HB 3 Reading Academies
Per House Bill 3 (HB 3), passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in June of 2019, all kindergarten through third grade teachers and principals must attend a "teacher literacy achievement academy" by the 2021 - 2022 school year. For simplification and to avoid confusion with other grant programs and past literacy achievement academies, the Texas Education Agency is referring to this latest requirement as the HB 3 Reading Academies. House Bill 3 was updated by the 87th Texas Legislature in June 2021, it now states that all kindergarten through third grade teachers and principals must attend a "teacher literacy achievement academy" by the end of the 2022 - 2023 school year. All K-3 teachers, including special education teachers, and principals are required to attend the HB 3 Reading Academies by 2023. Districts (LEAs) continue to have authority to exempt art, health education, music, physical education, speech communication and theatre arts, or theatre teachers.
TEA is dedicated to supporting collaborators and participants throughout the Reading Academy process. To do so effectively and efficiently on a statewide scale, the Reading Academies Support Portal was created. All inquiries regarding Reading Academies will be submitted through the portal moving forward. Please use this link Support Portal Form Link to access the portal. Scroll down for more program information or jump to Frequently Asked Questions for Reading Academies.
To learn about updates to Texas Reading Academies that support Year 3 (2022-23 school year) implementation view the summary of changes.
View the webinar recording below for more detailed updates and changes to the Texas Reading Academies for Year 3.
Information for Specific Audiences/Stakeholders
Reading Academies Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is required to take House Bill 3 (HB 3) Reading Academies? All K-3 teachers, including special education teachers, and principals are required to attend the HB 3 Reading Academies by the 2022-2023 school year. Districts (LEAs) continue to have authority to exempt art, health education, music, physical education, speech communication and theatre arts, or theatre teachers.
Both state and local requirements identify individuals who must complete Texas Reading Academies. Districts and charter school have the authority to require additional staff to take the Reading Academies.
Required by HB3
- K-3 general education classroom teachers
- K-3 special education classroom teachers
- Principals who have K-3 classrooms on their campus
General rule of thumb - "teacher of record"
- Assistant Principals
- Reading Interventionists
- Literacy Coaches
- Dyslexia Teachers
- Speech Pathologists
- Full-time employees who tutor students in ELAR/SLAR
- 4th and 5th grade teachers (all content areas)
- District ELAR Coordinators
Local District Decision
- Pull out GT teachers
- Part-time tutors
- *Math interventionists
- Hourly interventionists
- *STEM teachers
- Pull out TVI teachers
- *Health, Art, PE, and Theatre teachers
*Participation would be rare
2. Do charter school teachers and principals have to complete the Texas Reading Academies? Yes.
3. Do K-3 teachers who only offer instruction in math and/or science need to complete the Texas Reading Academies? Yes. K-3 math and science teachers who are teachers of record must complete Reading Academies because literacy plays an important role in math and science instruction, and all K-3 teachers will benefit from the information learned in the Texas Reading Academies. For example, word problems are very common in math. If a child is unable to decode or comprehend the word problem, they will not be able to solve it. In science, children rely heavily on building their vocabulary and comprehension skills to be able to understand the content. In addition to that, many K-3 math or science teachers also provide tutoring and intervention support. Those teachers must understand the science of teaching reading to effectively support learner needs, especially those with reading difficulties. To make the Texas Reading Academies more relevant for these teachers, we have included cross-curricular connections throughout the modules and explicitly discuss how literacy is embedded in math, science, and social studies. An application is available for districts that wish to request a waiver for reading academies for mathematics teachers. Districts will need to provide basic information in the application, a screenshot showing the teacher's STR certification, and an assurance that the teacher will only teach mathematics in the 2022-23 school year.
4. How will teachers new to the profession or specific grade level be trained? Will districts not be allowed to hire a new teacher for K-3 prior to enrolling in the Texas Reading Academies? Each classroom teacher initially employed to teach kindergarten, first, second, or third grade and each principal at a campus with kindergarten, first, second, or third grade for the 2022-2023 school year or beyond must attend the Texas Reading Academies by the end of their first year of placement in that grade level or campus [TEC, §28.0062(2)(B)].
5. Will attending the Reading Academy be required to keep existing certifications? What about school and district staff who hold teacher certifications but are not currently classroom teachers? Texas Reading Academies are required for K-3 teachers and principals. While it is recommended that other school and district staff attend to understand the content and better support K-3 teachers, it is not a requirement to keep existing certifications.
6. If a teacher has attended previous versions of the Reading Academies (or participated in the READ grant), will that count for HB 3 credit? Teachers who participated in the 2018-2019 READ Grant can count that participation as credit for the Texas Reading Academies because they were designed to align to the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and required teachers to demonstrate competencies throughout the school year. The HB3 Reading Academies contain new content that currently appears only in the READ Grant sessions. Teachers who did not participate in the READ Grant need to participate in the current Texas Reading Academies in order to teach in grades kindergarten through third grade given the new standards, regardless if they attended a previous version of the Texas Reading Academies.
7. What happens if a participant does not complete or pass on the first attempt? If a participant does not complete or pass the Texas reading Academies on the first attempt, they must enroll again in the next available cohort. It is strongly encouraged that Authorized Providers create a Support Plan with the Cohort Leader, district/charter (LEA), and participant to assist the learner through the course.
8. Is there a set fee to enroll in the Texas Reading Academies? The cost for the blended model is $400 per participant. The comprehensive model is $3,000. Districts are responsible for paying for staff to enroll in the Texas Reading Academies.
9. When you say “with the start of the 2022-23 school year,” when does this exactly start? Year three of the Texas Reading Academies includes the following launch dates: June 2022, July 2022, August 2022, September 2022, and January 2023.
10. Will the searchable database on the TEA website be backdated to include all completions since year one? Yes, the searchable database will include all participants who have completed the Texas Reading Academies, starting with the year of inception.
11. Anyone who completes any TRA pathway, will fulfill the HB 3 mandate, regardless of their role or if they change roles, correct? It is correct that once an educator receives their HB 3 credit, it will apply to all future roles within a school district. However, a teacher cannot enroll in the Admin Pathway unless they are employed as an administrator or district-level staff member.
12. Does "attend" mean enroll and start during their first year, or complete it during the first year? Attend means enrolled and started. For example, a January 2023 cohort will not finish before the end of the 22-23 school year, but as long as they are actively working through the modules that will meet the HB3 requirement.
13. If a new teacher is hired in August of 2023, can they be enrolled in May 2024 to begin in the summer of 2024 and still meet the requirement? No, because there are not any May launch dates scheduled, so they would need to enroll by January 2024.
14. What are the consequences for currently working teachers who miss the third year? If they do not complete by next year, will it be ok for them to participate in 2023-24 without consequence? If they are currently working as K-3 teachers, they must be enrolled in one of the following cohorts; June 2022, July 2022, August 2022, September 2022, or January 2023, or they may not be placed in a K-3 classroom for the 23-24 school year.
1. What implementation options can districts choose from? Districts can select one of the following implementation options:
- Use an Authorized Provider: Districts can enter into a MOU/contract directly with an Authorized Provider (AP) in which the AP provides all logistical, technological, and content support for the district.
- Implement Locally: Enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU)/contract with an Authorized Provider. The district is responsible for hiring cohort leaders who provide content support to Reading Academy participants.
Note: Districts may wish to implement the blended model locally but use an Authorized Provider to provide the comprehensive model. In that case, districts need to enter into two separate MOUs/contracts with the Authorized Provider.
2. What is the difference between the Blended and Comprehensive Model?
- Up to 60 participants
- Completed with a combination of Canvas modules and live sessions with extra coaching support
- Participants must achieve 80% mastery on all Canvas assignments (including checks for understanding and artifacts). They must attend live training sessions, participate in group discussions in person, and demonstrate mastery of content during classroom observation by the cohort leader.
- Cohort leader documents and verifies the attendance and completion of all requirements
- Up to 100 participants
- Modules delivered online; a facilitator provides feedback through Canvas and additional office hours
- Participants must complete all modules and demonstrate proficiency on checks for understanding, discussions, and artifacts to receive credit
- Cohort leader affirms completion and at least 80% proficiency on artifacts
For more information please download the Blended vs Comprehensive Model PDF.
