Education & Parental Empowerment
The Legislature placed a substantial focus on expanding individual freedom within the public education system and ensuring that Texas’ higher education institutions continue to reflect the values of Texans across our state. Some of those key items include requiring students to compete in athletic competitions based on their biological sex, dismantling university DEI offices, and reigning in the tenure process in universities.
Senate Bill 15 (Middleton, et al. | SP: Swanson, et al.) requires public institution of higher education students, who compete in intercollegiate athletic competitions, to compete based on biological sex. The bill also prohibits an intercollegiate athletic team sponsored or authorized by an institution of higher education from allowing a male student to compete on the team in a mixed-sex intercollegiate athletic competition sponsored or authorized by the institution in a position that is designated by rule or procedure for female students.
Senate Bill 17 (Creighton, et al. | SP: Kuempel, et al.) prohibits universities from establishing or maintaining DEI offices, officers, employees, or contractors that perform the duties of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) office.
Senate Bill 18 (Creighton, et al. | SP: Kuempel) narrows the ability of public institutions of higher education to grant tenure by limiting the authority to do so to the institution’s governing board, on the recommendation of the institution's chief executive officer and the university system's chancellor, if applicable.
House Bill 8 (VanDeaver, et al. | SP: Creighton) implements a variety of policy recommendations from the Texas Commission on Community College Finance (TxCCF), a commission created during the 87th legislature (SB 1230, Sen. Taylor) for the purpose of establishing a state funding formula to sustain community colleges across the state. HB 8 establishes the Public Junior College State Finance Program (PJCSFP) and the Financial Aid for Swift Transfer Program (FAST) for the purpose of enhancing performance related funding, workforce training, and more. Additionally, this bill aligns the public junior college state finance program funding formula, and funding levels, with the needs of Texas.
House Bill 699 (Frank, et al. | SP: Paxton) prevents school enrollment rates from being calculated differently if the school allows home-schooled students to participate in University Interscholastic League (UIL) activities. Effectively, HB 699 further encourages schools to allow home-schooled students in participate in UIL activities.
House Bill 1605 (Buckley, et al. | SP: Creighton, et al.) requires schools districts to provide teachers with high quality instructional materials so they can focus on what they do best: teaching. HB 1605 also allows parents to access and review all instructional materials used to educate their students.
House Bill 2012 (Oliverson, et al. | SP: Hughes, et al.) ensures that a public school or university cannot prevent a teacher or professor from displaying the national motto, “In God We Trust” in their classroom.
House Bill 2102 (Goldman | SP: Paxton) extends the time for which public charter schools can request from permission from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to open a new campus from 18 months prior to the campus being scheduled to open to 36 months prior.
House Bill 3993 (Paul, et al. | SP: Middleton, et al.) expands automatic undergraduate admission to institutions of higher education for students with a grade point average in the top 10% of the student’s high school graduating class in one of the last two of their high school years. The expansion includes students who completed a nontraditional secondary education, meaning a course of study at the secondary school level in a nonaccredited private school setting, including a home school. In order to determine eligibility, students with equivalent standardized testing scores as those within the top 10% would be automatically admitted.
Senate Bill 763 (Middleton | SP: Hefner, et al.) permits school districts, other than those required by law to employ a certified school counselor, to employ or accept as a volunteer a chaplain instead of a school counselor to perform the duties required of a school counselor.
Senate Bill 2139 (Parker | SP: Longoria) creates the Opportunity High School Diploma Program for the purpose of providing alternative methods of high school diploma attainment. This bill permits adult students enrolled in a workforce education program at a public junior college to earn a high school diploma at the college through concurrent enrollment in a competency-based education program.
House Bill 1393 (Frank, et al. | SP: Perry) provides Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) retirees a new annuity option. HB 1393 allows the ERS to offer non-retirees a choice between annuities that gradually increase over time by various rates or the current fixed rate annuity.
Senate Bill 10 (Huffman, et al. | SP: Bonnen, et al.) makes sweeping adjustments to the Texas Retirement System (TRS). Some of those adjustments include providing one time or cost of living adjustments (COLAs), annual COLAs, supplemental payments to retirees over the age of 70, increasing both member and state contribution rates, and more. Notably, SB 10 is entirely contingent on voters’ approval of House Joint Resolution 2.