Late Wednesday night, the Senate passed their version of HB 1926 which makes changes to the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN). The Senate sponsor for HB 1926 is Senator Hegar. In an earlier post I listed some of the provisions in the House version of the bill.
The Senate version:
- Requires a school or open-enrollment charter to notify parents once a year of their TxVSN policies
- Adds language that stipulates that only a school district or open-enrollment charter school is authorized to award course credit or a diploma for courses taken through the TxVSN
- Adds that a school district or open-enrollment charter has the discretion to select a course provider within the TxVSN for a particular course for their students
- Uses the definition of an “institution of higher education” found in 20.U.S.C. Section 1001
- Requires TEA to develop a comprehensive course numbering system for all courses offered through the TxVSN
- Requires the commissioner to consider comments from school district and open-enrollment charter school representatives before establishing a standard agreement that governs the cost and payment of funds between course providers and sending schools. This is currently in statute but the House version stripped this language. The Senate version adds it back.
- Stipulates that nothing in Chapter 30A (education code) entitles a student who is not enrolled on a full-time basis in a school district or open-enrollment charter school to the benefits of the Foundation School Program
- Requires the TEA to conduct a broadband study to determine the network capabilities of each school district
Since the Senate version of HB 1926 is different than the House version, either the House will concur and accept the Senate version or they will have to go to conference committee to work out the differences. Both chambers will then have to pass the conference committee version by midnight on May 26th.
Tall order, but possible.