Since early May, House Bill 3 has been in Conference Committee, made up of Senate and House delegates, working to negotiate differences in their versions of HB 3. Last night, the committee released the final version of the 300+ page bill.
Although we are disappointed that designated funding for G/T services has been repealed, we are so proud of TAGT and our members' advocacy efforts. Through your constant emails, Twitter advocacy, and hours sitting together at the Capitol, the changes that we were able to make in the final bill highlight the importance of serving our unique G/T students. In the new law, districts are required to continue G/T services and G/T requirements and certifications have been strengthened, in addition to the significant additional investment from the state to our schools. As we delve further into the final language, we will continue to keep our members updated on what these changes mean for you and your districts.
Our team is still reviewing the details, but here is what we know:
- The G/T Allotment has been repealed.
- The updated language and amendments added in the House version are included in the final bill:
- Each school district shall adopt a policy regarding the use of funds to support the district's program for gifted and talented students.
- Each school district shall annually certify to the commissioner that the district has established a program for gifted and talented students and that the program is consistent with the state plan developed under Section 29.123.
- If the commissioner determines that a school district has failed to comply with the certification and state plan, the commissioner can reduce total funding by the .12 x 5% of ADA. The commissioner may restore to a school district all or part of the funding withheld from the district's entitlement if during the school year the district complies with requirements.
- At the same time that a school district makes the certification required, the district shall report to the commissioner regarding the use of funds on the district's program for gifted and talented students as provided by State Board of Education rule.
- Nothing in this section may be construed as limiting the number of students that a school district may identify as gifted and talented or serve under the district 's program for gifted and talented students.
- The Basic Allotment significantly increases from $4,765 to $6,160, combined with additional relief to reduce recapture payments by districts by 47%, or $3.6 billion.
- HB3 creates a dyslexia, or related disorder, allotment.
- HB3 creates a Blended Learning Grant Program, providing funding for instructional delivery that combines classroom and online instruction, as well as providing opportunities that give students, in collaboration with the teacher, control over the time, place, path, and place of the students' learning.
- This law is expected to go into effect on September 1, 2019.
TAGT is committed to continuing our advocacy efforts at the state and agency levels, providing professional learning around serving G/T students and working within law and statute, and ultimately empowering you to continue meeting the unique needs of our gifted students.