House Bill 1605 FAQs
House Bill (HB) 1605 changes how instructional materials are adopted and funded in Texas. To help educators and stakeholders understand the implications and implementation of HB 1605, TEA has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that will be updated regularly.
The FAQ covers the Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment (IMTA) process, the Instructional Materials Review and Approval (IMRA) process, the impact on publishers, and transition timelines. The FAQ also links relevant statutes, rules, and resources for further information.
Last updated February 23, 2024. FAQs with an asterisk (*) have changed since the last update.
Q: What is the new State Board of Education (SBOE) IMRA process required by the bill?
A: The SBOE will approve a set of IMRA criteria as well as an IMRA Process. The IMRA criteria define what will be reviewed in instructional materials. The IMRA process will outline how instructional materials will be reviewed. The SBOE has final authority on approvals, the process, and the criteria used. TEA is required to assist by assembling teams of teachers and other curriculum experts to conduct reviews and provide recommendations to the SBOE.
Q: What IMRA criteria are required by statute?
A: Texas Education Code (TEC), §31.022, and §31.023 identify several aspects of instructional material that must be included as part of the IMRA criteria. This includes:
- Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) coverage
- No three-cuing content in K–3 reading
- Suitable for grade and subject
- No obscene or harmful content, including compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), TEC, §28.0022, and Penal Code 43.22
- Free from factual error
- Physical and electronic specifications
- Parent portal compliance
Other statutes of relevance to instructional material and the IMRA criteria include TEC, §§29.907, 29.9071, and 29.9072.
Q: Who will review and vet the materials before they're used in classrooms?
The SBOE will have the final approval of the reviewers for the new IMRA process. Over the next two meetings, the board will approve the reviewer recruitment, reviewer application, and reviewer training processes.
The agency will manage the operations of the reviewer selection and recruitment and also assemble teams of reviewers which will consist of approved teachers and other curriculum experts to conduct reviews and provide recommendations to the SBOE.
Q: Are districts required to use materials adopted by the SBOE under the new IMRA process?
A: Districts still have the authority to adopt materials that meet their local needs. TEC, §31.0251 specifically states “except as otherwise provided, the agency may not require a school district to adopt or otherwise use instructional material” adopted by the SBOE.
Q: How do districts access the new allotment in the bill?
A: Instructional materials accounts managed via EMAT have previously held balances for each school system from the IMTA. Starting in the 2023–24 school year, EMAT will be updated to reflect additional balances provided by two new allotments created by HB 1605: the State-Approved Materials Allotment (TEC, §48.307) and the Open Education Resources (OER) Printing Allotment (TEC, §48.308). When school systems use EMAT to place requisitions for state-approved (or printed OER) materials, during the ordering process, the school system will designate that the requisitions will draw down funds from these allotments.
School systems may only use the new allotments to order materials that have been approved by the SBOE via the new IMRA process. The bill requires the SBOE to establish the new IMRA Criteria and Process, and then conduct it to approve materials on a prospective basis, so materials adopted by the SBOE under prior law do not count as approved under the new IMRA process. Current timelines indicate that materials will begin to be reviewed in April 2024, with full approval being given to an initial set of materials by the SBOE in November 2024. At that point, districts will be able to place orders and access the new allotments.
Note: The State-Approved Materials Allotment (TEC, §48.307) accumulates in a school system’s account even in a year when the school system places no requisitions in EMAT for SBOE-approved materials. So, in November 2024, a school system will have two years’ worth of allotment funds from which to purchase at that time. However, the OER Printing Allotment (TEC, §48.308) is only available for printing costs in the same year, so no additional funds will be available under that allotment during the 2023–24 school year given SBOE timelines for materials approval under the new IMRA Process.
Q: Which instructional materials can a district purchase with the traditional IMTA and the new allotments in HB 1605?
A: Actions by the SBOE to approve or reject materials in the IMRA process do not impact the allowable uses of a district’s traditional IMTA funds. The bill amends the statute to now state, “instructional materials, regardless of whether the instructional materials are on the list of approved instructional materials maintained by the State Board of Education under Section 31.022.” (HB 1605 Section 18)
The only new restriction on IMTA spending by a district is TEC, §31.0211(f) which states: “Funds allotted under this section may not be used to purchase instructional material that contains obscene or harmful content or would otherwise cause the school district to which the funds were allotted to be unable to submit the certification required under TEC, §31.1011(a)(1)(B).”
TEC, §31.1011(a)(1)(B) references protections from obscene or harmful content as necessary for compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (Pub. L. No. 106-554), TEC, §28.0022 - Certain Instructional Requirements And Prohibitions, §43.22 of Texas Penal Code, and any other law or regulation that protects students from obscene or harmful content.
In contrast, the new allotments for $40 and $20 are restricted to only materials that have been reviewed and approved by the SBOE in the new IMRA process.
Q: How do you define what is considered “high-quality”?
A: TEA and the SBOE are currently in the process of developing rubrics that formally define what HQIM include. Pending final details in that rubric, HQIM are curricular resources that:
- Ensure full coverage of TEKS.
