Submitted by Jeff Leach, State Representative
As you know, last week the Texas House of Representatives passed two pieces of monumental legislation, reforming our public education system in Texas and addressing our state’s long term water infrastructure needs. There is no question that public education and water resource development are at the forefront of the debate this legislative session as we seek to meet the demands of our rapidly growing state. I am proud of the collaborative, bi-partisan efforts to pass both pieces of legislation in the Texas House of Representatives and am hopeful and expectant that the Senate will do the same in the coming days.
House Bill 5 Reforming Public Education:
Over the past several months I have met with parents, educators, local school board members, Superintendents and PTA members about the need to reform public education curriculum standards in Texas. Receiving overwhelming support from these individuals and groups, House Bill 5, which I was proud to Co-Author, goes a long way towards improving curriculum standards in Texas by providing flexibility for graduation pathways, encouraging workforce preparedness and substantially improving academic assessment and accountability standards. House Bill 5 creates numerous pathways to graduation by offering rigorous curriculum formulated to address college readiness and workforce preparedness by providing coursework flexibility, giving students the opportunity to develop their specific talents and interests through diploma endorsements. It encourages schools to coordinate with local community colleges and private industry to ensure that coursework reflects the demands of Texas’s job market. Furthermore, House Bill 5 reduces the burdensome End-of-Course (EOC) exams from fifteen to five and eliminates the current requirement that EOC exams determine fifteen percent of a student’s course grade. Simply put, House Bill 5 is a win for Texas schoolchildren, parents and educators!
House Bill 4 on Water Resource Development:
As one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, Texas cannot afford to simply sit on the sidelines and kick the can down the road with respect to addressing our long-term water needs. In order to continue our track record of job growth and economic prosperity, we must work towards a productive and fiscally sound pathway to water resource development in order to properly sustain the rising demands of Texas’s infrastructure and growing marketplace. House Bill 4 formulates a steady plan to provide the vital capital needed to fund the State Water Plan over the next 50 years and is a long-term, fiscally responsible solution to the issue. House Bill 4 prioritizes water management strategies at the regional level while preserving the significance of funding for conservation, reuse and rural needs. I am proud to Co-Author this common-sense, bipartisan legislation and I commend my colleagues in the Texas House of Representatives for having the foresight to take the lead on this critical issue.
On Tuesday, March 26th, I was proud to welcome pro-family champions from House District 67 in support of Texas Faith and Family Day at the Texas Capitol. I applaud organizations such as Texas Values, Concerned Women of America, Texas Eagle Forum and Women’s Wellness of Texas for their efforts in promoting such an outstanding assembly focused on faith, fellowship and pro-family values. I look forward to continuing our work together as we strive to ensure that Texas remains the beacon of hope for family values across the nation.