TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 129. STUDENT ATTENDANCE

SUBCHAPTER BB. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING TRUANCY PREVENTION MEASURES AND SANCTIONS

19 TAC §§129.1041, 129.1043, 129.1045, 129.1047

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) adopts new §§129.1041, 129.1043, 129.1045, and 129.1047, concerning truancy prevention measures and sanctions. Section 129.1041 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 16, 2016 issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 7236) and will not be republished. Sections 129.1043, 129.1045, and 129.1047 are adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the September 16, 2016 issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 7236). The adopted new rules outline minimum standards, best practices, and sanctions related to truancy prevention measures in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §25.0915, as amended by House Bill (HB) 2398, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. HB 2398, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, amended the TEC, §25.0915, requiring school districts to adopt truancy prevention measures designed to address student conduct related to truancy in the school setting and minimize the need for referrals to truancy court.

Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the TEC, §25.0915, requires that if a student fails to attend school without excuse on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, the school district must initiate truancy prevention measures. In addition, schools are required to employ a truancy prevention facilitator or juvenile case manager or designate an existing district employee or juvenile case manager to implement the truancy prevention measures.

Finally, the TEC, §25.0915, requires that the TEA adopt rules to create minimum standards for truancy prevention measures, establish a set of best practices, and provide for sanctions for a school district found to be out of compliance with the statute.

Adopted new 19 TAC Chapter 129, Subchapter BB, reflects the requirements in the TEC, §25.0915, as follows.

Section 129.1041, Definitions, specifies that, for the purposes of the subchapter, the definition of a school district includes an open-enrollment charter school. Although TEC, §25.0915, does not specifically reference charter schools, the entire statutory scheme of compulsory attendance enforcement is applicable to charter schools since they have their own attendance officers pursuant to either TEC, §25.088 or §25.090. All attendance officers are required under TEC, §25.091, to implement truancy prevention measures under TEC, §25.0915.

Section 129.1043, Minimum Standards, identifies the minimum standards for a district's truancy prevention measures. In response to public comment, the section was modified at adoption to add a new paragraph outlining procedures for attendance issues related to a student with a disability.

Section 129.1045, Best Practices, outlines the TEA's suggested best practices for truancy prevention measures. In response to public comment, the section was modified at adoption to add language to encourage districts to identify existing programs to help prevent students' attendance barriers and make that information available to staff, students, and parents; specify that any new resources, programs, or services should be targeted to gaps in services identified during the needs assessment; state that school districts should ensure that appropriate personnel meet to contribute to the needs assessment, discuss opportunities to work together, and identify strategies to coordinate both internally and externally to address students' attendance barriers; and require school districts to consider offering before school, after school, and/or Saturday prevention or intervention programs or services. The section was also modified at adoption to add a requirement that school districts consider offering an optional flexible school day program.

Section 129.1047, Sanctions, specifies which sanctions the commissioner could impose for districts found to be out of compliance with TEC, §25.0915, and adopted new Chapter 129, Subchapter BB. In response to public comment, the section was modified at adoption to ensure that the rule is sufficient to allow for the imposition of sanctions related to any statutory or rule violation, including those arising from a submitted complaint.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began September 16, 2016, and ended October 17, 2016. Following is a summary of public comments received and corresponding agency responses regarding proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter BB, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Truancy Prevention Measures and Sanctions.

§129.1043, Minimum Standards.

Comment: Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, and the National Center for Youth Law commented that minimum standards should include guidance to school districts on complying with federal and state law obligations to students with disabilities.

Agency Response: The agency agrees and has modified the proposed rule by adding a new paragraph outlining procedures for attendance issues related to a student with a disability.

§129.1045, Best Practices.

Comment: Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, and the National Center for Youth Law commented that best practices should include language that encourages school districts to identify existing programs within the districts and their communities that may both prevent students' attendance barriers and intervene with students at risk of truancy; make these services and programs easily available to staff, students, and families; use new prevention and intervention programs to target gaps in services; state that school districts should ensure that appropriate personnel meet to contribute to the needs assessment, discuss opportunities to work together, and identify strategies to coordinate both internally and externally to address students' attendance barriers; and include Saturday prevention or intervention programs.

Agency Response: The agency agrees and has modified the proposed rule by adding language to encourage districts to identify existing programs to help prevent students' attendance barriers and make that information available to staff, students, and parents; specify that any new resources, programs, or services should be targeted to gaps in services identified during the needs assessment; state that school districts should ensure that appropriate personnel meet to contribute to the needs assessment, discuss opportunities to work together, and identify strategies to coordinate both internally and externally to address students' attendance barriers; and require school districts to consider offering before school, after school, and/or Saturday prevention or intervention programs or services.

§129.1047, Sanctions.

Comment: Texas Appleseed, Disability Rights Texas, and the National Center for Youth Law commented that sanctions should include a complaint process that a parent or advocate may initiate if a school or district is not complying with requirements for prevention and intervention services as well as a timeline within which TEA must respond to such a complaint.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees that the rule should contain provisions for a separate complaint process that is specifically related to truancy prevention measures. As proposed, the rule provided for the imposition of any available sanction authorized under applicable statutory and rule provisions. The procedures for filing a complaint with the TEA are posted on the TEA website and are available to any person wishing to utilize the complaint process. A separate, prescriptive complaint process related specifically to truancy prevention measures creates a duplicative responsibility on the TEA. However, the proposed rule has been modified to ensure that the rule is sufficient to allow for the imposition of sanctions related to any statutory or rule violation, including those arising from a submitted complaint.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The new sections are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §25.0915, which requires school districts to adopt truancy prevention measures to address student conduct related to truancy. TEC, §25.0915(f), requires the commissioner of education to adopt rules to create minimum standards for truancy prevention measures adopted by school districts and establish a set of best practices for truancy prevention measures. TEC, §25.0915(g), requires the commissioner to adopt rules to provide for sanctions for a district found to be not in compliance with truancy prevention measures.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The new sections implement the Texas Education Code, §25.0915.

§129.1043.Minimum Standards.

The minimum standards for the truancy prevention measure(s) implemented by a school district under Texas Education Code, §25.0915, include:

(1) identifying the root cause of the student's unexcused absences and actions to address each cause;

(2) maintaining ongoing communication with students and parents on the actions to be taken to improve attendance;

(3) establishing reasonable timelines for completion of the truancy prevention measure; and

(4) establishing procedures to notify the admission, review, and dismissal committee or the Section 504 committee of attendance issues relating to a student with a disability and ensure that the committee considers whether the student's attendance issues warrant an evaluation, a reevaluation, and/or modifications to the student's individualized education program or Section 504 plan, as appropriate.

§129.1045.Best Practics.

(a) A school district shall consider the following best practices for truancy prevention measures.

(1) Develop an attendance policy that clearly outlines requirements related to truancy in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 25, Subchapter C, and communicate this information to parents at the beginning of the school year.

(2) Create a culture of attendance that includes training staff to talk meaningfully with students and parents about the attendance policy and the root causes of unexcused absences.

(3) Create incentives for perfect attendance and improved attendance.

(4) Educate students and their families on the positive impact of school attendance on performance.

(5) Provide opportunities for students and parents to address causes of absence and/or truancy with district staff and link families to relevant community programs and support.

(6) Develop collaborative partnerships, including planning, referral, and cross-training opportunities, between appropriate school staff, attendance officers, program-related liaisons, and external partners such as court representatives, community and faith-based organizations, state or locally funded community programs for truancy intervention or prevention, and law enforcement to assist students.

(7) Determine root causes of unexcused absences and review campus- and district-level data on unexcused absences to identify systemic issues that affect attendance.

(8) Use existing school programs such as Communities In Schools, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Restorative Discipline, and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to provide students and their parents with services.

(9) At the beginning of each school year, conduct a needs assessment and identify and list, or map, services and programs available within the school district and the community that a school, a student, or a student's parent or guardian may access to address the student's barriers to attendance and make the information available to staff, students, and parents. The information must include, but is not limited to:

(A) services for pregnant and parenting students;

(B) services for students experiencing homelessness;

(C) services for students in foster care;

(D) federal programs including, but not limited to, Title 1, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;

(E) state programs including, but not limited to, State Compensatory Education programs;

(F) dropout prevention programs and programs for "at risk" youth;

(G) programs that occur outside of school time;

(H) counseling services;

(I) tutoring programs and services available at no or low cost;

(J) mental health services;

(K) alcohol and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs;

(L) mentoring programs and services;

(M) juvenile justice services and programs;

(N) child welfare services and programs;

(O) other state or locally funded programs for truancy prevention and intervention; and

(P) other supportive services that are locally available for students and families through faith-based organizations, local governments, and community-based organizations.

(10) After identifying and listing, or mapping, services available in the district and community, school districts should target any new resources, programs, or services to gaps in services identified during the needs assessment.

(11) School districts should ensure that personnel, including truancy prevention facilitators or juvenile case managers, attendance officers, McKinney-Vento liaisons, foster care liaisons, Title IX coordinators, 504 coordinators, pregnancy and parenting coordinators, dropout prevention coordinators, special education staff, and other appropriate student services personnel, meet to contribute to the needs assessment, discuss opportunities to work together, and identify strategies to coordinate both internally and externally to address students' attendance barriers.

(b) In determining services offered to students identified in TEC, §25.0915(a-3), a school district shall consider:

(1) offering an optional flexible school day program and evening and online alternatives;

(2) working with businesses that employ students to help students coordinate job and school responsibilities; and

(3) offering before school, after school, and/or Saturday prevention or intervention programs or services that implement best and promising practices.

§129.1047.Sanctions.

(a) An aggrieved party may file a written complaint with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) regarding an allegation that a school district has failed to comply with the provisions set forth in Texas Education Code (TEC), §25.0915, or this subchapter related to truancy prevention measures.

(b) TEA may request that a school district provide documentation regarding its compliance with required truancy prevention measures in response to a complaint filed with the TEA. If, after a review of this documentation or a school district's failure to provide this documentation, TEA determines that the school district is not in compliance with required truancy prevention measure provisions, TEA may issue a preliminary report of its findings to the school district in accordance with §157.1122 of this title (relating to Notice).

(c) A school district may request in writing an informal review of TEA's preliminary report of findings in accordance with §157.1123 of this title (relating to Informal Review). Following the informal review, or if no informal review is requested by the deadline, a final report will be issued.

(d) The commissioner of education may implement any sanction listed in TEC, §39.102(a), against a school district found to be out of compliance with TEC, §25.0915, or this subchapter.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 12, 2016.

TRD-201606555

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: January 1, 2017

Proposal publication date: September 16, 2016

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


PART 7. STATE BOARD FOR EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION

CHAPTER 228. REQUIREMENTS FOR EDUCATOR PREPARATION PROGRAMS

19 TAC §§228.2, 228.10, 228.15, 228.17, 228.20, 228.30, 228.35, 228.40, 228.50, 228.60, 228.70

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §§228.2, 228.10, 228.20, 228.30, 228.35, 228.40, 228.50, 228.60, and 228.70 and new 19 TAC §228.15 and §228.17, concerning requirements for educator preparation programs (EPPs). The amendments to §§228.2, 228.10, 228.20, and 228.35 are adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6318). The amendments to §§228.30, 228.40, 228.50, 228.60, and 228.70 and new §228.15 and §228.17 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6318) and will not be republished. The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 228 establish requirements for EPPs to prepare candidates to teach Texas schoolchildren. The adopted amendments to 19 TAC §§228.2, 228.10, 228.20, 228.30, 228.35, 228.40, 228.50, 228.60, and 228.70 and new 19 TAC §228.15 and §228.17 include changes as the result of recent legislative changes, SBEC input, stakeholder input, and input received from staff at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Chapter 228 encompasses all the requirements that each EPP must provide to prospective teachers to ensure they are prepared sufficiently.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.031, states that the SBEC is established to oversee all aspects of the certification and continuing education of public school educators and to ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state. The TEC, §21.049, authorizes the SBEC to propose rules providing for educator certification programs as an alternative to traditional EPPs.

At the January 2015 SBEC work session, the SBEC members received three presentations on educator quality as it pertains to EPPs in the state of Texas. The Texas Teaching Commission, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the National Council on Teacher Quality provided state and national perspectives on educator quality in relation to Texas EPPs. SBEC members provided feedback to TEA staff on those presentations. Specifically, as it relates to 19 TAC Chapter 228, the SBEC requested policy options that focus on raising EPP standards, improving teacher preparation programs, and new and improved ways to train better teachers.

TEA staff conducted an SBEC work session on June 9, 2016, to provide the SBEC with a shared understanding of the preparation process, to discuss current issues related to educator preparation and teacher quality, and to capture SBEC's perspective on preparation so that TEA staff could provide the desired support in preparation for possible rule changes. The TEA staff also convened three face-to-face stakeholder meetings in December 2015 and June 2016 to gather input on the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 228, Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs. The proposed rules reflected input received from the SBEC, TEA staff, and TEA staff-convened stakeholder meetings, but also included additional changes since the draft rule text was shared at the December 2015, April 2016, and June 2016 SBEC meetings. Following is a description of the adopted revisions.

§228.2, Definitions

This section defines key terms that share common meaning across several certification and educator preparation rules within the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). The SBEC's goal is to ensure there is a common understanding of frequently used terms resulting in accurate and effective communication and alignment throughout the state between EPPs, school districts, educators, candidates for certification, and other stakeholders.

The definition of field supervisor was amended to define more clearly the criteria an EPP must use in hiring a field supervisor. The current definition only requires a field supervisor applicant to hold a current certification to observe candidates, monitor their performance, and provide constructive feedback to improve their effectiveness as educators. The amendment clarifies that a field supervisor must have at least three years of experience as an accomplished educator as shown by student learning. Evidence of student learning includes evaluations that include evidence of student learning, campus or district reports that include evidence of student learning, and/or letters of recommendation that include evidence of student learning. The amendment clarifies that a field supervisor must hold a current certification in the certification class in which supervision is provided. A field supervisor with experience as a principal and who holds a current certificate that is appropriate for a principal assignment may supervise principal, classroom teacher, master teacher, and reading specialist candidates. A field supervisor with experience as a superintendent and who holds a current certificate that is appropriate for a superintendent assignment may supervise superintendent, principal, classroom teacher, master teacher, and reading specialist candidates. If an individual is not currently certified, the amendment clarifies that an individual must hold at least a master's degree in the academic area or field related to the certification class for which supervision is being provided and comply with the same number, content, and type of continuing professional education requirements for the certification class for which supervision is being provided. The amendment clarifies that a field supervisor cannot be employed by the same school where the candidate being supervised is completing his or her clinical teaching, internship, or practicum. The amendment also clarifies that a field supervisor cannot also serve as a candidate's mentor, cooperating teacher, or site supervisor. Because the field supervisor fulfills an essential role in preparing educators, creating and clarifying criteria for the selection of field supervisors improves the preparation of educators and provides consistency among preparation programs.

