Senate passes dropout, seatbelt bills

The Senate on Wednesday gave final passage to Senate Bill 975 by Sen. Hinojosa, allowing junior colleges to partner with school districts to provide dropout recovery programs on the junior college campuses. A junior college district may receive for each student enrolled in such a program an amount equal to the total average per student funding the school district would have received for the students, excluding money from the Available School Fund. A student enrolled in a dropout recovery program would be included in determining the average daily attendance under Section 42.005 of the school district in which the student would otherwise attend school. A committee substitute was adopted that reduced the fiscal note.

The Senate also passed Senate Bill 1610 by Sen. Lucio, requiring school districts to put seatbelts on buses only to the extent that the legislature has appropriated money for the purpose of reimbursing school districts for the expense.