FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/26/2013
Representative Flynn comments on passage of House Bill 5
AUSTIN - This evening, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 5, which addressed education assessments, accountability, and testing. In a vote of 145-3, House Bill 5 passed to engrossment after nearly 9 hours of debate and over 165 amendments. HB 5 sought to allow more flexibility for school districts, allowing ISD's the ability to determine what percentage of the end-of-course exams factor into the student’s grade. Each school district would no longer be required to have an end-of-course exam account for 15% of the student’s grade in the course. HB 5 streamlines the requirement for the number of end-of-course assessments from 15 to 5.
The legislation specifies a grade letter rating system, where the Texas Education Agency (TEA) rates the districts based on letter grades—A, B, C, and F -- a proposal Representative Flynn and school districts in House District 2 have been opposed to. The legislation also includes future financial solvency in determining a school districts financial viability.
Representative Dan Flynn (Van) proposed 5 amendments for House Bill 5, but ended up pulling them down per an agreement from Chairman Aycock in order to have each heard as a separate bill in the Public Education Committee. HB 44, HB2076 & HB2182 were all drafted as an amendment for HB5, but will be submitted as independent pieces of legislation Wednesday morning.
"I think today was a great preview for how the rest of session will pan out," Flynn said after the House adjourned for the evening. "A lot of dialogue and debate was had on issues that were obviously important to the constituents of each members district. The variety shows just how diverse the state of Texas is. It further demonstrates to me that the more local control school districts have with their assessment and curriculum structure, the better off House District 2 will be moving forward."
Wednesday, the House will reconvene at 10am to take up House Bill 4, the legislation that would establish the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT). The SWIFT fund would be a revolving fund used to finance projects identified in the State Water Plan, a plan used to maintain sufficient water resources during times of drought through 2060.