The definition of post-baccalaureate program was amended to differentiate it from the definition of alternative certification program. The amendment clarifies that a post-baccalaureate program at an institution of higher education (IHE) provides educator preparation for individuals who are seeking a degree beyond a bachelor's degree along with certification as an educator. The amendment clarifies that an alternative certification program at an IHE provides educator preparation for individuals who are only seeking certification as an educator and not another degree. By amending the definition in this way, consumer information regarding the performance of EPPs will be more accurate.

The definitions of accredited institution of higher education, benchmarks, certification category,certification class, classroom teacher, contingency admission, formal admission, initial certification, intern certificate, probationary certificate, school day, and school year were added. These additional definitions are necessary to provide clarity to new terms that are being adopted and existing terms.

The definitions of alternative certification program, candidate, clock hours, and educator preparation program were amended to align these definitions with other chapters in the TAC. The definitions of clinical teaching, internship, and practicum were amended to reflect adopted revisions in 19 TAC Chapter 228. The definition of field-based experience was also amended to clarify that field-based experiences are a requirement for the classroom teacher class of certificate and that observations of classrooms are the minimum requirement for field-based experiences. Because field-based experiences fulfill an essential role in preparing educators, clarifying the minimum criteria as opposed to "active engagement in instructional activities or educational activities under supervision" that is required by the TEC, §21.051(b), improves the preparation of educators and provides consistency among preparation programs.

The definition of cooperating teacher was amended to define the responsibilities of the cooperating teacher. The responsibilities of the cooperating teacher (those assigned to assist candidates during clinical teaching) will be similar to those of a mentor (those assigned to assist candidates during internship) and a site supervisor (those assigned to assist candidates during practicum). The responsibilities include guiding, assisting, and supporting a candidate during the candidate's clinical teaching in areas such as planning, classroom management, instruction, assessment, working with parents, obtaining materials, and district policies. The definitions of cooperating teacher, mentor, and site supervisor were also amended to require EPPs and school or district administrators to collaboratively select the individuals and requires the individuals to be accomplished educators as shown by student learning. Evidence of student learning includes evaluations that include evidence of student learning, campus or district reports that include evidence of student learning, and/or letters of recommendation that include evidence of student learning. The amendment requires individuals to have at least three years of experience and requires an individual serving as a cooperating teacher and mentor to be currently certified in the certification category for the clinical teaching or internship assignment. The amendment requires a site supervisor to be currently certified in the certification class for the practicum assignment. Because the cooperating teacher, mentor, and site supervisor fulfill essential roles in preparing educators, creating and clarifying criteria for the selection of individuals for these roles improves the preparation of educators and provides consistency among preparation programs.

The definition of late hire was amended to reflect more accurately when an individual is considered a late hire and to decrease the number of candidates who are serving as a classroom teacher during an internship who have not completed the pre-internship requirements of coursework and field-based experiences. Candidates are currently considered a late hire if they are admitted to an EPP and hired by a school or district after June 15. Late hire candidates are not required to complete the 80 hours of coursework and 30 hours of field-based experiences prior to being hired as a classroom teacher. Candidates who do not qualify as a late hire will not be able to be hired as a classroom teacher under an intern or probationary certificate but may be hired by the school or district under an emergency permit, school district teaching permit, or as a substitute teacher. Because coursework and field-based experiences are essential components in preparing educators, changing the late hire date to limit the number of candidates hired as classroom teachers who have not completed the pre-internship requirements of coursework and field-based experiences improves the recruiting, admission, and preparation practices of EPPs and the hiring practices of schools and districts.

The definition of professional certification was removed because all of the certification classes, including the classroom teacher class, are considered a part of the education profession. The definition of teacher of record was also removed because of the use of the term classroom teacher throughout 19 TAC Chapter 228. Because classroom teacher is a broader term than teacher of record, all candidates seeking a classroom teacher certificate will be prepared to be a teacher of record even though a particular assignment as a classroom teacher may not require an individual to be responsible for evaluating student achievement and assigning grades.

In response to public comment, language was amended in 19 TAC §228.2(12), (23), and (30) to allow training for cooperating teachers, mentors, and site supervisors to be completed within three weeks of the cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor being assigned to a candidate participating in clinical teaching, an internship, or a practicum. The previous language in the proposal required training to be completed prior to an assignment. By amending the language in this way, EPPs and school districts have more flexibility in providing the required training to the cooperating teachers, mentors, and site supervisors who have been selected to guide, assist, and support candidates. In response to public comment, language was also amended in 19 TAC §228.2(22) to specify that an individual is considered as a late hire if the individual has not been accepted into an EPP before the 45th day before the first day of instruction and who is hired for a teaching assignment by a school after the 45th day before the first day of instruction. The previous language in the proposal specified the late hire date as July 10. By amending the language in this way, the late hire designation is more consistent and fair.

§228.10, Approval Process

The new entity approval process has been amended to include all the requirements of 19 TAC Chapter 227, Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates; 19 TAC Chapter 229, Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs; and 19 TAC Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, as well as specific sections of 19 TAC Chapter 228. These amendments update the new entity approval process with the current expectations for EPPs. The updated program approval components will also be used to inform continuing entity approval reviews for existing EPPs.

The new entity approval process has also been amended to include a post-approval visit. The post-approval process is a current practice that allows TEA staff to confirm that a new EPP is implementing the approved program components.

The continuing entity approval process has been amended to include a figure that describes the evidence an EPP is expected to maintain for a period of five years regarding its compliance with EPP standards and requirements. The amendment also includes a requirement that EPPs ensure the security of information that is being maintained. Creating a figure that describes the evidence an EPP is expected to maintain regarding its compliance with EPP standards and requirements provides clarity and consistency of what is expected for new program approvals and continuing entity approval reviews. Creating a requirement to ensure the security of information that is being maintained by the EPP improves the safekeeping of confidential information and information that may be required to be provided as part of a continuing entity approval review.

Since published as proposed, several changes were made to the figure in 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1). Under Component II: Admission, the evidence listed for 19 TAC §227.10(e) was changed from "approved vendor" to "approved entity" so that an approved EPP may evaluate foreign transcripts for out-of-country candidates. This reflects the changes to 19 TAC §227.10(e) that the SBEC adopted effective October 18, 2016. Under Component III: Curriculum, the evidence listed for 19 TAC §228.40(a) was changed to combine the second and third examples into one example to minimize redundant examples of evidence. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for 19 TAC §228.35(g) was changed to move "field supervisor logs" after the first example of evidence, allowing either of the first two examples to be acceptable evidence. This provides more flexibility for programs to demonstrate compliance with this rule. Also under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h), relating to initial contact by a field supervisor, was amended so that both sets of evidence are the same. This provides consistency for field supervisors who provide support for classroom teacher candidates and field supervisors who provide support for candidates seeking certification in a certification class other than classroom teacher. In addition, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for adopted 19 TAC §228.35(a)(4) was retained and amended to allow coursework and training for late hire candidates to be provided by their school district or campus. Under Component VIII: Certification Procedures, the evidence listed for 19 TAC §§241.20, 239.20, 239.60, 239.84, and 239.93 was changed from "official service record" to "service record" so that copies of official service records or documents produced by school districts that are similar to official service records can be used as evidence. This provides more flexibility for programs to demonstrate compliance with this rule.

