The legislative session is underway. I know for most segments of our community the legislative session is important and many patrons follow the happenings of the session. For those of us in working in public schools, we follow the happenings of the legislature on a daily basis. So much of what is happening this session will have a dramatic impact on the future of our schools.
Looking at the Interim Report to the 83rd Texas Legislature according to the House Committee on Public Education, the interim charges cast a net on 5 broad charges: review of the UIL, student assessment, charter schools, school discipline and parental and community involvement. Each of these 5 topics can produce mandates that can have a very big impact on our schools.
According to the Interim Study Charges the House Committee on Public Education will review the University Interscholastic League and make recommendations as to the function, necessity and performance of the UIL. Many people have their definite opinions about the UIL, but school districts can not function in a successful, positive and fair manner without this organization. The UIL is the group that brings order to our competitions and a mechanism of fairness across schools in the state of Texas. Whether you like this group or not, the UIL is necessary to our schools and our continued competitions.
Other areas included in the interim charges include the monitoring of the state and local implementation of the new state assessment system, specifically the impact on students, instruction, teaches, and graduation or promotion rates. The charges include the “review how districts are implementing the requirement that end-of-course assessment and how it counts for 15 percent of the students’ course grade and will recommend changes to graduation and testing requirements.” Another charge is to evaluate the charter school system of Texas and examine the success and failure stories of Texas and other states. The subject of charter schools is hotly debated in Texas and typically will draw a definite opinion from most public school educators. Also being reviewed will be the effectiveness of Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEPs) and Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs (JJAEPs) in reducing students’ involvement in further disciplinary infractions. Finally, House Public Education Committee will review methods and best practices in Texas and other states to encourage more parental and community involvement in the education of Texas Children.
There is much to consider this session that can make public education work in a better manner. If you have a voice in any of these topics please take the opportunity to voice your opinion. We need people interested in making public education a positive force in Texas.
Parents, let us know how we can help you the first day of school all the way until the last day of school!! Please check the website at www.san-saba.net for school information and follow us on Facebook, too! If you have any question about this article or any other question about school happenings please contact me at 325/372-3771 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .