The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released its latest “HB 3 in 30” video and presentation this week on the implementation of an extended school year option, passed into law as a part of House Bill 3, the new school finance law. The provision, which allows for half-day funding for districts that offer an additional 30 days of instruction for students in pre-K through 5th grade, may have been less prominent than other provisions in the bill, but it is seemingly a big ticket item for TEA.
In the video, TEA explains the need for reform to address the “summer slide” and teacher burnout that the agency attributes to the extensive instructional time teachers spend directly with students every day. Further, the agency asserts that disadvantaged students especially fall victim to the summer slide, creating the potential impact of an academic achievement gap of up to three years when compared to non-disadvantaged students. To combat this, TEA believes a well-implemented extended school year will help with integrated planning and preparation for teachers and closing achievement gaps for students. In the video, TEA outlines three different models that districts may use for the new extended year funding, with heightened focus on a full year re-design model. Additionally, the agency will award planning grants for some districts.
TEA has not yet released proposed rules on the subject, and TSTA will continue to monitor. For more details, the video can be found here.