Board Adopts 87th Legislative Session Priorities

BISD Board Adopts Legislative Priorities for 87th Legislative Session
Posted on 12/15/2020
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BISD strives to be a helpful resource for elected officials as they consider changes that impact public education. During their December 14, 2020 meeting, the Brazosport ISD Board of Trustees approved the following list of priorities for the Texas Legislature’s consideration. 

Local Control & District Governance

  • Brazosport ISD supports the right of school districts to interact with legislators in the ways deemed most effective by local communities. 

  • Brazosport ISD supports the expansion of options available to school districts designated as Districts of Innovation.

  • Brazosport ISD opposes any requirement for a super-majority or voter turnout to pass new school bonds.

  • Brazosport ISD opposes the required language of bond referendums on the ballot which inaccurately represent the tax implications of potential bond projects.

Education Funding

  • Brazosport ISD supports the continuation of the Texas Tax Code Chapter 313 as currently allowed by state statute and extending the current expiration date of the program.

  • Brazosport ISD supports protective measures to ensure the continuation of HB 3.

  • Brazosport ISD supports the consideration of alternative sources of funding to maintain the historic gains in HB 3 to public education.

  • Brazosport ISD supports an adequate and equitable school finance system that raises per pupil funding to the national average.

  • Brazosport ISD opposes any measure that erodes local discretionary money.

Assessment & Accountability

  • Brazosport ISD opposes the A-F accountability rating system, and believes that it should be waived throughout the current pandemic.

  • Brazosport ISD supports the creation of an accountability system that appropriately measures all components of an effective education. 

  • Brazosport ISD opposes the facilitation of the STAAR exam for the 2020-2021 school year. 

  • Brazosport ISD supports the creation of fair and equitable assessments to measure the growth of all students, and limits the number of assessments to only those required to meet ESSA (federal) requirements.

Privatization of Education

  • Brazosport ISD opposes any form of taxpayer subsidies to private and charter schools. 

    • Vouchers

      • Brazosport ISD opposes any state plan that would use vouchers, tax credits, taxpayer savings grants, tuition reimbursements,or other means to divert public tax dollars to private entities, homeschooled students, or parents with no academic or financial accountability or transparency to the state, tax payers, or local communities.

    • Charter Schools

      • Brazosport ISD opposes the further expansion of charter schools, including increases in the number of campuses under existing charters, unless they are subject to the same accountability and transparency rules as traditional public schools including, but not limited to: public notices, school discipline, transportation, bilingual programs, policy notices, employment contracts, special education requirements, lunch programs, and enrollment criteria. 

School Safety

  • Brazosport ISD supports additional and ongoing state funding for school safety initiatives and for flexibility in how districts utilize these funds to meet the needs of local schools and communities.

Teacher Retirement System

  • Brazosport ISD supports the continuation of the current defined benefit pension program for TRS members.

  • Brazosport ISD supports increased state funding to assist with increased healthcare costs associated with TRSActiveCare and TRS-Care. BISD supports alternatives to TRS-ActiveCare that would provide additional options to districts while sustaining the current system for those districts that remain in the system.

Virtual Learning

  • Brazosport supports policies that would allow school districts to count as present students participating in virtual learning programs for the purposes of Average Daily Attendance (ADA), including locally-developed online courses.

  • Brazosport ISD supports a revision to the process by which online courses are approved by the Texas Education Agency to streamline approval and provide districts greater flexibility in creating online learning options for students.

  • Brazosport ISD supports additional funding for districts to create specific professional development courses related to teaching in an online environment.

Special Education

  • Brazosport ISD supports revisions to the Special Education funding formula to focus on student needs rather than the amount of time spent in a particular classroom setting by funding programs based on services provided in order to ensure provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

These adopted legislative priorities will serve as a guide to help facilitate conversations with lawmakers and raise greater public awareness about issues that affect our stakeholders. The 87th legislative session is scheduled to convene on January 12, 2021.

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