House Committee to meet next week
The House Committee on Public Education will conduct a hearing on Monday, October 28, beginning at 11:00 a.m. The committee will hear invited testimony from the Commissioner of Education, and possibly a few others, on the Texas Education Agency's implementation of HB 3 (from the most recent legislative session), as well as HB 22 (relating to accountability from the 85th Legislative Session in 2017). Click here to watch live on Monday.
Texas House to have new Speaker in 2021
Earlier this week, Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced that he would not seek re-election for his seat in the Texas House. What that means is that it is certain that come January 2021, the members of the Texas House will be electing a new Speaker to lead that body.

When then-Speaker Joe Straus announced that he would not seek re-election to his House seat in October 2017, and would therefore not be serving as Speaker in 2019, it set off a year of speculation about who would assume that role in January 2019. As it turned out, then-Chairman Dennis Bonnen emerged as that leader.

Now we begin another year of speculation and uncertainty. Keep in mind that all 150 members of the Texas House must be elected in November of 2020, so matters won't become more certain until after that election.
What's new on TEA's HB 3 Website
Make sure that you are regularly checking TEA's  HB 3 website , which contains all the information TEA has available regarding House Bill 3. The information on Tax Rate Changes, which was previously scheduled to be released yesterday, has been delayed. The date for that information simply says that it is "coming soon," and the next segment in the HB 3 in 30 series, which was expected October 31, on the topic of teacher mentoring has been moved to "coming soon" status as well.

Extended School Year
Last week, TEA posted information regarding the Additional Days School Year incentive, which provides half day formula funding for school districts that want to add up to 30 instructional days to any of their elementary schools (grades PK-5). Starting with the 2020-21 school year, districts are eligible only after they reach 180 instructional days and meet the minimum 75,600 minutes requirement (not including waivers). 

The agency suggested three possible pathways forward to implement additional days. For those wanting to pursue an additional days calendar and plan, TEA will make planning grants of up to $125,000 available in spring/summer 2020.

Spotlight: Galveston ISD

In an attempt to help our members districts get to know each other better, we will be regularly profiling different districts in our updates. It's an opportunity for you to learn something you may have in common or to learn something new and unique about your peer districts. Coalition President Dr. Kelli Moulton of Galveston ISD agreed to go first, but your district could be next!
School District: Galveston ISD
Superintendent: Dr. Kelli Moulton
Region: 4

Location: Galveston Island is 209 square miles, 38 miles south of Houston. The Island is connected by the Causeway to the North, San Luis Pass on the West, and the Bolivar Ferry to the East.

Student Enrollment: 7,060 students in a single high school pattern.

School Campus Configuration: One comprehensive HS, one non-traditional 6-12 campus, One PK-8 campus on Bolivar, Three Middle schools (5-8), Five Elementary schools (PK-4) and one In-District Charter Infant-Toddler-PK3.

What are your district's points of pride?
  • Galveston is a District of Choice where most campuses are members of the Magnet Schools of America and exhibit a campus-wide theme for learning;
  • We have developed our own Community Based Accountability Report Card;
  • Medical and Mental health clinics on all secondary campuses with free services for students;
  • Four Radio and a Television station run by students;
  • Incubator lab (think Shark Tank style funding for HS student team projects);
  • BioMed training including Synthetic Cadaver and Cell Culture labs culminating in a full year research collaboration with UTMB physicians

What makes your school district/community unique?
  • Ball HS first authorized HS in Texas (although 2nd named HS in TX);
  • First African-American HS in Texas (Central HS);
  • Galveston was the location of General Order #3 in 1865 proclaiming all slaves are free

What challenges does your district face?
  • Slow growth;
  • Aging facilities;
  • Teacher workforce (fewer graduates choosing teaching)

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