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May 13, 2009 (512) 463-0300

SCHOOL ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN MOVES TOWARD CONFERENCE

Sen. Shapiro
Senator Florence Shapiro amended the school accountability measure to require one credit of fine arts and one credit of PE for high school students.

(AUSTIN) — The school accountability plan passed by the Senate last week took a step toward conference committee Wednesday. The Senate took up the House version of SB 3 and substituted its own version as an amendment. Unless the House agrees to take the Senate version of the plan entirely, the issue will be decided in conference committee, where five members of each chamber will craft a final version of the bill. The Senate did make one change to the bill Wednesday, authored by Education Committee Chair Senator Florence Shapiro of Plano. An amendment would require that high schoolers take at least one credit of fine arts instruction and one credit of physical education. "I do believe that this amendment will go a very long way toward better preparing our students for college, and the workforce, and a healthy life," said Shapiro. The original version passed by the Senate included a requirement of eight electives, but stopped short of telling students what they had to take. Under the amendment, students would still have six elective hours available.

Other bills passed by the Senate Wednesday include:

HB 205, sponsored by Estes, would exempt farm guard dogs from leash laws,

SB 763, by Watson, would increase the percentage of low emission vehicles in state fleets from 10 to 25 percent,

HB 1466, sponsored by Seliger, would make theft of a military grave marker a state jail felony.

The Senate will reconvene Thursday, May 14 at 7 a.m. to consider local and uncontested bills, and will meet in regular session at 11 a.m.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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