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
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. 


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

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). 


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.