CVPE State Legislative Priorities for the last session 2021
High Stakes Testing
- Support HB 999(Bernal)/ SB2058: This is a STAAR bill that expands eligibility for students in high school during COVID to use IGC w/o first having failed a STAAR exam. It also expands IGC from 2 to 5 exams. This would provide a route to graduation for students adversely impacted by COVID.
- Eliminate the use of STAAR for graduation and eliminate the use of STAAR as a promotion standard in elementary and middle school grades (HB 382) Texas is 1 of only 11 states to require a test to graduate. That must change!
- Eliminate standardized testing beyond that which is required by federal law. Federal law requires only 17 standardized tests and Texas still has 21. HB 378 would eliminate the English II and US History high school STAAR exams.
Public School Finance
- Stop the Swap: Ensure that Texas allocates the COVID Recovery funds. Texas officials haven't distributed $17.9 billion for schools in the last 2 federal COVID relief packages. Some worry Texas officials will use the money to supplant (replace) state funding already in draft budgets in the Texas Legislature.
- Make no cuts to public school funding. Even with the $6 billion in increased public school funding due to HB 3, Texas funds our schools poorly relative to other states. The HB3 funds do not fully cover the $5 billion funding hole (2010-2016) or the annual increases in students in our state. Well-funded public schools can offer small class sizes, attract and retain strong teachers and engage students with arts, music and science.
- Use the TX Rainy Day Fund to help our children, schools and communities recover from the global Coronavirus pandemic.
- The ongoing property tax cuts initiated by HB 3 will put a strain on the state’s budget and limit resources available for future investments in Texans’ priorities.
Support a two year charter expansion moratorium.
- Oppose SB 28 that limits state and local authority over charter school expansion including the requirement for a supermajority vote by the State Board of Education to veto new charter school applications.
- It’s time for the Texas Legislature to enact a two-year TIME OUT on charter school expansion so that Texas can address the financial impact of charter schools on traditional public schools and develop a thoughtful, fair, and equitable plan that ensures the future of public education for all Texas children and levels the playing field for all public schools.
Oppose State Takeover bills
- Oppose HB 3270/SB1365. These bills by Sen Bettencourt and Rep Dutton makes commissioner decisions final & unappealable; broadens TEA’s discretionary authority, and TEA can appoint a board of managers if only one campus has a conservator for just two years. It also makes it a Class C misdemeanor for a school board trustee to sue TEA.
- Oppose HB 3731 that expands takeover to both D and F campuses.
- Repeal HB 1842. There is no evidence across the country that state takeover would improve student learning.
- Implement a moratorium on school closures which are almost exclusively in poor neighborhoods.
Community Schools and wraparound services
- HB 220 (Bernal) allows the community schools model as a turnaround plan.
Invest in our schools
- Immediately release the $1.2 billion CARES Act School Funds earmarked to local school districts for unexpected costs due to COVID. The governor is holding the funds hostage to balance the state budget
- Use the TX Rainy Day Fund to provide a massive influx of funding for our schools in 2020-21 to help our children and communities recover from the global Coronavirus pandemic.
- Invest in counselors, nurses and librarians in every school, tutors, smaller class size and expanded mental health services to address the physical and socio-emotional needs of students.
- Fund citywide universal free wifi starting with all public housing projects. While schooling is so much more than wifi and computer access, this crisis lays bare the huge equity connectivity divide.
Implement a moratorium on school closures which are almost exclusively in poor neighborhoods.
Do not rate our schools
- No accountability rating should be assigned to schools for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. We know what our children need and it is not more accountability ratings. Evaluating learning based on pre-crisis measures is completely unreasonable and unfair.
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