TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 1. TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

CHAPTER 22. STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER I. TEXAS ARMED SERVICES SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

19 TAC §§22.166, 22.167, 22.169, 22.170

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §§22.166; 22.167; 22.169; and 22.170, concerning the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program (Senate Bill 49 and House Bill 1117, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session). The amendments to §22.166(a) and new subsection (e) allow for the appointment of alternate nominees and, if an appointee fails to qualify for an initial award, requires the Coordinating Board to notify the alternate nominee. Amendments to §§22.167, 22.169, and 22.170 extend eligibility to students who are enrolled in other undergraduate officer commissioning programs, in addition to those enrolled in ROTC. Updates reflecting this change have been made throughout these rules. Two references to outdated administrative code section numbers have been updated accordingly.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the amendments are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the amendments are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be a clearer understanding of the requirements of the program. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.9774 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules for the administration of the Provisions for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program.

The amendment affects Texas Education Code, §§61.9772 - 61.9774.

§22.166.Requirements for Appointment by Elected Officials.

(a) Each year the governor and the lieutenant governor may each appoint two students and two alternates, and each state senator and each state representative may appoint one student and one alternate to receive an initial conditional Texas Armed Services Scholarship.

(b) Appointments must be reported to the Board by the deadline established by the Commissioner.

(c) A selected student must meet two of the following four academic criteria at the time of application:

(1) Is on track to graduate high school or graduated with the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) or the International Baccalaureate Program (IB);

(2) Has a current high school GPA of 3.0 or higher or graduated with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher;

(3) Achieved a college readiness score on the SAT or ACT;

(4) Is currently ranked in the top one-third of the prospective high school graduating class or graduated in the top one-third of the high school graduating class.

(d) A non-freshman student applying for an initial award must meet the requirements set forth in §22.169 [§21.2246](1) and (3) of this title (relating to Eligibility for Continued Awards).

(e) If a student appointed to receive a scholarship fails to initially meet eligibility or fails to meet the requirements to initially receive the scholarship, the Board must notify the alternate on file of his or her nomination.

§22.167.Initial Award Eligibility and Agreement Requirements.

To receive an initial conditional scholarship award through the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program, a selected student must:

(1) Be enrolled in a Texas public or private institution of higher education, as certified by the institution;

(2) Enroll in and be a member in good standing of a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program or another undergraduate officer commissioning program while enrolled in the institution, as certified by the institution; and

(3) Enter into a written agreement with the Board agreeing to:

(A) Complete four years of ROTC training, or the equivalent of four years of ROTC training if the institution awards ROTC credit for prior service in any branch of the U.S. Armed Services or the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, United States Coast Guard, or United States Merchant Marine, or another undergraduate officer commissioning program;

(B) - (D) (No change.)

(E) Repay the scholarship according to the terms of the promissory note if the student fails to meet the requirements described in §22.170 [§21.2247] of this title (relating to Conversion of the Scholarship to a Loan).

§22.169.Eligibility for Continued Awards.

To continue to receive an annual conditional Texas Armed Services Program Scholarship, the student must:

(1) Maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by the institution of higher education in which the student is enrolled;

(2) Continue to be a member of a Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program or another undergraduate officer commissioning program; and

(3) Not have earned a baccalaureate degree or a cumulative total of 150 credit hours, including transferred hours, as verified by the recipients' institution of higher education.

§22.170.Conversion of the Scholarship to a Loan.

(a) A scholarship will become a loan if the recipient:

(1) Fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress as required by the institution's ROTC or another undergraduate officer commissioning program for continued participation in that program;

(2) - (3) (No change.)

(b) If a scholarship recipient requires a temporary leave of absence from the institution and/or the ROTC or another undergraduate officer commissioning program for personal reasons or to provide service for the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, United States Coast Guard, or United States Merchant Marine for fewer than twelve months, the Board may agree to not convert the scholarship to a loan during that time.

