More than 600 new state laws took effect on September 1, including scores of changes in state education statutes. These changes are in addition to the many hundreds that already took effect in June, soon after the legislature adjourned from regular session.
The Texas AFT Legislative Hotline will report on many of these legislative changes over the course of September, and a comprehensive report on notable legislation of the 2013 session will be published on our Web site. In the meantime, here’s a selective list of legislation that went into effect on September 1, illustrating the breadth of the educational topics that lawmakers addressed this year:
SB 1—the 2014-2015 budget bill, including partial restoration of per-pupil funding that was cut in the past biennium and increased state funding for the TRS pension fund.
SB 2—expansion of state-approved charter schools, revised regulatory standards for such schools, and increased latitude for school districts to convert campuses to charter status and thereby deprive them of state safeguards for student and employees.
SB 376—expansion of access to a free breakfast at school to all students at a campus where 80 percent or more qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
SB 393 and SB 1114—curtailment of the use of criminal misdemeanor ticketing for disruption on campus or on school buses.
HB 642—new requirements for continuing education of teachers, principals, counselors.
HB 753—requiring school districts to inform parents of quality criteria for providers of supplemental educational services and how well providers measure up to those standards.
HB 1122—authorizing Dallas ISD to pilot a three-year graduation program and to use per-pupil funding saved by this method to fund full-day pre-kindergarten.
HB 2012—requiring surveys of teacher salaries and of teaching and learning conditions, setting minimum standards for those entering educator-preparation programs, and modifying requirements for teacher appraisals.
HB 2961—providing that employees’ Social Security numbers are confidential and prohibiting the use of Social Security numbers as an employee identifier except for tax purposes.