In response to public comment, several changes were made to the figure in 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1). Under Component II: Admission, the evidence listed for 19 TAC §227.10(a)(7) was amended to more clearly describe how an interview or other screening instrument should be evaluated as part of the admission process. The previous language in the proposal would have required an interview or other screening instrument to use a rubric with a cut score to evaluate a candidate. By amending the language to require a cut score or rubric that includes descriptions of levels of performance quality based on a coherent set of criteria, the description of the evidence is clearer and more appropriate. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for adopted 19 TAC §228.35(a)(3) was amended so that attendance policies that require a certain level of attendance for a passing grade can be used to demonstrate that a candidate has completed coursework and training prior to completing an EPP. The previous language in the proposal would have required EPPs to maintain attendance records for each candidate. By amending the language in this way, EPPs have more flexibility to demonstrate compliance with this rule. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for adopted 19 TAC §228.35(b)(1) was amended to clarify that candidate reflections of field-based experiences may be written or videotaped. The previous language in the proposal did not specify how the reflections needed to be demonstrated. This provides more flexibility for programs to demonstrate compliance with this rule. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for adopted 19 TAC §228.35(e)(4) and (5) was amended to clarify that a statement of eligibility will only be required as evidence for a candidate participating in an internship. The previous language in the proposal would have required a statement of eligibility for clinical teaching assignments. By amending the language in this way, EPPs are provided with more clarity to demonstrate compliance with this rule. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for adopted 19 TAC §228.2(12), (23), and (30) was amended to allow a form signed by a campus or district administrator attesting that a cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor meets the certification, experience, and accomplishment as an educator criteria. The previous language in the proposal would have required EPPs to maintain copies of service records, certificates, and evidence of accomplishment as an educator. By amending the language in this way, EPPs have less redundancy to demonstrate compliance with this rule. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the evidence listed for adopted 19 TAC §228.35(h) was amended to remove "field supervisor logs" as an example of evidence of field supervisors meeting certification, degree, and experience requirements. By amending the language in this way, EPPs have less redundancy to demonstrate compliance with this rule.

The continuing entity approval process was amended to include the EPP risk model and risk factors in adopted 19 TAC §228.10(b)(3) in accordance with TEC, §21.0454, as added by House Bill (HB) 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015. These risk factors determine the need for discretionary continuous approval reviews and the type of five-year continuous approval reviews.

§228.15, Program Consolidation or Closure

New 19 TAC §228.15 was added to describe the procedures an EPP needs to follow for closure or consolidation. The adopted new rule is based on the procedures that TEA staff is currently using for EPPs that are closing or consolidating. The adopted new rule requires an EPP that is closing or consolidating to submit a letter on official letterhead to TEA staff signed by the legal authority of the EPP that contains a formal statement of consolidation or closing with an effective date of August 31 for consolidation or closure. The adopted new rule requires an EPP to contact candidates currently in the EPP with notification of consolidation or closure and the steps candidates must take in relation to their program status. The adopted new rule requires an EPP to maintain evidence of attempts to notify each candidate and requires an EPP to provide and update a representative's name, electronic mail address, and telephone number that is valid for five years after the EPP's closure to provide access to candidate records and responses to former candidate's questions and/or issues. If an EPP is consolidating, the candidate records transfer to the new EPP. The adopted new rule requires an EPP to complete required SBEC and TEA actions such as required submissions of information, surveys, and other accountability data, removal of security accesses, and reconciliation of certification recommendations. The adopted new rule prevents the chief operating officer, legal authority, or a member of the governing body of an EPP who fails to comply with the consolidation or closure procedures from being eligible to be recommended to the SBEC for approval as an EPP and prevents the chief operating officer, legal authority, or a member of the governing body of an EPP that closes voluntarily due to pending TEA or SBEC action or involuntarily due to SBEC action from being eligible to be recommended to the SBEC for approval as an EPP. The adopted new rule also allows TEA staff to recommend that the SBEC impose sanctions affecting the new EPP's accreditation status if an EPP is consolidating and fails to comply with the consolidation procedures. Adding this section to 19 TAC Chapter 228 provides clear and consistent rules for programs to follow when closing or consolidating and provides support for candidates in programs that are closing or consolidating.

§228.17, Change of Ownership

New 19 TAC §228.17 was added to define a change in ownership of an EPP as any agreement to transfer the control of an EPP. The control of an EPP is considered to have changed: in the case of ownership by an individual, when more than half of the EPP has been sold or transferred; in the case of ownership by a partnership or a corporation, when more than half of the owning partnership or corporation has been sold or transferred; or in the case of ownership by a board of directors, officers, shareholders, or similar governing body, when more than 50% of the ownership has changed.

In order for an EPP with new ownership to continue preparing educators, the new owners of the EPP must notify TEA staff of the ownership change in writing within 10 days of the change in ownership. Adding this section to 19 TAC Chapter 228 provides clear and consistent rules for programs to follow when transferring ownership.

§228.20, Governance of Educator Preparation Programs

The adopted amendment relating to governance of EPPs decreases the minimum number of times an advisory committee must meet each academic year from two to one and clarifies that the EPP must inform each member of the advisory committee of the roles and responsibilities of the committee. The amendment allows EPPs more flexibility in how the advisory committee assists in the design, delivery, evaluation, and major policy decisions of the EPP.

The adopted amendment also clarifies how an EPP may amend its program. To make changes to its program, an EPP will submit notification of a proposed amendment on a letter signed by the EPP's legally authorized agent or representative that explains the amendment, details the rationale for changes, and includes documents relevant to the amendment. If the EPP is rated "accredited" or "accredited-not rated," this notice must be sent to TEA staff 60 days prior to the EPP implementing the changes. If the EPP is not rated "accredited" or "accredited-not rated," this notice must be sent to TEA staff 120 days prior to the EPP implementing the changes, and the changes must be approved by TEA staff. The amendment creates a clear and efficient process for EPPs to amend program components.

This section was also amended to require each EPP to develop and implement a calendar of program activities that must include a deadline for accepting candidates into a program cycle to assure adequate time for admission, coursework, training, and field-based experience requirements prior to a clinical teaching or internship experience. This amendment provides applicants to an EPP with more information as to the expectations for adequate educator preparation.

In response to public comment, language was amended in 19 TAC §228.20(g) to require EPPs to develop and implement a calendar of program activities for candidates who are enrolled after a published admission deadline so that applicants are aware of what is required to be prepared for a clinical teaching or internship assignment. By amending the language in this way, all candidates will be informed of program expectations prior to being admitted to an EPP.

§228.30, Educator Preparation Curriculum

Because the educator preparation curriculum serves as the basis of the coursework and training that fulfills an essential role in preparing educators, 19 TAC §228.30 was amended to improve the preparation of educators and provide consistency among preparation programs. This section was amended to clarify which of the existing curriculum requirements are for all classes of certificates and which requirements are appropriate for a specific class of certificate. The curriculum requirements for the classroom teacher class of certificate was also amended to include the English Language Proficiency Standards and, for certificate fields that include early childhood, the Prekindergarten Guidelines.

Curriculum requirements for all classes of certificates were added to include the information required by the TEC, §21.044, as amended by HB 2012, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013; and the TEC, §21.0453, as added by HB 2318, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. These requirements include the skills that educators are required to possess, the responsibilities that educators are required to accept, and the high expectations for students; the importance of building strong classroom management skills; and the framework for teacher and principal evaluation. Curriculum requirements were added to include mental health, substance abuse, and youth suicide training as required by the TEC, §21.044, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 674, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015. A curriculum requirement for the principal class of certificate was also added to include the skills and competencies captured in the Texas administrator standards as indicated in 19 TAC §149.2001, Principal Standards. This aligns the principal class requirements with the classroom teacher class requirements that include the skills and competencies captured in the Texas administrator standards as indicated in 19 TAC §149.1001, Teacher Standards.

