The Senate Education Committee heard testimony on HB 6 this morning. Joyce Stevens, the Director of Academic Technology Services from Northside ISD, testified on behalf of TCEA and her school district. She urged the committee to support the bill but wanted to make sure they kept the provision that is in the House version that allows the use of the Instructional Materials Allotment to pay the salaries of technology personnel. This has been a long-standing practice with the Technology Allotment. Since the new Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) will take the place of the Technology Allotment, TCEA has worked to make sure the IMA could continue this practice.
The committee substituted the language in HB 6 with the language that is in SB 6. A chart that explains the differences between the two committees can be found here.
Senator Shapiro stated that there were provisions in HB 6 that had merit and that they would work out the differences in conference committee. The biggest issue that Senator Shapiro has with the House version of the bill is that it treats content and technology equally. Senator Shapiro’s version of the bill prioritizes content over technology.
There were four people who provided oral testimony at the hearing. Two in favor, one neutral, and one against. There were many individuals that indicated their support for the bill but did not wish to testify. TCEA is on record for supporting the bill.
The full Senate will now vote on HB 6. After that happens it will go to conference committee. We will keep you posted on how things develop with this very important legislation.