Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 660
By: Seaman
Public Education


While career opportunities in industry and technology continue to develop
in Texas, some school districts are decreasing their budgets for career and
technology training programs.  The required enrichment curriculum for
school districts includes career and technology education, but most schools
focus their efforts on preparing students for four year university degrees.
Many students seeking employment or postsecondary career and technology
training after high school may not be fully prepared for this training or
employment.  Texas has made progress in technology and industrial
technology education through the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills
program and the 2000-2002 State Plan for Career and Technology Education.
House Bill 660 includes career and technology education in the objectives
of public education and sets forth provisions to recognize and expand the
importance of career and technology education.  


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 660 amends the Education Code to expand the objectives of public
education to include programs of study for broad career concentrations in
areas of agriculture science technology, arts and communication, business
education, family and consumer science, health occupations technology,
trade and industry, and technology education (SECTION 1).  

The bill establishes and sets forth the composition of the Career and
Technology Education Advisory Board (advisory board), and requires the
advisory board to assist the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in developing the
state plan for career and technology education  and on request school
districts in developing career and technology programs (SECTION 3).  The
bill requires the joint advisory committee for the State Board of Education
(SBOE) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to
coordinate with the advisory board and the commissioner of higher education
as well as SBOE in certain matters related to career and technology
education (SECTION 6).  The bill requires the board of trustees of each
independent school district (trustee board) to include business and
industry representatives in district-level and campus-level planning and
decision-making committees (SECTION 2). 

H.B. 660  authorizes the trustee board to develop and offer a program under
which a student may receive specific education in a career and technology
profession that leads to postsecondary education or meets business or
industry standards.  The bill authorizes the trustee board to offer an
award for distinguished achievement in career and technology education
which may be stamped or notated on the student's transcript (SECTION 4).
The bill amends the Labor Code to require the Texas Workforce Commission
(TWC) in cooperation with TEA, the comptroller, and THECB to prepare and
make available to the public a list of all of the awards and incentives
available for business participation in career and technology education
training programs  (SECTION 9).  

H.B. 660 amends the Education Code to require a trustee board to consider
the state plan for career and  technology education when it is developing
its own career and technology education program, and authorizes a trustee
board to contract with another school district, a postsecondary educational
institution, a trade or technical school, a local business, a local
institution of higher education, or local workforce development board for
assistance in developing or operating the program.  The bill authorizes a
program to provide education in areas of technology unique to the local
area.  The bill authorizes a trustee board to provide a reasonable amount
of insurance to protect a business that contracts with the district for a
career and technology education program from liability (SECTION 4).  H.B.
660 encourages the governor to present a proclamation or certificate to
each member of the business or industry community who successfully assists
in the provision of a career and technology education program as determined
by TWC and TEA (SECTION 5). 

H.B. 660 authorizes the trustee board of a district with a wealth per
student that exceeds the equalized wealth level to reduce the district's
wealth per student by providing career and technology education to students
of one or more other districts with career and technology education,
assuming that the school district's voters approve and the commissioner
certifies the agreement (SECTION 8).  The bill provides that the
commissioner determines how students serving an agreement under a career
and technology education program will be counted in the weighted average
daily attendance of the district (SECTION 7).  
The bill amends the Government Code to authorize a provider of
employment-related training to apply for a Business Development--Smart Jobs
Fund Program grant for the purpose of providing career and technology
education training (SECTION 10).