2007 Legislative Priorities
A group of Collin County leaders traveled to Austin February 19 and 20, 2007, to
discuss legislative issues with state elected officials,
as part of the biennial program “Collin
County Day in Austin.” An
estimated 250 local education leaders, elected officials,
chamber representatives, business owners and residents
attended the event.
Following were Plano ISD's priorities for legislators:
- Vouchers – School districts oppose private
school vouchers because they drain funding from public
schools and deplete funds for programs
- School Funding – Due to no adjustment
in the Cost of Education Index with recent legislation, Collin
will have difficulty remaining competitive with
teacher pay increases, utilities and other
inflationary costs. Maintaining a stable tax rate
and preserving the ability to access sufficient
funding is crucial to the long-range planning
process and vision for public schools.
Tax Rate – School districts support the elimination
of the requirements for voter approval of enrichment
- End of Course Tests – At the high school
level, replace TAKS testing with new end-of-course tests that provide
more comprehensive measures of student learning
as well as application skills. End of
course exams should be limited to core courses
in selected grade levels.
- 4x4 Curriculum – This new state requirement
creates a burden on school districts to transition
chemistry and physics into courses
that ALL students take and experience success.
The curriculum also creates an over-supply of IPC
teachers and the requirement for teachers
to obtain higher-levels of certification. With
three of the four math and science courses well
defined, it is imperative that school districts
maintain flexibility with the fourth course in
order to meet students’ needs
- Online Course Funding – Provide funding to local
school districts on a per student basis for successful completion
of online courses taken outside of the regularly
day. This will be a
crucial option for students looking to complete
the required 26 credits for the recommended graduation
plan while continuing to participate
in fine arts, career education and athletic programs.
Provide a similar model of reimbursement to districts
that provide courses during the
school day to students from other Texas districts.
Posted January 9, 2007
Anticipating the upcoming Legislative Session in Austin, Superintendent
of Schools Dr. Doug Otto reviewed with district
leaders, school principals and the Faculty Council
this month the impact of House Bill 1 from the recent
state legislative special session and briefed the groups
on the following anticipated topics for the upcoming
session to be held January 9 through May 28, 2007:
to economize the retirement system,
- TAKS changes,
- vouchers, and
- funds for facility needs.
Dr. Otto stated that he anticipates that more legal
action will be necessary prior to the 2009
Legislative Session, since HB 1 is not a long-term
solution, and he doubts that changes will occur during
the upcoming session. He also
mentioned the governor’s request of the Teacher Retirement System
(TRS) for $600 million from its pension fund for venture capital investments.
that the district cannot take a stance on this issue since the
pension fund belongs to individual members, not school districts. However,
members can express their opinion to the TRS Board regarding this
legislative updates from Dr. Otto will be posted on this site.