The TEC, §21.044, as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, requires all programs that provide training in certification areas that require a bachelor's degree to include training on the instruction of dyslexia. Changes to 19 TAC Chapter 228 are not necessary because the current rules as written comply with the change in law.

§228.35, Preparation Program Coursework and/or Training

Section 228.35 was amended to clarify which of the existing coursework and training requirements are for all classes of certificates and which requirements are appropriate for a specific class of certificate. The coursework and training provisions for all classes were amended to clarify that coursework and training must adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and that coursework and training must be sustained, rigorous, intensive, interactive, candidate focused, and performance based.

Since published as proposed, the provision that allows up to 50 hours of an EPP's coursework and/or training to be provided by a school district or campus was retained as new 19 TAC §228.35(a)(4) and amended to apply to candidates who are considered late hires. The coursework and/or training provided by a school district or campus needs to meet the criteria for staff development that is described in the TEC, §21.451. The coursework and/or training provided by a school district or campus also needs to be directly related to the certificate being sought. Because a late hire candidate must complete pre-internship coursework and training within 90 school days from the beginning of an internship assignment, allowing a portion of these hours to be provided by the school district or campus in which a candidate is employed provides a more reasonable expectation for a candidate who is considered a late hire. For candidates who are not considered late hires, EPPs may require additional hours beyond the minimum requirement of 300 hours and allow school district or campus staff development to count toward these additional hours.

In accordance with the Texas Occupations Code, §55.007, a provision was added that allows an EPP to substitute prior or ongoing service, training, or education for educator certification requirements so that military service members and military veterans may credit verified military service, training, or education toward training, education, work experience, or related requirements for educator certification. The provision for candidates who are not military service members or military veterans was also amended to substitute prior or ongoing service, training, or education if the service, training, or education was provided by an approved EPP or an accredited IHE within the past five years and is directly related to the certification being sought. This amendment provides flexibility to EPPs and candidates while providing consistency among EPPs.

Because many EPPs are already either offering or planning to offer coursework and training online, a requirement was added for EPPs that offer coursework and/or training online to meet standards for online coursework and training. EPPs at public and private universities must already meet Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) standards for online coursework and training. Requiring EPPs to meet online accreditation or certification standards improves the preparation of educators participating in online coursework and training and provides consistency among preparation programs offering online coursework and training.

The coursework and training provisions for the classroom teacher class of certificate were amended to clarify that an EPP must provide a minimum of 300 hours of coursework and training. The number of coursework hours required before clinical teaching or an internship was also increased from 80 to 150 hours and the content of these hours includes 10 proficiencies that are based on the performance standards described in 19 TAC §149.1001, Teacher Standards. The coursework and training requires candidates to demonstrate proficiency in areas specified in adopted 19 TAC §228.35(b)(2).

The proposal to increase the hours and provide more specificity of the coursework and training improves the quality of educator preparation for candidates who are hired as a classroom teacher under an internship and candidates who are working directly with students in the capacity of a clinical teacher. The coursework and training requirement will be equivalent to 10 semester credit hours at an accredited IHE. The content of the coursework and training requirement will be similar to the performance standards to be used to inform the training, appraisal, and professional development of all teachers. The proposals are based on the direction provided by SBEC members and input from a variety of stakeholders.

The EPP delivery provisions have been amended to clarify that an EPP must direct a candidate's participation in a field-based experience. The field-based experience provisions have also been amended so that the standards are similar for onsite experiences and those experiences provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method. Because field-based experiences fulfill an essential role in preparing educators, clarifying these provisions improves the preparation of educators and provides consistency among preparation programs.

The clinical teaching provisions have been amended to increase the 12-week clinical teaching experience to 14 weeks of at least 65 full days and increasing the 24-week clinical teaching experience to 28 weeks of at least 130 half days. By increasing the minimum standards for the length of clinical teaching, the amendment improves the preparation of educators by providing clinical teachers with more opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills. The clinical teaching provisions have also been amended to require candidates to experience a full range of professional responsibilities that include the first several weeks of the school year through field-based experiences and/or clinical teaching. This amendment allows candidates to observe how critical routines and procedures are established during the first part of the year.

In response to public comment, language was amended in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(F) to clarify that the start of the school year is defined as the first 15 instructional days of the school year. By amending the language in this way, EPPs and schools will have more flexibility with determining when candidates need to observe how critical routines and procedures are established during the first part of the year.

The proposal also provides language that allows the SBEC to approve an EPP request for an exception to the clinical teaching options described in rule. An exception request must include an alternative option that adequately prepares candidates for educator certification and ensures the educator is effective in the classroom. An exception request must include the rationale and support for the alternative option, a full description and methodology of the alternative option, a description of the controls to maintain the delivery of equivalent and quality support for clinical teaching, and a description of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation process to ensure EPP objectives are met. By allowing an exception to the existing clinical teaching options, an innovative program can be allowed to pursue flexible and creative designs to accommodate the unique characteristics and needs of different regions of the state as well as the diverse population of potential educators.

The internship provisions have been amended to clarify that a candidate must hold an intern or probationary certificate while participating in an internship and must meet the requirements and conditions, including the subject matter knowledge requirement, to be eligible for an intern or probationary certificate. The clarification addresses the adopted changes in 19 TAC Chapter 230 regarding the creation of an intern certificate.

In response to public comment, language was amended in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C)(ii) to clarify that the beginning date of an internship is the first day of instruction with students. By amending the language in this way, when an internship begins will be clearer so that the appropriate support can be provided by the mentor and field supervisor.

The internship provisions were amended to allow for an additional internship assignment of less than a full day under conditions specified in adopted 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C)(iii). This amendment provides more flexibility for EPPs to meet the needs of schools and districts.

The internship provisions have also been amended to clarify that an EPP may recommend an additional internship year if the EPP certifies that the first internship was not successful, the EPP has developed a plan to address any deficiencies identified by the candidate and the candidate's field supervisor, and the EPP implements the plan during the additional internship. An EPP may also recommend an additional internship year if the EPP certifies that the first internship was successful and that the candidate is making satisfactory progress toward completing the EPP before the end of the additional internship. The amendment also defines an internship as successful when the field supervisor and supervising campus administrator recommend to the EPP that the candidate should be recommended for a standard certificate. The amendment provides clear and consistent rules for programs to follow regarding recommending additional internships for candidates.

The internship provisions have also been amended to clarify that an EPP must provide ongoing support to a candidate for the full term of the initial or additional internship, unless, prior to the expiration of that term a standard certificate is issued to the candidate during an additional internship; the candidate resigns, is non-renewed, or is terminated from the school assignment; or the candidate withdraws, is discharged, or is released from the EPP.

The amendment also clarifies how a candidate, an EPP, an employing school or district, and the TEA must be notified if a candidate resigns, is non-renewed, or is terminated from the school assignment or withdraws, is discharged, or is released from the EPP. The amendment provides clear and consistent rules for providing ongoing support for candidates and improves communication between candidates, EPPs, schools and districts, and TEA staff in the event of a resignation, termination, withdrawal, release, or discharge.

The Head Start Program provisions have been amended to clarify that an internship or clinical teaching experience for certificates that include early childhood may be completed at a Head Start Program that meets the requirements. This amendment addresses any future changes to the Early Childhood-Grade 6 certificate.

The internship, clinical teaching, and practicum provisions have been amended to prohibit an assignment in a setting where the candidate has an administrative role over or is related to the mentor, cooperating teacher, or site supervisor. This amendment addresses inappropriate supervisory relationships. The amendment also clarifies that a practicum assignment must take place in an actual school setting rather than a distance education learning lab or virtual school setting. This amendment aligns the practicum requirement with the existing requirements for clinical teaching and internships.

