Humble ISD School Board Approves Priorities for the 85th Legislative Session
The Humble ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to adopt priorities for the 85th Texas Legislative Session during the School Board Meeting on Feb. 14. These priorities define how we will work to affect best outcomes for our children. Resolution regarding School Board priorities for the 85th Legislative Session.Humble ISD Legislative Priorities:I. School Funding
- Support adequate and equitable funding and oppose any cuts to the Foundation School Program (FSP).
- Support an updated and adequately funded formula-based school finance system, which takes into account student and district characteristics when determining appropriate levels of funding to meet state and local standards.
- Support increased funding for programs such as, pre-K grant programs, reading and math academics, compensatory education, and Communities in Schools.
- Support additional funding for the Student Success Initiative (SSI) in grades 3-8 for all grades and subjects that require remediation. Advocate for local flexibility in how districts can utilize SSI fund.
- Oppose any carve outs for special programs within SSI.
- Support increased funding for the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) to ensure districts can provide adequate technology and instructional materials to meet increased standards for students.
- Support additional funding for the Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA), Existing Debt Allotment (EDA), and the New Instructional Facilities Allotment (NIFA).
- Support full funding of pre-K for all students who meet state eligibility requirements.
- Oppose additional funding for charter school facilities unless adequate funding is provided to traditional public schools.
- Support providing local flexibility for allocating number of minutes of instruction.
- Support providing local flexibility for school districts to develop their own curriculums.
- Oppose any state voucher plans, or any program that diverts public tax dollars to private, entities, homeschool students, or parents with little or no academic or financial accountability to the state, taxpayers, or local communities.
- Oppose A-F campus and district ratings as it creates a false impression about students, ignores the unique strengths of each school and unfairly reduces each student’s worth to the school’s assigned grade.
- Support the establishment of a comprehensive accountability system that looks beyond high-stakes, multiple-choice exams to meaningful assessments that have value for students, parents, and teachers, as well as measures what each community deems important in promoting college and career readiness.
- Support providing local flexibility for school districts to choose election dates.
Senate and House CommitteesLast week, membership of every House committee and Senate committee was announced. This was an important milestone in our legislative session, and now we can continue working to address the public education challenges facing this state. Committees play a significant role in the legislative process. They consider and amend bills, listen to testimony from experts and the public, and decide which ideas are worth sending to the full House. They will now begin to hold hearings on specific issues and bills.The committees affecting Public Education in Texas are:
Rep. Dan Huberty, who spoke at the first Legislative Meeting, has been appointed Chair of the House Public Education Committee.
- House Education Committee
- House Appropriations Committee
- Senate Education Committee
- Senate Finance Committee
“We want to utilize Members’ strengths and allow them to work on issues that matter to their districts,” said Speaker Straus, San Antonio.
He added, “Some very good Members are taking on new challenges. I’m looking forward to their leadership. There is always a balance to strike between continuity and fresh thinking, and I think we have the right mix.”
House committees will begin meeting in the coming days.
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The Texas Legislature meets in a regular session every two years, convening on the second Tuesday in January of every odd-numbered year. These biennial sessions are limited to 140 days. The governor can also call additional special sessions as necessary, which cannot exceed 30 days. The 85th Legislative Session is Jan. 10 through May 29, 2017.The Humble ISD Legislative Committee will help plan, and take action, to best assure that any changes to existing state laws target improving public education for all the children we serve. The Humble ISD Legislative Committee works with the Humble ISD School Board’s Legislative Committee, which includes Nancy Morrison as chair, Board President Keith Lapeze and Board Vice President Angela Conrad as Board Committee members.