TASB 2016-18 Advocacy Agenda Resolutions

As Adopted September 24, 2016 and amended October 7, 2017 by the TASB Delegate Assembly

Students

TASB supports the creation of the official state definition and tracking of long-term English language learners. 
 
TASB supports granting local districts flexibility in determining which bilingual/English language learner program structures are best for each individual student as long as the program is evidence-based. 
 
TASB supports that the Texas Education Agency recognize that a student’s poor attendance be added as an additional at-risk factor.  
 
TASB supports additional funding to develop and expand support systems for districts to implement a multitiered behavioral framework for improving behavioral outcomes for all students. 
 
TASB supports congressional reauthorization and full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 
 
TASB supports state policies and funding to support campus-based mental and behavioral health services for students.  
 
TASB supports funding to support local district purchases of online filters to protect students from pornographic sites, funding for districts to provide digital safety and citizenship curriculum regarding online safety and social media, and requiring all pornographic sites to register with a .xxx domain.
 
TASB supports legislation to encourage collaboration between school districts and local workforce commissions to create a mobile app for graduates to find employment. 

TASB supports expansion of the High-Quality Prekindergarten program and daycare partnerships to include nonqualifying prekindergarten students and funding for a full-day program.*
 
TASB supports students receiving state credit for both college preparatory courses and college readiness courses.*

TASB supports legislation to eliminate the state requirement for attendance for credit (90 Percent Rule) as currently mandated. *

TASB supports Internet and Wi-Fi services for each school district. *
 
TASB supports state funding for programs in which public school students are enrolled and receive credit in college courses. *
 
TASB supports the creation of a statewide online education and advising tool to assist students in making postsecondary and career plans, including certification tracking. *
 
TASB opposes legislation that would discriminate against any child and impede children’s access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their full potential. *
 
Educators 

TASB supports state programs and funding to attract people to the Texas teaching profession. 
 
TASB supports an increase in the number of teachers certified to teach dual-credit courses in Texas. 
 
TASB supports an optional sheltered endorsement for teachers educating secondary English language learners. 
 
TASB supports a sunset review of bilingual teacher certification requirements. 
 
TASB supports permanent replacement of the current federal Windfall Elimination Provision with a fair formula.

TASB supports continuing the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) as a defined benefits plan and increasing state funding for state-mandated increases in districts’ contributions to TRS. *

TASB opposes the TRS requirement of a 12-full-month (consecutive calendar) break in service for retirees returning to full-time work with no monetary penalties. *

TASB supports district flexibility to adjust or eliminate the 187-workday requirement for a 10-month contract employee to align with the state requirement of 75,600 minutes of instruction. *  

TASB supports that all retired school personnel be authorized to substitute in a vacant position for up to 90 school days instead of the current 20. *        
 
Funding 

TASB supports a public school finance system with an updated cost of education index.
 
TASB supports funding to eliminate the financial consequences for districts that are scheduled to lose Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction.   
 
TASB supports the elimination of the small district adjustment penalty for districts under 300 square miles and recommends the SDA be made uniform at .0004. 
 
TASB supports funding for education service centers that is sufficient to avoid program reductions and cost increases to districts that use their services. 
 
TASB supports a requirement for excess proceeds to the Economic Stabilization Fund to be dedicated to public education. 
 
TASB supports state funding for full-day prekindergarten. 
 
TASB supports legislation that provides for funding of prekindergarten facilities.  
 
TASB supports enhanced funding for the high-quality prekindergarten grant program. 
 
TASB supports additional resources and flexibility to assist districts in successful implementation of House Bill 5 (83rd Session). 
 
TASB supports additional transportation funding for intradistrict schools of choice. 
 
TASB supports additional funding for middle school CTE.
 
TASB supports legislation that adequately funds the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) to ensure districts are able to meet increasing costs and adequately fund required materials adoptions, including instructional technology. Legislation also should be explored that would serve to tie funding under IMA to the state board proclamations that are issued. Finally, the statute governing IMA should be revised to include an element of permanency as the current language leaves funding to the whim of each legislative session. 
 
TASB supports a study on the use of local property taxes to fund public education and its effects on educational quality and on Texas taxpayers. 
 
TASB supports the return of revenues generated through annual property growth back to local school districts while ensuring that all students have access to quality public schools. 
 
TASB supports changing legislative fiscal notes to include all public funds instead of stopping at the state budget.