3. What are the different pathways within Reading Academies? Once registered, participants can enroll in one of three pathways the English Language Arts (or “General Ed.”) path: designed for general and special education teachers. The Biliteracy path which is designed for bilingual general and special education teachers. The Administrator path, which is designed for site and district leadership staff, including principals. There is also a dual pathway for cohorts that need to combine ELAR and Biliteracy. A Science of Teaching Reading (STR) pathway is currently being developed and will be available starting fall 2022.
For more information, please download the Reading Academies Pathways PDF.
4. What funds can be used to pay for Reading Academies? New reading funding sources, such as the Early Education Allotment, the Dyslexia Allotment, and/or the Basic Allotment increase can be utilized. In addition, you may consider Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) funds, the Bilingual Allotment, or Compensatory Education funds. The decision of which funds to utilize, or to use funds outside this list, is at the district’s discretion.
5. How long will it take for a teacher/administrator to complete Reading Academies? It is designed to be completed in no more than 10 full days over a 12-month period. Districts can personalize time frames for teachers, as long as the teachers are able to complete the full training within 12 months of beginning online content. The teacher pathway contains approximately 60 hours of content; the administrator pathway contains 42 hours of content.
6. Is TEA planning to release a professional development schedule that districts should follow in order to ensure participant completion of the Reading Academies? TEA will not release a required professional development schedule. Districts entering into a MOU/contract with an Authorized Provider should work with the Authorized Provider to determine scheduling. Districts are expected to build adequate time into the master schedule for teachers to complete the Texas Reading Academies coursework.
7. Will TEA provide a screening assessment for districts to determine which participants should be enrolled in a comprehensive versus blended model? There will be no screening assessment provided before teachers begin Reading Academies content. For more information on Reading Academies assessments, please see the Assessment and Exemption section of this FAQ.
8. If my district chooses the local implementation option, how/when will we pay the Authorized Provider flat fee? Districts will pay this fee to the Authorized Provider yearly, per each Comprehensive Coach and Blended Facilitator. For more information, please see the implementation structure overview.
9. If my district chooses the local implementation option, will TEA provide a job description to use for hiring cohort leaders? TEA does not provide nor approve job descriptions, in order to allow districts using local implementation to tailor the position to suit their distinct needs. However, you may reach out to an Authorized Provider to see if they have a sample job description you can personalize for your district.
10. If my district chooses the Local Implementation model, how should we determine whether to hire or use existing staff as cohort leaders? Districts can choose to use existing staff to complete cohort leader duties. However, some of each cohort leader’s other responsibilities will need to be reduced or shifted to other personnel. (Please see the Cohort Leader section for cohort leader structure.)
11. What is the amount of time per week that a Local Implementation Cohort Leader should set aside for their cohort if they are doing this part-time? Local Implementation Cohort Leaders should plan a minimum of 25 hours per week for their Blended Cohorts.
1. What is an Authorized Provider? Authorized Providers grant districts and educators access to the Reading Academies. They include Education Service Centers (ESCs), School Districts, Higher Ed. partners, and Non-Profits.
2. How will we know which Regional Educational Service Centers (ESCs), districts or other non-profit organizations are selected to be Authorized Providers? Here is the list of current Authorized Providers from the TEA Reading Practices website. It includes all 20 Regional ESCs and some other local entities. Authorized Providers are approved annually.
3. Can an Authorized Provider be deauthorized? Yes. Authorized Providers are renewed on a yearly basis. However, serious violations of Business Rules or issues signaling cohort/participant neglect, such as very low completion rates, may result in immediate deauthorization.
1. What is a Cohort Leader? “Cohort Leader” refers to a Reading Academies Comprehensive Coach or Blended Facilitator. Cohort leaders are the only personnel authorized to lead Texas Reading Academies trainings. They are employed by an Authorized Provider or by a district that adopts the Local Implementation model and signs an MOU with an Authorized Provider.
