SB 894

84(R) - 2015
Senate Education
Senate Education

Vote Recommendation

  • Positive
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive


Larry Taylor

Bill Caption

Relating to the state virtual school network.

Fiscal Notes

State Impact

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB894, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($126,802,451) through the biennium ending August 31, 2017.

Local Government Impact

School districts and open-enrollment charter schools could incur additional costs for mentoring and other support for students that are not currently enrolled in a public school district who may choose to enroll in courses through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN). These costs would be anticipated to vary considerably among districts.

Bill Analysis

SB 894 would amend code concerning the Texas virtual network that provides electronic courses to students. The bill would amend the code to allow a student to take more than one course and to take courses full-time. Charter schools would be prevented from denying a student's request to take an online course on the basis that the district or school offers a substantially similar course. The bill provides a school district or open-enrollment charter school is eligible to act as a course provider as long as the school is not rated unacceptable.

SB 894 amends code concerning the standard for nonprofit or corporate course providers and expands the courses provided to include kindergarten. The bill removes restrictions on the cost of providing electronic courses.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill would affirm the principle of a free market. By removing restrictions on electronic courses, this will increase the access of Texan students to approved online courses and programs, which may potentially result in higher educational quality and competition among schools. This also promotes personal responsibility and individual liberty for students. For these reasons, we support SB 894.

Organizations Supporting

Texas Public Policy Foundation