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To accelerate student learning to grade level TEKS mastery, we must rethink how we support teachers, adopt and implement instructional materials, and provide more time for the students most in need.
House Bill 4545 Overview
House Bill 4545 recently passed in the 87th Regular Legislative Session . The new statute is effective, as of June, 2021, with acceleration instruction practices required during the 2021-2022 school year for all students, based on results from Spring 2021. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be providing support and guidance for local education agencies (LEAs) during the summer in a few venues:
Retention and Retesting
HB 4545 establishes new requirements for accelerated instruction for students who do not pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®). At a high level, the legislation includes:
Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports (TCLAS)
Questions from Teachers, Teacher Associations, and Trustees not addressed above
*unanswered questions are pending response from TEA
Elementary SPED teachers are very worried about the requirement that they be certified bilingual if they have any students coded English Learners (ELs) in a unit. Several teachers do not speak Spanish fluently and will not be able to pass the test. Will these teachers be displaced because they do not pass the certification? - pending response
Protocol for 2021-2022 COVID19 / Delta Variant Outbreaks - pending response
Students 11 years old and younger / home school due to no vaccine / TXVSN influx accommodation - TEA is looking into a VSN expansion. There are also Virtual Academies (11 academies).
No STAAR for the for these next three school years. In order to waive state required tests, TEA would need to file a waiver to the Dept of Education. As of today, TEA is not motivated to apply nor is DOE considering additional accountability waivers.
ESSER funding for virtual instruction provided by the ISD, but not ADA for qualifying students - an ISD can provide the services but students are not enrolled and the ISD will not receive ADA.
State BOY assessments being considered as STAAR/EOC for students that did not test? Yes, ISDs may use the BOY or alternatives as well
We are seeking clarification on the 30 hours required for any student who did not pass reading or math. 30 hours / 3 students to 1 teacher-ratio is required for all content areas for students who did not test or did not meet cut scores. Example: 8th grade students who did not take all 4 tests - pending response
Any flexibility or any mechanisms in place regarding the 90% rule for students who stayed home as a precaution for being sick and/or were actually COVID positive. It seems they are going to have the same expectations for ADA funding re attendance BUT are also treating parents keeping sick kids home as the main safety measure for spread - 75% attendance
Georgina C. Pérez