Other Legislative Priorities for the 85th Session

SB 579/ HB 1583 EPI PENS

Allows private schools to stock unprescribed epi-pens and use them according to the school's use policy.  This bill also provides immunity from liability in their use.

This bill was passed for public and charter schools in the 2015 legislative session. 

Thank you to Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano) and Representative Philip Cortez (D-San Antonio) for carrying this important bill for us, and for making the health and safety of all Texas schoolchildren a priority.


This bill allows private schools to participate in the 80 hour school marshal training provided by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. 

This training would certify a school employee as a school marshal trained to deal with a campus emergency and allow this person to have a weapon locked away on campus for use in such a situation.

This bill was passed for public and charter schools in the 2013 legislative session.

Thank you to Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano) and Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) for carrying this important bill for us, and for considering the safety and security of all types of school campuses.
Keep track of all bills we support and oppose on the TPSA website here.  This is where we will update school leaders on bills of importance to their schools. 

If you are interested in providing testimony to TPSA or testifying yourself at the Capitol for any of these bills, please email Laura at [email protected]

February Featured Schools

Congratulations to our February Featured Schools!  Each school that we profile is different and exceptional it its own way.  They are:  Austin Peace Academy, Country Day School of Arlington, Holy Rosary Catholic School in Rosenberg, Trinity Lutheran School in San Angelo, and Edna Christian Academy in Edna. 

Get more information about these schools on our Facebook page or Twitter feed at @TXPrivateSchool.

Will you be in Lubbock on March 24th?

If so, Join us for a TPSA District Meeting at Lubbock Christian University!

The meeting will be at lunchtime and will feature local legislators and a discussion of the legislative session that will be in full swing and very busy!  You will get up to date information about how private schools are faring in this legislative session.

Please email Laura at [email protected] for more information and to RSVP.

Betsy DeVos
was confirmed in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee on January 31st clearing the way for a floor vote on February 7th that approved her nomination with an historic 51-50 vote with Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. 

For more information about Secretary DeVos and other items of national private school interest, see the February 2017 CAPE Outlook.


Senator Paul Bettencourt and Representative Dwayne Bohac Speak to Houston School Leaders about School Choice

School Choice was the hot topic at Second Baptist School in Houston on February 3rd, when Senator Paul Bettencourt and Representative Dwayne Bohac spoke to school leaders about what they are trying to do to expand access to students needing an alternative to their local public schools.  These legislators have filed the tax credit scholarship bill that is a priority for the Texas Private Schools Association (SB 542/HB 1184). 

Executive Director Laura Colangelo also explains all of the bills that attempt to regulate private schools that we are fighting against.  There are also some that have been filed that could attempt to include private schools later in the process. Tracking and killing these bills is just as important a fight each session.  Maintaining the independence and autonomy of private schools is the primary goal of TPSA.  Some of these bills are listed under "Outreach" on the TPSA website. 

Do you have an opinion on school choice and would you like your voice heard?  The Texas Tribune has posted a poll to get input from the public on this issue.  Go here to let your voice be heard!


Instructional Time in Public vs. Private Schools

The NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) recently released new statistics comparing instructional time for third and eighth graders in public and private schools in the US as reported in the 2011-2012 school year. 

Key findings include:

In private schools, a typical full week of school was 33.1 hours long for third-graders and 33.5 hours long for eighth-graders. No measurable difference exists between the typical full week of school for public or private third- or eighth-graders.

On average, eighth-graders in both public and private schools spent a greater amount and a larger percentage of time on instruction in English than on any other subject.

Generally, the time that third-graders in public schools spent on various subjects-both in terms of number of hours and percentage of time-did not differ from the time that third-graders in private schools spent on those subjects. The only exception to this pattern was in mathematics, for which public school students spent a larger number of hours and greater percentage of time, compared to private school students.

The entire report may be read here.