Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 8
By: Hochberg
Public Education


Currently, public school teachers and college graduates with teaching
certificates have found increasing premiums for their skills.  However,
teachers in Texas earn among the lowest starting salaries of many technical
professions that require a college degree.  H.B. 8 provides that for each
year, a school district is guaranteed a specific allotment in state funds
for pay raises for educators. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the State Board for Educator
Certification in SECTION 9 (Section 21.502, Education Code) of this bill. 


SECTION 1. Amends  Title 2, Education Code, by adding Chapter 47,  as


Sec. 47.001. DEFINITION. Defines "educator."  

Sec. 47.002.  EDUCATOR PAY RAISE ALLOTMENT. (a) Provides that for each
year, a school district is guaranteed a specific allotment in state funds
for a certain number of cents of tax effort to pay for raises for
educators. Sets forth that the allotment is the lesser of the specified
formula or other amounts described by this section. 

(c)  Requires a district with a wealth per student that exceeds the
equalized wealth level to have the cumulative cost of purchasing average
daily attendance credits or contracting for the education of nonresident
students reduced by the amount of the allotment, defined in subsection (a),
in lieu of receiving the allotment under this chapter.  

(e)  Prohibits a district, if the allotment, as defined in subsection (a),
is greater than the cumulative cost of purchasing average daily attendance
credits or contracting for the education of nonresident students, from
being required to achieve the equalized wealth level and requires the
district to receive that portion of the allotment that exceeds the
cumulative amount.  

(f)  Prohibits the district from receiving an allotment under certain
conditions of this section. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 42.007, Education Code, to provide that the
funding elements must include the amount to be appropriated for the
educator pay raise allotment under Chapter 47. Requires the Legislative
Budget Board to conduct a study, which should include a study of the cost
to the state each biennium to ensure that each school district could
maintain existing programs at existing tax rates assuming no student growth
without raising local property taxes. 

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 403.302(d), Government Code, as amended by
Chapters 1039, 1040, and 1071, Acts of the 75th Legislature, Regular
Session, 1997, by reacting and amending this section, as follows: 

 (d)(3)  Subjects the subdivision  to Subsection (e).  Makes a
nonsubstantive change. 

SECTION 4.  Amends Section 403.302, Government Code, as follows:

(e)  Provides that Subsection (d)(3) applies only to the captured appraised
value of real property that is located in the reinvestment zone before
September 1, 1999, or an improvement to real property described by this
section, regardless of the date the improvement is made.  

(f)-(b) Redesignated from existing Subsections (e)-(g).

SECTION 5.  Amends Section 403.303(a), Government Code, to make a
conforming change.  

SECTION 6.  Amends Section 44.004, Education Code, as follows:

ADOPTION AND TAX RATE. (b)  Requires the president of the board of trustees
to provide for the publication of notice of the budget and proposed tax
rate meeting in a daily, weekly, or biweekly newspaper published in the
district. Prohibits the Notice of Public Hearing to Discuss Budget and
Proposed Tax Rate from being smaller than one-quarter page of a
standard-size or a tabloid-size newspaper, and requires the headline on the
notice be in 18-point or larger type.  Provides that the notice to contain
specified information and sets forth the form for the notice.  Deletes
existing text authorizing a district to include the notice required under
Section 26.06 (Notice, Hearing, and Vote on Tax Increase), Tax Code. 

SECTION 7. Amends Section 26.06, Tax Code, to require all units, except
school districts which are to follow the requirements in Section 44.004,
Education Code, to post a notice regarding the public hearing.  Requires
units, except school districts which follow Section 44.004 (Budget Meeting;
Budget Adoption), Education Code, to give notice of the meeting at which
these units will vote on the proposed tax rate to increase total tax
revenues and requires the notice to be in the same form as prescribed by
this section.  Requires the comptroller, by rule, to prescribe the language
and format to be used in the part of the notice required by Subsection
(b)(2), except for school districts that follow Section 44.004, Education
Code. Makes a nonsubstantive change. 

SECTION 8. Amends Section 42.102, Education Code, to specify that the cost
of education adjustment is determined by adjusting the cost of education
index adopted by the foundation school fund budget committee and contained
in Chapter 203, Title 19, Administrative Code, as that chapter existed on
March 26, 1997, to reflect the most recent available data.  
SECTION 9.  Amends Section 57.043, Utilities Code, by adding Subsection
(y), to require, for the years 2000-2003, money appropriated to the
telecommunications infrastructure fund board to fund training for all Texas
public school teachers in the use of computers and technology for
administrative and curriculum enhancement purposes.   

SECTION 9.  Amends Chapter 21, Education Code, by adding Subchapter K, as


Sec. 21.500.  PURPOSE.  Specifies that the purpose of the Teach For Texas
program is to attract individuals to the teaching profession who otherwise
might not teach because of certain financial and other barriers.  

Sec. 21.501.  DEFINITION.  Defines "program."

Sec. 21.502.  DUTIES OF BOARD.  Requires the State Board for Educator
Certification (board), by rule, to develop the Teach For Texas program
(program) pursuant to the guidelines in this subchapter.  

 Sec. 21.503.  STRUCTURE OF PROGRAM.  Requires the program to be two
tiered, with the professional tier targeted at individuals currently
employed in other professions who have expressed an interest in teaching,
and the student tier targeted towards university students entering their
sophomore and junior years.  

Sec. 21.504.  FEATURES OF PROFESSIONAL TIER.  Requires the professional
tier of the program to focus on recruiting qualified professionals
currently employed in other fields who have expressed an interest in
teaching and whose skills are easily translated to the classroom. Requires
the board to develop certain certification requirements for participants. 

Sec. 21.505.  FEATURES OF STUDENT TIER.  Requires the student tier of the
program to focus on recruiting qualified students enrolled in Texas public
universities, colleges, or junior colleges who have expressed an interest
in teaching.  Requires the board to develop certain certification
requirements for participants. 

Sec. 21.504.  FINANCIAL INCENTIVES.  Requires the program to offer
financial incentives, including tuition assistance and loan forgiveness,
for participants in both tiers of the program.  Requires the financial
incentives to be structured within specified guidelines.  

Sec. 21.505.  OTHER PROVISIONS OF PROGRAM. Sets forth additional
requirement of the program. 

Sec. 21.506.  OUTREACH.  Requires the board, in conjunction with other
education-related state agencies, to conduct a coordinated media campaign
to educate professionals and students about the program.  Sets forth the
required emphasis for the campaign. 

Sec. 21.507.  INTEGRATED COURSEWORK. Requires the Higher Education
Coordinating Board to develop curriculum guidelines for courses that
integrate subject material with pedagogy material with the goal of
minimizing duplicative and unnecessary coursework in the pursuit of

SECTION 10. Requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to
provide the curriculum guidelines described in Section 21.507 to
universities, colleges, and junior colleges, not later than the beginning
of the 2000-2001 academic year.  Requires these courses to be offered
beginning with the 2002-2003 academic year.  

SECTION 11.  Amends Section 823.401, Government Code, by adding a new
subsection (j), as follows: 

(j)  Authorizes the board of trustees of the Teacher Retirement System of
Texas to adopt rules providing for the establishment of service credit
under this section through the transfer of contributions made on behalf of
a member eligible under this section pursuant to a reciprocal agreement
with the state or territory of the member's prior employment.  

SECTION 12.  Effective date: August 31, 1999. 

SECTION 13.  Emergency clause.
   Effective date: upon passage.