Representative Helen Giddings filed HB 972, which requires school districts with a student enrollment of 5,000 or more to prohibit a student in first through sixth grade from being assigned for two consecutive years to a teacher lacking certification and a year of experience.

“When a student is assigned to a teacher who is not certified in their field for two consecutive years, the student is at a significant disadvantage,” Giddings stated. “Students deserve a fair shot at achievement, and assigning them in consecutive years to uncertified and inexperienced teachers is an avoidable obstacle to their growth.”

According to data from the Legislative Budget Board, certified teachers consistently produced stronger student achievement than those without certification. On five of six tests, the effect of having an uncertified teacher depressed student achievement by between one-half month to three months annually, compared to fully-certified teachers with the same experience who work in a similar school.

HB 972 speaks to the instructional educational quality during a child’s most delicate developmental years.  However, the bill also recognizes exceptions to the rule must exist. The bill provides that the Texas Education Agency Commissioner can waive these requirements if he finds that extreme circumstances in the district warrant the waiver.

Rep. Giddings explained, “Research has shown that teachers’ quality and experience improves over time. The House passed HB 972 to give our children equal opportunity for a better educational foundation.”

Representative Helen Giddings proudly serves the cities of House District 109: Dallas, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights, Hutchins, Lancaster, Wilmer, as well as part of Duncanville.

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