EHAA(LEGAL) - BASIC INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM: REQUIRED INSTRUCTION (ALL LEVELS)
A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage. A district shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas history and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter, in reading courses, and in the adoption of textbooks. Education Code 28.002(h)
As a condition of accreditation, a district shall provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels in the foundation and enrichment curriculum. Education Code 28.002(c); 19 TAC 74.1(b)
A district shall ensure that all children in the district participate actively in a balanced curriculum designed to meet individual needs. Education Code 28.002(g)
Instruction may be provided in a variety of arrangements and settings, including mixed-age programs designed to permit flexible learning arrangements for developmentally appropriate instruction for all student populations to support student attainment of course and grade-level standards. 19 TAC 74.2
A district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 shall offer a foundation curriculum that includes:
- English language arts and reading;
- Science; and
- Social studies, consisting of Texas, United States, and world history; government; geography; and economics with emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits.
Education Code 28.002(a)(1); 19 TAC 74.1(a)(1)
A district that offers kindergarten through grade 12 shall offer an enrichment curriculum that includes:
- Languages other than English, to the extent possible. American Sign Language is a language for these purposes and the district may offer an elective course in the language;
- Health, with emphasis on:
- Physical health, including the importance of proper nutrition and exercise;
- Mental health, including instruction about mental health conditions, substance abuse, skills to manage emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making; and
- Suicide prevention, including recognizing suicide-related risk factors and warning signs;
- Physical education;
- Fine Arts;
- Career and technical education;
- Technology applications;
- Religious literature, including the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and New Testament, and its impact on history and literature; and
- Personal financial literacy.
Education Code 28.002(a)(2), (e); 19 TAC 74.1(a)(2)
The State Board of Education by rule shall require each district to incorporate instruction in digital citizenship into the district's curriculum, including information regarding the potential criminal consequences of cyberbullying.
"Cyberbullying" has the meaning assigned by Education Code 37.0832. [See FFI]
"Digital citizenship" means the standards of appropriate, responsible, and healthy online behavior, including the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act on all forms of digital communication.
Education Code 28.002(z)
Positive Character Traits
Beginning with the 2021–22 school year, districts are required to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills for positive character traits outlined in 19 Administrative Code Chapter 120, Subchapter A at least once in the following grade bands: kindergarten–grade 2, grades 3–5, grades 6–8, and grades 9–12.
Districts may provide the required instruction in a variety of arrangements, including through a stand-alone course or by integrating the positive character traits standards in the essential knowledge and skills for one or more courses or subject areas at the appropriate grade levels.
19 TAC 120.1
A district may offer courses for local credit, at its discretion, in addition to those in the required curriculum, but it may not delete or omit instruction in the foundation and enrichment curricula specified above. Education Code 28.002(f); 19 TAC 74.1(b)
Local Instructional Plan
A district's local instructional plan may draw on state curriculum frameworks and program standards as appropriate. A district is encouraged to exceed minimum requirements of law and State Board rule.
Major Curriculum Initiatives
Before the adoption of a major curriculum initiative, including the use of a curriculum management system, a district must use a process that:
- Includes teacher input;
- Provides district employees with the opportunity to express opinions regarding the initiative; and
- Includes a meeting of the board at which information regarding the initiative is presented, including the cost of the initiative and any alternatives that were considered; and members of the public and district employees are given the opportunity to comment regarding the initiative.
Education Code 28.002(g)
Common Core State Standards
A district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels. A district may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum. "Common core state standards" means the national curriculum standards developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Education Code 28.002(b-1), (b-3), (b-4)
Scope and Sequence
In adopting a recommended or designated scope and sequence for a subject in the required curriculum under Education Code 28.002(a) in a particular grade level, a district shall ensure sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and students to learn the essential knowledge and skills for that subject and grade level [see DG]. Education Code 28.0027(a)
Coordinated Health Programs
TEA shall make available to each district one or more coordinated health programs in elementary, middle, and junior high school. Each program must provide for coordinating education and services related to:
- Physical health education, including programs designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, oral diseases, and Type 2 diabetes and programs designed to promote the role of proper nutrition;
- Mental health education, including education about mental health conditions, mental health well-being, skills to manage emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;
- Substance abuse education, including education about alcohol abuse, prescription drug abuse, and abuse of other controlled substances;
- Physical education and physical activity; and
- Parental involvement.
Education Code 38.013; 19 TAC 102.1031(a)
A district shall participate in appropriate training to implement TEA's coordinated health program and shall implement the program in each elementary, middle, and junior high school in the district. Education Code 38.014
Coordinated school health programs that are developed by districts and that meet TEA criteria may be approved and made available as approved programs. Districts must use materials that are proven effective, such as TEA-approved textbooks or materials developed by nationally recognized and/or government-approved entities. 19 TAC 102.1031(c)
Each district shall establish specific objectives and goals the district intends to accomplish through the physical education curriculum. The physical education curriculum must be sequential, developmentally appropriate, and designed, implemented, and evaluated to enable students to develop the motor, self-management, and other skills, knowledge, attitudes, and confidence necessary to participate in physical activity throughout life.
A physical education course shall:
- Offer students an opportunity to choose among many types of physical activity in which to participate;
- Offer students both cooperative and competitive games; and
- Be an enjoyable experience for students.
On a weekly basis, at least 50 percent of a physical education class shall be used for actual student physical activity and the activity shall be, to the extent practicable, at a moderate or vigorous level.
The objectives and goals shall include, to the extent practicable, student/teacher ratios [see EEB] that are small enough to enable the district to:
- Carry out the purposes of and requirements for the physical education curriculum; and
- Ensure the safety of students participating in physical education.
