Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Summary: Under current law, there are various options that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Commissioner can implement to address low-performing public schools such as reconstituting the schools or closing them. SB 1718 would create the Texas Achievement School District with the intent to increase the performance of low-performing schools by the Commissioner transferring them to this newly created district.
After two years of unacceptable performance, the Commissioner would assess the problems with the low-performing school while engaging the parents for their input. The Commissioner may reconstitute the school into what would effectively be an open-enrollment charter school or provide technical assistance to increase the performance. If these measures would not increase the school's performance, then the Commissioner would transfer the low-performing school to the Achievement School District. The Achievement School District would not have more than 10 schools at a given time and the District would be set to expire under the Sunset Act on September 1, 2025. Funding would be allocated through current federal, statutory or grant with the opportunity to seek additional funding. This legislation would specify the requirements for the school district to operate. After two or three years, based on the Commissioner's assessment, if the low-performing school district receives an acceptable rating, then the Commissioner can seek an agreement to return the school to its prior district. If the low-performing school has not improved, then the Commissioner can return the school or close it.
Analysis: SB 1718 would provide additional tools that do not currently exist to turn around failing schools. We support this legislation.