2. What is the difference between a blended facilitator and a comprehensive coach? A Blended Facilitator is the leader of a Blended Model Cohort. They may manage a cohort of up to 100 participants with an estimated time of 12 hours per week. A full-time blended facilitator could facilitate a maximum of three cohorts. A Comprehensive Coach is the leader of a Comprehensive Model Cohort. It is a full-time role, that allows them to facilitate sessions and provide coaching for no more than one cohort with a maximum of 60 teachers.
3. If I want to enroll some of my teachers in a Comprehensive Model and some in the Blended Model, can I hire a single cohort leader to serve as blended facilitator and comprehensive coach? Unfortunately, no. Districts need to hire for each role to ensure the Comprehensive Coach and the Blended Facilitator will be able to meet the needs of their cohorts.
4. What pathways can a cohort leader be assigned to?
|Pathway||Appropriate Cohort Leader Assignment|
|ELAR||ELAR Cohort Leader|
|Admin||ELAR or Biliteracy Cohort Leader|
|Biliteracy||Biliteracy Cohort Leader|
|Dual Pathway||Biliteracy Cohort Leader|
5. Does a Cohort Leader earn HB 3 credit? Yes. A Cohort Leader will earn HB 3 credit if they lead a cohort from beginning to course conclusion. Note: A Support Cohort Leader does not earn HB 3 credit.
6. If we are considering using current district-level staff as cohort leaders, can they do this and keep other district duties? A current staff member can serve as a part-time blended facilitator while still holding other duties within the district, however, they must dedicate a minimum of 25 hours per week to the Blended Cohorts they lead. Because Comprehensive Coaches require a full-time commitment, this role cannot be split with other district duties. For more information, please download the Cohort Leader Roles & Responsibilities PDF.
7. Are cohort leaders also getting stipends from their district? That is a district decision. Many cohort leaders are hired by Authorized Providers, so they are paid a salary for delivering the content. If a cohort leader is locally hired and facilitating the Texas Reading Academies goes beyond their contract hours, then districts may choose to pay them a stipend.
Cohort Leader Screener
8. What does the cohort leader screening process entail? Prospective candidates must pass a three-step screening process to serve as a Reading Academies cohort leader.
- Pass a validated multiple-choice pre-screening assessment. This pre-screener will be scored electronically, and candidates will receive immediate results. Only candidates who pass the pre-screener will move on to the second step of the process.
- Complete all artifacts that participants will complete during Reading Academies. Westat, the national comprehensive center supporting Texas, will convene a panel of 12 experts responsible for scoring the artifacts.
- Review and evaluate sample artifacts. All candidates will be given prompts, sample response artifacts, and grading guidance. The evaluated artifacts also will be scored by the Westat panel of experts. Generally, APs or districts implementing locally may want to ensure that all cohort leader candidates have served as teachers in grades K-5 for three or more (non-consecutive) years across their careers (special education or general education). Graduate-level training and coursework (e.g., MRT, Reading Specialist Certification, CALT, CALP, LDT) may be substituted for K-5 experience.
9. Is there any way to exempt applicants from the course leader screening process? No. To ensure cohort leaders have all necessary skills to successfully support Reading Academies, every cohort leader must participate in the screening process.
10. How can someone prepare for the cohort leader screening process? Prospective candidates can visit the TEA HB 3 Reading Academies webpage to find materials that will help them prepare.
11. What training is provided for cohort leaders after they pass the screening process? After both (a) passing the screening process and (b) obtaining employment with an Authorized Provider, or district operating under MOU with an Authorized Provider, TEA will assign cohort leaders to training sessions that will take place before the launch of their Reading Academies cohort. All trainings will be virtual.
1. My teachers have attended previous Reading Academies. Can that count towards the HB 3 Reading Academies requirement? Only educators who participated in and completed the requirements of the 2018-19 READ Grant will receive credit for participation in the HB 3 Reading Academies.
2. My staff have recently participated in a related or similar training. Can this count towards the HB 3 Reading Academies requirement? While TEA recognizes there are many strong literacy professional development programs currently utilized in the state of Texas, previous training will not meet nor count towards the HB 3 requirements.
