H.B. No. 3261
  relating to the electronic administration of certain required
  assessment instruments, measures to support Internet connectivity
  for purposes of those assessment instruments, the adoption and
  administration of certain optional interim assessment instruments,
  the review and use of the instructional materials and technology
  allotment, and requests for production of instructional materials.
         SECTION 1.  Section 31.0211, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (c) and (d) and adding Subsection (d-1) to
  read as follows:
         (c)  Funds [Subject to Subsection (d), funds] allotted under
  this section may be used to:
               (1)  purchase:
                     (A)  materials on the list adopted by the
  commissioner, as provided by Section 31.0231;
                     (B)  instructional materials, regardless of
  whether the instructional materials are on the list adopted under
  Section 31.024;
                     (C)  consumable instructional materials,
  including workbooks;
                     (D)  instructional materials for use in bilingual
  education classes, as provided by Section 31.029;
                     (E)  instructional materials for use in college
  preparatory courses under Section 28.014, as provided by Section
                     (F)  supplemental instructional materials, as
  provided by Section 31.035;
                     (G)  state-developed open education resource
  instructional materials, as provided by Subchapter B-1;
                     (H)  instructional materials and technological
  equipment under any continuing contracts of the district in effect
  on September 1, 2011;
                     (I)  technological equipment necessary to support
  the use of materials included on the list adopted by the
  commissioner under Section 31.0231 or any instructional materials
  purchased with an allotment under this section; [and]
                     (J)  inventory software or systems for storing,
  managing, and accessing instructional materials and analyzing the
  usage and effectiveness of the instructional materials; and
                     (K)  services, equipment, and technology
  infrastructure necessary to ensure Internet connectivity and
  adequate bandwidth; and
               (2)  pay:
                     (A)  for training educational personnel directly
  involved in student learning in the appropriate use of
  instructional materials and for providing for access to
  technological equipment for instructional use; [and]
                     (B)  for training personnel in the electronic
  administration of assessment instruments; and
                     (C)  the salary and other expenses of an employee
  who provides technical support for the use of technological
  equipment directly involved in student learning.
         (d)  Each biennium the commissioner shall assess the
  technology needs for all school districts and provide an estimate
  of the cost for these resources to the State Board of Education [a
  school district shall use the district's allotment under this
  section to purchase, in the following order:
               [(1)  instructional materials necessary to permit the
  district to certify that the district has instructional materials
  that cover all elements of the essential knowledge and skills of the
  required curriculum, other than physical education, for each grade
  level as required by Section 28.002; and
               [(2)  any other instructional materials or
  technological equipment as determined by the district].
         (d-1)  In purchasing technological equipment, a school
  district shall:
               (1)  secure technological solutions that meet the
  varying and unique needs of students and teachers in the district;
               (2)  consider:
                     (A)  the long-term cost of ownership; and
                     (B)  flexibility for innovation.
         SECTION 2.  Section 31.022, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (g) and adding Subsection (i) to read as
         (g)  In determining the disbursement of money to the
  available school fund and the amount of that disbursement that will
  be used, in accordance with Section 43.001(d), to fund the
  instructional materials and technology allotment under Section
  31.0211, the board must consider the cost of all district
  technology requirements, as estimated by the commissioner under
  Section 31.0211(d), and instructional materials for that state
  fiscal biennium. [In reviewing and adopting instructional
  materials, the board shall consider a school district's need for
  technology as well as instructional materials and in any biennium
  may limit the adoption of instructional materials to provide
  sufficient resources to purchase technology resources, including
  digital curriculum.]
         (i)  During any state fiscal biennium beginning on or after
  September 1, 2023, the total projected cost of instructional
  materials under requests for production issued by the board may not
  exceed 75 percent of the total amount used to fund the instructional
  materials and technology allotment under Section 31.0211 for that
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter B, Chapter 32, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 32.037 to read as follows:
  may establish a matching grant program to ensure that all school
  districts and open-enrollment charter schools have the necessary
  infrastructure to administer assessment instruments electronically
  in accordance with the transition plan developed under Section
         (b)  In establishing the grant program, the commissioner
               (1)  set eligibility criteria to receive a matching
  grant under the program; and
               (2)  contract with developers of technology as
  necessary to ensure the most efficient and cost-effective
  implementation of Internet connectivity infrastructure for
  electronic administration of assessment instruments.
