State Board of Education to consider numerous long-range recommendations Tuesday

The proposed Long-Range Plan for Public Education, which calls for establishing educational goals that will impact the next generation of Texas public schoolchildren and educators, will be considered Tuesday by the State Board of Education’s Committee of the Full Board.

Four years in the making, this plan creates recommendations through the year 2030 in four broad categories.

The goals of access and equity serve as the overarching vision of the proposed plan. Access and equity refers to funding, as well as access to advanced courses and modern technology.

Identified as key topics under access and equity are:

  • Student Engagement and Empowerment
  • Family Engagement and Empowerment
  • Educator Preparation, Recruitment, and Retention

“The Long-Range Plan for Public Education is intentionally student focused. It presents a series of visions and recommendations that come from Texans, specifically tailored for Texas,” said board member Barbara Cargill, who served as chair of the Long-Range Plan for Public Education Steering Committee.

The plan was crafted with the help of an 18-member steering committee, which included State Board members, local school board members, administrators, teachers, parents, business representatives, students, professors, and representatives of the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The steering committee, along with SBOE members, hosted 10 in-person community meetings and two virtual meetings around the state during the 2017-2018 school year. About 680 Texans provided input during the meetings. A survey, with 11,400 respondents, also helped shaped the plan’s goals.

“Based on this input, the plan represents the voice of the people expressing their aspirations and expectations for our Texas public education system,” said Lanet Greenhaw, the steering committee’s vice chair and the vice president of education and workforce at the Dallas Regional Chamber.

SBOE Chair Donna Bahorich said the board and steering committee found that “Texans want a system of public education that is equitable, accessible, and staffed by skilled educators and that offers opportunities for students that will carry them through school and into college, careers, and the military.”

A preliminary vote on the plan is scheduled during the board’s Committee of the Full Board meeting Tuesday. The meeting will occur in room 1-104 of the William B. Travis Building at 1701 N. Congress Ave. in Austin. A final vote by the board is expected during Friday’s general board meeting.

Following are a sampling of recommendations suggested in the proposed plan:

  • State policymakers, locally elected boards, and appointed governing boards will regularly identify inequities, update policies, and distribute funding and resources aligned with improving student outcomes in all schools and with all demographic groups.
  • The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will create a division of family engagement and empowerment that is a resource for families. Through this division, TEA will: create a family support call center and online portal to assist families in navigating the public school system and create an advisory council on family engagement and empowerment.
  • Education service centers and higher education institutions will provide just-in-time guidance, training, mentoring, and support for educators and support for new, early career, and veteran teachers.
  • The Legislature and school districts will establish and sustain competitive salaries and career paths for educators through innovative compensation plans, induction programs, professional development, mentoring, and administration.
  • The Legislature will expand early learning opportunities to allow families access to state-funded, full-day prekindergarten for financially eligible three- and four-year-olds. By 2030, the Legislature will work toward universally available prekindergarten for all three- and four-year-olds.
  • TEA and the Legislature will financially incentivize an integrated and data-driven academic and nonacademic multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) on every campus to identify and connect all students with appropriate support services, including supports for behavioral health, mental health, and social and emotional learning. The system should also monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the supports.
  • TEA and school districts will utilize the State Board’s 2018-2023 Long-Range Plan for Technology to guide the planning and implementation of local district policy.

    The full Long-Range Plan for Public Education is available at https://tea.texas.gov/SBOE/long-range_plan/ . Those wanting to testify about the plan may do so through 5 p.m. today at https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Leadership/State_Board_of_Education/SBOE_Meetings/Public_Testimony_Registration_Instructions_and_Procedures/.

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