RECAP: Texas House Republicans Are Prioritizing Students and Educators
Our Texas classrooms should be a place of innocence for children and a hospitable work environment for our educators. Texas House Republicans have led on all things education by protecting parental rights, addressing teacher retention and recruitment, and financially supporting our retired teachers.
Texas House Republicans believe that sexually explicit materials have no place in public education. The READER (Removing Explicit and Adult Designated Educational Resources) Act, also known as House Bill 900, introduced by Rep. Jared Patterson, ensures sexually inappropriate books stay out of public school libraries and the hands of young students.
HB 900 will establish school library collection standards and a book rating system through the Texas State Board of Education, and provides the Texas Education Association with the authority to ban book vendors who fail to provide ratings for books sold to public schools. Additionally, the bill requires parental consent for student access to resources containing inappropriate content.
Texas continues investing in the workforce of tomorrow this session through House Bill 8, introduced by Rep. Gary VanDeaver. This bill establishes a new funding model for community colleges in the state — one that is focused on recognizing and rewarding the performance of such institutions and the important role they play with associate degrees, non-credit workforce education programs and other credentials that will be required for more than 60% of jobs expected over the next decade.
Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Rep. Greg Bonnen, supports retired teachers through a one-time cost of living adjustment, ranging between 2 and 6%, along with a $5,000 cash payment for retirees 70 and over. Supporting our teachers both during and after their careers remains a priority, and in the end, voters will decide the fate of this legislation on the ballot in November.
House Bill 100 by Rep. Ken King is a substantial and necessary increase to education funding for Texas teachers and schools. By increasing the basic allotment, school districts will be able to significantly increase teacher salaries. HB 100 will also transform school program funding to be enrollment-based instead of based on average daily attendance. This increase in funding will provide new opportunities for students across the state from advanced courses to fine arts.
Finally, the Texas House passed House Bill 11, prioritizing Texas teachers by allocating over $500 million for recruitment and retention strategies, including a pay increase for certain educators and providing eligibility to access free public school pre-K.
Texas students will be our next generation of leaders, and our educators help them grow each day. House Republicans showed their commitment this session to both our children and teachers at each step of the educational journey.
For details on more Texas House Republican Caucus victories from the 88th Legislative Session, check out our other recent blog posts.