The practicum provisions have been amended to clarify that an intern or probationary certificate may be issued to a candidate in a certification class other than classroom teacher if the candidate meets the requirements of the EPP and the candidate meets the requirements and conditions, including the subject matter knowledge requirement, for the intern or probationary certificate. The clarification addresses the adopted changes in 19 TAC Chapter 230 regarding the probationary certificate.

The practicum provisions have also been amended to clarify that an EPP may recommend an additional practicum if the EPP certifies that the first practicum was not successful, the EPP has developed a plan to address any deficiencies identified by the candidate and the candidate's field supervisor, and the EPP implements the plan during the additional practicum. An EPP may also recommend an additional practicum if the EPP certifies that the first practicum was successful and that the candidate is making satisfactory progress toward completing the EPP before the end of the additional practicum. The amendment defines a practicum as successful when the field supervisor and supervising campus administrator recommend to the EPP that the candidate should be recommended for a standard certificate. The amendment provides clear and consistent rules for programs to follow regarding recommending additional practicums for candidates.

The mentor, cooperating teacher, and site supervisor provision has been amended to require that a site supervisor who is trained by the EPP be assigned to a practicum candidate. The amendment also allows a regional education service center (ESC) to provide the required mentor, cooperating teacher, and/or site supervisor training. The amendment aligns the requirements for the site supervisor with those that are in rule for the mentor and cooperating teacher. The amendment also provides EPPs with more flexibility to ensure that mentors, cooperating teachers, and site supervisors have had the required training. This provision has also been amended to allow the EPP and campus or district administrator to assign an individual who most closely meets the cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor criteria if an individual who meets the criteria is not available. The EPP and campus or district administrator must document the reason for selecting an individual that does not meet the criteria. The amendment provides flexibility in selecting cooperating teachers, mentors, or site supervisors.

The provisions for ongoing support for teacher candidates have been amended to emphasize collaboration among the field supervisor, candidate, cooperating teacher, mentor, and supervising campus administrator. This amendment underscores the joint responsibility of EPPs, schools, and districts to develop, deliver, and evaluate educator preparation. The amendment requires supervision provided on or after September 1, 2017, to be provided by a field supervisor who has completed TEA-approved observation training. This amendment provides consistency among programs and aligns the supervision of candidates with the criteria used by schools and districts to develop and support teachers. The amendment requires an individualized pre-conference and an individualized and synchronous post-observation conference for each formal observation. This amendment is supported by systems of support such as the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). The amendment allows a formal observation by a field supervisor that was conducted in collaboration with school or district personnel to meet the requirements for ongoing support. The amendment requires the field supervisor to provide a copy of the written observation feedback to the cooperating teacher or mentor, but only requires the field supervisor to provide a copy of the written observation feedback to the candidate's supervising campus administrator for an internship. This amendment identifies the most appropriate members of the collaboration team who need to receive a copy of the written observation feedback. Because a candidate participating in an internship is a classroom teacher, it is appropriate for the candidate's campus supervisor to receive a copy of the written observation feedback.

The ongoing support for teacher candidate provisions have also been amended to increase the number of observations for a 28-week half-day clinical teaching experience from three to four. The amendment increases the number of observations from three to five for an internship under an intern certificate or an additional internship under a probationary certificate due to an unsuccessful internship. The amendment requires three observations for an internship under a probationary certificate unless the probationary certificate was an extension due to an unsuccessful internship. For an internship under an intern certificate or an additional internship under a probationary certificate due to an unsuccessful internship that involves more than one certification category that cannot be taught concurrently during the same period of the school day, the amendment requires three observations to be provided for each assignment. For a first-year internship under a probationary certificate or an internship under a probationary certificate where the candidate has already had a successful internship experience, the amendment requires two observations for each assignment. For each type of assignment, the amendment clarifies when initial contacts and formal observations need to occur to provide consistency among EPPs. The amendment increases the level of support at EPPs that currently provide a minimum of three observations and comports with the SBEC's request for policy options that focus on raising EPP standards, improving teacher preparation programs, and new and improved ways to train better teachers.

In response to public comment, language was amended in 19 TAC §228.35(g)(7) to specify when observations need to occur during an all-level clinical teaching assignment in more than one location. A minimum of two formal observations will need to occur during the first half of the assignment and a minimum of one observation will need to occur during the second half of the assignment. By amending the language in this way, field supervisor support during all-level clinical teaching assignments will be more appropriate.

Language has also been amended to address the ongoing support for school counselor, school librarian, principal, superintendent, educational diagnostician, reading specialist, and master teacher candidate provisions to emphasize collaboration between the field supervisor, candidate, and site supervisor. This amendment underscores the joint responsibility of EPPs, schools, and districts to develop, deliver, and evaluate educator preparation. The amendment requires supervision provided on or after September 1, 2017, to be provided by a field supervisor who has completed TEA-approved observation training. This amendment provides consistency among programs and aligns the supervision of candidates with the criteria used by schools and districts to develop and support teachers. The amendment requires an individualized pre-conference and an individualized and synchronous post-observation conference for each formal observation. This amendment is supported by systems of support such as the T-TESS. The amendment also requires the field supervisor to provide a copy of the written observation feedback to the site supervisor. The amendment also requires at least one of the observations to be conducted by the field supervisor on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting. If a formal observation is not conducted on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting, the observation may be provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method. As EPPs continue to investigate and research the use of video-based observations, the amendment clarifies that at least one of the formal observations be on the candidate's site so that the field supervisor can have a better understanding of the environment in which the candidate is serving his or her practicum. The amendment also clarifies when initial contacts and formal observations need to occur to provide consistency among EPPs.

The exemption provisions have been amended to allow a candidate who was employed by a school or district as a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) instructor before the person was enrolled in an EPP or is employed as a JROTC instructor while the person is enrolled in an EPP to be exempt from any student teaching, internship, or field-based experience program requirement, as required by the TEC, §21.0487(c)(2)(B), as added by SB 1309, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015.

§228.40, Assessment and Evaluation of Candidates for Certification and Program Improvement

Section 228.40 was amended to clarify that unless a candidate demonstrates content knowledge on a content certification examination prior to being admitted to an EPP, an EPP is responsible for providing coursework and training that adequately prepares a candidate to pass the content certification examination(s) required for certification. If an EPP admits a candidate under the 12 or 15 semester credit criteria, the EPP must provide the coursework and training necessary for the candidate to pass the content certification examination(s) required for certification. If an EPP admits a candidate under the content certification examination criteria and the content certification examination used for admission is the same content certification examination used for certification, the EPP is not responsible for providing the coursework and training necessary for the candidate to pass the content certification examination(s) required for certification. The amendment adds language to allow an EPP to prepare a candidate and grant test approval for a classroom teacher certificate category other than the category for which the candidate was initially admitted to the EPP if the candidate requests the new category in writing. This amendment provides more flexibility for schools and districts to hire interns who have met the subject matter requirement for an intern or probationary certificate. The amendment clarifies that an EPP shall determine the readiness of each candidate to take the appropriate certification examination(s). The current rule only requires an EPP to determine readiness for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities examination. Because candidates are now limited to how many times they can attempt a certification examination, this provision provides a higher level of support to candidates. The amendment clarifies that an EPP shall not grant test approval for a certification examination until a candidate has been contingently or formally admitted into a program. This amendment aligns with the admission language in 19 TAC Chapter 227. The amendment also clarifies that an EPP must continuously evaluate the design and delivery of the approved program components based on performance data, scientifically-based research practices, and the results of internal and external feedback and assessments. Because the current rule only requires EPPs to evaluate their curriculum, this amendment improves all aspects of preparation.

