Texas Legislature set to begin work
Both the Texas Senate and House have announced committee assignments for this legislative session, and the work of both chambers is set to begin. Click for assignments:
The Senate Finance Committee began meeting this week on the Senate’s budget bill, and the House is expected to start soon after. Both the House and Senate’s submitted budgets fully fund public schools as established by House Bill 3. Both versions also fund for enrollment growth.
Earlier this month, Governor Abbott identified several emergency items for the Texas Legislature to address. Emergency items may be debated and voted on within the first 60 days of the legislative session when all other consideration of legislation is prohibited. Broadband internet access, one of Texas PTA’s lead priorities this session, tops the list of emergency items.
Read the latest Bill Tracking Report on Texas PTA's priorities.
Pre-K and Kindergarten account for most enrollment declines
In October, the Texas Education Agency conducted a data collection to better understand enrollment trends in Texas public schools. The summative level data show that pre-K and kindergarten enrollment declines represent over 50% of the overall decline numbers. Per the same data collection, the extension of the funding hold harmless is not relevant to a third of school districts because they have worked hard to re-enroll students who were previously missing.
Additional data will be reviewed in February. Leadership discussions are continuing, but they have made no final decisions about the extension of hold harmless at this time.
Texas prepares to test for lead in schools’ drinking water for the first time
"Texas will soon begin a program to test drinking water in thousands of elementary schools and childcare facilities across the state following an update to federal standards on lead and copper exposure [...] It will be the first time the state’s roughly 25,000 schools and child care facilities will undergo mandated water inspections for lead and copper."
Eligible high school students encouraged to register to vote
The Texas Secretary of State recently sent a letter to principals across Texas reminding them of their duty to provide eligible high school students with the opportunity to register to vote under Section 13.046(a) of the Texas Election Code.
Twice a year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters, school administrators are required to provide voter registration forms to their students and send the completed forms to the local voter registrar.
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