(c) If a recipient is required to provide more than twelve months of service in the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Texas State Guard, United States Coast Guard, or United States Merchant Marine as a result of a national emergency, the Board shall grant that recipient additional time to meet the graduation and service requirements specified in the Texas Armed Services Scholarship agreement.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 2, 2017.

TRD-201702908

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 17, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6104


CHAPTER 23. EDUCATION LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER G. NURSING FACULTY LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

19 TAC §23.186, §23.193

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §23.186 and §23.193, concerning the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program. The amendment to §23.186(a) updates the Texas Education Code subchapter which was redesignated from Chapter 61, Subchapter II, to Subchapter JJ in 2015 (Senate Bill 1296, 84th Texas Legislature). The amendment to §23.193(3) adds language to indicate that legislative appropriations may be used to provide loan repayments in accordance with the General Appropriations Act, SB 1, Article III, Section 42, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. Currently, program funding is limited to gifts, grants, and donations and/or funds that have been reallocated from the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program account.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the sections are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the sections are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the section will be a clearer understanding of the requirements of the program. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.9828 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules for the administration of Texas Education Code.

The amendments reflect Article III of the General Appropriations Act for FY 2018-2019, Strategy F.1.10, and Texas Education Code §§61.9821, 61.9823, and 61.9827.

§23.186.Authority and Purpose.

(a) Authority for this subchapter is provided in the Texas Education Code, Chapter 61, Subchapter JJ [II], Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program. These rules establish procedures to administer the subchapter as prescribed in the Texas Education Code, §§61.9821 - 61.9828.

(b) (No change.)

§23.193.Limitations.

The following limitations apply to the Nursing Faculty Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

(1) - (2) (No change.)

(3) Funds will be available for loan repayment assistance under this subchapter only if there are legislative appropriations, gifts, grants, and donations made for this purpose, and/or funds have been reallocated for this purpose from the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program Account at the end of a fiscal year.

(4) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 2, 2017.

TRD-201702909

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 17, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6104


CHAPTER 25. OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PROGRAM

SUBCHAPTER A. OPTIONAL RETIREMENT PROGRAM

19 TAC §25.4

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §25.4, concerning the Optional Retirement Program. The amendments to §25.4 strike current provisions regarding the extension of an ORP-eligible employee's 90-day ORP Election Period when an institution fails to notify the employee of his or her eligibility to elect ORP on a timely basis. The amendments incorporate provisions regarding the extension enacted by SB 1954, 85th Texas Legislature, R.S.

These amendments were adopted on an emergency basis and are now being filed as proposed amendments to allow for a 30-day comment period.

Ms. Tonia Scaperlanda, Director of Human Resources, has determined that for the first five years the amendments are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Ms. Scaperlanda has also determined that for each year of the first five years the amendments are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the section will be improved administration of this retirement program for public higher education employees. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted by mail to Tonia Scaperlanda, Director of Human Resources, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at texorp@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amended section is proposed under Texas Education Code, §61.027, which provides the Coordinating Board with general rule-making authority and Texas Government Code, §830.002(c), which provides the Coordinating Board with authority to develop policies, practices, and procedures to provide greater uniformity in the administration of ORP.

The proposed amendments affect the implementation of Texas Government Code, Chapter 830, §830.102(c-1) and §830.102(c-2).

§25.4.Eligibility to Elect ORP.

(a) - (n) (No change.)

(o) Administrative Errors.

(1) - (3) (No change.)

(4) Failure to Notify Error. If an ORP employer fails to notify an ORP-eligible employee of his or her eligible status on or before the employee's initial ORP eligibility date, the ORP employer shall notify the eligible employee as soon as the oversight is discovered.

(A) An employee who becomes eligible to participate in ORP and is notified by the ORP employer of the opportunity to participate in the program after the first day and before the 91st day after the date the employee becomes eligible must elect to participate in the program before the later of:

(i) the 91st day after the date the employee becomes eligible; or

(ii) the 31st day after the date the employee receives notice of the opportunity to participate in the program.

