         Virtual Learning/Broadband Bill

o   HB 1926 - Effective Immediately

§  Opens up the TxVSN to private entities to be course providers

§  Districts have discretion on which provider can offer their students courses

§  Districts can deny access (pay for)

·         If districts offers a substantially similar course

·         If a student wants to take more than 3 yearlong courses

§  Would set up system to allow out of state schools to offer courses

§  You have to send something home yearly regarding the options available to students for virtual learning

§  HB 1926 also requires TEA to conduct study on school district’s broadband capabilities

·         Digital Learning Bills

o   HCR 104 – Governor has signed

§  A non-binding resolution that encourage school districts to adopt policies that promote the use of technology and technological devices in classrooms

o   HB 2824 – Governor vetoed

§  Allows the High Performing Schools Consortium to pilot education reform initiatives and digital learning is included


E.     What’s Next?

·         Special Session

o   So far no education related issued if some are, then will respond if there is a change to advance our legislative platform

·         Interim

o   Work on implementation of passed legislations:


§  TEA

§  Educate and inform on new rules, etc.

o   Begin laying groundwork for next session:

§  Broadband

§  Computer Science

§  Funding

§  ETC.


F.     Certifications

·         Refer to Proposed Certification document

·         SBEC met on May 3rd to approve certification for Technology Application courses


G.    Federal Items

·         Rep. Miller’s Legislation (Not law yet)

o   Provide funds for state competitive grants for pd and equipment

o   Provide funds for federal competitive:

§  Individualized  learning

§  Improve teacher and school leadership

§  Provide access for at-risk student populations

·         Connect Ed (President Obama)

o   Connect 99% of America’s students with broadband and high-speed wireless in schools and libraries

o   Focus some funds from the ESEA act for teacher training

o   Build on private-sector innovation

o   Erate will probably move always from phone service and go to broadband

o   Districts should start moving to VOIP, if they haven’t already

o   There will be a session at ISTE on the new Erate on Wednesday


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