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Education

How Much Leeway Will Districts Have on Science Materials?

State-Board-of-Educators-Mtg-By-Daniel-Reese-38.jpg
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News
The State Board of Education has embarked on a two-day process to adopt new science instructional materials for Kindergarten through 12th Grade.

As the State Board of Education spends the next two days deciding which science materials to insert into Texas classrooms this fall, a new piece of legislation signed by Governor Perry on Tuesday gave school districts the power essentially to ignore that list.

Because of state budget cuts, the State Board is not adopting a new round of textbooks, but is instead looking to adopt less expensive supplementary digital materials that will be taught in addition to existing content in the current textbooks.

The limited funds available to districts to buy those online materials, $60 million for the entire state, will leave school administrators with little choice but to adopt instructional materials on the list to be adopted by the State Board of Education, according to one board member. Lawrence Allen, D-Houston, says it would be too costly for districts to go it on their own. 

“I believe they have fewer choices,” said Allen, who also works as an administrator in the Houston Independent School District. “The allocation of funds are not there to make those holistic approaches.”

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