It is an honor and a privilege to represent Texas House District 120 in your State Capitol and I would like to share some updates with you regarding HB 3349, an important piece of legislation I passed in the 85th Legislature. The bill entitled the Industry to Classroom Act served to establish a new abbreviated educator preparation program for skilled professionals to earn their certification as a Texas educator and to become eligible to teach in public schools. It applies to individuals who hold all relevant certifications and who have at least 7 years' experience in trade and industrial work, or health science, or marketing.
This bill enables our welders, mechanics, technicians, carpenters, and other skilled trade and industry professionals to step in to the classroom and to pass on their vital skills. Many professionals in these trades are nearing retirement and it is absolutely critical that we train the next generation of trades professionals. There are also many individuals retiring from active duty with our armed forces who are skilled in these trades and who would make excellent educators. If we are to succeed and continue to grow as a state, we need more teachers in these fields.
This bill also applies to the health science and marketing fields. Many schools have spoken with me to let me know how badly their institutions need additional health science professionals. Whenever issues like the Ebola or Zika outbreaks emerge we count on our trained medical professionals to keep us all safe and healthy therefore
certifying more health professionals as educators will help to train the next generation. The marketing component is also important as it will help train more educators for a highly demanded field.
This bill will help to fill in the gaps and provide our Texas school children with the quality education they deserve. All these fields provide excellent and lucrative career paths for students and even though I am an educator and would never discourage anyone from attending college we should recognize that it is not always feasible for everyone and that we should work hard to ensure that career education pathways are open as well.
The bill has been adopted by the State Board for Educator Certification as a provisional change to our education code. The Board is now accepting comments from across the state on the legislation at the following site until August 2nd: https://form.jotform.com/81206385001142