House Bill 2610

House Bill (HB) 2610, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, amends the Texas Education Code (TEC) §25.081, by striking language requiring 180 days of instruction and replacing this language with language requiring districts and charter schools to provide at least 75,600 minutes of instruction, including intermissions and recess. the bill also allows school districts and charter schools to add minutes as necessary to compensate for minutes of instruction lost due to school closures caused by disaster, flood, extreme weather conditions, fuel curtailment or another calamity.

Beginning the the 2016-2017 school year, school districts and charter schools will be required to submit calendars showing the amount of time that school was held each day, along with any waiver minutes granted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), through the summer data submission. The TEA will use this data to verify that school districts and charter schools that did not meet the required number of minutes will receive a funding deduction proportionate to the amount of minutes they were short.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions that may be of assistance.

1. When does HB 2601 take effect?
HB 2610 took immediate effect meaning that the new requirements are in effect for the 2015-2016 school year and will be reflected in the 2015-2016 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH).

2. Does HB 2610 change the calculation of average daily attendance (ADA) for the purpose of state funding under the foundation school program?
ADA will continue to be calculated based on the number of days present each six weeks divided by the number of days taught. Each calendar day represents one day taught, regardless of the number of minutes of instruction that occurred that day. The result for each six-week period will be added together and divided by six to calculate annual ADA. ADA will be reduced for failure to meet the required number of minutes per TEC, §25.081, in proportion to the percentage of minutes that the district fell short of meeting the 75,600 minute requirement.

3. What should the district's or charter school's calendar include?
Each calendar should include the equivalent of two bad weather makeup days (or 840 minutes) and should reflect any waivers that have been granted. Districts' and charter schools' calendars should include the following:
  • Bad weather makeup days
  • Early release days
  • Staff development or teacher prep days

4. Can my district or charter school change the calendar after the school year has started to make up minutes lost to an unforeseen event?
Yes. You can add minutes to days remaining in the school year to make up for an unplanned event that caused school to be closed during the school year.

5. If my district or charter school only has a Pre-K campus, how many minutes does it need to meet to comply with HB 2610?
If the campus is solely a Pre-K campus, it would need to have a total of 37,800 minutes because Pre-K is funded on half day of ADA, with the exception of students that are Pre-K and coded as special education.

6. Now that we are required to meet the 75,600 minutes minimum, are we also bound by a certain number of days?
Since HB 2610 replaced the language and the requirements for 180 days of instruction with 75,600 minutes of instruction including intermissions and recess, districts and charter schools are no longer bound by days with regard to instruction. however, please note that TEC, §41.401, still requires that teachers employed under a 10-month contract provide a minimum of 187 days of service. Districts should consider this when creating calendars that are shorter than the traditional 180 days. Also, note that when creating the calendar, the school year cannot end before May 16.

If you have more questions regarding House Bill 2610, click here.