From TCEA TexTAN Legislative Update:
TCEA has played a big role in creating and advocating for HB 4294.This bill is important because it will allow districts to begin migrating more easily to digital content utilizing money that is already set aside for instructional materials. At the core, this bill is about district choice and flexibility.Testimony for HB 4294 was heard in the House Public Education Committee on April 7th. Three Superintendents (Brenham, Eanes, and Floydada) and three members of TCEA (Kari Rhame, Joan Gore, and myself) spoke in favor of the bill. It is expected that the bill will be voted out of committee on Tuesday, April 14th. The next hurdle will be getting the Calendar Committee to set a date on which the House can debate and vote on the bill.There are many steps a bill has to go through before it becomes law. At each step we need to make our presence felt so that we can move the bill forward. This requires us to call or email different legislators. We will let you know when we need to call the next group of legislators regarding this legislation.Other Bill’s of Interest:I’ve done a review of many of the education bills and these are a few that you might want to watch. If anyone has any others that I may have missed, please let me know.Author: Shapiro – relating to Virtual SchoolsThis bill’s intent is to help pay for Texas Virtual School enrollment if the student successfully completes the course. This bill has already been heard in the Senate Education committee and was voted out of committee. Next step: get on calendar for the entire Senate to consider.Author: Strama – relating to bullying and harassment in schools.This bill clarifies that bullying can take place by electronic means and can take place on or off of school property.This bill was reported out of committee and is waiting to be put on the calendar to be heard by the entire House.Author: Maldonado -relating to the responsibility for public school textbooks and technological equipment and a student’s failure to return themThis bill adds electronic textbooks and technological equipment to the section of the Education Code that establishes responsibility requirements that students and parents have for textbooks. This bill has been voted on by the House and has been sent to the Senate for their consideration.Author: Hochberg – relating to technology demonstration sitesChanges the technology immersion pilot project to the technology demonstration sites project. This bill is to be heard by the House Public Education Committee on 4/14/2009.Author: Shapiro – relating to curriculum management systemThis bill would have TEA evaluate curriculum management systems and compile a list of such systems that conform to the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum. This bill has been voted out of the Senate Education Committee and is awaiting to be placed on the calendar for consideration by the Senate.Author: Hochberg – relating to the adoption of standards for school financial accounting softwareThis bill tasks the commissioner (with DIR) to adopt standards for the performance and interoperability of school financial and attendance accounting software. DIR’s contracting process is to include a requirement that vendors certify their software as meeting the standards, and DIR is authorized to negotiate state contract pricing for products that meet the standards. .This bill was reported out of House committee as substituted. Next step is to be placed on the calendar for the House to consider the bill.Author: Shapleigh – relating to the use of technology by public schoolsThis is the bill that increases the technology allotment over time. This is the bill we have discussed via TECSIG. It stipulates how districts should use the funds and what type of measures should be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the expenditures of the funds. It also extends the TIP project to high schools that are fed by existing TIP middle schools. He has introduced this bill in previous sessions. It has been referred to the Senate Education Committee but has not yet been considered by this committee.Author: Hochberg – relating to open-source textbooks for public schoolsAmends the Education Code to define an “open-book textbook” as an electronic textbook available for downloading specific information from the internet for students, free of charge. It also gives guidelines as to who can provide the open-source textbooks (institution of higher education (from Texas) that spends over $75 million on research). This bill was voted out of the House Committee. Next step is for the entire House to consider it after it has been placed on the House calendar.Author: Patrick – relating to a committee to review textbook adoption processThis bill establishes a committee to review the manner in which textbooks for use in public schools are funded, adopted, and purchased. This bill has been referred to the House Public Education Committee but has yet to be considered by the committee.Remember, we have an important voice because we are the experts in educational technology! Don’t be shy. Share your expertise with those in Austin who make policy and regulations that affect technology implementation in our schools.
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