HB 1881, allowing private schools to pass along credit card fees to parents, applies only to TEPSAC accredited schools.  For the list of all 15 TEPSAC accrediting commissions, please visit www.tepsac.org

A document of best practices for the implementation of this legislation was emailed to all TPSA member schools.  If you did not get this information, please contact us at:  [email protected]



 
Commissioner Michael Williams


TPSA Executive Director Laura Colangelo met with Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams in June to discuss accredited private schools in the state and how we can work together to make sure that each child educated in Texas, in a public or private school, can get a quality education. 

Commissioner Williams is a product of Catholic schools himself and is a wonderful advocate for our private schools in Texas.  We are blessed to have this kind of ally as Commissioner of Education.


July Featured Schools

Congratulations to our featured schools of the month: Cypress Bend Adventist Elementary School, Darul Arqam North, Fort Worth Country Day, Sacred Heart Catholic School, and Trinity Christian Academy in San Antonio.  These schools serve children and families in different ways, but they are all committed to excellence in private education.

Immunization Correction


The updated vaccine information included in the June newsletter was incorrect.  The Health Department has corrected the mistakes and this schedule is the correct one for school immunizations.

 

 
A Few More Bills of Note to Private Schools -

For a Full List of Bills Tracked by TPSA see www.texasprivateschools.org/outreach.html



HB 1992, filed by Rep. John Zerwas, requires that public colleges and universities in the state grant college credit for scores of 3 or higher on Advanced Placement exams.  There are some exceptions, and the details are still being finalized, but this new rule could mean that high school students will receive credit for many hours that were not previously granted.  This applies to students beginning college in the fall of 2016. The Texas Tribune has more details on this law that is of interest to many private schools.



SR 1065
, a very last-minute proposal by Senator Larry Taylor, allows property that is leased to schools to be exempt from property taxes, and the savings to the property owner is required to be passed on to the school in rent reduction.  This resolution must still be approved by voters, but it could result in significant savings to schools that rent buildings and property.  TPSA will be watching the progress of this resolution as it is taken to the voters.



A Harmful Bill for Private Schools
The Story of Still Creek Christian Academy






HB 2360, filed by Rep. Senfronia Thompson required that all TEPSAC accredited schools that served a certain number of at-risk children, specifically children who are victims of human trafficking, to be licensed by the state of Texas.  This bill seemed to be targeting one specific school, Still Creek Christian Academy, that does an amazing job of serving all of its students, at-risk or not. There was absolutely no reason for this school to have to be licensed since it was fully accredited by SACS/AdvancEd.  In fact, the school leaders were not able to come to the Capitol to lobby against this bill as they were preparing for their upcoming accreditation visit.



TPSA led the charge to kill this bill that would negatively affect this particular school, as well as any other private school that sought to educate at-risk students.  TPSA testified against the bill in committee.  It did pass the House, but was not heard in the Senate committee, and so the bill died.  This lobbying effort saved this school thousands of dollars in unnecessary changes that would have needed to be made if it was required to be licensed.  It also saved this school and many others the hassle of having to deal with state inspectors when accreditation serves the same purpose, and actually holds the school to higher standards.