House Bill 4545 Frequently Asked Questions (To view the complete TEA FAQs click HERE)
What is the implementation timeline for HB 4545?
HB 4545 is effective immediately starting June 16, 2021, and it applies to accelerated instruction required for or delivered during the 2021-2022 school year. LEAs should evaluate spring 2021 STAAR scores to identify students requiring accelerated instruction in the 2021-2022 school year. LEAs must, as soon as practicable (i.e., over the summer), adopt policies for contesting the content or implementation of educational plans developed by accelerated learning committees.
For school year 2021-2022:
Accelerated instruction: For any student who did not pass STAAR grades 3-8 or EOC assessments, accelerated instruction must be delivered in the 2021-2022 school year (starting in fall 2021) or subsequent summer 2022. Accelerated instruction entails either 1) assigning a classroom teacher who is a certified master, exemplary, or recognized teacher, or 2) delivering supplemental instruction (i.e., tutoring) before or after school, or embedded in the school day and meeting HB 4545 requirements.
Accelerated instruction delivered in summer 2021 will only satisfy the HB 4545 requirements if the criteria for accelerated instruction were met (see answer to Question 4 below).
Accelerated Learning Committees (ALC): LEAs are required to establish accelerated learning committees (ALCs) for students who did not pass a STAAR test in grade 3, 5, or 8 math or reading beginning at the start of the 2021-2022 school year, in August. However, LEAs may find it beneficial to start establishing these committees and developing individual student plans in summer 2021 for two reasons:
• Completing this work in the summer will position LEAs to start implementing plans at the start of the school year.
• Under HB 4545, parents have the right to request a different teacher. Establishing the ALC in the summer would provide a window of opportunity to address in advance parent requests for different teachers and manage staffing and scheduling accordingly.
For school year 2022-2023 and beyond:
Accelerated instruction: The above guidance for accelerated instruction continues to apply in subsequent school years.
Accelerated Learning Committees: Starting summer 2022, LEAs must establish ALCs and develop individual student plans during the summer and prior to the start of the school year, based on the latest STAAR results.
How should we categorize students who did not take the STAAR test in the spring? Should they automatically be categorized as a student requiring accelerated instruction?
Prior law required LEAs to provide accelerated instruction to any student who does not perform satisfactorily (i.e., achieves “Approaches Grade Level” or above) on a STAAR assessment. These requirements are included in the following sections of the Texas Education Code (TEC): §§28.0211, 28.0213, 28.0217, 29.081, and 39.025. This part of the law was not changed. 19 TAC §101.2005(c) indicates that students who are absent or otherwise do not have valid assessments did not perform satisfactorily and, as a result, are required to receive accelerated instruction. However, Commissioner and Gubernatorial waivers offered during the 2020-21 school year altered the assessment requirement framework for that year. As a result, school systems may decide to administer an assessment designed to show grade level proficiency on the TEKS (e.g., the state provided Beginning-of-Year Assessments) for students who did not participate in state assessments during the 2021-22 school year. School systems must determine the TEKS-aligned assessment that they will use and will review and determine locally if the assessment shows the student achieved satisfactory performance and if accelerated instruction during the 2021-22 school year is required. Note: parents who think their students would still benefit from accelerated instruction should have the option to appeal this decision if they disagree with the school system’s determination.