The Texas Education Agency recently released the Legislative Briefing Book of the 83rd Texas Legislature. This resource is designed to provide school districts with information about the impact of the more than 100 education-related laws that were passed during the legislature.
Below are the bills that impact educational technology and computer science. Included are the page numbers in which you can find the information related to technology and computer science.
HB 5 – Comprehensive education reform bill (in HB 5, Section 16 beginning on page 67, and in HB 5, Section 65-68 starting on page 137).
- The courses in the technology applications curriculum were added to the definition of “an applied STEM course”. This change allows the State Board of Education (SBOE) to select courses from advanced career and technical education courses (CTE) and technology applications courses to substitute for the fourth year of math credit.
- The bill also broadened how a district would be evaluated for accountability. The bill creates a list of areas in which a district will evaluate its progress in a variety of areas. TCEA and TechNet lobbied to ensure that district’s would annually evaluate their progress in achieving a digital learning environment.
- The bill also allows for students to take two courses in computing programming languages as a substitute for two courses in a foreign language. This was included in the House version of the bill. We recommended this substitution be included in the final version. The conference committee agreed with our recommendation.
- The word “computational” has been added in the phrase “critical and computational thinking” to reflect today’s students need to formulate solutions that can be aided by the use of computers.
HB 2201 – Relates to CTE and Technology Applications courses counting at the fourth math credit. (Page 57)
- Requires the SBOE to establish six CTE/Tech Apps courses that could satisfy the fourth year math requirement; this language is also in HB 5.
- The amendment provided by TCEA and TechNet: “Technology applications” courses, including computer science, are included in the list of courses the SBOE can consider to satisfy the fourth year math credit.
HB 3573 – Relates to teacher certification (Page 34)
- Allows technology applications certificate holders to teach two CTE courses: Principles of Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications and Principles of Information Technology.
HB 1926 – Related to the Texas Virtual School Network (Begins on Page 92)
Allows non-profit and private entities to offer courses in the TxVSN if they:
- Have prior successful experience offering online courses to middle or high school students
- Have demonstrated student success in course completion and performance, and
- Meet all the requirements established by the administering authority.
Also the bill:
- Permits a school district or open-enrollment charter the discretion to select a course provider for their students within the TxVSN.
Requires TEA to conduct a broadband study of Texas school district network capabilities (amendment provided by TCEA and TechNet)
Find more details on an earlier post.
HB 642 – Relating to Teacher Certification (begins on page 36)
- Requires the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) to ensure that 25% of continuing education credits (CPEs) for teachers and principals includes topics such as “integrating technology into classroom instruction.”
HCR 104 – Relates to educational technology (begins on page 155)
- Outlines the benefits of the use of technology in education and encourages districts to create policies that promote the use of technology and technological devices in classrooms (TCEA helped draft this resolution and TechNet supported)