FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/07/2013
Rep. Isaac Files Comprehensive Public Education Reform Bill
Innovative, results-driven approach to public education offers increased flexibility and more local control with a focus on family empowerment
AUSTIN, TX - This week, Rep. Jason Isaac (Dripping Springs) filed comprehensive legislation that outlines a new approach to public education. House Bill 300 would allow school districts to opt-out of the current mandate-filled education code and instead implement their own plan for student achievement and accountability.
Rep. Isaac stated, “Educators consistently tell me that unfunded mandates are one of the biggest hindrances to delivering effective education to our children. Common sense says that top-down, one-size-fits-all rules don’t work for schools in a state as diverse as Texas.This voluntary system replaces burdensome state mandates with local control and puts the ‘Independent’ back in ‘Independent School District.’ It’s time to think outside the box for the sake of the future of our state, and passing this bill would be a huge step in the right direction.”
This innovative approach to education shifts governance away from the state and toward local school boards, principals, teachers, and families. With the exception of basic health and safety guidelines, schools that opt-out of the current education code will be freed from the vast majority of state mandates, allowing them to design their own goals, choose the best assessment to measure their progress, and decide how to most efficiently allocate their resources. In return for this freedom, parents are able to hold schools accountable by choosing which public school within the district is the best fit for their child and initiating immediate change in school management in underperforming schools.
Rep. Isaac continued, “House Bill 300, the Independent School District bill, offers an alternative to the current 1,100 page education code in the form of a 62 page document. It gives school districts the flexibility to manage their own curriculum, teachers the freedom to attend to the needs of their students, and parents the ability to have more say in ensuring the best education for their children, driving competition, innovation, and excellence.”
Ron Franklin, former President of Houston ISD said, “As a former Houston ISD Board President, I have seen first-hand the impact of state mandates on local educators and families. As a parent, I have experienced the power of having multiple options to consider for the education of my children. And as a lifelong Democrat, I know how hard it can be to work on a bipartisan effort to improve our state. HB 300 addresses all three of these challenges. Built around local control and family empowerment, and with support from across the political spectrum, it lays the groundwork for a bold new future for Texas education. I am proud to have been part of the development of HB 300, and l encourage legislators to give it serious consideration during the 2013 session.”
Duncan Klussman, Superintendent of Schools, Spring Branch Independent School District commented, “Rep. Isaac’s Independent School District Bill provides school districts the local control they need to drive meaningful changes in public education and places accountability in the hands of parents.”
Salem Abraham, Trustee, Canadian (TX) Independent School District stated, “As a trustee of a rural school district, I'm excited about the Independent School District Bill and its vision of local control and highly-engaged families. The more we push decision-making down to local educators and families, the more innovation and excellence we will see in Texas schools. I'm proud to lend my endorsement to this important piece of legislation.”
Rep. Isaac concluded, “Improving public education is a priority for all Texans, and this bill has support from superintendents, parents, teachers alike. I'm excited about the doors that meaningful reform like this will open for our children and am looking forward to making this concept a reality for school districts across the state."
Contact: Ellen Troxclair - (512) 463-0647 or (512) 850-5524