Click here to see the legislative advocacy page of our website and keep track of the bills of importance to private schools in Texas.

Information needed for the Texas School Safety Center to Help Private Schools with Emergency Management

The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC), in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) would like to invite you to participate in an effort related to emergency management at the private school level. The TxSSC will be providing training and technical assistance over the next several months to support school-level emergency planning.

In order for them to best be of service to private schools, they ask that we complete the District Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Self-Assessment Tool to help them understand our needs.  The term "District" applies to public schools, in private schools, this would be for individual schools.

This tool should be completed by the individual in the school who is most familiar with the school plan; all questions pertain to the school plan and school-level planning. This tool has no right or wrong answers. The purpose of this tool is to learn more about what resources the TxSSC can provide to meet private schools' needs; no other purposes are intended.

The deadline for completion of the District (School) EOP Self-Assessment Tool is May 4, 2015.

The information you provide will not be made public. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Directions for Completing the Online District EOP Self-Assessment Tool

  1. Please click on the following link to access the online tool: http://seiservices.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1EXGflZfYNdJ9uB&State=TX
  1. If you experience any difficulty loading the tool, please copy and paste the above link into a different browser (e.g., IE, Chrome, Firefox) and click the Enter key.

If you have any questions about how to complete this tool, please do not hesitate to contact us for further instruction at [email protected] or [email protected] or by phone at 1-877-304-2727.


April Featured Schools


Congratulations to our featured schools of the month: Alcuin School, Ascension Academy, First Baptist Academy in Universal City, Killeen Adventist Junior Academy, and Presbyterian School of Houston. These schools serve children and families in different ways, but they are all committed to excellence in private education.

Save The Date!
June 10, 2015
Baylor University
Waco, TX
TPSA Workshop for
Administrators and Teachers!

 

 Schedule

8:00 Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:30-10:30 Legislative Round Table
10:30-45 Break
10:45-11:45 School Safety Seminar by Texas School Safety Center of Texas State University

11:45-12:45 Lunch

Afternoon academic sessions are hands-on activities using current approaches to content presentation

1:00-1:50  Affordable Technology
2:00-2:50 Implementing Technology in Classroom Settings
3:00-3:50 Today’s Best Apps
4:00-4:50 How Does Technology Fit into the Flipped Classroom?

 Registration here.  Or contact Dr. Randy Wood for more information at (254)710-2410 or [email protected]

 
Private School Advocates Speak Out for the Right to Pass Along Credit Card Fees


Private school leaders and parents came together on April 1st to testify for HB 1881 that allows private schools to pass along credit card fees to parents who wish to use this method of payment.  Public schools, and public and private colleges and universities are able to do this already.  Many PK-12 private schools do not allow parents to use credit cards because they simply cannot afford to absorb the processing fees. 

Representative Giovanni Capriglione filed the bill and when he closed on the bill stated, "I don't ever think I have heard testimony by people wishing to be charged a fee." Noting the parents' wish to be able to use credit cards for convenience, security and simple financial tracking without causing a financial burden for the school.

One Austin school representative noted that they realized that with the money that they were spending on credit card fees, they could offer 6 more full scholarships to the school.  Therefore, they stopped allowing credit cards unless this bill is made law.  The committee voted favorably on April 8th and the Senate hearing on April 9th also went well, so we hope this is a reality very soon!  Please continue to contact your Representatives and Senators to let them know that you are FOR HB 1881 (House Bill) and FOR SB 1596 (Senate Bill)

Principal Lucy Thomas from Angelo Catholic School addresses the Investments and Financial Services Committee.


Tax Credit Scholarships Become SB 4 - A Senate Priority Bill



After grueling nine hour hearing on March 26, the Tax Credit Scholarship program advocated by TPSA and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops became a Senate priority bill, SB 4.  Laura Colangelo, Executive Director of TPSA, spoke to the Senate Education committee in support of this specific type of school choice legislation.

This bill would allow businesses to donate to a nonprofit scholarship-granting organization in exchange for a credit on their franchise tax.  Families who are in financial need can then apply for a scholarship to a school of their choice.  SB 4 passed out of the Senate Education committee on April 7 with a vote of 8 yeses and 3 nos.  Senators Paul Bettencourt, Donna Campbell, Don Huffines, Lois Kolkhorst, Eddie Lucio, Kel Seliger, Van Taylor, and Chairman Larry Taylor voted yes. Senators Sylvia Garcia, Jose Rodriguez, and Royce West voted against the bill. 


Pre-K Bill Passes the House


Rep. Bohac (R-Houston) includes amendment for TEPSAC-accredited schools

The pre-k debate reached fever pitch on Wednesday, April 8th when the Texas House of Representatives debated HB 4, one of the governor's priority items. The bill does not increase the number of eligible students or require full-day rather than half-day, but it does offer grants to programs who provide "gold star" quality programs.  It was important to Governor Abbott and many House members that quality be improved for currently eligible children before expanding access is considered.  Currently, there are very few quality standards required of public pre-k programs, including no student/teacher ratio regulation.

The public-private partnership piece of this legislation requires that school districts contract with private providers to serve the children that the districts do not have space for.  The program eligibility requirements did not include TEPSAC-accredited schools until Rep. Dwayne Bohac offered an amendment to include these programs.

We do not know how many private accredited schools will participate in this kind of partnership as it is currently written, but at least it will be a possibility with the inclusion of this amendment.  A parental choice component would be a better solution than having to contract with the school district, so we will work with the Senate to see if this might be a possibility this session and in future sessions.