/ATPE/media/Blog/21_web_Blog_Logo.png?ext=.png /ATPE/media/Blog/21_web_Blog_Logo.png?ext=.png

Statement on Passage of House Bill (HB) 11

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 4/26/2023

On Wednesday, the Texas House passed on second reading House Bill (HB) 11 by Rep. Harold Dutton (D–Houston), a far-reaching bill with implications for public educator certification and recruitment and retention. ATPE thanks Rep. Cody Harris (R–Palestine) for offering an adopted amendment that codifies the veto authority of the elected State Board of Education (SBOE) over decisions made by the appointed State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). 

“Protecting public oversight of educator certification is critically important to educators,” ATPE Executive Director Shannon Holmes said. “Educator certification should be a nonpartisan issue, above the fray of politics, and public oversight provides a necessary check and balance.” 

HB 11 also codifies contract-related rules adopted by SBEC in 2022—rules for which ATPE advocated strongly and on which ATPE provided much input. These rules protect educators from being sanctioned when they must leave a position due to a serious illness or health condition (their own or a close family member’s), when a spouse or partner has a job-related relocation, or when the educator reasonably believes the district has provided written permission to resign. 

“Educators are employed under contract to provide stability for students,” Holmes said. “But sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, and those circumstances should not hinder an educator’s future employment prospects, especially at a time when districts are struggling to recruit and retain educators.” 

Other bill provisions include additional funding for mentorship and teacher residency programs; adding teachers’ children to the categories of children who must be provided with free prekindergarten; and conducting a teacher time study. The bill also makes changes to the Teacher Incentive Allotment system. 

“While there is much work that remains to improve educator recruitment and retention—and we believe the Legislature has the resources at its disposal to provide a significant across-the-board pay raise—HB 11 contains provisions that will improve our ability to prepare and support teachers at many stages of their careers,” Holmes said. “We will continue working on this bill as it makes its way through the Senate.” 

About the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)
Founded in 1980, ATPE is the leading educators’ association in Texas with approximately 90,000 members statewide. With its strong collaborative philosophy, ATPE speaks for classroom teachers, administrators, and future, retired, and para-educators and works to create better opportunities for Texas’ five million public school students. | atpe.org