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Education — General Bill Tracking

The bills below could impact education for people with disabilities in Texas.

Education — General

Education Bills - General (Telicon Report 5/26/2017)
BILLAUTHORDESCRIPTION, REMARKS, LAST ACTION
HB 23Dan HubertyRelating to a grant program to fund innovative programs for public school students with autism.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require TEA to award 10 grants not exceeding $20 million during the 2018-19 biennium to public schools to provide evidence-based services to students with autism ages 3-9. A report with legislative recommendation about replication would be required by December 31, 2021.
no datano dataLast Action: 05­-05-­17 S Received in the Senate
HB 68Ron SimmonsRelating to eligibility for a public education grant of certain students receiving special education services.
no datano dataRemarks: Would add students with an individualized education program (IEP) and eligible for a special education services to those eligible for a grant to attend another public school in the district. Would require parent notification regarding the grant as soon as possible after a student establishes eligibility.
no datano dataLast Action: 02-13-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 353Diego BernalRelating to the assignment of certain behavioral health professionals to certain public schools.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require a behavioral health professional to be assigned to each campus with more than 50% of students who are educationally disadvantaged, homeless, or in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services. Would prohibit them from administering assessments.
no datano dataLast Action: 02-16-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 757Mark KeoughRelating to the placement and use of video cameras in self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special education services.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require a school or campus to immediately remove a video camera from a special education setting if the request for video surveillance under the current law is no longer actionable, i.e., the student for whom the request was made is no longer receiving instruction in a setting in which the majority of students are receiving special education and related services for at least 50% of the day.
no datano dataLast Action: 02-20-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 1131Rick MillerRelating to the requirement that a person obtain a dyslexia therapist license.
no datano dataRemarks: Would exempt from dyslexia therapist licensing requirements people who are engaged in supervised clinical experience to meet licensure requirements. Would provide that multisensory language education or dyslexia therapy can be provided outside of schools, learning centers, or clinics by only licensed dyslexia therapists. Would also grant temporary licenses until the earlier of September 1, 2022, or when licensure is achieved to applicants completing all requirements except the required master’s degree.
no datano dataLast Action: 02-28-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Health
HB 1184Dewayne BohacRelating to an insurance premium tax credit for contributions made to certain educational assistance organizations.
no datano dataRemarks: Would establish a tax credit for businesses contributing to a federal tax exempt 501(a) "educational assistance organization" that gives funds to students to attend "nonpublic" (private) schools. Would require notice to parents that federal educational rights and opportunities (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504) of students with disabilities in the traditional public education system do not apply at the qualifying program setting. The scholarship is 50-75% of average per student cost in previous year plus a maximum of $750 in educational expenses. Students in special education always receive 75% and may use the scholarship or educational expenses to pay for therapy, psychological evaluations, assistive technology, etc. Comptroller would file annual report of net savings to public education. Includes requirements for contributions.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-07-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 1335Ron SimmonsRelating to the establishment of an education savings account program for certain children with special needs and other educational disadvantages.
no datano dataRemarks: Would establish education savings account for a child who is eligible for special education or Section 504 services or who is in the conservatorship of DFPS, a victim of bullying, a truant, a dropout, homeless, or trafficked or sexually abused or exploited. Funds for a child with disabilities can be spent on education, therapies or services not covered by government or private insurance, technology such as a computer, and tests. Prohibits considering the religious content of a product or service in determining whether an expense is allowable. Funding is from state and local funds and year-end balance rolls over.
no datano dataLast Action: 04-27-17 H Committee action pending - House Public Education
HB 1627Drew SpringerRelating to the exemption of certain school districts from the placement and use of video cameras in certain self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special education services.
no datano dataRemarks: Would exempt small school districts from video camera requirements upon request.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-06-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 1645Jose LozanoRelating to requiring certain school districts to adopt a policy allowing students who participate in Special Olympics to earn a letter on that basis.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require a school district that awards letters for academic, athletic, or extracurricular achievements to allow students participating in a Special Olympics event to earn a letter.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-19-17 S Passed on local calendar (Vote: Y: 31/N: 0)
HB 1732Helen GiddingsRelating to requiring a school district or open-enrollment charter school to report data regarding restraints administered to, complaints filed against, citations issued to, and arrests made of students.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require public schools to annually report to TEA the number of incidents by campus, age, gender, race, special education status, English proficiency, nature of offense, and other incident details, for restraints, complaints by the school reported to court, citations, and arrests. Information must be de-identified and the report must be made available to public.
