The review and adoption process determines the instructional materials eligible for adoption by the State Board of Education (SBOE). The process starts when the SBOE revises or adopts new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and is complete with the selection and implementation of new materials by school districts.
The SBOE creates an adoption cycle for subjects in the foundation curriculum (English and Spanish language arts and reading, math, science, social studies) to ensure materials in those subjects are reviewed once every eight years. Review of materials for the enrichment curriculum may occur less often. Enrichment subjects are languages other than English, health, physical education, fine arts, career and technology education, technology applications, religious literature, and personal financial literacy.
The SBOE uses a proclamation to call for new instructional materials or new information about currently adopted instructional materials. The proclamation lists the subject areas scheduled for review. It contains a schedule of adoption procedures, requirements of publisher participation, links to the required TEKS and English Language Proficiency (ELPS), and instructions for providing electronic files for braille and large-print materials. Proclamations are named for the year the materials go into the classroom.
Development and Submission
Once the proclamation is issued, interested publishers submit a Statement of Intent to Bid. Publishers typically have one year to develop materials that meet the proclamation’s requirements.
Publishers must provide one electronic sample copy of their instructional materials to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and one electronic sample copy to each of the 20 regional education service centers. The content of the samples must be complete, allow for multiple simultaneous users, and be equipped with a word-search feature. Electronic samples of digital materials, including online products, must be the same as the final product and work just like the final product will.
State Review Panels
State review panel members review instructional materials to determine the extent to which the TEKS and ELPS are covered and to identify factual errors. The commissioner of education appoints the state review panel members from nominations submitted by educational organizations across the state, educators, academic experts, parents, or SBOE members. At the end of the review, the state review panel members report their results to the commissioner of education.
Instructional Materials Adoption
The commissioner of education reports the percentage of TEKS covered in each product, as determined by the state review panels. To be eligible for adoption, instructional materials must meet at least 50% of the TEKS and 100% of the required ELPS in the components intended for student use and the components intended for teacher use, be free from factual error, meet manufacturing specifications, be suitable for the intended course and grade level, and be reviewed by academic experts.
The commissioner of education presents the SBOE with a Report of Required Corrections of Factual Errors. The report is a collection of errors found by the state review panel and by publishers (who must report all known factual errors). Texas residents may report alleged factual errors in instructional materials submitted for adoption via the Public-Reported Factual Errors Submission Form. A report is provided to the SBOE of errors reported by the public or third-party organizations that were submitted to the agency by a date established in the proclamation. Publishers must correct all factual errors and provide an affidavit confirming they have done so before the materials are submitted to TEA and to schools.
Any resident of Texas may submit written comments about instructional materials submitted for adoption. Public comments must be submitted on the Public Comment Submission Form and are limited to 2500 characters. Copies of written comments are provided to the SBOE and posted on TEA’s website. The SBOE holds a public hearing allowing citizens the opportunity to provide oral testimony about instructional materials submitted for adoption. Representatives of publishing companies may respond to testimony at the hearing or within ten working days of the hearing.
The SBOE determines by majority vote whether materials are adopted or rejected. Following the SBOE’s action, TEA establishes contracts with publishers of adopted materials to ensure their availability to districts for the following eight years at an agreed-upon cost.
Accessible Instructional Materials
TEA also contracts for the development of braille, large-print, and recorded versions of adopted instructional materials. To make the delivery of these accessible print materials possible, publishers submit digital files that conform to the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to designated producers following the adoption. Publishers of state-adopted electronic instructional materials must comply with the technical standards of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Section 508, and provide a report from an independent accessibility auditor verifying that they do so.
Many publishers provide ancillary materials free to school districts who purchase their adopted materials. Ancillary materials are not part of a publisher's bid or contract. They are not purchased by the state, reviewed by panel members, or adopted by the SBOE. Ancillary materials that are offered free as part of a package must also be available for purchase individually.
Local Adoption, Ordering, and Fulfillment
Local authorities for each school district or open-enrollment charter school set their own policies for selecting instructional materials for their students. Local policies must include the requirement that materials are selected in an open meeting. School districts and open-enrollment charter schools place their orders with TEA through the educational materials online system known as EMAT. This statewide electronic instructional materials management tool processes Texas public education instructional material orders, payments, and deliveries of adopted materials. EMAT also processes the disbursement of funds to districts for non-adopted instructional materials and educational technology. Instructional materials and educational technology are purchased with funds from districts’ technology and instructional materials allotment.
Audit and Penalties
TEA oversees an audit of all newly adopted materials to confirm that all factual errors are corrected. Any uncorrected or newly discovered errors are reported to the SBOE and may result in penalties for the publisher.
Substitutions and Content Updates
Publishers must submit a formal request to substitute a new edition or to update content in adopted instructional materials. All updates that involve content used to determine TEKS coverage must be approved by the SBOE prior to its introduction into the material. All updates that do not involve content used to determine TEKS coverage must be approved by TEA. With prior approval from TEA, publishers may, at any time, make changes that do not affect the content, such as technical enhancements or improvements. TEA posts requests to update adopted materials for a minimum of seven days.
Errors in Adopted Materials
Students, teachers, parents, and others can report alleged factual errors in state-adopted instructional materials to TEA by submitting the Public-Reported Factual Errors Submission Form. TEA will notify the publisher and work with the publisher to correct any verified errors and provide corrections to districts.
The links below are to state law and rule regarding review and adoption of instructional materials and the current adoption cycle.
Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 31
State Board of Education Rules 19 TAC Chapter 66
Adoption Cycle for Foundation and Enrichment Subjects (PDF)