(B) An employee who becomes eligible to participate in ORP and is notified by the ORP employer of the opportunity to participate in the program on or after the 91st day after the date the employee becomes eligible must be notified by the employer before the 151st day after the date the employee becomes eligible. The employee must elect to participate in the program before the later of:

(i) the 151st day after the date the employee becomes eligible; or

(ii) the 31st day after the date the employee receives notice of the opportunity to participate in the program. [The 90-day ORP election period for the eligible employee shall begin on the date that the employee is notified, and the]

(C) The participation start date shall be determined in accordance with subsection (g) of this section.

(p) (No change.)

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 1, 2017.

TRD-201702887

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 17, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6104


PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 74. CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS

SUBCHAPTER BB. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION

19 TAC §74.1025

The Texas Education Agency proposes an amendment to §74.1025, concerning individual graduation committee review. The proposed amendment would reflect requirements implemented by Senate Bill (SB) 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.025(a), prohibits a student from receiving a high school diploma until the student has performed satisfactorily on state end-of-course (EOC) assessments. Students must perform satisfactorily on the following five EOC assessments: Algebra I, Biology, English I, English II, and U.S. History.

TEC, §28.0258, requires each school district and open-enrollment charter school to establish an individual graduation committee for each 11th or 12th grade student who fails to perform satisfactorily on not more than two EOC assessments. The committee must be established at the end of or after the student's 11th grade year to determine whether a student may qualify to graduate. A student may not graduate under this provision before the student's 12th grade year. Statute requires the commissioner to adopt rules to establish alternative individual graduation committee members and a timeline for decisions by individual graduation committees. TEC, §28.0259, requires each school district and open-enrollment charter school to report through PEIMS the number of students for which an individual graduation committee was convened and the number of students who are awarded a diploma by means of an individual graduation committee determination each year. SB 463 extends the expiration date of TEC, §28.0258 and §28.0259, to September 1, 2019.

The following changes to §74.1025 would implement SB 463.

The proposed amendment to §74.1025(k), relettered as subsection (l), would extend the applicability of these rules to students classified as 11th or 12th grade students in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.

The proposed amendment to §74.1025(l), relettered as subsection (m), would change the date on which the section expires to September 1, 2019, and would make a corresponding change to the date by which a student may qualify to graduate on the basis of an individual graduation committee decision.

In addition, proposed new subsection (h) would be added to provide for the designation of an alternate committee member in the event that the department chair or lead teacher is unavailable to serve on an individual graduation committee. This proposed addition is in response to questions from school districts and would provide additional clarification regarding implementation. Subsequent subsections would be relettered accordingly.

A technical edit to update the reference to PEIMS would be made.

The proposed amendment would have no new procedural or reporting implications. The proposed amendment would have no new locally maintained paperwork requirements.

FISCAL NOTE. Penny Schwinn, deputy commissioner for academics, has determined that for the first five-year period the amendment is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed amendment is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Schwinn has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendment is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendment will be providing students with additional flexibility in completing assessment requirements for graduation. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT AND REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND MICROBUSINESSES. There is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses and microbusinesses; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The public comment period on the proposal begins August 18, 2017, and ends September 18, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on August 18, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.0258(c), which requires the commissioner of education to establish by rule a procedure for the appointment of alternative individual graduation committee members in the event that a required member is unable to serve. The rule is required to include the appointment of an advocate for the student if the student's parent or person standing in parental relation to the student is unable to serve; TEC, §28.0258(i), which requires the commissioner to establish by rule a timeline for an individual graduation committee to make a determination regarding whether a student is qualified to graduate; TEC, §28.0259, which requires the commissioner to adopt rules regarding the requirement that school districts report through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) information regarding the number of students for whom an individual graduation committee was established and the number of students who were awarded a diploma based on the decision of an individual graduation committee; and Senate Bill 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amends TEC, §28.0258(l) and §28.0259(e), to change the expiration date of the legislation to September 1, 2019.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §28.0258 and §28.0259, as amended by Senate Bill 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

§74.1025.Individual Graduation Committee Review.

