For principals and educators across Texas, each legislative session is cause for hope and concern. There is the hope our elected officials will strengthen the public school system for the 5.5 million students we serve. There is also a feeling of trepidation as there have been sessions that led to laws that actually hurt schools financially, weakened our curricular offerings, and dampened the morale of teachers across the state.

Whether our legislators pass laws we consider helpful or harmful, we at least expect to see clarity in the new laws that end up on the governors’ desk. To many, this has not been the case for the 87th Texas Legislative Session.

There were a number of bills that began as small, concise, uncomplicated bills that morphed into large, incredibly complicated bills which will take more space than is allowed in this article. This article explores just two of the new laws. Look for a more detailed summary of bills that impact principals, assistant principals, and supervisors in the next few weeks.

HB 1525
One of the bills that has generated many questions was HB 1525 (Huberty). What started as a ‘clean-up’ bill for HB 3—which was passed in the 86th Session—became a wide-ranging bill that covered school finance and a number of school issues. Here are a few provisions you need to know. HB 1525:

  • Requires districts to continue salary increases provided in the 86th Session as long as the district has the same amount of funding as the last year.
  • Re-establishes the GT allotment eliminated by HB 3. Although, only 5% of a district’s students in ADA are eligible for this funding.
  • Extends grants to school districts for autism and dyslexia through 2023.
  • Adds uncertified teachers as eligible for teacher incentive allotments.
  • Requires district SHAC Meetings to have minutes and to record an audio or video of each meeting. (TEPSA is concerned that this could make it more difficult to recruit members for the SHAC).
  • Makes a number of requirements to human sexuality instruction from what is taught, how the curriculum is presented, and full disclosure of materials to parents. (Most districts already are very transparent in the materials and curriculum used).
  • Extends the deadline for K-3 teachers and principals to complete reading academy training by no later than the 2022-2023 school year. (Your TEPSA Advocacy Committee and Legislative Network were instrumental for the inclusion of this provision).

HB 4545
Another comprehensive bill that has caused a number of questions is HB 4545 (Dutton). This stringent bill is designed to remove the ‘high stakes’ aspect of the STAAR and to provide help to those students who fail any parts of the state test. Questions remain about several of the requirements. HB 4545:

  • Repeals grade promotion requirements and retesting of the STAAR reading and math tests for students in grades 5 and 8.
  • Establishes an Accelerated Learning Committee (ALC) comprised of the same members as the previous Grade Placement Committee (principal of designee, parent(s), teacher of targeted subject). The ALC must develop an education plan before the start of the next school year and provide a copy to the parent.
  • Requires the board of trustees to adopt a grievance policy so a parent can contest the education plan.
  • Requires the district to develop a policy for students in grades 3, 5, and 8 who do not pass or perform satisfactorily to request for the district to consider placement of the student in a particular teacher’s classroom. (This sounds like the parent could request specific teacher).
  • Requires the superintendent or a designee to meet with the ALC should the student fail the STAAR in the same subject area the following year. Prohibits the designee from being a member of the ALC; the designee can be a regional ESC employee.
  • Allows the ARD committee to act as the ALC for students receiving special education services.
  • Requires Accelerated Instruction (AI) during the subsequent summer or school year for the student who fails a STAAR test in grades 3-8 and to either allow the student to be assigned a certified “Master, Exemplary, or Recognized” Teacher or to provide the student supplemental instruction as specified for districts receiving COVID-19 relief funds.
  • Includes requirements on what constitutes ‘supplemental instruction’ and how the funds can be spent.
  • Requires the commissioner to establish a “strong foundations grant program.”


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TEPSA Deputy Executive Director Mark Terry is a passionate advocate for Texas students and educators.

The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA), whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA has more than 6000 members who direct the activities of 3 million PK-8 school children. TEPSA is an affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

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