§228.50, Professional Conduct

Section 228.50 was amended to include requiring an EPP to ensure that candidates and individuals preparing candidates understand the Educators' Code of Ethics. This amendment fosters a better understanding of the Educators' Code of Ethics by candidates and individuals preparing candidates.

§228.60, Implementation Date

Section 228.60 was amended to remove language related to the temporary teaching certificate. The removal of the temporary teaching certificate from 19 TAC Chapter 230 may be found in the Adopted Rules section of this issue of the Texas Register.

§228.70, Complaints and Investigations Procedures

Section 228.70 was amended to clarify that a mentor, cooperating teacher, site supervisor, or administrator must be employed or have been employed at a site that serves as a site for clinical teaching, internship, or practicum experiences to be eligible to file a complaint against an EPP. This amendment further defines the jurisdiction of SBEC to investigate complaints that are directly related to an EPP. The TEC, §21.0455, as added by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, requires the SBEC to propose rules necessary to establish a process for a candidate for teacher certification to direct a complaint against an EPP to the TEA. HB 2205 also requires an EPP to notify candidates for teacher certification of this complaint process. Changes to 19 TAC Chapter 228 are not necessary because the current rules as written comply with the change in law.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016, meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding board responses regarding the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 228.

Comment: Educate Texas, an individual from Texas State University (TSU), YES Prep Public Schools (YPPS), an individual from The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), and iteachTEXAS commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §228.2(12), (16), (23), and (30) that would clarify the definitions for cooperating teacher, field supervisor, mentor, and site supervisor. Educate Texas and YPPS commented that the proposed rule would set clear qualifications for EPP support staff. Educate Texas recommended that there needs to be flexibility for support staff in rural or small districts. The individual from TSU commented that the minimum requirements should be raised so that student teachers have adequate supervision by well-qualified faculty. The individual from TSU recommended requiring certification in the same certification field, experience teaching in the same certification area, and training that addresses specific pedagogy for the certification field. The individual from UT-Austin commented that the requirement for a cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor to be trained prior to being assigned to a clinical teacher, intern, or practicum candidate was not reasonable. The individual from UT-Austin recommended that the training be required within the first three weeks of the assignment. iteachTEXAS commented that the requirement for all field supervisors to be accomplished educators as shown by student learning is subjective and should be removed.

Board Response: As the comments relate to the need for clear qualifications for EPP support staff, the SBEC agreed.

As the comments relate to allowing flexibility in the selection of EPP support staff, the SBEC agreed. Language is included in 19 TAC §228.35(f) that allows an EPP and campus or district administrator to assign an individual who most closely meets the criteria for cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor and the documenting of the reason for selecting an individual that does not meet the criteria. Language is also included in 19 TAC §228.2(16) that allows an alternative for a field supervisor who does not have a current certificate in the certification class in which supervision is provided.

As the comments relate to requiring standards for EPP faculty, the SBEC disagreed. Section 228.20(c) requires the governing body and chief operating officer of an entity approved to deliver educator preparation to provide sufficient support to enable the EPP to meet all standards set by the SBEC and be accountable for the quality of the EPP. EPPs should continue to have the flexibility to set their own standards for their faculty at this time.

As the comments relate to requiring training of a cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor prior to being assigned to a clinical teacher, intern, or practicum candidate, the SBEC agreed and approved language that requires training within the first three weeks of the assignment.

As the comments relate to removing the requirement for a field supervisor to be an accomplished educator as shown by student learning, the SBEC disagreed. Due to the importance of the field supervisor in the preparation of an educator, selecting field supervisors who are accomplished educators is essential to a quality program. Figure: 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1) provides several examples of what an EPP could use to determine accomplishment as an educator as shown by student learning.

Comment: Raise Your Hand Texas (RYHT), Educate Texas, YPPS, and iteachTEXAS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.2(22) that would move the late hire date from June 15 to July 10. RYHT commented that moving the late hire date will ensure a larger proportion of beginning teachers will have had access to field-based experiences, as well as foundational coursework, before entering the classroom, and more closely reflects what most school districts would actually consider a late hire. iteachTEXAS and YPPS commented that the change in the late hire date offers little opportunity for individuals entering the program in late June to complete the required coursework, training, and field-based experiences. YPPS and Educate Texas recommended changing the late hire date to the 45th day before the first day of instruction to provide flexibility to schools and districts that have an earlier start date than the fourth Monday in August.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed with the comments in support of changing the late hire date to the 45th day before the first day of instruction and disagreed with the comments in support of keeping the late hire date at June 15. The 45th day before the first day of instruction is the date by which educators under a contract with another school or district may resign from their contract without any penalties. Options for field-based experiences in classrooms are limited after this date and the ability of a candidate to complete required pre-internship coursework that is sustained, rigorous, interactive, student-focused, and performance-based between this date and the start of school is unlikely. Candidates who do not qualify as a late hire will not be able to be hired as a classroom teacher under an intern or probationary certificate but may be hired by the school or district under an emergency permit, school district teaching permit, waiver, exception, and other options. Because coursework and field-based experiences are essential components in preparing educators, changing the late hire date to limit the number of candidates hired as classroom teachers who have not completed the pre-internship requirements of coursework and field-based experiences improves the recruiting, admission, and preparation practices of EPPs and the hiring practices of schools and districts.

The SBEC changed the late hire date from June 15 to the 45th day before the first day of instruction.

Comment: An individual from UT-Austin commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.2(25) that would define a post-baccalaureate program as an EPP at an institution of higher education (IHE) that is designed to recommend individuals for certification who already hold at least a bachelor's degree and are seeking an additional degree. The individual from UT-Austin commented that the proposed definition change is inappropriate because there are significant differences in program types and failure to distinguish between program types will render data analysis about the performance of program types meaningless. The individual from UT-Austin recommended that the SBEC consider developing a more detailed category system for certification programs that recognizes and distinguishes more program design features that are likely to be significant factors affecting quality in teacher preparation.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. The SBEC adopted effective October 18, 2016, as part of the amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 227, the definition of a post-baccalaureate program that is adopted in 19 TAC §228.2(25). By amending the definition, the definitions in both chapters will be the same and applicants, candidates, EPPs, and the SBEC will be able to distinguish between alternative certification and post-baccalaureate programs at IHEs.

Comment: Two individuals from TSU, three individuals from UT-Austin, Educate Texas, and one individual from Texas Wesleyan University (TWU) commented on proposed Figure: 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1) that describes the evidence an EPP would need to maintain for a period of five years regarding its compliance with SBEC standards and requirements. The individuals from TSU and TWU commented that new requirements would require EPP staff to spend more time with paperwork than supervising and mentoring candidates. The individuals from UT-Austin commented that efforts to be more prescriptive of EPP structure and process would result in less innovative program designs, less efficient program delivery, and more administrative work and cost. Educate Texas commented that changes should be made where it is appropriate to reduce the paperwork burden on EPPs.

The individuals commented that some examples of evidence were redundant, inflexible, not aligned with similar rules, or unclear. To address redundancy, the individuals from UT-Austin recommended combining evidence of assessments to measure progress, under Component III: Curriculum, for 19 TAC §228.40(a); removing the field supervisor as evidence of the assignment of a field supervisor, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(g); and removing the clinical teaching log as evidence of completion of clinical teaching, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(A) and (B).

To address redundancy, two individuals from UT-Austin and the individual from TWU recommended replacing "time in and out" with "length of observation" as evidence of field supervisor observation, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(b)(1).