no datano dataLast Action: 05­-03-­17 H Committee action pending - House Juvenile Justice and Family Issues
HB 1754Valoree SwansonRelating to the placement and use of video cameras in certain self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special education services.
no datano dataRemarks: Would limit staff requests for cameras to their own classrooms and require governing body approval for staff and trustee requests. Would also limit parent requests to the classroom to which the parent's child is assigned.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-14-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 1928Poncho NevarezRelating to content requirements for an individualized education program developed for a public school student with autism or another pervasive developmental disorder.
no datano dataRemarks: Would specifically require the IEP to include interventions or services for autism and pervasive developmental disabilities or, if not, to identify what was considered and explain why the committee decided not to include the intervention or service.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-13-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 2258Roland GutierrezRelating to the establishment of the student mental health division within the Texas Education Agency.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require TEA to create a student mental health division to administer system wide plan to align resources, promote coordination with relevant state agencies, and promote academic success of students with mental illness and at risk of having mental illness, including students receiving special education services.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-15-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Health
HB 3155Senfronia ThompsonRelating to the placement and use of video cameras in certain self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special education services.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require a written request for classroom video surveillance; require placement in locations where the majority of students receive special education services attended by the requester's child or as limited by the requester; a request may be made by principal or assistant or by special education program staff member; placement is for school year unless withdrawn; time-out or other rooms would be included; an appeals process would be required.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-30-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
HB 3244Poncho NevarezRelating to a salary bonus for a public school teacher who completes certain autism training.
no datano dataRemarks: Would allow a school district to offer a bonus to a teacher who completes ESC autism training. School districts choosing to offer a bonus would be required to adopt a policy.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-11-17 H Set on the House Calendar
HB 3887Garnet ColemanRelating to trauma training for public school personnel.
no datano dataRemarks: Would establish a trauma recognition program for school staff, in addition to law enforcement officers and social workers who regularly interact with students.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-19-17 S Vote failed in committee on Senate Education
HB 4044Philip CortezRelating to the application of discipline to certain students with autism or another pervasive developmental disorder.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require ISDs to notify parents of students with autism or another pervasive developmental disorder before beginning a disciplinary process involving suspension, removal to a disciplinary alternative education program, expulsion, or placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program.
no datano dataLast Action: 05­-01-­17 H Removed from hearing 05/02/17 ­ House Public Education
HB 4193Ron SimmonsRelating to the establishment of a credit account program for students with disabilities.
no datano dataRemarks: Would establish a credit account program for students with disabilities receiving special education or Section 504 services to supplement public education when the cost exceeds the level of service the student's ARD committee determines to constitute a free appropriate public education. The amount is the result of dividing the total funds for the program by the number of students participating in the program and may include funding for special education grants. Funds may be added from other sources, including the parents or student, with funds carried year over year. Program administrative costs not to exceed 5% may be deducted from the payment to the student. Student expenses must be documented and approved. Providers must be licensed or accredited regionally/nationally by organization approved by TEA.
no datano dataLast Action: 04-27-17 H Committee action pending - House Public Education
HJR 24Richard RaymondProposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting the authorization or funding of an elementary or secondary education voucher program.
no datano dataRemarks: Would prohibit state or local revenue from paying for a child to attend a private school, unless it is a school for children requiring special education services.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-20-17 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Public Education
SB 3Larry TaylorRelating to the establishment of an education savings account program and a tax credit scholarship and educational expense assistance program.
no datano dataRemarks: Would create an education savings account (ESA) program for children ages 5+ who are eligible to attend public school. The ESA would be used to attend a qualifying private school, online program, or postsecondary school. Would provide school districts with a partial fund replacement stipend for the first year a child participates in an ESA program. Would require notice to parents that federal educational rights and opportunities (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504) of students with disabilities in the traditional public education system do not apply at the qualifying ESA program setting.
Would allow ESA funds to be used for tuition, books, therapies, computer hardware and software, tests, and some fees, but not daycare, food, or supplies. A child with a disability would receive 90% of state costs; based on household income, others would receive 60-75%. Would require auditing and prohibit vendors from making direct refunds to families.
