House Representative

Bell, Cecil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 09/26/2016

Rep. Bell Announces Public Education Agenda Ahead of School Finance Discussion

AUSTIN—State Representative Cecil Bell, Jr. (Magnolia) announced today that he intends to file several bills in the upcoming 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature that invest in career and technical education, support Texas businesses, and in some cases, reduce the cost of public education.

"In 2013, the Legislature made it clear with House Bill 5 that a one-size-fits-all approach to education does not fit the complex diversity and needs of Texas students. We must place more emphasis on preparing each individual child to be a productive citizen in our society," said Rep. Bell. "In order to seriously advance this initiative we need to create and invest in programs that offer our children the best opportunity to be career or college ready upon graduation."

His legislative agenda, framed by concerns within his district and from meetings with stakeholders, focuses on enabling school districts to offer more programs to prepare students for the workforce. Some of the goals of forthcoming legislation include:

• Granting a Texas business a tax credit against its franchise tax for providing a current junior or senior high school student enrolled in an advanced career and technical education career preparation course an internship with the company.

• Compensate districts that facilitate early graduation of students, having an additional benefit of reducing class sizes and resource needs.

• Combining Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Career and Technical Education and expanding eligibility requirements, benefitting students in 9th-12th grade.

"We owe it to our children to provide them with an education that prepares them with the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century economy," said Rep. Bell.