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Senate Committee on Education - 76th R.S. (1999)

Committee Members
Teel Bivins, Chair
Gregory Luna, Vice Chair
David Cain
Jane Nelson
Steve Ogden
Bill Ratliff
David Sibley
Leticia Van de Putte
Royce West
Judith Zaffirini
Charges
• Study the involvement of institutions of higher education in the state's public K-12 schools related to: (1) preparing students for college, and (2) creating greater access to college. The Committee shall identify successful practices and the necessary legislative role (if any) in expanding or enhancing such partnerships.
• Study the issues of teacher shortages and teacher utilization, including:
projected public school student enrollment growth;
recruitment strategies and resources for the production of teachers by universities or other providers;
university-based and other teacher preparation program production levels;
the impact of alternative teacher certification programs;
the sufficiency of preparation of beginning teachers, particularly as it relates to growth in at-risk student populations;
the benefits of creating additional state-funded teacher stipend programs in the areas of math and science; and
strategies for attraction and retention of teachers, including the impact of competitive salaries and benefits, performance pay, and master teacher and critical shortage area incentives.
• Study issues related to the state's current method for reporting public school dropouts and the accuracy of the information provided by these methods. The Committee shall identify possible criteria to be considered by state and local agencies in ensuring the accuracy of such data.
• Monitor the implementation of the following bills enacted during the 76h Legislature, Regular Session: SB 4, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to appropriations regarding public school finance, property tax relief, and public education; SB 103, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to state assessments of public school students; SB 104, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to keeping school campuses open after school hours for recreational purposes, latchkey programs, and tutoring; SB 875, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to the financial accountability of school districts; SB 955, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to pre-reading instruction for certain children; HB 2075, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to the public notice required to be provided by a school district before adopting a proposed budget and tax rate; and HB 2307, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, relating to assistance to certain low-performing public school districts. Particular attention should be paid to SB 4, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, with emphasis on evaluating the legislation's impact on changes in teacher compensation and benefits; the effect on fast growth school districts; the overall impact on school finance system equity; the effect of the instructional facilities allotment and Tier 3; the initial implementation of provisions related to ending the practice of social promotion; and the enhancement of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and ninth grade programs.

Note:
Gregory Luna (Vice-Chair) resigned 9/24/1999. Leticia Van de Putte (Member) appointed 11/10/1999.

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