June 2017 Committee on Instruction Item 2

Proposed Approval of Innovative Courses

June 23, 2017

COMMITTEE ON INSTRUCTION: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item recommends approval of innovative courses that do not fall within any of the subject areas of the foundation or enrichment curriculum.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.002(f).

TEC, §28.002(f), authorizes local school districts to offer courses in addition to those in the required curriculum for local credit and requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to be flexible in approving a course for credit for high school graduation.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The SBOE adopted 19 TAC §74.27, Innovative Courses and Programs, to be effective September 1, 1996, with amendments to be effective September 1, 1998. In November 2007, the SBOE adopted additional amendments to 19 TAC §74.27, to be effective December 25, 2007.

In May 1998, the SBOE approved nine innovative courses that do not fall within any of the subject areas of the foundation or enrichment curriculum; in May 1999, approved four courses; in May 2000, approved six courses; in May 2001, approved 11 courses; in May 2002, approved eight courses; in July 2003, approved seven courses; in May 2004, approved the renewal of nine courses and approved one new course; in April 2005, approved the renewal of two courses; in April 2006, approved the renewal of five courses; in July 2007, approved the renewal of six courses and approved three new courses; in May 2008, approved the renewal of one course. In July 2009, the SBOE approved a one-year extension of the approval of three courses submitted for renewal and approved two new courses for one year. In May 2010, the SBOE approved the renewal of four courses. In July 2010, the SBOE approved one new course. In January 2011, the SBOE approved one new innovative course and the renewal of seven courses. In January 2012, one new innovative course was approved by the SBOE and four innovative courses were approved for renewal. In January 2013, the SBOE approved one new innovative course and the renewal of six expiring courses. The SBOE approved the renewal of four expiring innovative courses in April 2014. In July 2014, the SBOE approved five expiring courses submitted for renewal and approved one new course. In April 2015, the SBOE approved for a period of five years three expiring course series submitted for renewal. In April 2016, the SBOE approved one new course for a period of three years and one new course for a one-year period. The SBOE approved for a period of five years each the renewal of three expiring innovative courses in November 2016. At the January/February 2017 meeting, the SBOE approved for renewal two expiring innovative courses for a period of five years, and at the April SBOE meeting, the SBOE approved for renewal three additional courses for a period of five years each.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: After the board adopted new rules concerning graduation requirements, the experimental courses previously approved were phased out as of August 31, 1998. As a result of the adoption of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), districts now submit new requests for innovative course approval for courses that do not have TEKS.

The process outlined in 19 TAC §74.27 provides authority for the commissioner of education to approve discipline-based courses, but reserves for SBOE review and approval those courses that do not fall within any of the subject areas of the foundation or enrichment curriculum.

A brief description of the courses submitted to the SBOE for review and consideration will be provided at the June SBOE meeting. If approved, the recommended effective date for the new courses would be August 28, 2017. With the approval of the local board of trustees, the new courses would be available for school districts' use beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

FISCAL IMPACT: None.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT: Students would have access to courses that meet local district needs.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
None.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED:
The State Board of Education:

Approve the innovative courses that do not fall within any of the subject areas of the foundation or enrichment curriculum as shown in the separate exhibit.

Staff Members Responsible:
Monica Martinez, Associate Commissioner
Standards and Support Services

Shelly Ramos, Senior Director
Curriculum Standards and Student Support

Attachments:
I. Statutory Citation (PDF, 30KB)
II. Text of 19 TAC §74.27, Innovative Courses and Programs (PDF, 17KB)

Separate Exhibit:

Innovative Courses Recommended for Approval
(to be provided at the June 2017 SBOE meeting)