Navigating Texas Mathematics Curriculum Adoption and Funding: A Guide for Educators

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The Texas K-12 education policy and funding landscape is nearly as vast as the great state itself. With that, navigating curriculum adoption and securing funding for high-quality supplemental resources can be a daunting task for educators and administrators alike. With recent policy updates outlined in House Bill 1605 (HB 1605), understanding the intricacies of policy and funding options is essential to ensuring students receive the highest quality education.

Read on for more guidance in finding, funding, and adopting effective mathematics curricula and supplemental resources.

What Is HB 1605?

HB 1605 represents a significant shift in Texas’ approach to instructional material adoption. It updates the state’s review and approval process for curriculum materials, offering school districts an additional $40 per student incentive to use products approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE). This presents a unique opportunity for districts to access funding to enhance their educational offerings while streamlining decision-making in favor of state-vetted materials. Additionally, the bill emphasizes the importance of both quality and alignment to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), ensuring that approved materials meet rigorous standards.

The new Instructional Materials Review and Approval (IMRA) process, enacted under HB 1605, replaces the former State Board of Education (SBOE) Proclamation and the Texas Resource Review (TRR) processes and brings new components to a single, SBOE-governed review of instructional materials. The first reviews conducted under the process used state-created rubrics to evaluate English and Spanish language arts and reading products for grades K-5 (including phonics products in grades K-3) and mathematics products for grades K-12.

This initiative underscores the state’s commitment to enhancing student proficiency in these critical areas. Furthermore, the bill mandates that all approved curricula be free from factual errors, suitable for grade and subject, and inclusive of both physical and electronic components. This comprehensive approach aims to provide educators with robust tools to support student learning effectively. For more detailed information and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the TEA site.

Available Funding for Mathematics Resources in Texas Classrooms

While understanding legislative updates is crucial, fluency in funding options is essential for Texas LEAs and districts seeking to secure necessary supplemental math resources. Despite budgetary constraints, there are avenues available to support such educational initiatives. In addition to the allocated $40 per student for the purchase of SBOE-approved materials in HB 1605, $20 per student is available for any printing costs associated with state-vetted Open Educational Resources (OER). This funding is instrumental in providing districts with the financial flexibility to invest in high-quality resources tailored to their students’ needs.

Learning Acceleration Support Opportunities (LASO)

The Learning Acceleration Support Opportunities, or LASO, is the Texas Education Agency’s most recent iteration of a universal consolidated grant application cycle that strategically batches grant funding opportunities that support five learning acceleration strategies: strategic planning, instructional materials, teacher pipelines, more time, and innovative school models. While this school year’s most recent LASO cycle concluded in March 2024, educators and decision-makers are encouraged to stay informed of upcoming cycle opportunities. This resource captures important frequently asked questions as educators, districts, and purchasing decision-makers orient themselves to this new process.

Math Supplemental Curriculum Licenses (MSC)

The math supplemental curriculum (MSC) grant provides licenses to qualified LEAs to provide high-quality supplemental materials for accelerated instruction activities for PK-12 students. TEA is still contracting for the supplemental math curricula and will communicate provider names once contracts are completed. An estimated $25 million is projected to be awarded to over 250 LEAs, making this a fruitful grant opportunity.

Strong Foundations Planning and Implementation Funding

Strong Foundations Grants support a TEA-sponsored initiative strategically allocating funds to assure that all districts can create and implement instructional frameworks aligned to research-based instructional strategies that serve as tools for districts to make instructional decisions. For the planning phase, districts are funded to:

  1. Assure that curriculum is aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.
  2. Implement a structure of change management, enabling district leaders, principals, and teachers to create an instructional framework appropriate to their district context that improves curriculum implementation.
  3. Partner with an approved provider from the Strong Foundations Approved Provider (AP) List, found on the LASO Cycle II website.

Once LEAs are beyond the planning phase, they can seek Strong Foundations Implementation Funding, providing in-kind support for LEAs ready to implement high-quality instructional materials effectively.

As educators and administrators, it is imperative to prioritize the selection of high-quality supplemental resources to enhance student learning outcomes. With the implementation of HB 1605, Texas is poised to usher in a new era of educational excellence, where access to top-tier instructional materials is not only prioritized but also incentivized. By leveraging available funding options, staying up-to-date on legislative developments, and having a clear understanding of essential funding dates, educators can empower themselves to provide students with the tools they need to succeed.

Support with Texas K-12 Policy and Funding

Navigating curriculum adoption and funding options in Texas requires a thorough understanding of legislative updates and is no small feat. By harnessing available resources and prioritizing quality, educators can ensure that students receive a comprehensive and enriching educational experience. Let us seize this opportunity to propel Texas education forward and empower our students for success in an ever-evolving world.

Legends of Learning works tirelessly to remain informed of your state’s unique needs and requirements, and we’re here to help you navigate these murky waters. Our supplemental curriculum is TEKS-aligned, individualized, and engaging. Students love it!

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