- Are aligned to evidence-based best practices in the relevant content areas of RLA, math, science, and social studies.
- Support all learners, including students with disabilities, English learners, and students identified as gifted and talented.
- Enable frequent progress monitoring through embedded and aligned assessments.
- Include implementation supports for teachers.
- Provide teacher and student-facing lesson-level materials.
Q: How does this bill impact the current IMTA?
A: HB 1605 does not change the current IMTA process or structure. The IMTA was restored in House Bill 1, 88th Texas Legislature, to traditional levels (roughly $1 billion per biennium). School system IMTA Account allocations have already been made based on HB 1, as detailed in this June 2023 correspondence. HB 1605 establishes two new Foundation School Program (FSP) entitlements for SBOE-approved instructional materials, in addition to the IMTA. These new FSP funds will be managed in each district’s IMTA Account.
Q: What is the average cost of a textbook?
A: Pricing varies by the grade and subject of the instructional material. Pricing is also dependent on the suite of components bundled by a publisher for purchase, which could include components such as digital licenses, trade books, workbooks, and teacher guides. Current prices for adopted instructional materials can be found on EMAT.
Q: How many instructional materials are currently adopted by the SBOE?
A: Log into EMAT to access the list of instructional materials adopted by the SBOE.
Q: Do currently-adopted products qualify for the new instructional materials allotments provided in HB 1605?*
A: None of the instructional materials from previous proclamations, including material adopted under Proclamation 2024, qualify as allowable purchases under the new foundation school program formula funds of $40 per student and $20 per student (although they continue to qualify as an allowable purchase with IMTA funds). To qualify for the new formula allotments, materials must be reviewed and approved by the SBOE in the new IMRA process outlined in HB 1605.
Q: In recent legislation, three-cueing was repealed. What is three-cueing?
A: Three-cueing is a method of reading instruction for the identification of words by which a student is encouraged to draw on context and sentence structure to read words without sounding the words out or using a phonics-based approach.
Materials can be thought of as using three-cueing when teacher prompts including statements like “Does it look right,” “Does it sound right,” and “Does it make sense?” Similarly, materials may encourage students to skip a word and come back to it, hunt for more familiar words, look at pictures for clues, try a word that makes sense, or other strategies that downplay the need to decode the specific written word being read. For example, instructional materials that include predictive text stems (as opposed to decodable readers) often include prohibited three-cueing. A school district or open-enrollment charter school may not include any instruction that incorporates three-cueing in K-3 English languages arts/reading.
Q: Will the K–12 Proclamation 2024 for Science K–12 remain intact, per the grandfathering language in HB 1605?
A: Yes. Proclamation 2024, which includes K–12 science instructional materials, among others, will continue as planned with materials being approved in the fall of 2023 and available for implementation in the 2024–25 school year.
Previous Webinars and Work Sessions
- House Bill 1605 Implementation Information Session for Publishers was held on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. A copy of the presentation and the webinar recording are available on the TEA web site.
Q: When does TEA anticipate publishing a formal cycle of annual curriculum areas for TEKS review so publishers can best plan and develop Texas curriculum resources?
A: The review of instructional materials in particular content areas and grade levels is dependent upon the approval of an aligned set of rubrics by the SBOE. It will be up to the SBOE to share their prioritization of rubrics with TEA as the final rubrics and review process must be approved by the SBOE. Once a particular grade level and subject rubric is developed, it is anticipated that a review and approval process will happen in that grade level and subject rubric each year thereafter. This means that as TEKS are changed, new instructional materials reviews will be conducted, but publishers that don’t submit on that timeline can also submit materials any year thereafter.
Q: How does the bill impact the TEKS review and revision process?
A: The bill requires a new vocabulary and book list addendum to the reading language arts (RLA) standards. TEC, §28.002, §4(c), notes that the SBOE “shall specify a list of required vocabulary and at least one literary work to be taught in each grade level”. TEC §28.002, §5(c), additionally notes the SBOE “shall initiate the process of specifying an initial list of vocabulary and literary works” no later than February 1, 2024, by requesting recommendations from the agency. Beyond the required RLA Addendum, HB 1605 allows the SBOE to now determine if or when to revise TEKS in any content area.
Q: What changes in law give the SBOE more flexibility in the schedule of revising TEKS?
A: Under previous statute, the SBOE was required to issue an instructional materials proclamation every eight years in foundation curriculum subjects to sign new contracts with publishers. This often resulted in the SBOE revising TEKS on timelines to align with the eight-year cycle for adoption of instructional materials in the foundation curriculum subjects. The eight-year cycle has been repealed in §31.022(b).
Under HB 1605, the SBOE can review new instructional materials for a subject each year, even if TEKS aren’t changed.1 Under HB 1605, when TEKS are changed, the SBOE must issue a proclamation for instructional materials and adopt materials by December 1, the year before the TEKS take effect. 2
2 §31.022(c)§1(c) and §31.023(a)(1)(d)
Q: What are local classroom reviews?
