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No significant fiscal implication to the State.
Local Government Impact:
School districts that currently pay the tuition and fees for students to attend dual credit courses would see increases in their costs if they selected to continue to pay for these costs. These costs could vary widely depending on participation.
Districts that did not cover the cost of tuition and fees may see some administrative cost savings for students that attended additional dual credit courses that were taught by the college and not by district staff.
School districts that implemented middle school courses would likely incur costs for materials, staffing, and developing new courses.
There would be some costs to mail curriculum outreach materials to parents and students.
SB 13 would prohibit any limitation on duel credit hours or dual credit courses that a high school student could enroll in each semester or year.
This bill would also require the Texas Education Agency to develop public outreach materials that explain school curriculum changes and other associated decisions by the State Board of Education. These materials would be made available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese and in a format for mailing by school districts. TEA would be required to make these materials available to school districts.
SB 13 also adds a section that requires school districts to provide college readiness instruction to students in grades 7 and 8 by creating a new course or adding the instruction to an existing course. SB 13 would amend code to require that courses offered for joint high school and public junior college credit be taught by a qualified instructor holding a doctoral or master's degree that is approved by the junior college. Lastly, SB 13 would authorize funds that are already in place under the Labor Code to support dual credit courses to be given to a school district in agreement with a lower institution of higher education.
We would like to highlight the provisions prohibiting limitation on dual credit courses and the requirement that qualified instructors teach such courses. These sections would be beneficial by not holding back exemplary students and also by upholding education standards. We support these provisions of the legislation.
Sections 28.015 (creating public outreach materials) and 28.016 (instruction in high school, college, and career preparation) are designed to help students comply with educational requirements created by the 83rd Legislature through HB 5.
HB 5 created high school graduation plans which students much choose in the 8th grade just before entering high school. These plans bear some resemblance to college majors in that they influence the courses which the student will take on that particular track toward graduation. Upon graduation, students receive an endorsement on their diploma based on which track they pursued.
The dubious value of a policy that requires students to take steps toward selecting a career path in the 8th grade notwithstanding, that is the law of the land pursuant to last session’s HB 5. It would be a detriment to students for the state to require them to make this decision but fail to equip them with the knowledge they need to choose wisely.
By requiring school districts to inform, instruct, and counsel students on the options and requirements associated with the mandate to select a graduation plan prior to entering high school, this legislation enhances the individual liberty and personal responsibility of students. We support SB 13.