AUSTIN, Texas – With passage today of House Bill, the Texas House has delivered systematic reforms that will improve the chances of academic success for all Texans.
"Speaker Craddick, the House leadership and the majority of lawmakers have with this vote signaled their commitment to true reform and results," said Brooke Rollins, president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "With a stronger focus on results and accountability, House Bill 2 ensures that public education will indeed educate the public for the next generation of Texas."
Rollins praised the legislation for bringing stronger fiscal accountability and greater transparency in spending.
"Texans deserve to know that their money is being well-spent. Since 1970 we have tripled real-per student spending, but we have not seen any demonstratable results. It's time to demand more education for our tax dollar."
Among the reforms in HB2: HB 2 will set higher standards for academic achievement:
- Student achievement will be evaluated according to the level of academic proficiency established by the National Assessment of Academic Progress.
- End-of-course exams will be restored – exams that have been shown to increase student performance.
- Schools will be reimbursed for administering tests of post-secondary readiness tests (such as the ACT and SAT) – a practice that has increased the academic proficiency of high school graduates and the percent of students attending vocational certification programs/colleges in other states.
HB 2 will improve the quality of teaching and learning:
- One percent of state funding will be set aside for teacher bonuses.
- Bonuses will serve as incentives for more highly effective teaching – a practice that has proven successful in some states.
- Bonuses will be paid on top of teacher pay increases that on the average have risen 10 percentage points faster than inflation over the past 10 years.
HB 2 will make school districts more financially accountable to taxpayers:
- Districts will provide more details about non-instructional spending.
- Dates for voting on district budgets will be publicized.
- Reports on cost-accounting will be developed. (30)