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June 1, 2009

HB 3, the school accountability bill, has passed both the House and the Senate, and is headed to Gov. Perry’s desk. The final bill does contain the following language (see below) relating to accountability for gifted education that was in the original House bill.  Thanks must go to Rep. Scott Hochberg of Houston, who has championed this inclusion of gifted education into the bill.

 Sec 39.  236.  GIFTED AND TALENTED STANDARDS.  The commissioner shall adopt standards to evaluate school district programs for gifted and talented students to determine whether a district operates a program for gifted and talented students in accordance with:

(1)   the Texas Performance Standards Project; or

(2)   another program approved by the commissioner that meets the requirements of the state plan for the education of gifted and talented students under Section 29.123.

Unfortunately, no incentive money is in the bill for districts to move into the direction of the Performance Standards or comparable curriculum, nor in the drafts of the school finance bill (HB 3646), which is still under last-minute consideration. That may become a goal for future legislative sessions.

The Governor has 10 days to sign the bill into law, let it become law without his signature, or veto it. Watch the website for more information!

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