On Thursday, the Texas House will vote on Senate Bill 1365, a bill that would make it easier for the unelected TEA commissioner of education to take over our local school districts. It makes STAAR even more high stakes and is an affront to democracy and local control.
Can you make your voice heard against SB 1365 today? It may be our last chance to kill this bill, formerly HB 3270 & HB 3731.
- Click to tweet your opposition to SB 1365.
- Send an e-letter to your state representative TODAY. It takes 2 minutes, and your letter will be delivered automatically.
- Call your state representative to urge them to vote no to SB 1365.
What will happen if SB 1365 passes? School districts all over the state, particularly districts with poor students, will be subject to immediate sanctions and potential takeover. Houston ISD would be taken over immediately.
- SB 1365 gives TEA commissioner "final and unappealable" authority to takeover a school district with no checks and balances to prevent abuses of state power or a means of correcting TEA mistakes and overreach.
- It even expands “unacceptable” performance to include campuses and districts with multiple D ratings, not just F ratings. This almost instantly causes more districts and campuses to be subject to interventions and sanctions in the middle of a pandemic.
- If a single campus has a conservator assigned to it for two consecutive years, SB 1365 allows the commissioner to appoint a board of managers to the entire district.
- Accreditation investigations are changed to "special investigations" throughout the bill. This broadens the scope of disciplinary action TEA may take, including takeover.
- The bill would make it a Class C misdemeanor for a school board trustee to use school district funds to pursue legal action or proceedings of any kind against a TEA decision.
This is a bad undemocratic bill under normal conditions. It is an unconscionable bill in the face of COVID.