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  S.B. No. 149
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to alternative methods for satisfying certain public high
  school graduation requirements, including the use of individual
  graduation committees.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 12.104, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-2) to read as follows:
         (b-2)  An open-enrollment charter school is subject to the
  requirement to establish an individual graduation committee under
  Section 28.0258.  This subsection expires September 1, 2017.
         SECTION 2.  Section 28.025, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (c-6) to read as follows:
         (c-6)  Notwithstanding Subsection (c), a person may receive
  a diploma if the person is eligible for a diploma under Section
  28.0258.  This subsection expires September 1, 2017.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter B, Chapter 28, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 28.0258 and 28.0259 to read as follows:
         Sec. 28.0258.  HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA AWARDED ON BASIS OF
  INDIVIDUAL GRADUATION COMMITTEE REVIEW. (a)  This section applies
  only to an 11th or 12th grade student who has failed to comply with
  the end-of-course assessment instrument performance requirements
  under Section 39.025 for not more than two courses.
         (b)  For each student to whom this section applies, the
  school district that the student attends shall establish an
  individual graduation committee at the end of or after the
  student's 11th grade year to determine whether the student may
  qualify to graduate as provided by this section. A student may not
  qualify to graduate under this section before the student's 12th
  grade year.  The committee shall be composed of:
               (1)  the principal or principal's designee;
               (2)  for each end-of-course assessment instrument on
  which the student failed to perform satisfactorily, the teacher of
  the course;
               (3)  the department chair or lead teacher supervising
  the teacher described by Subdivision (2); and
               (4)  as applicable:
                     (A)  the student's parent or person standing in
  parental relation to the student;
                     (B)  a designated advocate described by
  Subsection (c) if the person described by Paragraph (A) is unable to
  serve; or
                     (C)  the student, at the student's option, if the
  student is at least 18 years of age or is an emancipated minor.
         (c)  The commissioner by rule shall establish a procedure for
  appointing an alternative committee member if a person described by
  Subsection (b) is unable to serve, including appointing a
  designated advocate for the student if the student's parent or
  person standing in parental relation to the student is unable to
  serve.  The superintendent of each school district shall establish
  procedures for the convening of an individual graduation committee.
         (c-1)  Notwithstanding Subsection (c), for the 2014-2015
  school year, the school district that the student attends shall
  establish procedures for appointing alternative committee members
  as provided by Subsection (c). This subsection expires September
  1, 2015.
         (c-2)  A school district shall provide an appropriate
  translator, if available, for the appropriate person described
  under Subsection (b)(4) who is unable to speak English.
         (d)  The school district shall ensure a good faith effort is
  made to timely notify the appropriate person described under
  Subsection (b)(4) of the time and place for convening the
  individual graduation committee and the purpose of the committee.
  The notice must be:
               (1)  provided in person or by regular mail or e-mail;
               (2)  clear and easy to understand; and
               (3)  written in English, in Spanish, or, to the extent
  practicable, in the native language of the appropriate person
  described by Subsection (b)(4).
         (e)  To be eligible to graduate and receive a high school
  diploma under this section, a student must successfully complete
  the curriculum requirements required for high school graduation:
               (1)  identified by the State Board of Education under
  Section 28.025(a); or
               (2)  as otherwise provided by the transition plan
  adopted by the commissioner under Section 28.025(h).
         (f)  Notwithstanding any other law, a student's individual
  graduation committee established under this section shall
  recommend additional requirements by which the student may qualify
  to graduate, including:
               (1)  additional remediation; and
               (2)  for each end-of-course assessment instrument on
  which the student failed to perform satisfactorily:
                     (A)  the completion of a project related to the
  subject area of the course that demonstrates proficiency in the
  subject area; or
                     (B)  the preparation of a portfolio of work
  samples in the subject area of the course, including work samples
  from the course that demonstrate proficiency in the subject area.
         (g)  For purposes of Subsection (f), a student may submit to
  the individual graduation committee coursework previously
  completed to satisfy a recommended additional requirement.
