Gov. Rick Perry on Monday signed into law the major education reform plan enacted by the Legislature during its regular session and then gave lawmakers a second piece of unfinished business — road construction funding — to consider during the ongoing special session.
Perry called lawmakers back to the Capitol on May 27 for a 30-day special session to approve redistricting legislation in preparation for next fall’s elections, and he had hinted that he might add other issues to his call.
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House Bill 5 highlights:
• Reduces from 15 to five the number of end-of-course exams needed to graduate from high school.
• Eliminates requirement that end-of-course test scores count for 15 percent of a student’s overall grade.
• Replaces 4x4 graduation plan — four years each of math, science, social studies and English — with more flexible options that allow students more discretion. Students will select an ‘endorsement,’ such as Business and Industry, as a specialty on top of the foundational courses.
• Establishes new accountability rankings for schools based on academic performance, financial performance, and community and student engagement. Schools and districts would be rated using letter grades of A, B, C and F.