(a) Effective beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, in accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.0258, §101.3022 of this title (relating to Assessment Requirements for Graduation), and the course requirements in Chapter 74, Subchapter B, of this title (relating to Graduation Requirements), a school district or an open-enrollment charter school may award a high school diploma to a student who has taken but failed to achieve the end-of-course (EOC) assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses if the student has qualified to graduate by means of an individual graduation committee.

(b) A school district or an open-enrollment charter school shall establish an individual graduation committee at the end of or after a student's 11th grade year to determine whether the student may qualify to graduate. A student may not qualify to graduate as a result of an individual graduation committee decision before the student's 12th grade year.

(c) A school district or an open-enrollment charter school may not establish an initial individual graduation committee for eligible students after June 10 or before the start of the next school year. Once the individual graduation committee has been established, it is the original individual graduation committee for that student.

(d) In order for a student to be included as a graduate in the school district's or charter school's graduation data in the school year in which the student meets the requirements provided by law to graduate under individual graduation committee provisions, an individual graduation committee must make a decision to award a diploma no later than August 31 immediately following that school year. A student who graduates as a result of an individual graduation committee decision after August 31 shall be reported in the subsequent year's graduation data.

(e) If a student leaves a school district after an original individual graduation committee has been established and before that original individual graduation committee awards a high school diploma to the student, any other district that later enrolls the student shall request information from the student's original individual graduation committee of record and shall implement the original individual graduation committee recommendations to the extent possible.

(f) The individual graduation committee shall consist of the following:

(1) the principal or principal's designee;

(2) for each EOC assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily, the teacher of the course;

(3) the department chair or lead teacher supervising the teacher described by paragraph (2) of this subsection; and

(4) as applicable:

(A) the student's parent or person standing in parental relation to the student;

(B) a designated advocate if the person described by subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is unable to serve; or

(C) the student, at the student's option, if the student is at least 18 years of age or is an emancipated minor.

(g) In the event that the teacher identified in subsection (f)(2) of this section is unavailable, the principal shall designate a teacher certified in the subject of the EOC assessment on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily and who is most familiar with the student's performance in that subject area as an alternate member of the committee.

(h) In the event that the individual identified in subsection (f)(3) of this section is unavailable, the principal shall designate an experienced teacher certified in the subject of the EOC assessment on which the student failed to perform satisfactorily and who is familiar with the content of and instructional practices for the applicable course.

(i) [(h)] In the event that the student's parent or person standing in parental relation to the student is unavailable to participate in the individual graduation committee, the principal shall designate an advocate with knowledge of the student to serve as an alternate member of the committee.

(j) [(i)] Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall report through the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS) [(PEIMS)] the following:

(1) the number of students each school year for which an individual graduation committee is established; and

(2) the number of students each school year who are awarded a diploma based on the decision of an individual graduation committee.

(k) [(j)] A district shall maintain documentation to support the decision of the individual graduation committee to award or not award a student a high school diploma.

(l) [(k)] This section only applies to a student classified by the school district or open-enrollment charter school as an 11th or 12th grade student in the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, [or] 2016-2017, 2017-2018, or 2018-2019 school year.

(m) [(l)] Provisions of this section expire September 1, 2019 [2017]. A student may graduate by means of an individual graduation committee if the student has qualified for an individual graduation committee under the TEC, §28.0258, and the individual graduation committee convened prior to September 1, 2019 [2017].

(n) [(m)] A student receiving special education services is not subject to the individual graduation committee requirements in the TEC, §28.0258, or the provisions of this section. As provided in §89.1070 of this title (relating to Graduation Requirements) and §101.3023 of this title (relating to Participation and Graduation Assessment Requirements for Students Receiving Special Education Services), a student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee determines whether a student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on an EOC assessment to graduate.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 7, 2017.

