ABC of Texas Report

Some notable things have happened in the last couple of months.  

First, ABC of Texas has finished updating its Strategic Plan.  We set goals for 2017 and then checked our goals for 2015 (which were set in 2011) to ensure those goals would advance us toward the 2017 Goals.  This plan will be reviewed by the Board at its January meeting and will be adopted as is or changed.

The 2017 Goals are:


In order to approach those 2017 Goals, our 2015 Goals are:

If you have followed our goals in the past, you will notice the addition of a goal relating to funding ABC of Texas.  That was added because for the last two years we have had to solicit members who believe in our mission to contribute above and beyond their dues.  These "Friends of ABC of Texas" contribute anywhere from $2500 to $250 above their dues payments and receive recognition on our web site, in Texas Merit Shop Journal, and at our Legislative Day.  If you are interested in supporting our mission by becoming a "Friend of ABC of Texas", please contact me at

Another noteworthy occurrence was the November meeting of the State Board of Education (SBOE) where the SBOE changed the draft rule circulated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff to delete Algebra II as a requirement in all but the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) endorsement.  Efforts to delete this draft requirement were led by Jobs for Texas and Raise Your Hand Texas.  Both ABC of Texas and AGC-TBB are members of Jobs for Texas.

It is important to understanding the structure of HB 5 to understand that school districts can still adopt the Distinguished Path as their default requirement.  That includes Algebra II and some additional science courses not required in the endorsements (very similar to the current 4 X 4).  And, only students who graduate under the Distinguished Path are eligible for the automatic admittance to state universities under the 10% rule.    School districts can also require Algebra II for any of the endorsements they choose, it just would not be required by the state.  In its testimony, ABC of Texas specifically objected to assertions that Algebra II was the only way to teach critical thinking skills.

A lot of the "heavy lifting" at the SBOE was done by Mike Meroney of Jobs for Texas and David Anderson of Raise Your Hand Texas.  Many school superintendents testified supporting maximum flexibility for school districts (eliminating the requirement).  At the request of Jobs for Texas, ABC of Texas provided three witnesses—Katrina Kersch of Marek Brothers, Steve Horton from the Greater Houston Chapter staff, and the ABC of Texas President.  The only other Jobs for Texas member to testify (besides Meroney) was from the Texas Association of Builders.The Texas Association of Business and the Austin Chamber of Commerce testified for leaving Algebra II as a requirement on all endorsements.

And, last but certainly not least, ABC of Texas is participating (along with both AGC-TBB and TCA) in an effort to simplify Texas Lien Laws.  This effort is an attempt to simplify the lien laws in a manner that the entire industry can support.  Some of the brightest legal minds in the business are engaged in this effort.  Hopefully, with all this talent in one room, we can devise a means to allow contractors to preserve lien rights without consulting an attorney even if it takes legal advice to perfect the lien.  We should know more about the possibilities of success this collaborative effort in the spring.