HBA-MPM C.S.S.B. 385 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 385 By: Bivins Public Education 5/11/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE With an increasing student population in Texas universities, there are now more students taking remedial courses. The cost of remediation to the state has markedly increased over the years. Also, there are many educational stakeholders in the state who are concerned with the minimum standards required for students to graduate. Many high school students who graduate under the minimum high school program are not prepared for the more rigorous curriculum in a higher education environment. C.S.S.B. 385 requires completion of the recommended or advanced high school program for high school graduation and for admission to a general academic teaching institution. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in SECTION 5 (Section 51.807, Education Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS C.S.S.B. 385 amends the Education Code to authorize a student to graduate and receive a diploma only if: _the student successfully completes the recommended or advanced high school program; _the student, student's parent or other person standing in parental relation to the student (parent), and a school counselor or administrator agree that the student should not complete the recommended or advanced high school program and the student successfully completes the minimum high school program; or _the student successfully completes an individualized special education program (Sec. 28.025). The bill provides that completion of the recommended or advanced high school curriculum or an equivalent curriculum is a requirement for automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution. The requirement does not apply to an applicant who graduated from a public high school that did not offer or make available the recommended or advanced curriculum. The exemption expires August 1, 2007. The bill provides that to qualify for admission under the automatic admission provisions, the application must be submitted before the expiration of any application filing deadlines established by the institution (Sec. 51.803). The bill further provides that the satisfactory completion of the recommended or advanced high school program or the equivalent is a minimum requirement for admission to a general academic teaching institution directly following high school graduation. A student who does not meet this requirement must earn at least 24 semester credit hours in the core curriculum at an institution of higher education other than a general academic teaching institution before the student may be considered for admission into a general academic teaching institution (Sec. 51.805). C.S.S.B. 385 requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) after consulting with the Texas Education Agency to establish by rule standards for determining whether a private high school is accredited by a generally accepted accrediting organization and whether a person completed a high school curriculum that is the equivalent to the recommended or advanced high school program (Sec. 51.807). The bill requires each school district to give notice to the parent of each student enrolling in the ninth grade concerning high school graduation programs, including the requirements of this bill (Secs. 28.025 and 28.051). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. Provisions regarding requirements for graduation take effect August 1, 2003 and apply to students entering the ninth grade in the 2003-2004 school year and after. Provisions regarding the notice to parents take effect September 1, 2002 and apply beginning with registration for the 20032004 school year. Provisions regarding automatic admission to a general academic institution and standards adopted by THECB take effect September 1, 2004 and apply beginning with admissions for the 2005-2006 academic year. Provisions regarding admission to a general academic teaching institution take effect August 1, 2007 and apply beginning with admissions for the 2007 fall semester, and may not apply to students graduating prior to January 1, 2007. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 385 differs from the original by amending the Education Code to provide that completion of the recommended or advanced high school program is a requirement for high school graduation and admission to a general academic teaching institution, whereas the original required a school district to ensure that each student enrolls in the recommended or advanced high school program. The substitute removes provisions authorizing a district upon a student's request to petition the State Board of Education (SBOE) to approve a course that does not fall within the recommended high school program in place of a requirement listed as part of the recommended high school program (Secs. 28.025, 51.803, and 51.805). The substitute modifies the information contained in the notification to parents of children enrolling in the ninth grade (Secs. 28.025 and 28.0251). The substitute removes the provision requiring SBOE to adopt rules to establish procedures for the implementation of the provisions of the original bill and requires the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to by rule establish standards for determining the accreditation of private high schools and whether a person completed a high school curriculum that is equivalent to the recommended or advanced high school program (Sec. 51.807).