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Multiple Texas Education Bills Get Filed

March 4, 2015

The Texas Senate is focusing its attention on education as multiple education reform bills get announced in Austin.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and State Senator Larry Taylor made the announcement listing numerous bills that focus on issues like teacher quality, workforce development, and parent empowerment.

The first bill introduced is the "A through F" bill that creates a grading system for individual campuses within school districts.  Sen. Taylor says the bill would allow for a clear rating system to identify failing schools within districts that have high ratings.

Another bill has been put forth that would create a clearer path to the job force for students by providing them with the regional job needs and a clear path to the educational requirements for those jobs.  This need has risen because of a lack of skilled labor workers across the country especially in Texas where skilled industry and manufacturing jobs are going unfilled.

Other bills include a program aimed at teacher quality.  The bill would include teacher appraisals that allow for better teacher pay for better teachers.  Sen. Taylor gave examples of young teachers who may be better than tenured teachers, but get paid less because they haven't been teaching for years.

One bill aims are repealing some Texas laws when it comes to online learning.  Currently to enroll in online learning a student has to be previously enrolled in a public school and even then they are limited to only three courses.  Sen. Taylor says that needs to stop, "Why are they not having access to online courses, which has got to be the most inexpensive way to provide an education.  We don't need those kind of artificial barriers to our students where ever they are, in the state of Texas."

The bills introduced include a bill that creates greater partnership between community colleges and public schools.  Both, in career planning and in dual certification classes.  Dual certification classes allow a student to get both their high school diploma or GED and an associate's degree at the same time.