         (h)  In determining whether a student for whom an individual
  graduation committee is established is qualified to graduate, the
  committee shall consider:
               (1)  the recommendation of the student's teacher in
  each course for which the student failed to perform satisfactorily
  on an end-of-course assessment instrument;
               (2)  the student's grade in each course for which the
  student failed to perform satisfactorily on an end-of-course
  assessment instrument;
               (3)  the student's score on each end-of-course
  assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform
  satisfactorily;
               (4)  the student's performance on any additional
  requirements recommended by the committee under Subsection (f);
               (5)  the number of hours of remediation that the
  student has attended, including:
                     (A)  attendance in a college preparatory course
  required under Section 39.025(b-2), if applicable; or
                     (B)  attendance in and successful completion of a
  transitional college course in reading or mathematics;
               (6)  the student's school attendance rate; 
               (7)  the student's satisfaction of any of the Texas
  Success Initiative (TSI) college readiness benchmarks prescribed
  by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board;
               (8)  the student's successful completion of a dual
  credit course in English, mathematics, science, or social studies;
               (9)  the student's successful completion of a high
  school pre-advanced placement, advanced placement, or
  international baccalaureate program course in English,
  mathematics, science, or social studies;
               (10)  the student's rating of advanced high on the most
  recent high school administration of the Texas English Language
  Proficiency Assessment System;
               (11)  the student's score of 50 or greater on a
  College-Level Examination Program examination;
               (12)  the student's score on the ACT, the SAT, or the
  Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test;
               (13)  the student's completion of a sequence of courses
  under a career and technical education program required to attain
  an industry-recognized credential or certificate;
               (14)  the student's overall preparedness for
  postsecondary success; and 
               (15)  any other academic information designated for
  consideration by the board of trustees of the school district.
         (i)  After considering the criteria under Subsection (h),
  the individual graduation committee may determine that the student
  is qualified to graduate. Notwithstanding any other law, a student
  for whom an individual graduation committee is established may
  graduate and receive a high school diploma on the basis of the
  committee's decision only if the student successfully completes all
  additional requirements recommended by the committee under
  Subsection (f), the student meets the requirements of Subsection
  (e), and the committee's vote is unanimous. The commissioner by
  rule shall establish a timeline for making a determination under
  this subsection. This subsection does not create a property
  interest in graduation. The decision of a committee is final and
  may not be appealed.
         (i-1)  Notwithstanding Subsection (i), for the 2014-2015
  school year, the school district that the student attends shall
  establish a timeline for making a determination under Subsection
  (i). This subsection expires September 1, 2015.
         (j)  Notwithstanding any action taken by an individual
  graduation committee under this section, a school district shall
  administer an end-of-course assessment instrument to any student
  who fails to perform satisfactorily on an end-of-course assessment
  instrument as provided by Section 39.025(b). For purposes of
  Section 39.053(c)(1), an assessment instrument administered as
  provided by this subsection is considered an assessment instrument
  required for graduation retaken by a student.
         (k)  The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section not later than the 2015-2016 school year.
         (l)  This section expires September 1, 2017.
         Sec. 28.0259.  REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS
  GRADUATING BASED ON INDIVIDUAL GRADUATION COMMITTEE REVIEW
  PROCESS. (a)  Each school district shall report through the Public
  Education Information Management System (PEIMS) the number of
  district students each school year for which an individual
  graduation committee is established under Section 28.0258 and the
  number of district students each school year who are awarded a
  diploma based on the decision of an individual graduation committee
  as provided by Section 28.0258.
         (b)  A school district shall report the information required
  by Subsection (a) not later than December 1 of the school year
  following the school year the student is awarded a diploma.
         (c)  The agency shall make the information reported under
  this section available on the agency's Internet website.
         (d)  The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section not later than the 2015-2016 school year.
         (e)  This section expires September 1, 2018.
         SECTION 4.  Section 39.025, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (a-2) and (a-3) to read as follows:
         (a-2)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a student who has
  failed to perform satisfactorily on end-of-course assessment
  instruments in the manner provided under this section may receive a
  high school diploma if the student has qualified for graduation
  under Section 28.0258.  This subsection expires September 1, 2017.
         (a-3)  A student who, after retaking an end-of-course
  assessment instrument for Algebra I or English II, has failed to
  perform satisfactorily as required by Subsection (a), but who
  receives a score of proficient on the Texas Success Initiative
  (TSI) diagnostic assessment for the corresponding subject for which
  the student failed to perform satisfactorily on the end-of-course
  assessment instrument satisfies the requirement concerning the
  Algebra I or English II end-of-course assessment, as applicable.  
  This subsection expires September 1, 2017.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 149 passed the Senate on
  March 17, 2015, by the following vote: Yeas 28, Nays 2; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on April 29, 2015, by the
  following vote: Yeas 29, Nays 2.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 149 passed the House, with
  amendments, on April 22, 2015, by the following vote: Yeas 125,
  Nays 9, two present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor