EDITOR'S NOTE: While this list is extensive, it is not complete and will continue to be updated. Know of any legislation that's not on this list? Let us know here.
- Texas began its 2019 legislative session on Jan. 8, and state lawmakers will tackle several education issues this year. One topic expected to make an appearance is the creation of a pathway to a $100,000 salary for the state’s most effective teachers as a means of retaining quality educators.
- A state commission on public school finance, made up of state lawmakers and school district administrators, supports a series of recommendations that could spur legislative proposals. The group advised that P-5 students get up to 30 additional instructional days if needed. It also said 60% of 3rd-graders should be reading at grade level or higher, and that 60% of high school seniors should graduate with some kind of technical certificate, college or military enrollment without needing remedial classes. These and a slew of other suggestions — including more CTE among younger students — serve as potential insight for what could surface in the Texas legislature.
- What’s arguably the biggest question, though, for lawmakers to figure out: how to fund schools. Local property taxes and state funding are the two main contributors to school finances, and as a result of inter-district population differences, there are often inequities between schools. One proposal suggests capping local property tax revenue growth, and another — which has garnered sharp controversy — says outcomes-based funding, or paying schools more if they perform better, leads to better results.
- One thing, though, has become clearer in the first few weeks of the session: Pro-school choice policy isn’t too high on many lawmakers’ priority lists.