TRD-201702975

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 17, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


CHAPTER 101. ASSESSMENT

The Texas Education Agency proposes amendments to §101.3024 and §101.4003, concerning student assessment. The proposed amendments would implement the requirements of Senate Bill (SB) 463 and SB 1005, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, by providing former students whose assessment graduation requirement is the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) additional paths toward meeting graduation requirements and earning a high school diploma.

Section 101.3024, Assessment Requirements for Students First Enrolled in Grade 9 Prior to 2011-2012 School Year or First Enrolled in Grade 10 or Above in 2011-2012 School Year, indicates the assessment requirements for different cohorts of former students. The rule states that TAKS replaces the former students' original assessment graduation requirements. This includes former students whose assessment graduation requirements were the Texas Educational Assessment of Minimal Skills (TEAMS) or the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS).

SB 463 added Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.02541, to establish provisions that may allow certain former students who have completed the curriculum requirements for graduation but have not performed satisfactorily on TAKS to qualify for a high school diploma.

To implement SB 463, the proposed amendment to §101.3024 would add language to allow former students, who are currently required to pass all or certain parts of the TAKS exit-level tests for graduation, to earn a high school diploma through alternative options. Specifically, proposed new subsection (g) would establish a type of review committee similar to the individual graduation committee allowed for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®). The provision for the individual graduation committee would expire on September 1, 2019, in accordance with SB 463. In addition, subsection (g), relettered as subsection (h), would include additional alternate assessments to fulfill graduation testing requirements, including Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessments and STAAR® end-of-course assessments.

Section 101.4003, Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Exit-Level Alternative Assessments, specifies the assessments and corresponding passing scores allowed as alternate assessments for certain former students whose assessment graduation requirement was TAKS. The alternate assessments currently in rule include SAT and ACT mathematics and English language arts tests.

SB 1005 amended TEC, §39.025, to increase the alternate assessments that may be used to fulfill TAKS graduation requirements. The bill requires the commissioner to establish satisfactory performance levels for these new TAKS alternate assessments. The satisfactory performance levels, or passing scores, on the alternate assessments must be equivalent in rigor to the performance levels the students were previously required to meet.

To implement SB 1005, the proposed amendment to §101.4003 would move the current information regarding SAT and ACT from subsection (b) into a new chart, Figure: 19 TAC §101.4003(a), in subsection (a). This new chart would include the previously approved TAKS alternate assessments and corresponding passing scores (SAT administered January 2016 and before and ACT administered June 2015 and before) and passing scores for revised versions of SAT and ACT mathematics and English language arts tests as well as ACT science tests. Additional alternate assessments that can be used for TAKS, as well as their corresponding passing scores, would also be listed in the chart, including TSI assessments for mathematics and English language arts and STAAR® Algebra I, English II, Biology, and U.S. History end-of-course assessments.

The proposed amendment to subsection (d), relettered as subsection (c), would update the eligibility language to include all former students who are required to pass all or certain parts of the TAKS exit-level tests to earn a high school diploma.

The proposed amendments have no procedural and reporting implications beyond those that apply to all Texas students with respect to implementation of the state assessment program.

The proposed amendments necessitate that school districts track individual graduation committee requirements and verify additional results of alternate assessments used by former students for graduation purposes.

FISCAL NOTE. Penny Schwinn, deputy commissioner for academics, has determined that for the first five-year period the amendments are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendments. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed amendments are in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Schwinn has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendments are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendments will be allowing former students, whose assessment graduation requirement is TAKS, additional paths toward meeting graduation requirements and earning a high school diploma. There may be fiscal implications for persons who choose to take SAT, ACT, or TSI assessments instead of TAKS exit-level assessments, as SAT, ACT, and TSI assessments have administration fees. The TSI costs approximately $29, the SAT with essay costs $60, and the ACT with writing costs $58.50. It is not possible to determine how many individuals will choose these options since this is the first opportunity TAKS students have to take these alternate assessments.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT AND REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND MICROBUSINESSES. There is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses and microbusinesses; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The public comment period on the proposal begins August 18, 2017, and ends September 18, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on August 18, 2017.

