Below is a copy of HB 3571 and SB 1711. The objective of these bills, which are carbon copies of each other, is for Texas public schools to purchase instructional materials that if reviewed by the State Board of Education would be approved.
Senate Bill 6 (2011) gave Texas school districts permission to purchase any instruction material with money from the state. Thus, more than 800 Texas school districts brought the CSCOPE lessons instead of textbooks. The Education Service Centers (ESCs) sold the CSCOPE instructional material below the cost of other K-12 Instruction Materials. Thus even the state comptroller praised school districts for saving money by purchasing the CSCOPE materials. It took a grassroots movement to investigate and discover that the content of the CSCOPE instructional materials was not good.
There are rules now about instructional materials, but they are not followed. Who is checking to see if rules are being followed? When money can be made and there are no checks and balances, rules are insignificant. The Texas State Auditor reported that the ESCs, who are non-profit groups, could not account for over $6 Million dollars and yet the ESCs continue to sell to schools as usual.
The section of HB 3571 and SB 1711 below marked in red type describes the patch that is suppose to force schools to buy instruction materials that abide by rules set by the State Board of Education. I really do not understand why such a bill is even written, but I am finding that many bills are absolutely useless because they do not include information of how and who will be the judge and exactly what are the consequences for breaking the rules.
HB 3571 and SB 1711 will have little or no effect on the instruction materials purchased by Texas school districts.
HB 3571 and SB 1711 basically allows the State Board of Education to make rules which schools may choose to follow or not.
Who will decide if a school district has broken the rules?
RULES MEAN NOTHING UNLESS YOU HAVE A JUDGE TO DECIDE IF A SCHOOL DISTRICT IS GUILTY AND SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES ARE SPELLED OUT.
Please contact Senator Campbell and Representative Bohac and ask them to please add some “TEETH” to this bill.
|relating to rules which insure that local independent school|
|district selection of non-state adopted instructional materials to|
|be purchased with state funds, is as accountable and transparent as|
|the State Board of Education approval process for state-adopted|
|BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:|
|SECTION 1. Section 31.003, Education Code, is amended by|
|designating the current rule as Subsection (a) and adding|
|Subsections (b), (b-1), (b-2), (b-3), (b-4), (b-5), and (b-6)|
|to read as follows:|
|(a) The State Board of Education may adopt rules, consistent|
|with this chapter, for the adoption, requisition,|
|distribution, care, use, and disposal of instructional|
|(b) The state Board of Education may by rule set minimum|
|standards for local procedures selecting non-state adopted|
|instructional materials to be purchased with state funds only|
|in the areas of:|
|(1)public notice, access, and input;|
|(2) review by independent panel to determine coverage|
|of the essential knowledge and skills;|
|(3) prevention/correction of factual errors;|
|(4)coverage of essential knowledge and skills in the|
|student version as well as in the teacher version of|
|instructional materials, pursuant to TEC 31.023(a);|
|(5) compliance with the stated purpose of TEC|
|(6)safeguards against corruption.|
|SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it|
|receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected|
|to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III,|
|Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the|
|vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes|
|effect September 1, 2015.|