Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

February 15, 2007

Why does it take a law….

Filed under: Texas State Board of Education — texased @ 6:50 am

80(R) SB 648 – Introduced version – Bill Text:

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to information for teachers posted on the Texas Education Agency’s Internet website. �������BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
�������SECTION�1.��Subchapter I, Chapter 21, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 21.416 to read as follows:
�������Sec.�21.416.��TEACHER INFORMATION POSTED ON AGENCY WEBSITE. The agency shall post on the agency’s Internet website information relevant to the teaching profession, including information regarding:
�������������(1)��educator certification, including alternative certification information;
�������������(2)��school district job vacancies, organized by subject, grade level, and geographic area;
�������������(3)��salary schedules for each school district, organized by position and years of experience;
�������������(4)��the teacher appraisal process;
�������������(5)��continuing education requirements and opportunities;
�������������(6)��the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, including information relating to:
�������������������(A)��retirement benefits;
�������������������(B)��health insurance for active employees; and
�������������������(C)��health insurance for retirees;
�������������(7)��lesson plan ideas organized by grade level and subject area;
�������������(8)��Texas universities and colleges that offer advanced education degrees and financial assistance programs;
�������������(9)��instructional resources available through the regional education service centers; and
�������������(10)��links to education related websites.
�������SECTION�2.��This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.

I assume this means that this information isn’t currently available on the TEA website. Does it also mean that TEA wouldn’t put it on it’s website without the legislature mandating it? Apparently it wasn’t possible for Senator Eliot Shapleigh to convince the Texas State Board of Education or TEA that this is a good idea. Why?

4 Comments »

  1. sounds like a reasonable bill to me – putting all this information in one place for teachers to access with ease. what’s so wrong with that?

    and why do you assume that the legislator couldn’t convince the sboe or tea to do so? do you think they’ll do it if he just calls them up on the phone?

    Comment by through your stereo — February 15, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

  2. I think it’s a good idea too. I’m just trying to figure out why it’s requiring a law to implement it. Did someone at TEA think it’s not a good idea? Or maybe they weren’t willing to divert funds from some other project to pay for it. A decent system for posting job openings information would be database driven and would require a significant amount of money to implement and maintain. However, the bill doesn’t mention anything about providing money for the program. Maybe TEA has a better use for the money. I don’t know.

    So we can either assume that TEA doesn’t want to implement it because of a funding issue or that TEA doesn’t want to implement it because they don’t think it’s a good idea. If it’s the latter, there’s a problem with the quality and professionalism of the people at TEA involved (if it’s generally accepted this is a good idea.) That’s a personnel issue, not a reason to legislate. If it’s a funding issue, the bill doesn’t do anything about it and again questions the professional judgement of the people at TEA (they think other priorities are more important.)

    Comment by texased — February 16, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  3. A lot of the information in the list is already available on the website. What is not available – there or anywhere else – is a one stop source for salary information and job openings. Since each school district is an independent employer, that information doesn’t currently have to be delivered to the state.

    I think it would be wonderful to have the information easily available in one spot, but remember that each district will have to have an employee assigned to collect the information, compile it in a form usable by TEA, and send it to the them. Then there will have to be a person assigned to update it as applicable. On the TEA side, there will have to be a person, and probably several people since there are nearly 1000 school district in the state who will all be sending information, to compile and post the info.

    This is one of those great ideas that needs to be thought through. Is the benefit worth the money it will cost to do it? Maybe, maybe not.

    Comment by Pam — February 25, 2007 @ 10:39 am

  4. I think Pam does a good job of bringing up the issues that point out that money is an issue here. It’s a good idea but… The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that Eliot Shapleigh is creating another unfunded mandate. It will be interesting to see what the bill’s fiscal analysis shows.

    Comment by texased — February 25, 2007 @ 11:02 am


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