Prohibits comptroller, TEA, or any other state agency, or school district from regulating the educational program, including religious content, of qualifying school program, providers, or students and families. Would allow tax exemption for donations to the selected educational assistance organization.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-11-17 H Referred to House Committee on House Public Education
SB 98Bob HallRelating to removing the requirement for bilingual education and special language programs for certain students of limited English proficiency.
no datano dataRemarks: Would eliminate special education services to bilingual students and associated funding. Would give schools the option to provide special education services in the students' primary language if there are at least 20 students speaking the same primary language.
no datano dataLast Action: 01-24-17 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Education
SB 180Jose MenendezRelating to student harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying.
no datano dataRemarks: Would add "substantial negative mental health effects," disruption of the educational process, and infringement of rights to damages cited from bullying. Would define "cyberbullying." Would add charter and private schools to those required to adopt policies prohibiting bullying and retaliation and requiring parental notification. Would require procedures for reporting bullying, including anonymous complaints. Would provide conditions in which bullying can result in removal to disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP). Would require that bullying that meets the Penal Code definitions of "assault" and electronic harassment (cyberbullying) be reported to law enforcement.
no datano dataLast Action: 01-25-17 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Education
SB 354Kirk WatsonRelating to language acquisition for children less than eight years of age who are deaf or hard of hearing.
no datano dataRemarks: Would define "Deaf or hard of hearing" and create an advisory committee on language acquisition.
no datano dataLast Action: 05­-02­-17 S Committee action pending - Senate Education
SB 436Jose RodriguezRelating to the operation of the special education continuing advisory committee.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require the special education continuing advisory committee to encourage public participation with the committee and to submit a biennial report to the legislature with recommended changes to state law and agency rules.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-24-17 H Set on the Local Calendar
SB 529Eddie LucioRelating to improving training and staff development for primary and secondary educators to enable them to more effectively serve all students.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require persons seeking a Texas teaching certificate to have instruction in universal design and knowledge of basic categories of disabilities under IDEA, the use of evidence-based inclusive instruction, general and special education collaborative and co-teaching approaches, systems of support and monitoring, behavior intervention strategies and supports, and adaptation strategies for accommodations, modifications, and assistive technology. Would add "including students with disabilities" to references regarding expectations for student performance and achievement, teaching skills, and curriculum. Would emphasize inclusion and diversity and require individuals to have field experience in student teaching and interacting with a diverse student population, including students with disabilities. School districts would be required to provide similar training to teachers working outside the area of special education as part of ongoing staff development.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-17-17 H Reported from committee as substituted House Public Education
SB 719Judith ZaffiriniRelating to requiring the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to collect and study data on the participation of persons with intellectual disabilities in workforce education.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to expand data collection to include participation of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in workforce education programs. THECB already collects similar data about the participation of persons with IDD in undergraduate and masters programs.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-23-17 H Passed to third reading
SB 748Judith ZaffiriniRelating to transition planning for a public school student enrolled in a special education program.
no datano dataRemarks: Would clarify that the ARD committee must annually share with students ages 14 and above information about employment, self-determination and independent living, public benefits and services and supports, and at least one year before age 18, the transfer of rights, including decision-making. Would require updating and distribution of transition guide. Would require that information about guardianship and alternatives, including the supported decision-making agreement, be made available and on request.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-24-17 H Set on the Local Calendar
SB 1116Eddie LucioRelating to a study regarding the costs of educating students with disabilities in public schools.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require TEA to conduct study of costs of educating students with disabilities and report to public education legislative committees by November 1, 2018.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-07-17 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Education
SB 1687Eddie LucioRelating to a list of best practice-based programs and research-based practices in certain areas for implementation in public schools.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require HHSC, in coordination with TEA and ESCs, to add research-based practices to its best practice-based list, expanded to include managing emotions, maintaining positive relationships, responsible decision-making, trauma-informed practices, positive school climates, and positive behavior supports. Teacher certification would require training in research-based practices for these areas.
no datano dataLast Action: 03-22-17 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Education
SB 2141Larry TaylorRelating to requirements for a representative for a student in a special education due process hearing.
no datano dataRemarks: Would require the representative of a person in a special education due process hearing to agree to abide by a voluntary code of ethics and professional conduct and have a confidential written agreement with the person represented that includes a process for resolving disputes.
no datano dataLast Action: 05-24-17 H Set on the Local Calendar
SB 2177Judith ZaffiriniRelating to transition planning for a public school student enrolled in a special education program.
no datano dataRemarks: Would clarify parental and student roles in transition, supports and services, alternatives to guardianship for decision-making, self-determination including competitive integrated employment, referral for public benefits, measurable postsecondary goals, and interagency coordination, with annual transition plan update. Would require related training and TEA update with stakeholder input every four years. Would require transition guide update in plain language including voting and civic engagement, financial independence. Would require TEA and TWC MOU on pre-employment services. Would require TEA to adopt rules for WIOA. Would require transfer of rights to include model notification and information about guardianship and alternatives. Substitute includes guidance and counseling on employment in IEP, employment first law/policy in transition guide, and Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE).
no datano dataLast Action: 03-29-17 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Education

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