As students are returning to school, school districts are having to implement new laws passed by the Texas Legislature this summer. The Texas Education Agency today sent out the following message, reminding districts about new rules for implementing curriculum initiatives:
AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Michael Williams today reminded school districts across the state of provisions in a new law relating to the adoption of major curriculum initiatives, including curriculum management systems.
Senate Bill 1474 (SB 1474) – which was passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, signed by the governor and became effective June 14, 2013 – requires school districts to follow a new process prior to the adoption of any major curriculum initiative.
“A new process established under SB 1474 seeks to balance transparency to local stakeholders with local control over how districts teach the required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills,” said Commissioner Williams. “Before a district adopts a major curriculum initiative, it must gather input and opinion from both teachers and district employees.”
In addition, SB 1474 (authored by Sen. Robert Duncan – Lubbock) requires a local school board to have a meeting to discuss the proposed initiative and allow feedback from community members. This process provides school districts the opportunity to obtain feedback while deciding if any proposed curriculum meets the needs of their district.
Commissioner Williams also noted that the State Board of Education (SBOE) has reconvened its ad hoc committee to resume its review of CSCOPE social studies lesson plans. The committee’s charge is to provide a resource for districts evaluating individual lesson plans and making decisions in accordance with SB 1474. The review process is expected to be completed sometime this fall.
As a part of its review, the ad hoc review committee will hold a September public hearing in Austin to take testimony from the public. Details of that hearing will be announced soon.
The Texas Education Agency has no rulemaking authority over the provisions of SB 1474. Specific requirements of SB 1474 can be viewed at: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/
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