State Board of Education November 2016 Update

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SBOE honors departing members

Departing Members

The State Board of Education in November bid farewell to two board members who chose not to seek re-election. Those members are Martha M. Dominguez, D-El Paso, who was first elected to the board in 2012, and Thomas Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, who was first elected to the board in 2010. The board passed resolutions in honor of Dominguez and Ratliff and introduced their successors, Georgina Perez, D-El Paso, and Keven Ellis, R-Lufkin.

SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich, center, thanks members Thomas Ratliff and Martha Dominguez for their service.

Board sets legislative priorities

The board approved eight recommendations for consideration by the 85th Texas Legislature, which convenes Jan. 10. The recommendations include requesting expansion of the board’s authority to review and approve instructional materials beyond confirming that a product covers at least 50 percent of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, is free of factual errors, and meets applicable physical specifications.


Textbook adoption attracts national attention

Textbook adoptions always bring the board national attention each November and this year was no different. There were 500 instructional material products eligible for adoption. They were submitted for use in courses covering career and technical education (CTE), languages other than English, Algebraic Reasoning and Special Topics in Social Studies. However, all the public attention focused on one heavily criticized book, Mexican American Heritage, which a unanimous board did not adopt for use in Texas classrooms.  The board also did not adopt seven CTE submissions. The 492 products that did win the board’s approval will be available for use in Texas classrooms beginning in Fall 2017. The list of approved products is now posted on the instructional materials website.

Because this action meant there were no state-adopted materials for use in the Special Topics in Social Studies course, the board voted to issue Proclamation 2018, which is a call for submissions for materials for this course. Members noted that they were specifically seeking material for courses such as Mexican-American studies, African-American studies, Asian-American studies and Native American studies.

Board considers expanding bonding capacity for charters

charter anniversary logo

Board members gave preliminary approval to proposed amendments to increase the multiplier used in calculating the capacity of the Permanent School Fund.

If given final approval at the board’s Feb. 3 meeting, this action will provide an estimated $249 million more in bonding capacity for charter schools as of March 2017 and a projected $317 million in additional capacity as of Sept. 1, 2017.

About $1 billion in charter school bonds have already received backing through the state’s Bond Guarantee Program.

Prudent investments yield benefits

The State Board of Education voted to provide $2.46 billion from the Permanent School Fund (PSF) to Texas public schools over the next two years. That represents an estimated increase of $354 million over the funding level for this biennium.

Every two years shortly before the Texas Legislature convenes, the board must set a distribution rate to the Available School Fund from the Permanent School Fund, which is the country’s largest educational endowment.

In the current 2016-2017 biennium, the distribution rate is 3.5 percent of the market value of the PSF. The board agreed to increase the rate to 3.7 percent in the 2018-2019 biennium, which generates extra funds for the schools.

TEKS revisions under way

Did you know the board and review panels are working on major revisions to Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for English and Spanish language arts and reading and are streamlining the science TEKS? Regular updates about this work are posted on the TEKS subject area review webpage.

Major changes to certification and ed prep win backing of SBEC and SBOE

The State Board for Educator Certification this fall approved major changes to rules governing certification, educator preparation programs, disciplinary procedures and educator preparation accountability programs. You can find the full rule packets, which have now been endorsed by the State Board of Education, on the TEA website.

November board actions summarized

The summary of actions taken by the board on Nov. 18 are available at

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Award-winning history presentations recognized

The board recognized all the Texas winners of the National History Day contest.

2016 history day winners