TASB 2018–2020 Advocacy Agenda Resolutions

As Adopted September 29, 2018 by the TASB Delegate Assembly

Students

TASB advocates for a school security fund fee to be collected on certain violations of Texas laws to be used by public schools to offset security costs.

TASB advocates for a state-funded organizational framework designed to create a network of effective support in our public schools and community-based services to address the social/emotional/mental health needs and school safety of our children.*

TASB advocates for the creation of a statewide online advising tool to help students decide on courses they need to earn vocational certifications and/or postsecondary degrees.

TASB advocates for a review of the Texas Health and Safety Code to ensure legally updated and constitutional instruction and course materials.

TASB advocates for removing “transfer annually” from Texas Education Code Section 25.036 and adding language making school transfer agreements terminable at any time by either the district or parent.

TASB advocates for the fair administration of in-school suspension discipline placements and for administrators to develop a detailed plan.*

TASB advocates for reviewing the 22:1 ratio guideline, rightsizing elementary and inclusion classrooms, and setting guidelines for school districts to ensure adequate student-teacher ratios per class.*

TASB advocates for full funding for the expansion of universal high-quality prekindergarten programs statewide.*

TASB advocates for increased emphasis and funding designated for English language learners, bilingual education, and dual-language programs.*

Governance

TASB advocates for flexibility to allow local school districts to lower tax rates with the authority to return to the previously voter-approved rates without another election.

TASB advocates for the expansion of options available to school districts designated as Districts of Innovation.

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 requirement for a supermajority vote to pass new school bonds or tax ratifications.*

TASB advocates for legislation that forces charter schools to adopt true open-enrollment practices and to comply with the elements of Texas Education Code Chapter 37.

TASB advocates for providing districts an option to use alternative means of public notification other than publication in a newspaper. 

TASB advocates for legislation that leaves decisions about school consolidation to local boards of trustees. 

TASB advocates for 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 advocates for legislation to provide better and timelier notification of charter school openings by January 1 of the school district budget cycle and to require TEA reporting of students transferring out of charter schools, as well as tracking of students on charter school waiting lists on the PEIMS reporting period.

TASB advocates for a resolution supporting an amendment to Texas Tax Code Section 26.08(a-1): “When increased expenditure of money by a school district is necessary to respond to a disaster . . . that has impacted a school district and the governor has requested federal disaster assistance . . . an election is not required under this section to approve the tax rate adopted by the governing body for the year up to but not to exceed two years following the year in which the disaster occurs.” *

TASB advocates for TEA to designate a pilot cohort of high-performing districts to be given expanded flexibility with PEIMS, attendance for ADA, and competency-based grading.*

TASB advocates for ceasing the crossing of district boundaries to transport students into another district without interlocal agreements.*

TASB advocates for providing districts the option to use an abbreviated notice in a newspaper publication that directs the reader to the district’s website for the full notification.*

Educators

TASB advocates for state programs and funding to attract and retain people in the Texas teaching profession, including poor, rural districts.

TASB advocates for legislation that requires that local boards of trustees have discretion over the spending of any additional funding dedicated to compensation of district staff.

TASB advocates for legislation that allows districts to opt out of TRS-ActiveCare.

TASB advocates for investment in teacher leadership opportunities to keep good teachers in the classroom and explore additional compensation for “master teachers.”*

Finance

TASB advocates for operational and facilities funding for full-day prekindergarten.

TASB advocates for funding for career and technical education programs for eighth-grade students.

TASB advocates for full funding of Hurricane Harvey hold-harmless requirements administered by TEA without a corresponding reduction in funds to public education in the 2019 legislative session.

TASB advocates for the elimination of recapture payments on temporary increases in maintenance-and-operations tax rate under Texas Tax Code 26.08(a) to cover disaster-related expenses.

TASB advocates for Chapter 41 school districts being eligible to receive state allotment dollars for student transportation through a reduction in their recapture payments by the amount of their calculated transportation allotment.

TASB advocates for greater transparency of district tax revenue by creating a separate line item in each taxpayer’s bill that shows the portion of district maintenance-and-operations tax revenue recaptured by the state under Chapter 41.

TASB advocates for 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 advocates for legislation that grants public school districts flexibility to invest surplus oil and gas royalties in accordance with the Texas Trust Code.

TASB advocates for state formula funding for programs in which public school students are enrolled and receive credit in college courses.

TASB advocates for a study on the growth in recapture payments and recapture districts since implementation to determine if the system should be capped at a maximum percentage of districts, students, and/or wealth.

TASB advocates for a review and approval process to prevent an oversaturation of charter schools in particular geographic areas.

TASB advocates for 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 should also be explored that would serve to tie funding under IMA to the State Board of Education 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 Legislature.

TASB advocates for the elimination of recapture payments on maintenance-and-operations tax rates above $1.06.

TASB advocates for legislation that prevents the use of the Permanent School Fund (PSF) to back charter school bonds with a low underlying rating.

TASB advocates for legislation that improves funding for facilities to include a higher percentage of students and so that funding is provided for fast-growth districts.

TASB advocates that the state share of funding does not decrease as recapture dollars increase and for every dollar recaptured by the state to only be used for public education.*

TASB advocates for legislation that adjusts the basic allotment for inflation so that school districts can keep up with purchasing capacity.*

TASB advocates for an accountability system of public education that provides state funding support for districts to leverage digital technology for early threat assessment.*

TASB advocates for increased sustainable state revenue sources to ensure the continued financial support to school districts provided by House Bill 3 (86th Legislature, Regular Session).*

Accountability

TASB advocates for the modification of the current accountability system to increase the weight of the community-based measures for district and campus ratings. 

TASB advocates for an accountability system that is equitable to small, rural districts that lack access to the same types of resources as larger districts in regards to the career and technical education coherent course sequence.

TASB advocates for a compliant state accountability system for students governed by individualized education programs.

TASB advocates that when a declared “natural disaster area” is designated by the governor of the State of Texas, the districts impacted shall not receive an accountability rating for the two years following and shall not receive a FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) designation for two years following said declaration.*

TASB advocates for an accountability system in which TEA informs school districts about the accountability standards no later than the beginning of the school year in which the standards are to be applied.*

Charter Schools

TASB advocates for legislation that holds open-enrollment charter schools to the same accountability standards to which traditional public schools are held.

TASB advocates for legislation that holds open-enrollment charter schools and boards of charter schools to the same transparency standards to which traditional public schools are held.

TASB advocates for a comprehensive review of charter school policies, transparency, and expansion.*

TASB advocates for legislation that provides state funding for charter schools at a per-student funding level that is no greater than that of the school districts where they are located.*

TASB advocates for legislation that requires the commissioner of education to consider the impact of charter schools on public schools when considering charter applications and amendments.*

* Denotes a resolution amended or added during the 2019 Delegate Assembly