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House Bill 5: Aligning Industry and Education

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Education reform in Texas has a new friend in high places. Newly-elected Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was one of the original authors of House Bill 5 (HB-5), along with state Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R- Kileen). The bill, which was passed in 2013, brings serious changes to current public school curriculum, campus and district accountability, and testing requirements.

On February 4, UTSA held a superintendent’s symposium to discuss HB-5 and what it means for San Antonio’s public education system and the students it serves.

The keynote speaker for the event was Susan Simpson Hull, superintendent of Grand Prairie ISD in the Dallas area. As the leader of a portfolio school district, she made the clear connection between HB-5 and school choice, an issue that Patrick heavily champions.

HB-5 does not drastically change the status of charters or magnet schools, as school choice advocates would like, but Hull is glad to see the conversation expanded beyond vouchers and charters. 

For those like Hull who believe that choice gives students a greater stake in the education and therefore a higher likelihood of graduating (she has the statistics to back that up), HB-5 is a crucial piece of the school choice puzzle.

“(HB-5) gives us the backing to encourage students to make choices earlier,” said Hull.

HB-5’s coursework reforms are aimed at career readiness for more students, instead of…

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To view photos from the event, click HERE.

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