Senate Committee on Education - 80th R.S. (2007)
- Study the effectiveness of public school programs serving special education students, including autistic students. Specifically, consider whether special education services are adequately preparing students for post-secondary opportunities. The review should also include the availability and quality of the supports and services provided by adult services agencies for individuals with disabilities. Make recommendations for improving public school special education programs and the coordination of adult education services among state agencies.
- Conduct a comprehensive review of the public school accountability system and make recommendations for improvements. The review shall include indicators in the current system, measures of district and campus performance, public expectations, individual student achievement and measures of teacher, program and financial effectiveness.
- Review and make recommendations to improve the state's Adult Basic Education program. Emphasis should be placed on ways to advance literacy in Texas in order to promote economic and individual development. The review should also include a study of the coordination of adult education services among state agencies and the availability and accessibility of state and federal funding.
- Review and make recommendations regarding best practices for programs targeted to improve the academic success of limited English-proficient students.
- Review the access and quality of career and technical education programs in the state and make recommendations to improve these programs to address the economic and workforce needs of this state.
- Make recommendations for controlling the costs of textbooks from kindergarten through higher education, and monitor the implementation of HB 188 80th R.S., relating to instructional materials.
- Review and make recommendations that address the state's facility infrastructure needs for public schools, ensuring that funding remains stable, reliable and equitable. Examine the need for funding adjustments for factors that affect the need for facilities, such as fast growth, age and condition of facilities, adequacy of space, construction and land costs, and concentration of students requiring smaller class sizes. Assess the impact on property taxpayers of “rolling forward” the Existing Debt Allotment (EDA) each session and the change in biennial appropriations for the Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA). (Joint Charge with Senate Finance Committee)
- Review current property tax rates at school districts. Explore what mechanisms may exist to prevent any future constitutional funding challenges. Review any funding issues that are particular to certain types of school districts, such as fast growth districts. (Joint charge with Senate Finance Committee)
- Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Education Committee, 80th R.S., and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the implementation of HB 2237 80th R.S., relating to grants and programs for dropout prevention, high school success and college and workforce readiness in public schools. Include a review of the revised methodology the Texas Education Agency uses to calculate the dropout rate. Report on the implementation of education reforms in HB 1, 79th Legislature, 3rd Called Session. The review should include: the implementation of the high school allotment, the development of the best practices clearinghouse and the electronic student records system, the alignment of curriculum to attain college readiness, student improvement/growth models and access to college credit in high school. The committee should also study and make recommendations on how to continue strengthening the P-16 Initiative to promote college attendance in this state.
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