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No significant fiscal implication to the State.
Districts would incur significant additional costs if required to redesign compensation plans, redesign professional development options in multiple formats, develop measures of student educational growth at the teacher level for non-tested grades and subjects, and submit additional information related to the teacher development framework to the Texas Education Agency. Districts may also be required to hire additional personnel to assist with implementing new appraisals, professional development options, and data submission. These costs would be anticipated to vary considerably among districts.
SB 893 would make several changes to the Education Code regarding teacher development, teacher evaluation, and teachers' salary schedule.
The commissioner of education would be required to adopt a teacher development framework for school districts to make decisions regarding teachers, such as appraisals of performance, professional development opportunities, career advancement, and compensation. Decisions regarding a teacher's professional development opportunities, career advancement, and compensation would be directly tied to an appraisal of teacher's performance. At least two years of consecutive performance appraisals would be required for career advancement consideration.
Continuing Education Requirements
The bill would require the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to create processes where educators can give feedback to the board regarding a continuing education course or public completed, which would be made accessible to the public. Continuing education requirements for a teacher would require that a significant percentage of the training every five years advance any knowledge or skill identified as needing improvement in a teacher's appraisal.
The Commissioner would be required to tie appraisals of teachers to specific measures, adding in the academic performance of that teacher's students, teaching standards, classroom observations, and a teacher's efforts individually and collaboratively to improve his or her's professional performance. School districts would be required to conform to the teacher development framework and the measures specified for teacher performance appraisals. Appraisals would be required to be conducted at least once each year.
This bill would amend Education Code to remove classroom teachers from the specified computation of monthly salaries that is tied to length of experience. Instead, each school district would be required to pay a minimum monthly salary of $2,754 and may pay a higher monthly salary based on criteria from the teacher development framework, which would tie a teacher's salary to their classroom performance.
Educator Professional Development Requirements
Professional development opportunities would be required to increase classroom instruction effectiveness and improve student achievement, to advance skills identified as needing improvement in a teacher's appraisal, to include a range of different learning formats, and to enable an educator pick opportunities the content and format of his or her professional development opportunities. Professional development opportunities would be required to include opportunities that address campus-based performance objectives and educator performance objectives.
SB 893 would make several positive changes to the evaluation of teachers, which would ultimately require a teacher to take more responsibility for their own performance and the performance of their students. We would like to especially highlight the change that amends how a teacher's salary is computed. By tying teachers' salaries to their performance instead of their length of experience, teachers would be incentivized to care more about their students' performance and care more about improving as a teacher. Professional development opportunities that are designed to relate directly to a teacher's skills that need improvement also help encourage higher teacher performance. Overall, this bill could potentially result in better teachers and better student performance, helping to improve Texas public schools.
This bill would positively affirm our principle of personal responsibility, therefore we support this legislation.