SUBCHAPTER CC. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACADEMIC CONTENT AREAS TESTING PROGRAM

DIVISION 2. PARTICIPATION AND ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENT FOR GRADUATION

19 TAC §101.3024

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.02541, as added by Senate Bill (SB) 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires the commissioner by rule to establish a procedure to determine whether certain former students, who have met curriculum requirements for graduation but have not performed satisfactorily on an assessment instrument, may qualify to graduate and receive a high school diploma; and TEC, §39.025, as amended by SB 463 and SB 1005, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which establishes the secondary-level performance required to receive a Texas high school diploma, establishes alternate assessment options for students who entered Grade 9 prior to the 2011-2012 school year or Grade 10 or above in the 2011-2012 school year, and requires the commissioner to establish satisfactory performance levels on the alternate assessments.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §28.02541 and §39.025.

§101.3024.Assessment Requirements for Students First Enrolled in Grade 9 Prior to 2011-2012 School Year or First Enrolled in Grade 10 or Above in 2011-2012 School Year.

(a) Students who were first enrolled in Grade 9 prior to the 2011-2012 school year or enrolled in Grade 10 or above in the 2011-2012 school year must fulfill testing requirements for graduation with the assessments required by the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023(c), as that section existed before amendment by Senate Bill (SB) 1031, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007. For purposes of this section, coursework necessary to graduate means all the coursework required under the student's graduation plan.

(b) For a student who is receiving special education services under the TEC, Chapter 29, Subchapter A, who is enrolled above Grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year and for whom an IEP specifies that the student shall take a modified version of an assessment, the modified assessments as required by the TEC, §39.023, as that section existed before amendment by SB 1031, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, will continue to be the student's assessment requirement.

(c) With the exception of students who meet the criteria described in subsection (d) of this section, students who were enrolled as follows shall fulfill testing requirements for graduation with the assessments as required by the TEC, §39.023(c), as that section existed before amendment by SB 1031, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, with the applicable performance standards established by the commissioner of education and published on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website:

(1) in Grade 9 or higher on January 1, 2001, regardless of when they are scheduled to graduate; or

(2) in Grade 8 or lower on January 1, 2001, if they were on an accelerated track and fulfilled all coursework necessary to graduate by September 1, 2004.

(d) A student who entered Grade 11 in the 1989-1990 school year or an earlier school year shall fulfill testing requirements for graduation with assessments as required by the TEC, §39.023(c), as that section existed before amendment by SB 1031, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, under an applicable performance standard established by the commissioner of education that corresponds to the performance standard in effect for the exit-level [exit level] Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS) when the student was first eligible to take the exit-level [exit level] TEAMS. Performance standards that apply to TEAMS students will be published on the TEA website.

(e) A student fulfilling testing requirements under subsection (c) of this section will be required to take only those sections of the exit-level [exit level] Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) that correspond to the subject areas formerly assessed by the exit-level [exit level] Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) (reading, writing, and mathematics) for which the student has not yet met the passing standard.

(1) If a student has not yet met the passing standard on TAAS reading, the student will be administered only the reading multiple-choice items from the TAKS English language arts (ELA) test.

(2) If a student has not yet met the passing standard on TAAS writing, the student will be administered only the writing prompt and the revising and editing multiple-choice items from the TAKS ELA test.

(f) A student fulfilling testing requirements under subsection (d) of this section will be required to take only those sections of the exit-level [exit level] TAKS that correspond to the subject areas formerly assessed by the exit-level [exit level] TEAMS (reading and mathematics) for which the student has not yet met the passing standard. If a student has not yet met the passing standard on TAAS reading, the student will be administered only the reading multiple-choice items from the TAKS ELA test.

