September 30, 2023
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The Texas Legislature has plenty of education related issues to grapple with during the second-called session of the 87th state legislature.

Among the public education topics on the agenda are:

  • Ensure students receive a high-quality education and make progress in learning
  • Ensure in-person learning is available for all students whose parents want it
  • Ensure the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory
  • Ensure COVID-19 vaccinations are always voluntary

According to a video from The Equity Center provided by Muleshoe ISD superintendent R.L. Richards, on Aug. 10, the Senate Education Committee met to hear Senate Bill 15.

“Senate Bill 15 would authorize local remote learning programs and suspend minimum attendance requirements for students to generate state funding,” said Josh Sanderson, deputy executive director of the Equity Center. “This bill is substantially similar to the conference committee report version of House Bill 1468 from the regular session.

“The bill allows for synchronous/asynchronous and hybrid models of instructional delivery. Under this proposal, funding would be the same for all students, and remote learning students would still be required to take all state assessments. Enrollment in local distance learning programs would still be limited to no more than 10 percent of the district’s enrollment. However, waivers would be available to be issued by the Commissioner of Education.”

Sanderson points out that the Texas House is still short of a quorum, “although at the moment it is only by a handful of members. Several Republican members are out because of COVID protocols and a number of Democrats continue to protest the proposed changes to voting restrictions. It is to be determined whether any of this legislation will actually pass the session.”

The website Ballotpedia currently lists the walkout by Texas Democrats as “ongoing.”

According to their website, The Equity Center was founded in 1982 by 55 school districts and now represents more than 600 of the Texas’s 1,018 districts, saying, “We are the only non-profit education organization in Texas exclusively representing the interests of children and taxpayers across the state.”

The Equity Center Legislative update link is at:

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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