Priorities: 85th Texas Legislative Session January 2017
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.
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