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House Committee on Public Education - 77th R.S. (2001)

Committee Members
Paul Sadler, Chair
Harold V. Dutton, Jr., Vice Chair
Jim Dunnam
Kent Grusendorf
Richard "Rick" Hardcastle
Scott Hochberg
René O. Oliveira
Dora Olivo
Todd Smith
Charges
• Study the extent and causes of the state's shortage of educational professionals, including public school teachers and principals. Consider measures the state and local school districts might take to reduce the shortage or mitigate its effects. (Joint with the House Committee on Appropriations)
• Monitor implementation of HB 6, 77th Legislature, Regular Session, to ensure that charter schools protect state resources, that they provide the educational programs included in their charters, and that board members and school officials comply with other requirements of the legislation. Consider whether "virtual schools" comprised of home-schooled children should be eligible for state funding as charter schools.

• Monitor the implementation of the state's new assessment program established by SB 103, 76th Legislature, Regular Session, and identify any needed changes in the accountability program. Examine the amount of time spent preparing students in test-taking skills and motivational events rather than classroom instruction.

• Review state and local school district efforts to deal with problems of truancy, drop-outs, and disruptive behavior (pursuant to the Safe Schools Act), including in-school and out-of-school suspensions. The review should include examination of performance outcomes in alternative education, disciplinary alternative education and juvenile justice alternative education programs, and the effects of these programs on the educational progress of students who are removed from the regular classroom. (Joint with House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues)

• Study changes to the in-school GED program for 16-year-old, at-risk students made under SB 1432, 77th Legislature, Regular Session. Assess whether the changes are effective in providing access to GEDs for students who want them.

• Determine why student performance on college entrance examinations (SAT and ACT) has remained flat, while performance on TAAS has reportedly improved.

• Actively monitor agencies and programs under the committee's oversight jurisdiction, including the distance education pilot program established by SB 975, 77th Legislature, Regular Session.

Note:
No report was issued.

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