One of the key elements of HB 5, as noted previously and as well documented in the press, is the increased level of local control and governance afforded district trustees and administration. But there are certain parameters that have been defined in determining the curriculum that falls under each endorsement category.
Following are examples of disciplines included under each endorsement.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
- Environment and Computer Sciences
- Advanced Math
BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY
- Business Management, Construction
- Graphics Design
- Health Sciences
- Education and Training
- Law Enforcement
- Culinary Arts
ARTS AND HUMANITIES
- Political Science
- World Languages
- Cultural Studies
- Music, Theater and Fine Arts
- Selection from each endorsement
Recognizing that not all districts will be able to initially offer all five endorsements based on existing curriculum offerings, districts must carefully consider the opportunities that partnering with neighboring districts, community colleges, and businesses in the community represent. As an example, a 2A district near Waco plans to partner with two ISD’s in Waco to be able to deliver an expanded curriculum that enables them to offer three endorsements to their students. Others may look to the use of Career and Technology funds to expand their course offerings to students.
The bottom line is that the responsibility for defining course and endorsement offerings now falls to individual school districts. This is a golden opportunity for districts to offer those courses best suited to the needs and desires of their students, the local community, and local businesses. And, after all, it is all about how public education best serves the needs of the 5.1 M Public education students in the State of Texas. Our students are counting on us!