House Bill 209/Senate Bill 119 and House Bill 208/Senate Bill 122 in the House of Representatives were passed on Friday.
The bills require the El Paso Independent School District to operate a special student recovery program that recuperates the students that were affected by the grade manipulation scandal in the district. State Rep. Marisa Márquez (D-El Paso) authored the bills.
The recovery program will identify students affected by these practices, notify these students of available educational services, provide educational services to allow the students to obtain high school equivalency, and admit students to district schools to complete requirements for their diplomas. The program will be paid for by EPISD.
"This legislation is needed in our community. It is time that we make an effort to correct these wrongs to move forward and regain the trust of students, parents, teachers and staff of EPISD," stated Márquez.
HB 208/SB 122 allows a district judge to remove a member of the board of trustees of an independent school district from office. "I am proud of the work that Sen. Rodriguez and I have done to help address these unfortunate incidents in an effort to prevent this from happening again," Márquez said.
Both bills will now be sent to the Governor's desk. The 83rd Legislative Session ends on May 27th, and the Governor has a 20-day deadline to sign or veto bills.