FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/12/2013
BELL'S EDUCATION BILL SIGNED BY GOVERNOR
Austin, TX - Yesterday, Governor Rick Perry signed several pieces of legislation designed to improve public education in the State of Texas. Among those was House Bill 842 by Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. (Magnolia), relating to the provision of certain opportunities to career and technical students by public school districts under the college credit program.
“This session, I emphasized the need to expand the opportunities for success available to all Texas students. The legislation I signed today strikes a balance between our need for rigorous academic standards and a student’s need for flexibility, and between accountability and an appropriate level of testing in the classroom,” Gov. Perry said. “We are improving workforce readiness and expanding and developing career and technical education courses to better guide students from the high school or college classroom into careers with the most job opportunities.”
Public schools are the primary means by which adolescents and young adults gain access to the knowledge base and skills that will prepare them for future employment and for higher education. However, a growing number of business and industry representatives have expressed concern that students are not given enough opportunity to develop occupational knowledge and job skills. The lack of this opportunity may leave Texas students underserved and compound the projected shortages of qualified applicants in certain occupations. In addition, some school districts in Texas have expressed concern regarding rigidity within Texas education laws that prohibits the districts from expanding opportunities for students to explore career and technical education programs that may lead to high-demand, high-skill, and high-wage occupations.
H.B. 842 gives students the opportunity to earn both high school and postsecondary credit for a course or activity, including an apprenticeship or training hours that satisfies a requirement necessary for the student to obtain an industry-recognized credential, certificate, or an associate degree.
"Legislation like H.B. 842 gives students across Texas unlimited opportunities out of high school, from community college, to trade school, to traditional 4-year college, or even directly into a career," said Rep. Bell. "Our school districts must be given the flexibility to provide accountable and rigorous options for our students, preparing them for whatever goal they set for themselves and choose to pursue. H.B. 842 does just that."