3. Will there be an assessment to exempt participants from Reading Academies? There is not currently an exemption available, however, a demonstrated proficiency option will be available beginning in Fall 2022. TEA will offer two windows in 2022 that will allow districts to enroll approved teachers who possess an advanced understanding of the Science of Teaching Reading, a proven track record of consistently high student proficiency, and outstanding performance on teacher evaluations in a demonstrated proficiency course. Districts must submit a written request of recommendation to an Authorized Provider for each individual prospective participant who seeks this option. Each district will be the sole decision-maker for who is qualified to enroll in the option; Authorized Providers are simply responsible for verifying the authenticity of the letter of recommendation.
*Screening and artifacts must be completed independently. No coaching is allowed.*
Demonstrated Proficiency Option
4. Will teachers who test out still receive a certificate of completion? Yes, a teacher who passes the Demonstrated Proficiency Course screener and all three artifacts on the first attempt will receive HB3 credit and a certificate of completion and will not need to enroll in the full Texas Reading Academies.
5. Will there be an ELAR and Biliteracy Demonstrated Proficiency Course? Yes, there will be an ELAR and a biliteracy screener and set of ELAR and biliteracy artifacts.
6. Will the Demonstrated Proficiency Option be available to administrators as well? Yes. While it is not designed specifically for administrators, this option is available for any individual who has an advanced understanding of the Science of Teaching Reading and receives permission from the district to enroll.
7. What is the “passing” score for the Demonstrated Proficiency Option? To pass the Demonstrated Proficiency Option a participant must achieve at least 80% on all required components of the course, just like the Texas Reading Academies.
8. What happens if I do not pass the Demonstrated Proficiency Option? Any participant who does not pass all parts of the demonstrated proficiency option will not receive HB 3 credit. No refunds will be given, and they will be required to enroll in the full Texas Reading Academies course before the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
9. Can people who pass the Demonstrated Proficiency Option become cohort leaders? Yes, however, they must still complete the cohort leader screener and attend cohort leader training to become a cohort leader.
10. Will the Demonstrated Proficiency Option screener be identical to the cohort screener? No, it will be a unique assessment designed specifically for this option.
11. How much does the Demonstrated Proficiency Option cost? $350.00 per participant.
12. Who will be responsible for paying for the Demonstrated Proficiency Option and how do they pay? Districts will be responsible for paying for each participant. LEAs will pay with PayPal through Canvas Catalogue, the same way they do for Texas Reading Academies.
13. Can the district pass the cost to the interested learners? The district can require the learner to reimburse the cost if they do not pass the Demonstrated Proficiency course, but they cannot require the learner to pay if they pass. If they do not pass and need to enroll in the full academy, then the district needs to pay for that enrollment fee.
14. What is the process for requesting access to the Demonstrated Proficiency Option? Teachers interested in taking the Demonstrated Proficiency Option will first reach out to their district superintendent or ELAR coordinator. If the district superintendent or ELAR coordinator approves the request, a formal letter of approval will be written and submitted to an Authorized Provider. The Authorized Provider will review the letter and if approved, submit a request to TEA for the course. Learners will receive their registration link via email.
15. Where do I go if I need technical assistance regarding the Demonstrated Proficiency Option? TEALearnHelp@esc11.net
16. Will I receive CPE credits for completing the Demonstrated Proficiency Option? No. This is a test-out option so there are no training hours associated with this course.
1. How does the Reading Academies administrator path differ from the two teacher paths? The administrator path covers very similar content to the English Language Arts and biliteracy paths. However, the administrator path is streamlined and modified to highlight the specific role of the administrator within the literacy community.
2. If I am an administrator, do I have to take the administrator pathway or can I work along my teachers in an ELAR or biliteracy pathway? Administrators will be able to choose which pathway in which they want to enroll, but once they choose that pathway, they must remain in the course for its entirety. NOTE: The administrator pathway is approximately 42 hours, whereas the teacher pathway is approximately 60 hours.
3. If I am a teacher, but I am getting my certification in education administration, can I take the administrator pathway? No, the administrator pathway is designed only for current district and campus administrators.
