Proposed curriculum, funding changes: 14 public education bills filed in the 87th Texas Legislature

Lawmakers have returned to the Capitol for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lawmakers have returned to the Capitol for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Lawmakers have returned to the Capitol for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

The 87th Texas Legislature is well underway, and hundreds of bills related to public education issues have been filed. Follow up on the status of these and other bills at www.capitol.texas.gov.

House Bill 31, filed by Rep. Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, would abolish every county board of education, board of county school trustees and office of county school superintendent in counties with populations of 3.3 million or more unless voters approve the continuation of these entities.

House Bill 153, filed by Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, D-San Antonio, would have the Texas Education Agency and State Board of Education establish culturally inclusive curriculum that reflects the cultural, linguistic and religious diversity of society, including instruction on fostering acceptance of diversity and critical thinking about bias to help children identify acts of discrimination.

House Bill 181, filed by Rep. Shawn Nicole Thierry, D-Houston, would require all school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to employ at least one full-time registered nurse at each campus and to have no fewer than one full-time registered nurse for every 750 students enrolled in the district or school.

House Bill 334, filed by Rep. Gary Gates, R-Richmond, would require at least 90% of funds allocated for career and technology education be used for CTE programming for students in grades 7-12. The current requirement is 55%.


House Bill 434, filed by Rep. Keith Bell, R-Forney, would remove the current requirement for high school students to take a fine arts class and allow them to choose between a fine arts credit and a career and technology credit to satisfy graduation requirements.

House Bill 437, filed by Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin, would require high school students to take a one-half credit course in personal financial literacy to satisfy graduation requirements and reduce the elective credit requirement from five to four and a half.

House Bill 779, filed by Rep. Art Fierro, D-El Paso, would require districts to reimburse teachers of ninth grade students or younger up to $250 each school year for eligible school supplies purchased out of the teacher’s own pocket.

House Bill 985, filed by Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne, would require information about human trafficking prevention to be included in all driver education and driving safety courses.

House Bill 1246, filed by Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin, would change the state’s public education funding formula to be based on districts’ average enrollment numbers rather than on their average daily attendance numbers.

House Bill 1776, filed by Rep. Keith Bell, R-Forney, would permit school boards to allow and encourage the posting of the founding documents of the United States—including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and the writings of the nation’s founding fathers—in classrooms and district facilities.

Senate Bill 158, filed by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, would allow the waiving of fees for duplicate, modified or renewed licenses to carry handguns for school marshals.

Senate Bill 215, filed by Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, would create an office of inspector general at the Texas Education Agency to investigate the administration of public education.

Senate Bill 272, filed by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, would require school boards to appoint one student trustee, who would not be considered an official board member or be able to vote but would otherwisehave the same powers and duties as a board member.

Senate Bill 279, filed by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, would require student identification cards for public school children in grades 7-12 to include suicide prevention information, including the phone numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line.
By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.