House Bill 300 is different from education reform proposals that attempt to tweak (or add to) the 1100+ page Texas Education Code. Instead, HB 300 represents dramatic, postive change in education governance that aims to shift governance away from Austin and toward local school boards, principals, teachers and families.
HB 300 will create an opt-in, alternative education code - the Texas Families First Code.
HB 300 does not change any of the existing Texas Education Code. Districts and charters can stay under the current code if they so choose, while those that want more freedom can opt into TFF. TFF schools will be freed from the vast majority of state mandates, meaning they can design their own accountability goals, choose the best assessment to measure those goals, and decide how best to allocate their resources. In return, parents are empowered to hold TFF schools accountable through public school choice and a parent trigger.
School operators that opt into the alternative code will no longer be subject to the rule-making authority of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) with respect to state regulations. Instead, a separate division within TEA, the Texas Education Choice Division, will administer the alternative code. The basic framework of HB 300 is:
Accountability = Local Control + Family Empowerment
The new code will have the following key characteristics:
- School operators will be freed from burdensome state regulations and unfunded mandates.
- Families will be empowered to choose the best public school for their children.
- Families can elect new leadership of a school that’s not performing.
- Local school operators will determine the accountability standard and assessment used to measure it. The standard will be enforced by families through public school choice and the parent trigger.
- Families will be provided support through a state-funded system of licensed “education advisors” who will advise them on their education options.
- The state will serve as a clearinghouse of education data and statistical analysis on school performance, so that parents are well-informed as they enter the educational marketplace.
- Funding distribution will be determined by enrollment – not WADA - at the individual student level, and the money will follow the student.
HB 300 will give educators more flexibility and freedom, and families more power and control; HB 300 encourages innovation by giving schools, administrators, teachers and families more choice; HB 300 creates more options for families, freeing educational leaders to design responsive schools; and HB 300 supports families in the critical job of selecting the right education for their child. We hope you’ll join in supporting our efforts!