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Q2 2023 SBOE Texas Newsletter

Published in Volunteer Resources on September 20, 2023 by Teresa Bussell

If you have never heard of the State Board of Education (SBOE) in Texas, this board consists of elected members from single-member districts in Texas, there are 15 members. You can locate your SBOE member here. This board sets policies and standards for Texas public schools. 

I had the opportunity to attend the SBOE meeting in Austin on 6/23/2023. This was my first time attending in-person.  My goal was to focus on how the meetings work, and hopefully meet a few members.  I did meet my SBOE Rep., Pam Little (District 12). I also shook hands with Mr. Ellis (District 9), as well as introduced myself to Mrs. Pickren (District 7), Mr. Francis (District 2), and Mr. Kinsey (District 15). You can look at the map of the districts here.

The board met in smaller committees on instruction, finance, and school initiatives. I did not make it to these meetings in-person, but I am reviewing the recordings. You can watch the recordings of these meetings through the links provided on the SBOE webpage.

The full board met in a work session with Mike Morath, the TEA commissioner, to discuss HB 1605 and the new responsibilities of the SBOE. I recommend you read HB 1605, but I will tell you the presentation in the workshop is very in-depth.  I have studied much of this already as an educator, but the workshop really helped to connect how the legislation will guide the SBOE in determining how they will implement the new requirements.  

In short, it will be very important to follow these guidelines being created by SBOE for school districts to follow, which were addressed by the 88th legislative session. The video of this work session sets the expectation of much work ahead to assure quality instructional materials, the approval process, and funding to school districts.  Also, I took some time to review some of the committee meetings which took place before the general meeting.  I recommend you take a look at the SBOE Committee on School Initiatives-April 2023 meeting if you are interested in some of the discussions on inappropriate books in schools and accountability to those in violation. 

The general meeting agenda considered TEKS approvals, discussion on the GED contract (which I was surprised to learn was determined by SBOE), charter school applicants, and innovative courses. I assume upcoming meeting agendas will be addressing requirements due to HB 1605.

I also suspect there will be a need for some special meetings to consider how to address the new additions to SBOE expectations for school districts.

This is going to be a busy year for education.  I would say if you are interested in learning more, read this legislation and follow the SBOE meetings. They are sometimes very long, but pay attention to the specific guidelines SBOE sets to follow HB 1605 in the coming months.  I am already making my list of questions.  If you would like to collaborate, please send me an email.

I was impressed with the willingness of the SBOE board members to stop and shake my hand and share a few words. I plan to attend the next general meeting in August. If a special meeting comes up, I will try to attend as well.

If anyone plans to go let me know.  You can find the meeting dates and agendas here. The meetings are accessible online (livestream) and in-person.  Also, I did see in past meetings, there were a few speakers(not sure if testimony or comment) online.  This may be something to consider if you cannot attend meetings in person.

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