(g) Effective beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, a student who has taken but failed to meet assessment graduation requirements under this section may receive a Texas high school diploma if the student has qualified to graduate by means of an individual graduation committee convened in accordance with the TEC, §28.02541.

(1) A student may not graduate under an individual graduation committee if the student did not take each assessment instrument or the part of the assessment instrument for which the student has not performed satisfactorily at least three times.

(2) This subsection expires September 1, 2019.

(h) [(g)] Notwithstanding any of the requirements in subsections (a)-(g) [(a)-(f)] of this section, students who pass all of the required exit-level [exit level] TAKS tests or meet the alternate assessment requirements of Chapter 101, Subchapter DD, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation) have fulfilled their testing requirements for graduation.

(i) [(h)] Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, students first enrolled in Grade 9 or lower must fulfill testing requirements for graduation with the end-of-course assessment instruments, as specified in the TEC, §39.023(c), as amended by SB 1031, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 7, 2017.

TRD-201702976

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 17, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


SUBCHAPTER DD. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SUBSTITUTE ASSESSMENTS FOR GRADUATION

19 TAC §101.4003

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.025, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 463 and SB 1005, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which establishes the secondary-level performance required to receive a Texas high school diploma, establishes alternate assessment options for students who entered Grade 9 prior to the 2011-2012 school year or Grade 10 or above in the 2011-2012 school year, and requires the commissioner to establish satisfactory performance levels on the alternate assessments.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §39.025.

§101.4003.Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Exit-Level Alternate [Alternative] Assessments.

(a) In accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, Subchapter B, the commissioner of education adopts certain assessments as provided in the figure in this subsection as alternate assessments that a person may use in place of corresponding [the SAT® verbal/critical reading and mathematics tests and the ACT® English and mathematics tests as alternative exit-level assessments that eligible students with qualifying scores may substitute respectively for the] Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) exit-level assessments [in English language arts and mathematics] beginning in the fall [spring] of 2017 [2006].

Figure: 19 TAC §101.4003(a) (.pdf)

[(b) The commissioner establishes the level of performance considered to be satisfactory on the approved alternative exit-level assessments as follows.]

[(1) The required passing standard to qualify to substitute the SAT® verbal/critical reading test for the TAKS exit-level English language arts assessment is at least 472.]

[(2) The required passing standard to qualify to substitute the SAT® mathematics test for the TAKS exit-level mathematics assessment is at least 461.]

[(3) The required passing standard to qualify to substitute the ACT® English test for the TAKS exit-level English language arts assessment is at least 17.7.]

[(4) The required passing standard to qualify to substitute the ACT® mathematics test for the TAKS exit-level mathematics assessment is at least 19.5.]

(b) [(c)] An eligible person [student] who has met the passing standard on a state-approved alternate [alternative] exit-level assessment as set by the commissioner and provided in the figure in subsection (a) [(b)] of this section in a particular subject area has satisfied the exit-level testing requirement in that subject area.

(c) [(d)] A person [student] is eligible to substitute an alternate [alternative ] exit-level assessment for a TAKS exit-level assessment for purposes of this subchapter if the person was first enrolled in Grade 9 prior to the 2011-2012 school year or first enrolled in Grade 10 or above in the 2011-2012 school year. [student after January 1 of the year in which the student would otherwise be eligible to graduate:]

[(1) enrolls in a public school in Texas for the first time; or]

[(2) enrolls in a public school in Texas after an absence of at least four years from any public school in this state. A student meets this requirement if he or she has not been enrolled for one or more days in a public school in Texas in the four years preceding the day on which the student enrolls in a Texas public school after January 1 of the year in which the student would otherwise be eligible to graduate.]

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on August 7, 2017.

TRD-201702977

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: September 17, 2017

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497