A: HB 1605 establishes a local school systems instructional materials review process, under TEC, §31.0252. Local classroom reviews must accomplish two things:
- Report how consistently instructional materials used in the classroom are those adopted by the school or school system; and
- Report how consistently assignments issued to students are on grade level.
The details of how local classroom reviews are conducted must be established under standards developed by TEA, and the SBOE must specifically approve the rubric used to determine whether assignments are on grade level. The grade-level rubric used is likely to be like the portion of the IMRA criteria used to evaluate assignments found within SBOE-approved instructional materials.
Once the review standards are developed and the on-grade-level rubric is approved, TEA will conduct a training and approval process to designate vendors, including service centers, as authorized providers of these local classroom reviews. Once authorized providers are approved, Local Classroom Reviews can begin to be conducted by school systems, with grant funds provided by TEA to cover some or all of their costs, depending on demand. Local classroom reviews will likely be able to begin during the 2024–25 school year.
Q: How can parents request a local classroom review?
A: Local classroom reviews can be ordered by school systems. They can also be requested by parents.
Of note: Until the standards are developed by TEA, the rubric is approved by the SBOE, and the vendors are approved by TEA, neither school systems nor parents can request these reviews. These steps are anticipated to be completed so that reviews can begin during the 2024–25 school year.
TEC, §26.0061 establishes two different avenues for parents to request a local classroom review:
Individual Parent Request
The parent of an individual child can request a review of their own child’s classroom(s). In these situations, the law describes a process where, if a school system receives a parent's request for a review, the school system should first work with the parent to ensure the parent has had a chance to review all the instructional materials offered in the classroom. This can include walking the parent through materials made available via the new Instructional Materials Parent Portal., his can include providing physical copies of materials for the parent to review in person at the school, or if feasible, to take home. It can include facilitating meetings between the parent and the teacher(s) to discuss classroom assignments and instructional materials. If the parent still wants a local classroom review conducted after these opportunities to directly review and discuss the materials, the school system must have a process to consider that parent's request.
In the event the school system administrators do not want to conduct a Local Classroom Review, the district must have a process for the parent to appeal those administrative decisions to the school board. Regardless of the situation, a school system is not required to conduct a Local Classroom Review in an individual classroom more than once a school year.
A petition signed by parents of at least 25 percent of students at a school can request a review for all or a portion of the classrooms of a school.
In the event administrators do not want to conduct the local classroom reviews requested by the petition, the school board must consider and affirmatively vote to veto the request. If the petition reaches 50 percent, reviews must be conducted. Regardless of the situation, a school system is not required to conduct a local classroom review in an individual classroom more than once per school year.
The SBOE may establish rules governing parental requests for a local instructional material review.
More details will be provided as the rules and standards are developed.
Q: Will the parent portal need to meet accessibility requirements?
A: Parent portal requirements must be set by the SBOE per the language in HB 1605. It is likely that the SBOE will require the portals to meet WCAG accessibility requirements to ensure access for all parents.
Q: What are OER?
A: TEC, §31.002, defines OER. As instructional materials, OER can be designed to be a full subject tier one instructional material, which includes a full textbook and related components including teachers guides. Instructional materials can also be designed to be supplemental, coming in a variety of formats. By using an “open resource”, it means that the underlying intellectual property of the resource is owned by the state or is otherwise free-in-perpetuity to Texans and can be edited over time based on feedback. OER owned by the state can be downloaded in PDF format and used by anyone for free or can be printed.
Q: Why is TEA purchasing or developing OER?
A: TEA has been authorized to acquire OER under law since 2009. Modifications made to TEC, §31.071, by HB 1605, require TEA to purchase and/or develop OER full subject tier one instructional materials (i.e., textbooks) for English language arts (ELAR) and math, in grades prekindergarten–8. TEC, §31.071, also requires TEA to purchase and/or develop OER versions of full subject tier one instructional materials in grades K–5 that can be used by teachers to cover core subjects (English, math, science, and social studies) in an integrated manner in less than four hours per day of instruction.
Q: What is the OER Advisory Board?
A: TEC, §31.0712, directs TEA to establish an open education resource advisory board to ensure that the open education resource instructional materials made available are: of the highest quality; and aligned with the TEKS adopted by the SBOE under TEC, §28.002, for the applicable subject and grade level; suitable for the age of the students at the grade level for which the materials are developed; are free from bias or factual error; and are in Compliance with TEC, § 28.0022, which enumerates criteria the SBOE shall develop. TEA is in the planning phase for the OER Advisory Board, more details on the makeup of the Advisory Board will be published when they are available.
Q: What additional protections are provided as a part of the bill?
A: Teachers are given employment protections in the bill. If a teacher is using materials that have been adopted by the SBOE IMRA Process, they cannot face disciplinary action for TEC, §28.0022 complaints when using those vetted materials with fidelity (TEC, §22.05125).
This bill also protects teacher time in two ways:
- Teachers cannot be required to use bi-weekly planning time to create initial instructional materials unless there is a supplemental duty agreement with the teacher (TEC, §21.4045); and
- For school systems that have adopted instructional materials that include instructional materials with detailed lesson plans, teachers are not required to turn in weekly lesson plans (TEC, §11.164).