In this section, “blended learning” means an instructional delivery method that combines classroom and online instruction.
From funds appropriated or available for purposes of this section, the commissioner shall establish a grant program to assist school districts and open-enrollment charter schools in developing and implementing effective blended learning models, including an innovative mathematics instructional program at a campus designated as a mathematics innovation zone as provided by Section 28.020 (Mathematics Innovation Zones). In awarding grants under the program, the commissioner shall give priority to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that have the highest enrollment of students who are educationally disadvantaged.
A school district or open-enrollment charter school that receives a grant under this section must:
develop a plan to implement a blended learning model that meets the requirements under Subsection (d);
provide training to teachers and other relevant personnel on effective blended learning practices using a program approved by the commissioner for that purpose;
after completion of the training under Subdivision (2):
certify to the agency that the blended learning model has been implemented; and
immediately following the fourth school year of implementation, submit to the agency a report on student outcomes under the blended learning model; and
provide any other information to the agency as necessary for the implementation of this section.
A plan to implement a blended learning model developed under Subsection (c) must:
during the first year require implementation of the model across an entire grade level at a campus and permit subsequent expansion of the model to additional grade levels at the campus or, if the campus has achieved full implementation of the model across all grade levels, to additional campuses in a manner that provides students a consistent learning experience;
require teachers to differentiate instruction for all students in a grade level using the blended learning model, including by:
using curricula and assessments that allow each student to progress at the student’s pace based on demonstrated proficiency;
providing learning opportunities that give students, in collaboration with the teacher, control over the time, place, path, and pace of the student’s learning; and
allocating a certain amount of instructional preparation time to collaborating with students and developing blended learning lesson plans and activities driven by individual student needs;
provide teachers and other relevant personnel with professional development opportunities regarding blended learning; and
require the use of a proficiency-based assessment to inform instruction and provide teachers with relevant information regarding strengths and gaps in a student’s learning and proficiency in the essential knowledge and skills.
Funds awarded under the grant program may be used only to implement a program under this section and satisfy the requirements under Subsection (c).
A school district or open-enrollment charter school may receive a grant under this section for not more than four consecutive school years.
The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to implement this section, including rules establishing an application and selection process for awarding grants under this section and a list of programs that may be used for training under Subsection (c)(2). In adopting rules under this subsection, the commissioner may not impose any requirements on a school district’s or open-enrollment charter school’s plan to implement a blended learning model not listed under Subsection (d).Added by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 943 (H.B. 3), Sec. 2.033, eff. June 12, 2019.