Priorities: 85th Texas Legislative Session January 2017

Public School Funding - Pursue an adequate and equitable solution for school funding while maintaining accountability and responsibility for educating the whole child. In addition, Texas PTA advocates for funding for enrollment growth.

Powdered Alcohol - Pursue banning the sale to minors of powdered alcohol, or Palcohol, a powder that can be mixed with liquids -- similar to the way Kool-Aid is mixed with water -- to create an alcoholic beverage that can have alcohol levels equivalent to a shot of vodka.

 

Bullying/Cyberbullying - Strengthen the cyberbullying law to protect students from online, often anonymous, bullying by clarifying the role of school districts in addressing this behavior, and removing barriers to law enforcement's ability to deal with offenders.

 

Funding for Quality Pre-K Grant Program

 

Funding for Full Day Pre-K for at-risk students

 

State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) - Advocate for reduced emphasis on state-mandated testing, focusing on grades 3-8, and monitor changes to STAAR for high school students, and limits on benchmark testing for all tested grades.

 

State Accountability System - Pursue a new accountability system that is valid, reliable and balanced, focuses less on state assessment, and recognizes other attributes of a strong school program, including arts instruction and physical activity.

 

Age of Adult Criminal Responsibility - Raise the age for mandatory prosecution as an adult from 17 to 18, allowing non-violent offenders who are 17 years of age to be charged as a minor.

 

Districts of Innovation - Oppose efforts to take away latitude of Districts of Innovation to set their own school calendar.

 

Vouchers - Oppose vouchers, including Education Account Savings Programs that allow parents to apply for an education savings account. A portion of the funds the state expends for that student's public school education is deposited into the account. The remained of the funds are kept by the public school the student previously attended. Money in the education savings account may be used to fund private school tuition, tuition at eligible institutions, distance education, curriculum.

 

State Board of Education - Actively weigh in on legislation impacting SBOE and monitor activity of SBOE in its quarterly meetings.