Texas Legislative Highlights
Following are education highlights of the 1999-2000 session of the Texas legislature, which ended May 31. Among other action, the lawmakers:
- Approved a bill that would grant teachers, full-time school nurses, and school counselors and librarians pay raises of at least $3,000 a year, beginning with the 1999-2000 school year.
- Passed a fiscal 2000-01 biennial budget that would provide $1.35 billion in local school property-tax relief over two years, or a cut of 6 cents per $100 of valuation for the average homeowner.
- Approved Gov. George W. Bush's plan to stem social promotion, the practice of advancing students in grade level based on age rather than academic achievement. The program also includes new remedial efforts in reading.
- Voted to appropriate $200 million to help school districts add or expand full-day kindergarten and prekindergarten programs.
- Opted to expand the state's accountability program to include a new 11th grade exit test, as well as a new standardized test in 9th grade.
- Passed legislation mandating that districts notify parents if their children's teachers hold emergency certificates or lack state or district teaching permits.
- Approved legislation that would make it a felony to tamper
with public school records, such as test results.
Vol. 18, Issue 39, Pages 13-15