         (c)  In awarding grants under the grant program, the
               (1)  shall prioritize applicants seeking funding for
  one-time investments in broadband network infrastructure; and
               (2)  if funds are available after grants are awarded to
  each eligible applicant described by Subdivision (1), may award
  grants to applicants seeking funding for annual bandwidth and
  personnel costs associated with electronic administration of
  assessment instruments.
         (d)  This section expires September 1, 2025.
         SECTION 4.  Sections 39.023(c-3), (c-8), and (o), Education
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (c-3)  Except as provided by Subsection (c-7) or as otherwise
  provided by this subsection, in adopting a schedule for the
  administration of assessment instruments under this section, the
  State Board of Education shall ensure that assessment instruments
  administered under Subsection (a) or (c) are not administered on
  the first instructional day of a week. On request by a school
  district or open-enrollment charter school, the commissioner may
  allow the district or school to administer an assessment instrument
  required under Subsection (a) or (c) on the first instructional day
  of a week if administering the assessment instrument on another
  instructional day would result in a significant administrative
  burden due to specific local conditions.
         (c-8)  Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, not more
  than 75 percent of the available points on an assessment instrument
  developed under Subsection (a) or (c) may be attributable to [not
  present more than 75 percent of the] questions presented in a
  multiple choice format.
         (o)  The agency shall adopt or develop optional interim
  assessment instruments for each subject or course for each grade
  level subject to assessment under this section. A school district
  or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to administer
  interim assessment instruments adopted or developed under this
  subsection. An interim assessment instrument:
               (1)  must be:
                     (A)  when possible, predictive of the assessment
  instrument for the applicable subject or course for that grade
  level required under this section; and
                     (B)  administered electronically; and
               (2)  may not be used for accountability purposes.
         SECTION 5.  Section 39.0234, Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
  INSTRUMENTS. (a)  Each [The agency shall ensure that] assessment
  instrument [instruments] required under Section 39.023(a), (c), or
  (l) must be [39.023 are capable of being] administered
  electronically, unless otherwise provided by commissioner rule.
         (b)  The agency may recommend, but may not require, that a
  school district make external keyboards available for student use
  with tablet devices for the electronic administration of an
  assessment instrument, including any portion of an assessment
  instrument that contains constructed response or essay items.
         SECTION 6.  Sections 39.02341(a) and (b), Education Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The agency, in consultation with the State Board of
  Education, shall develop a transition plan to administer all
  assessment instruments required under Sections 39.023(a), (c), and
  (l) [Section 39.023] electronically beginning not later than the
  2022-2023 school year. The plan must:
               (1)  evaluate the availability of Internet access for
  each school district in this state;
               (2)  identify changes to state law or policy necessary
  to improve the availability of Internet access described by
  Subdivision (1);
               (3)  evaluate the state's experience with administering
  online assessment instruments, including the occurrence or effects
  of power outages or other types of disruptions of Internet service,
  and actions taken by the state to mitigate the occurrence and effect
  of those disruptions; and
               (4)  identify and evaluate actions taken by the state
  to improve the administration of online assessment instruments.
         (b)  The agency shall implement the transition plan
  beginning on September 1, 2021. [In order to ensure legislative
  approval of the transition plan, this subsection expires August 31,
         SECTION 7.  (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this
  section, this Act applies beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
         (b)  Section 39.0234, Education Code, as amended by this Act,
  applies beginning with the 2022-2023 school year.
         SECTION 8.  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, 2021.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 3261 was passed by the House on May 8,
  2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 136, Nays 4, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 3261 on May 28, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 2,
  2 present, not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 3261 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________