If a district establishes a student to teacher ratio greater than 45 to 1 in a physical education class, the district shall specifically identify the manner in which the safety of the students will be maintained.
Education Code 25.114, 28.002(d); 19 TAC 74.37
Classification for Physical Education
A district shall classify students for physical education on the basis of health into one of the following categories:
- Unrestricted—not limited in activities.
- Restricted—excludes the more vigorous activities. Restricted classification is of two types:
- Permanent—A member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas shall provide written documentation to the school as to the nature of the impairment and the expectations for physical activity for the student.
- Temporary—Students may be restricted from physical activity of the physical education class. A member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas shall provide written documentation to the school as to the nature of the temporary impairment and the expected amount of time for recovery. During recovery time, the student shall continue to learn the concepts of the lessons but shall not actively participate in the skill demonstration.
- Adapted and remedial—specific activities prescribed or prohibited for students as directed by a member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas.
19 TAC 74.31
School Health Advisory Council
A board shall establish a local school health advisory council (SHAC) to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction. Education Code 28.004(a) [See BDF regarding composition of the SHAC and FFA regarding federal wellness requirements]
The SHAC's duties include recommending:
- The number of hours of instruction to be provided in:
- Health education in kindergarten through grade 8; and
- If the district requires health education for high school graduation, health education, including physical health education and mental health education, in grades 9 through 12.
- Policies, procedures, strategies, and curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent physical health concerns, including obesity, cardiovascular
disease, Type 2 diabetes, and mental health concerns, including suicide, through coordination of:
- Health education, which must address physical health concerns and mental health concerns to ensure the integration of physical health education and mental health education;
- Physical education and physical activity;
- Nutrition services;
- Parental involvement;
- Instruction on substance abuse prevention;
- School health services, including mental health services;
- A comprehensive school counseling program under Education Code 33.005 [see FFEA];
- A safe and healthy school environment; and
- School employee wellness;
- Appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction;
- Strategies for integrating the curriculum components specified by item 2, above, with the following elements in a coordinated school health program:
- School health services, including physical health services and mental health services, if provided at a campus by the district or by a third party under a contract with the district;
- A comprehensive school counseling program under Education Code 33.005 [see FFEA];
- A safe and healthy school environment; and
- School employee wellness;
- If feasible, joint use agreements or strategies for collaboration between the district and community organizations or agencies. Any agreement entered into based on a recommendation of the SHAC must address liability for the district and community organization;
- Appropriate grade levels and curriculum for instruction regarding opioid addiction and abuse and methods for administering an opioid antagonist; and
- Strategies to increase parental awareness regarding:
- Risky behaviors and early warning signs of suicide risks and behavioral health concerns, including mental health disorders and substance use disorders; and
- Available community programs and services that address risky behaviors, suicide risks, and behavioral health concerns.
Education Code 28.004(c), (n)
The SHAC shall consider and make policy recommendations to the district concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students. The SHAC must consider research regarding unstructured and undirected play, academic and social development, and the health benefits of daily recess in making the recommendations. The SHAC shall ensure that local community values are reflected in any policy recommendation made to the district concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students. Education Code 28.004(l)
The SHAC shall make policy recommendations to the district to increase parental awareness of suicide-related risk factors and warning signs and available community suicide prevention services. Education Code 28.004(o)
Content of Human Sexuality Instruction
The board shall determine the specific content of a district's instruction in human sexuality. Education Code 28.004(h)
The board shall select any instruction relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) with the advice of the SHAC. The instruction must:
- Present abstinence as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried persons of school age;
- Devote more attention to abstinence than to any other behavior;
- Emphasize that abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with HIV or AIDS, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;
- Direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with HIV or AIDS; and
- Teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in the curriculum.
Education Code 28.004(e)
A district may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality. Education Code 28.004(f)
If a district provides human sexuality instruction, it may separate students according to sex for instructional purposes. Education Code 28.004(g) [See FB regarding single-sex classes under Title IX]
Notice to Parents
Before each school year, a district shall provide written notice to a parent of each student enrolled in the district of the board's decision regarding whether the district will provide human sexuality instruction to district students. If instruction will be provided, the notice must include:
- A summary of the basic content of the district's human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, including a statement informing the parent of the instructional requirements under state law;
- A statement of the parent's right to:
- Review curriculum materials as provided by Education Code 28.004(j); and
- Remove the student from any part of that instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction imposed by the district or the student's school; and
- Information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum to be used in human sexuality instruction, including information regarding the SHAC.
A parent may use the grievance procedure at FNG concerning a complaint of a violation of notice requirements.
Education Code 28.004(i)–(i-1)
Availability of Materials
A district shall make all curriculum materials used in human sexuality instruction available for reasonable public inspection. Education Code 28.004(j) [See EFA regarding selection of curriculum materials for human sexuality instruction]
A district must adopt a character education program that includes the following positive character education traits:
- Trustworthiness, including honesty, reliability, punctuality, and loyalty;
- Respect and courtesy;
- Responsibility, including accountability, diligence, perseverance, and self-control;
- Fairness, including justice and freedom from prejudice;
- Caring, including kindness, empathy, compassion, consideration, patience, generosity, and charity;
- Good citizenship, including patriotism, concern for the common good and the community, and respect for authority and the law;
- School pride; and
In developing or selecting a character education program under Education Code 29.906, a district shall consult with a committee selected by the district that consists of parents of district students, educators, and other members of the community, including community leaders.
The provisions above do not require or authorize proselytizing or indoctrinating concerning any specific religious or political belief.
Education Code 29.906