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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

ACTION REQUIRED

February 19, 2010

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT:  District Options for Instructional Materials

The 81st Texas Legislature passed House Bill (HB) 2488 and HB 4294 that provide additional options for instructional materials for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. Several of these options will be available for the 2010-2011 school year.  These new laws allow school districts to decide whether printed and/or electronic textbooks best serve the needs of their student populations and give districts an opportunity to generate textbook credits. These credits can be used to purchase additional textbooks or electronic textbooks and technological equipment that support the use of electronic textbooks.
 
As in the past, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools will have the opportunity to order new instructional materials from the State Board of Education (SBOE) list of materials approved in November 2009 under Proclamation 2010. The SBOE’s conforming list for Proclamation 2010 includes materials in English and Spanish Language Arts and Reading, Grades K-1; English and Spanish Reading, Grades 2-5; Reading Elective, Grades 6-8; Literature, Grades 6-8; Literature I-IV; English for Speakers of Other Languages, I and II; English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), Grades 9-12 Teacher Materials; AP Language and Literature; and IB Language Studies.

As provided by HB 2488 and HB 4294, districts and open-enrollment charter schools will also have options to order from the Commissioner’s List of Electronic Textbooks and State-Developed Open Source Textbooks.  The new legislation also allows for the use of textbook funds to purchase technological equipment to access electronic textbooks.  More details on acquiring instructional materials in School Year 2010-2011 are provided in Attachment 1. Flow charts displaying the sequence of actions associated with the processing of requests for SBOE-adopted and Commissioner-adopted instructional materials along with the possible use of credits are provided in Attachments 2 and 3.

The new legislation requires districts to requisition at least a classroom set of SBOE-adopted materials before they request funds in the Educational Materials and Textbooks (EMAT) online system for purchase of Commissioner-adopted electronic textbooks.  As defined in the new 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section 66.104(s), “A classroom set shall be defined as the total count of SBOE-adopted textbooks on the conforming or nonconforming list necessary to provide one copy to each student during the class period.”  This definition includes both print textbooks and electronic textbooks adopted by the SBOE. 

When selecting electronic textbooks and technological equipment, we recommend that districts carefully consider a number of factors and compare the options available to them. Conversations among curriculum directors, technology coordinators, textbook coordinators, teachers and administrators will assist with the selection of instructional materials that best meet the needs of students, teachers and the district.  A suggested list of factors to consider when choosing electronic textbooks and technological equipment is available online at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/textbooks/adoptprocess/index.html.

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Commissioner’s List of Electronic Textbooks has been released and includes all of the content areas in Proclamation 2010 as well as Proclamation 2011, including English and Spanish Language Arts, Grades 2-5; English as a Second Language, Grades K-5; Spelling, Grades 1-6; Handwriting, Grades 1-3; English Language Arts, Grades 6-8; Spanish Language Arts, Grade 6; English as a Second Language, Grades 6-8; Speech, Grades 6-8; and English I-IV and also includes a statewide license for ELPS Teacher Materials.

A Request for Offer (RFO) has been released for State-Developed Open Source Textbooks and includes Literature I-IV and English as a Second Language I and II. Selection of the approved instructional materials is anticipated in March 2010. Changes to 19 TAC Chapter 66, State Adoption and Distribution of Instructional Materials, were adopted by the SBOE at its January 2010 meeting. Proposed Commissioner’s Rules for Electronic Textbooks will be posted for public comment in March. A draft is available online at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/textbooks/announcements/index.html.

Another option for the selection of materials available this year is Midcycle 2010. Legislation passed in 2007 created a midcycle process that provides opportunities for publishers to submit existing materials for SBOE consideration that were not available during the regular proclamation process. The SBOE is scheduled to consider instructional materials in several subjects for midcycle adoption in March 2010. These include materials for Math, Languages Other than English, and Technology Applications. Textbook credits may be used to requisition instructional materials adopted under the midcycle process.

Results of each of these processes will be placed in the EMAT online system for districts and open-enrollment charter schools in April 2010. A series of webinars will be provided in the spring to explain the instructional materials options and textbook credits procedures. Additional EMAT training will be provided for textbook coordinators, and they are encouraged to participate in these sessions before ordering instructional materials.

If you have additional questions, please contact Chuck Mayo by e-mail at charles.mayo@tea.state.tx.us or Deanna Marotz at deanna.marotz@tea.state.tx.us. You can reach both individuals by phone at (512) 463-9601.
Sincerely,


Anita Givens
Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs

Attachment1
Attachment2
Attachment3

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