As Democrat lawmakers in the Texas House were working to give administrators of failing schools extra time before being shut down, conservatives were able to defeat those efforts and clean up glaring problems with the bill.
During their first daily calendar of the session, in which bills are finally being heard by the full body, the Texas House voted to approve House Bill 92 by Democrat State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez of Austin, a bill that aimed to give schools with repeated failing scores an extra two years before closure by the State by becoming “community schools.”
What exactly is a community school?
According to the Coalition for Community Schools, the goal is for schools to become “centers of the community and are open to everyone—all day, every day, evenings and weekends.”
No longer content with our public schools focusing on mundane tasks like teaching and learning, community schools become health clinics, soup kitchens, and recreation centers.
The organization’s own material compares the concept to an iPhone, saying, “Most people think of schools today as serving a single purpose: a binary, analog-system of delivery—teachers teach and students learn. Community schools are more akin to smartphones.”
In other words, education is antiquated—schools in the 21st century must become mega-outlets for social welfare.
But the bill won’t provide for them after conservatives forced two amendments onto the bill to gut the welfare provision and remove the so-called stay of execution that prevented TEA from taking control of the failing school.
Now all the bill does is allow school districts—by a steep voting threshold—to vote to adopt a campus improvement plan that the TEA Commissioner could deem sufficient to allowing local officials to continue to operate the school.
The legislation was approved on second reading via a voice vote; it will have a record vote on third reading on Wednesday.