Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1327
By: Bivins
Public Education


Texas suffers from a widely recognized teacher shortage, which is
especially acute in the areas of math and science. Teachers could be
recruited and the performance of Texas students on assessment exams could
be improved with increased resources for mathematics instruction and
continuing education of mathematics teachers. Senate Bill 1327 creates
mathematics training programs for teachers, tutoring programs for students,
and a grant program for master mathematics teachers. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the commissioner of education in
SECTION 2 (Section 21.411, Education Code) and SECTION 6 (Section 29.087,
Education Code) of this bill. 


Senate Bill 1327 amends the Education Code to require the State Board for
Educator Certification (SBEC) to establish a master mathematics teacher
certificate rules (certificate) and sets forth eligibility requirements for
a teacher to receive a certificate (Sec. 21.0482). The bill requires SBEC
to propose rules establishing requirements and prescribing an examination
for certification no later than January 1, 2003 (SECTION 8). 

The bill requires the commissioner of education (commissioner) to establish
a master mathematics teacher grant program to encourage teachers to become
certified as master mathematics teachers and to work with students and
other teachers to improve student mathematics performance. From funds
appropriated for that purpose, the commissioner is required to make grants
in the amount of $5,000 to school districts to pay stipends to selected
certified master mathematics teachers who teach at high-need campuses
beginning with the 2003-2004 school year. The bill requires the
commissioner, by rule, to annually identify and rank in order of greatest
need each high-need campus. 

The bill authorizes a school district to apply to the commissioner for
grants to pay stipends to certified master mathematics teachers. The bill
sets forth the criteria for evaluating and approving applications. The bill
also sets forth provisions regarding the application of districts for the
grants, and the distribution, funding, use, and auditing of the grants
(Sec. 21.411 and SECTION 8). 

The bill requires the commissioner to develop and make available training
material and resources for school districts to use in assisting mathematics
teachers in developing expertise in teaching mathematics (Sec. 21.454). 

The bill requires the commissioner to develop and make available
professional development institutes for teachers who provide instruction in
mathematics to students at the fifth through eighth grade levels. The bill
sets forth provisions relating to the curriculum of the institutes,
criteria for the selection of teachers to attend the institute, and the
payment of stipends to teachers who complete an institute (Sec. 21.455). 

The bill requires the commissioner to award from funds appropriated for
that purpose to one or more  institutions that have demonstrated an ability
to conduct science-based research on effective instructional strategies
that improve student performance in mathematics a grant to be used for
research on mathematics skills acquisition and program effectiveness (Sec.

The bill requires the commissioner to develop and make available or
contract for the development and dissemination of assessment instruments
that a school district may use to diagnose student mathematics skills (Sec.

The bill authorizes a school district to provide an intensive after-school
or summer program to provide mathematics instruction to students who are
performing poorly in mathematics. The bill sets forth provisions regulating
the manner in which a district must administer such a program. The bill
requires the commissioner to by rule establish procedures regarding the
application of school districts for funding, adopt guidelines for the
selection of districts to receive funding, require the administration of
assessment exams by the districts, and disseminate information regarding
successful instructional methods. The bill provides that an afterschool or
summer program shall be paid with funds appropriated for that purpose (Sec.

The bill amends the Government Code to include stipends issued through the
program in the definition of "salary and wages" for the purpose of
calculating member contributions and benefits under the Teacher Retirement
System of Texas (Sec. 822.201). 


September 1, 2001.