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SBOE Approves Revised Health Education Standards

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SBOE Also Approved Projected Record Distribution From Texas Permanent School Fund To Available School Fund

AUSTIN, Texas – Following more than 27 hours of public testimony heard over the course of three meetings, the State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval to revised Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for health education. This is the first time that the health education standards have been revised since they were first adopted in 1998.

In September 2017—in preparation for the revision of the health education TEKS—the SBOE requested that the Texas Education Commissioner prepare a study of current health education research and state standards, including national best practices, that would be used as a guide to begin the SBOE’s process to review and revise the health education TEKS. In 2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) convened a group of experts to develop recommendations to address the SBOE’s charge related to the health education TEKS.

Based on the response, the Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath provided recommendations to the SBOE at its June 2019 meeting. The joint recommendations from the study and Commissioner served as the starting point for the review and revision of the standards. From September 2019 through August 2020 SBOE-appointed work groups developed recommendations for revisions and SBOE-identified content advisors provided feedback on various drafts developed by the work groups throughout the process.

“The first step to a child being able to learn is that he or she is healthy. The revised Health TEKS will provide needed knowledge for our students to make good health decisions now, and in the future, as they become adults,” remarked State Board of Education Chair Dr. Keven Ellis.

In addition to adopting the health education TEKS, the board gave final approval to revised TEKS for four high school science courses: biology, chemistry, physics, and integrated physics and chemistry (IPC). The SBOE’s content advisors for science and initial Work Group A recommended that in order to ensure vertical alignment and to support students’ success in high school science, the process should begin with high school, followed by revision of the middle school standards, and then finally revision of the elementary standards.

The SBOE approved what is projected to be a record distribution from the Texas Permanent School Fund (PSF) to the Available School Fund for fiscal years 2022 and 2023. Based on preliminary figures and projections, the annual distribution will be about $1.72 billion, or $3.44 billion for the biennium, which would be about $900 million greater than any previous biennial distribution by the SBOE.

The projected amount would result in increased distributions from the PSF for the fifth consecutive biennial period—that includes distributions made by the SBOE and total distributions from the PSF, a portion of which is managed by the School Land Board.

The SBOE also gave final approval to the Framework for School Board Development, the current requirements for team building training for local boards of trustees, and qualifications for trainers that provide the teambuilding training. The SBOE chair, Dr. Keven Ellis, appointed an ad hoc committee of SBOE members to work with key stakeholders to study the Framework for School Board Development and make recommendations to the board for updates. Prior to approving the framework, the board received significant input from stakeholders through public testimony at two different meetings.

Author: Faith Huffman

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