Van de Putte Statement on HB 5 Passage
(Austin) — Today, the Senate passed its version of House Bill 5, the major reform bill on public education curriculum and testing. Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, released the following statement on the bill:
"I am greatly relieved that my colleagues found common ground and moved the badly needed reforms in House Bill 5 forward. I believe the Senate version builds upon the tremendous work done by House Education Chair Jimmie Don Aycock and makes it even better. I am thankful that my amendments for locally developed courses for state credit and close monitoring of students' diploma plans were adopted.
"I regretfully pulled down my more comprehensive amendment to keep high rigor in our curriculum plans, but remain hopeful that elements of it will be adopted in conference committee. I sincerely believe that, rather than making a minimum graduation plan the default, we must create a floor of rigor. I worry that some ninth-graders, especially from families without a history of higher education, won't realize what they can achieve. I fear that choosing the minimum plan will lead to a minimum wage job.
"And for students who struggle and consider opting out to the minimum plan, we should instead let them 'opt-over' - offering them not something less, but something different that could still lead to postsecondary success. I truly believe every diploma plan should offer, if not Algebra II, then something functionally equivalent.
"Supporters of HB 5 on both the Senate and House sides agree that our current curriculum needs to be relevant to all students, whether they plan on going to a university or not. But even if some students believe early on that they may not be headed toward college, my proposed amendments would enable all students to enjoy postsecondary success."