State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, met Wednesday with Central Texas educators and discussed the sweeping changes set in motion by House Bill 5.

Aycock spoke at a reception organized by the Killeen Independent School District at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. The audience included KISD staff and administrators, as well as representatives from Central Texas College, Texas A&M University-Central Texas and representatives from school districts in the Education Service Center Region 12.

“You couldn’t watch (the bill pass) without a great sense of pride in Dr. Aycock,” said Robert Muller, Killeen ISD’s superintendent.

HB5 impacts several areas of education

House Bill 5 impacts several areas of education, including standardized testing, graduation requirements and school district accountability. Aycock said the bill would give more control and flexibility back to local school districts.

Aycock, who also serves as chairman of the House Education Committee, authored the bill and helped see it through the legislative process. Aycock said he tried to get educators and lawmakers to work together after budget cuts and past education legislation left the relationship between both groups strained.

He promised a “renewed commitment” to address the issues and challenges facing public education in Texas.

“Folks, these are our kids, and there’s 5.1 million of them,” Aycock said. “There must not be a rift between those who educate our children and those who set public policy.”

Before taking questions from the audience, Aycock encouraged teachers and others in the field of public education to continue to be vocal advocates, and to work with the state’s many education advocacy organizations to promote change.

“Be part of an association,” Aycock said. “Make your voice heard.”

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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