House Bill 4545
House Bill (HB) 4545 was passed in the 87th Regular Legislative Session, and establishes new requirements for supplemental accelerated instruction for students who do not pass (achieve at least Approaches Grade Level) the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR). The new statute is effective as of June 16, 2021.
Parents/Guardians should be aware of the following information:
Accelerated instruction: For any student who did not pass STAAR Grades 3–8 or EOC assessments, accelerated instruction must be delivered (starting in fall 2021). Accelerated instruction is required any time a student does not pass a STAAR EOC assessment. This includes first-time testers, as well as re-testers. Specifically, TEC, §28.0217 states: “Each time a student fails to perform satisfactorily” accelerated instruction is required. Accelerated instruction entails either:
1) assigning a classroom teacher who is a certified master, exemplary, or recognized teacher, or
2) delivering at least once per week, supplemental instruction (i.e., tutoring) before or after school, or embedded in the school day and meeting HB 4545 requirements.
The statute requires that students not be removed from recess or from the foundation curriculum or enrichment curriculum as defined in TEC, §28.002; this includes electives which are normally provided to students in the grade level in which the student is enrolled.
If a student does not pass STAAR Grades 3-8 or EOC assessment, 30 hours of accelerated instruction must be provided for each subject area. Not passing the STAAR or EOC is defined as not achieving at least Approaches Grade Level. Therefore, if a student is absent and fails to take the required STAAR or EOC assessment, that student is deemed to have not achieved the required Approaches Grade Level score, and is subject to 30 hours of accelerated instruction for each subject area.
The accelerated and supplement instruction requirements of HB 4545 generally apply to all students, including students who are served in special education. When an accelerated learning plan is required, the ARD committee must consider the individual needs of the student and determine whether adjustments to the accelerated instruction plan are appropriate. Likewise, if a student served in special education requires supplemental instruction, the supplemental instruction must be provided in accordance with HB 4545 unless a student’s ARD committee has specifically determined that some or all of the supplemental instruction requirements would deny the student FAPE.
Accelerated instruction and any associated tutoring that districts are implementing to meet HB 4545 requirements are subject to the compulsory attendance requirements of TEC, §25.085 and should be treated like any other required instructional time during the school day. Should the campus initiate accelerated instruction through summer programming, note that parents can opt out for their child without any formal action. If this occurs, the campus will instigate the 30 hours per subject during the subsequent school year when accelerated instruction is a requirement. Then parents must follow local policy to contest, if desired.