4. Are bilingual, dual language, or SLAR teachers required to take the English Language Arts path and the biliteracy pathway? No. Participants will choose one pathway.
5. Does the biliteracy path include information regarding both the English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) and SLAR standards? Yes. The biliteracy pathway includes information on both sets of TEKS. In addition, all paths include information on best practices in supporting Emergent Bilinguals.
6. Will districts that implement locally need to hire separate cohort leaders for the English Language Arts and Biliteracy paths? It depends. Biliteracy cohorts must be led by a Biliteracy Cohort Leader. An ELAR Cohort can be led by a Biliteracy Cohort Leader or an ELAR Cohort Leader. The only way an ELAR Leader can lead an ELAR/Biliteracy course if they are paired with a Biliteracy Cohort Leader as support. Therefore, the hiring decision is ultimately up to the district, as long as the above requirements are met. The decision will depend on the number of teachers participating in each pathway, the number of cohorts planned, and the designation of the Cohort Leader (ELAR or Biliteracy).
7. Are teachers who pass the Science of Teaching Reading exam still required to take the Texas Reading Academies? Yes. An STR-certified teacher may be able to enroll in an STR pathway, if the district allows it, as soon as Fall 2022. The district may also choose to enroll STR-certified teachers in the full Texas Reading Academies course.
8. How is the STR pathway different from the other pathways offered in the Texas Reading Academies? TEA is in the process of designing an STR-certified pathway that will reduce the number of required content hours; however, completion of all artifacts to demonstrate proficiency will still be required for HB 3 credit.
9. What will be the earliest date STR teachers can enroll in the new course? Fall 2022
10. Will teachers need to prove they are STR certified to enroll in the STR pathway? Yes - teachers will need to prove they are STR-certified before an Authorized Provider could enroll them in the course. Authorized Providers can develop a system for collecting that proof.
11. Will the STR be a 12-month pathway as well, or will participants be given a shorter time period to complete the academies since it is reduced content? Learners will still have the full 12-months to complete the course, but they may progress faster since they have fewer required content pages.
12. Will there be a price difference between the new STR pathway compared to the current pathways? The STR pathway will cost the same as all other Texas Reading Academies pathways.
1. Who is paying the outsourced graders? TEA is paying the fee for the single entity grader.
2. Will CLs still be able to provide feedback through draft submission? Yes, the draft submission will still be available and allow for cohort leaders to provide feedback before the final submission.
3. With the centralized grading entity, who will grade re-submissions when a learner fails their initial submission? The cohort leader will be responsible for grading any resubmissions that fall after the artifact grading submission deadline.
1. What is considered an extenuating circumstance? TEA handles each situation on a case-by-case basis, so learners are encouraged to work with their district and Authorized Provider to determine what supports are available within the current Texas Reading Academies structure. Authorized providers will work with TEA directly if additional accommodations are needed.
2. How do I request consideration for an extenuating circumstance? For extenuating circumstances individuals are encouraged to follow this process:
- Connect with the district and the Authorized Provider to see if there are some scheduling adjustments that can be made to allow the learner some way to finish the course within the 12-month window. That flexibility will vary depending on the model, pathway, and how far the learner currently is in the course.
- If a solution cannot be found, the Authorized Provider will submit an “exceptions request” to TEA through the form found on their Authorized Provider hub.
- TEA will review the exceptions request and determine the appropriate next steps based on the information provided. The more information that can be shared (within reason), the better TEA will be able to support.
1. How can previously enrolled (or currently enrolled) participants gain access to the Texas Reading Academies content after their 12-month course has ended? TEA currently offers an opt-in alumni course. The course can be accessed through Authorized Providers and gives learners with access to the content for an additional year. Alumni courses will include Year 3 content and will be available for ELAR, Biliteracy, and Administrator pathways.
2. Will there be a deadline for learners in submitting the alumni request form? No - participants can submit a request at any time.
3. Can someone request access to the alumni course if they have not been previously enrolled in the Texas Reading Academies? No. The alumni course is reserved only for those who have previously completed the Texas Reading Academies. Authorized Providers will verify completion of the Texas Reading Academies prior to granting access to the course.