Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2546
By: Dutton
Public Education


Texas has made progress in the area of public school accountability.  The
state annually collects achievement data from the Texas Assessment of
Academic Skills, and requires schools to maintain an attendance rate of at
least 94 percent and a dropout rate of no more than 6 percent to receive an
acceptable rating.  Some schools are consistently deemed low-performing,
and these schools can have severe negative consequences for their students.
Low-performing schools are subject to sanctions at the discretion of the
commissioner of education (commissioner), but there are no stipulations
regarding the hiring of teachers that could help these schools improve
their performance.  House Bill 2546 requires the commissioner to order a
school program on a campus that has been rated as low-performing for two
years to maintain a lower student to teacher ratio, and if performance
remains low for two more years, to order the closure of the school program
on the campus. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 2546 amends the Education Code to authorize the commissioner of
education (commissioner) to order that the school program on a campus that
has been considered low-performing for two years employ only a teacher
certified to teach the subject and grade level to which the teacher is
assigned and maintain a ratio of one teacher for each 10 students in the
average daily attendance.  The bill requires the commissioner to order
closure of the school program on a campus that continues to be
low-performing for two years after the commissioner orders employment of
teachers as provided by the bill. 


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001. The Act applies beginning with the
2001-2002 school year.