TASB supports keeping all local property taxes in public education and returning state funding to at least 50 percent of the cost of maintaining and operating public schools. *

TASB supports legislation that would fund mandates related to cameras in special education classrooms. *

TASB supports including off-campus instruction in the calculation of the weighted average student attendance. *
 
TASB supports state funding to retrofit existing school buses and purchase new school buses with three-point seat belts. *

TASB opposes charter school facility and facility maintenance funding. *

TASB supports the continuation of property tax exemptions for disabled veterans and surviving spouses. TASB proposes the impact of these exemptions to be evenly distributed across the state rather than disproportionately impacting districts with high numbers of residents qualifying for the exemption. Furthermore, TASB supports legislation implementing a system of accountability, administered by the state, which includes appropriate oversight of property tax exemptions being granted to disabled veterans and surviving spouses. *
 
Accountability 

TASB supports a fair accountability system that provides parents with accurate information about school quality and recognizes the diversity of the state.  
 
TASB supports a reduction in the number of STAAR tests by providing exemptions to annual testing requirements in mathematics and reading in grades 3–8 for students who have demonstrated prior mastery. 
 
TASB supports transition to a Texas Community School model as a campus turnaround plan option available to the commissioner under Subchapter E, Chapter 39, Texas Education Code.
 
TASB supports the availability of state assessments in Spanish through secondary for recent immigrant students.   
 
TASB supports the elimination of state assessments unaffiliated with federal requirements.  
TASB supports legislation that provides a state assessment system for special education students that measures progress and growth instead of meeting a grade level passing standard. 
 
TASB supports limits to the scope and breadth of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. 
 
TASB supports flexibility in assessing student eligibility/readiness for dual-credit coursework. 
 
TASB supports permitting a student’s IEP team to determine the level of participation in statewide assessments. 
 
TASB supports study of the relationship and discrepancies between the Texas Success Initiative and end-of-course/STAAR testing. 
 
TASB supports the removal of the sunset provision in Senate Bill 149 (84th Session). 
 
TASB supports responsible parameters to expansion of virtual education, including fiscal impact on districts and exclusion of campus and district accountability for student performance.
 
TASB supports replacing state and federally required end-of-course assessments with the ACT and/or SAT.  
 
TASB supports the modification of the proposed district accountability system for the purpose of including a larger percentage of community-based measures.
 
Governance 

TASB supports legislation that leaves decisions about school consolidation to local boards of trustees.  
 
TASB supports legislation that returns full control over calendars to local boards.
 
TASB opposes the requirement under Texas Education Code Section 11.1542 that requires a district, before offering a facility for sale or lease to any other specific entity, to offer it first to an open-enrollment charter school.
 
TASB supports legislation to authorize school bus stop arm cameras to be placed on school buses and managed by local law enforcement agencies. 
 
TASB supports legislation and rulemaking that ensures that the greatly expanded local control provided for in the Every Student Succeeds Act is transferred to local education agencies and locally elected boards rather than simply transferring to state agencies. 
 
TASB supports criminal background checks for school board candidates to confirm candidate qualifications and to support the disqualification standard of a candidate that has been convicted of a felony. 
 
TASB supports legislation that would allow school districts to utilize low bid purchasing for goods.
 
TASB supports legislation that would allow school districts utilizing solar systems to use batteries to store power.
 
TASB supports removing “annually” from Texas Education Code Section 25.036 and allowing local education agencies to develop guidelines for termination or revocation of such transfers at any time whether such request is by a receiving district or the parent/guardian.  
 
TASB supports modification or elimination of the 50-cent debt test. 
 
TASB supports legislation that holds open-enrollment charter schools to the same transparency standards to which traditional public schools are held.
 
TASB supports legislative and regulatory oversight of charter schools to ensure they adopt true open-enrollment practices, provide academic and other required services to economically disadvantaged students and those with special needs, and comply with student disciplinary elements of Texas Education Code Chapter 37. 
 
TASB supports legislation that prevents the use of the Permanent School Fund to back charter school bonds with a low underlying rating. 
 
TASB supports legislation that requires politically active organizations to disclose their donors.

TASB opposes legislation that curtails tax ratification election (TRE) and bond election dates from current law, increases ballot language requirements, or creates additional requirements for voter-approved TREs and bond elections, such as voter turnout thresholds. *

TASB opposes any efforts to force school districts to sell or lease district property to charter schools. *
 
TASB supports legislation that exempts public school buses from paying tolls for use of toll roads operated by the state and regional mobility authorities or their contractors. *
 
TASB supports policies that will allow districts to provide a medically accurate and age-appropriate curriculum in human sexuality education. *
 
TASB supports changes to the TEA audit process. *
 
* These Priorities were adopted October 7, 2017 by the TASB Delegate Assembly.