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  S.B. No. 2139
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the establishment of the Opportunity High School
  Diploma program.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 130, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter O to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER O. OPPORTUNITY HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA PROGRAM
         Sec. 130.451.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Coordinating board" means the Texas Higher
  Education Coordinating Board.
               (2)  "General academic teaching institution" has the
  meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
               (3)  "Program," unless the context indicates
  otherwise, means the Opportunity High School Diploma program
  established under this subchapter.
         Sec. 130.452.  PURPOSE. The purpose of the program is to
  provide an alternative means by which adult students enrolled in a
  workforce education program at a public junior college may earn a
  high school diploma at the college through concurrent enrollment in
  a competency-based education program that enables students to
  demonstrate knowledge substantially equivalent to the knowledge
  required to earn a high school diploma in this state.
         Sec. 130.453.  ADMINISTRATION. The coordinating board shall
  administer the program in consultation with the Texas Education
  Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission.
         Sec. 130.454.  APPROVAL OF ALTERNATIVE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA
  PROGRAM. (a)  A public junior college may submit to the
  coordinating board an application to participate in the program.
  The application must propose an alternative competency-based high
  school diploma program to be offered for concurrent enrollment to
  adult students without a high school diploma who are enrolled in a
  workforce education program at the college. The proposed program
  may include any combination of instruction, curriculum,
  achievement, internships, or other means by which a student may
  attain knowledge sufficient to adequately prepare the student for
  postsecondary education or additional workforce education.
         (b)  A public junior college may submit an application under
  Subsection (a) together with one or more public junior colleges,
  general academic teaching institutions, public school districts,
  or nonprofit organizations with whom the proposed program described
  by that subsection will be offered as provided by Subsection (e).
         (c)  The coordinating board may approve not more than five
  public junior colleges to participate in the program.
         (d)  Subject to Subsection (c), the coordinating board shall
  review and approve a public junior college's application to
  participate in the program if the board determines that the
  college's proposed program described by Subsection (a) will provide
  instruction and assessments appropriate to ensure that a student
  who successfully completes the proposed program demonstrates
  levels of knowledge sufficient to adequately prepare the student
  for postsecondary education or additional workforce education.  The
  coordinating board may coordinate with the Texas Education Agency
  as necessary to make a determination under this subsection.
         (e)  A public junior college approved to participate in the
  program may:
               (1)  enter into an agreement with one or more public
  junior colleges, general academic teaching institutions, public
  school districts, or nonprofit organizations to offer the program
  described by Subsection (a); and
               (2)  offer the program described by Subsection (a) at
  any campus of the college or an entity with which the college has
  entered into an agreement under Subdivision (1).
         Sec. 130.455.  AWARD OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. (a)  A public
  junior college participating in the program may award a high school
  diploma to a student enrolled in the alternative competency-based
  high school diploma program offered by the college under the
  program if the student performs satisfactorily on assessment
  instruments prescribed by coordinating board rule.
         (b)  A high school diploma awarded under the program is
  equivalent to a high school diploma awarded under Section 28.025.
         Sec. 130.456.  FUNDING. (a)  The coordinating board and the
  Texas Workforce Commission shall coordinate to jointly identify
  funding mechanisms, including grants, interagency contracts,
  financial aid, or subsidies, available to public junior colleges
  and students to encourage and facilitate participation in the
  program.
         (b)  A public junior college participating in the program is
  entitled to receive funding under Section 130.003 for the program
  in the manner provided by coordinating board rule.
         Sec. 130.457.  REPORT. Not later than December 1, 2026, the
  coordinating board shall submit to the legislature a progress
  report on the effectiveness of the program and any recommendations
  for legislative or other action.  This section expires
  September 1, 2027.
         Sec. 130.458.  RULES. The coordinating board may adopt
  rules as necessary to implement this subchapter.
         SECTION 2.  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, 2023.
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2139 passed the Senate on
  April 20, 2023, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 19, 2023, by the
  following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 2139 passed the House, with
  amendment, on May 17, 2023, by the following vote: Yeas 142,
  Nays 3, one present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
              Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor