HBA-JEK H.B. 660 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 660 By: Seaman Public Education 4/9/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill expressly delegates rulemaking authority to the State Board for Educator Certification in SECTION 7 (Section 21.051, Education Code), to the State Board of Education in SECTION 8 (Section 28.002, Education Code), and to the commissioner of education in SECTION 11 (Section 29.187, Education Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS 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, arts and communication, business and management, family and consumer science, health services, industrial and engineering systems, and natural resources (SECTION 1). The bill requires the State Board of Education (board) to identify the essential knowledge and skills of career and technology education as necessary for each school district by March 1, 2002, and requires each school district to provide a career and technology education curriculum by the beginning of the 2002-2003 school year (SECTION 20). H.B. 660 requires the commissioner of education (commissioner) to appoint six members of the business and industry community to serve with the board as members of the State Board for Career and Technology Education no later than October 1, 2001 (SECTION 2 and SECTION 21). 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) and school districts that request assistance in developing career and technology programs (SECTION 10). The bill requires the board of trustees of each independent school district (trustee board) to include business and industry representatives in district- and campus-level planning and decision-making committees (SECTION 4). H.B. 660 requires regional education service centers to cooperate with area institutions of higher education and local workforce development boards to develop academic and career and technology education programs which lead to postsecondary education and the achievement of career goals. (SECTION 3). The bill provides that each open-enrollment charter must describe any career and technology education program to be offered (SECTION 5). H.B. 660 requires the State Board for Educator Certification (certification board) to adopt rules providing flexible options regarding any field experience or internship required for certification (SECTION 7). The bill authorizes the commissioner to permit a school district to substitute a career and technology course for a course in the required curriculum if the commissioner determines that the courses are substantially identical (SECTION 9). The bill requires each district to include instruction in career awareness, as provided by State Board of Education rule, in the career and technology education curriculum for students at the middle or junior high school level. The bill sets forth the objectives of the career awareness instruction (SECTION 8). 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 11). H.B. 660 amends the Education and Labor codes to entitle a school to receive, to the extent that funds are appropriated, $1,000 for each student who receives a career and technology award. The bill requires the commissioner to adopt rules necessary to administer state funds for the awards. The bill requires a trustee board to include a statement in the annual performance report regarding the number of awards granted, and requires the Texas Workforce Commission in cooperation with TEA, the comptroller, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 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 11 and 16). The bill 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 (SECTION 11). H.B. 660 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 11). The bill 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 the Texas Workforce Commission and TEA (SECTION 12). 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 15). 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 14). The bill amends the Labor Code to authorize the use of the skills development fund to provide career and technology education and training (SECTION 17). 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 18 and 19). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. SECTIONS 1, 4, 5, 9, and 11 take effect on passage and apply beginning with the 2001-2002 school year, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, on September 1, 2001.