To address flexibility, two individuals from UT-Austin recommended, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support adding "course syllabi that notes the initial contact with the field supervisor and the candidate is made during the first class" as evidence of the initial contact for 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h); removing "official" from the term "official service records" so that informal service records are acceptable evidence for the various TAC requirements that require creditable years of service; adding "attendance policies that require a certain level of attendance for a passing grade" as evidence of completion of coursework and training for 19 TAC §228.35(a)(3); and adding "video/commentary from observers" as evidence of a candidate's reflection of an observation.

To address flexibility, two individuals from UT-Austin, the individual from TWU, and one individual from TSU recommended adding "a form signed by the campus or district administrator attesting that the cooperating teachers and mentors meet the certification, experience, and accomplishment as an educator criteria" as evidence of EPP support personnel for 19 TAC §228.2(12) and (23).

To address alignment, two individuals from UT-Austin recommended amending the evidence, under Component II: Admission, for 19 TAC §227.10(e) so that it aligns with changes recently adopted in 19 TAC Chapter 227 that allows out-of-country transcripts to be reviewed by eligible EPPs; and amending the evidence, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, in 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h) so that the evidence of the first contact by the supervisor with a teacher and non-teacher candidate is similar.

To address clarity, two individuals from UT-Austin recommended either removing the reference to rubrics or removing the cut-score requirement of a rubric as evidence of an interview or other screening instrument, under Component II: Admission, for 19 TAC §227.10(a)(7); and adding language, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(e)(4) and (5) to clarify that a statement of eligibility form is only required for an internship.

Board Response: As the comments relate to the evidence of compliance with standards and requirements resulting in less innovative program designs, less efficient program delivery, and more administrative work and cost, the SBEC disagreed. Many of the examples of evidence are what EPPs have already been doing or were suggested to TEA staff throughout the rulemaking process to make the figure less redundant, more flexible, more aligned, and clearer. Creating a figure that describes the evidence an EPP is expected to maintain regarding its compliance with EPP standards and requirements will provide clarity and consistency of what is expected for new program approvals and continuing entity approval reviews.

As the comments relate to redundancy, the SBEC agreed with the recommendations to combine evidence of assessments to measure progress, under Component III: Curriculum, for 19 TAC §228.40(a) and remove the field supervisor as evidence of the assignment of a field supervisor, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h). The SBEC disagreed with removing the clinical teaching log as evidence of completion of clinical teaching, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(A) and (B). The clinical teaching list is for all of the clinical teaching placements. The clinical teaching log is confirmation from the cooperating teacher that the candidate participated in the clinical teaching assignment. The SBEC also disagreed with replacing "time in and out" with "length of observation" as evidence of field supervisor observation, under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, for 19 TAC §228.35(b)(1). The "time in and out" evidence has been used by TEA staff to identify discrepancies with programs providing the observations required for accreditation that are described in 19 TAC §229.4(a)(4)(A).

As the comments relate to flexibility, the SBEC agreed with all of the recommendations. Under Component IV: Coursework, Training, Program Delivery, and Ongoing Support, the SBEC modified language in Figure: 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1), to include additional changes for the evidence related to 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h); 19 TAC §228.2(12), (23) and (30); 19 TAC §228.35(a)(3); 19 TAC §228.35(b)(1); and the various TAC requirements that require creditable years of service in Chapters 239, 241, and 242.

As the comments relate to alignment and clarity, the SBEC agreed with all of the recommendations and modified language in Figure: 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1) for the evidence related to 19 TAC §227.10(e); 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h); 19 TAC §227.10(a)(7); and 19 TAC §228.35(e)(4) and (5).

Comment: An individual from UT-Austin commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.10(b)(3) that would require TEA staff to use several risk factors to determine the need for discretionary continuing entity approval reviews and the type of five-year continuing entity approval reviews. The individual from UT-Austin commented that the risk-based model should be used to focus attention on programs that have shown evidence of concern or risk based on the quality of program completers. The individual from UT-Austin recommended allowing EPPs with outstanding performance within the past five years to use existing internal and external reports, accreditation, performance, and consumer information data and other data as evidence for five-year continuing entity approval reviews.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that a risk-based model needs to be used to determine the need for discretionary continuing entity approval reviews and the type of five-year continuing entity approval reviews. The SBEC determined that there needs to be more focus on supporting EPPs so that they can meet performance standards rather than determining compliance with standards and requirements. The SBEC disagreed that more specificity needs to be added to the rule in regards to the process TEA staff will use to determine the need for discretionary reviews and the type of five-year reviews. TEA staff will continue to use the complaint process described in 19 TAC §228.70 as well as reviews of EPP data that are described in 19 TAC §229.3 to determine the need for discretionary reviews. TEA staff will also continue working with stakeholders to determine the most appropriate types of five-year reviews.

Comment: An individual from Enabled Advocacy commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.10(b)(3)(B) that would take into consideration whether an EPP meets the accountability standards under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.045, when TEA staff are determining the need for discretionary continuing entity approval reviews and the type of five-year continuing entity approval reviews. The individual from Enabled Advocacy commented that the TEC reference calls for the SBEC to propose rules to establish accountability standards. The individual from Enabled Advocacy recommended that the SBEC articulate precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data required to be collected.

Board Response: As the comments relate to articulating precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data required to be collected, the SBEC disagreed and provided the following clarification. The SBEC considered the adoption of performance standards for three of the five minimum accountability standards that are referenced in the TEC, §21.045, in 19 TAC Chapter 229. While the SBEC can set performance standards for each category of data required to be collected, the SBEC approved the language related to accountability, performance, and consumer information as proposed.

Comment: iteachTEXAS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.20(g) that would require EPPs to develop and implement a calendar of program activities that must include a deadline for accepting candidates into a program cycle. iteachTEXAS commented that this requirement would restrict an EPP's ability to work with school districts who need to hire educators throughout the year.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed. EPPs need to disclose program information to applicants so that they are aware of what is required to be prepared for a clinical teaching or internship assignment. The SBEC approved additional language to 19 TAC §228.20(g) that requires EPPs to develop and implement a calendar of program activities for candidates who are enrolled after the deadline.

Comment: An individual from Enabled Advocacy commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.30(c)(3) that would add curriculum requirements to include mental health training as required by the TEC, §21.044, as amended by Senate Bill 674, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015. The individual commented that the proposed rule does not include all of the language from the TEC regarding effective strategies for teaching and intervening with students with mental or emotional disorders, including de-escalation techniques and positive behavioral interventions and supports. The individual recommends adding the language from the TEC into the rule.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed and offered the following clarification. The rule references the TEC statute that includes the additional language regarding effective strategies for teaching and intervening with students with mental or emotional disorders. Adding the language to the TAC rule would be redundant and unnecessary.

Comment: An individual from UT-Austin commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(a)(5) that would allow an EPP to substitute a candidate's prior or ongoing service, training, or education if the service, training, or education was provided by an approved EPP or an accredited IHE within the past five years and is directly related to the certification being sought. The individual from UT-Austin encouraged the adoption of the proposed change.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed because this amendment provides flexibility to EPPs and candidates while providing consistency among EPPs.

Comment: iteachTEXAS and Quality ACT commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(a)(6) that would require an EPP that offers coursework and/or training online to meet or be making progress in meeting criteria set for accreditation, quality assurance, and/or compliance with an approved accrediting organization, certification organization, or the THECB. Quality ACT commented that the two options available to non-IHE EPPs were not cost effective. Quality ACT also commented that all courses, including face-to-face instruction, should be accredited. iteachTEXAS commented that EPPs seeking accreditation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) must show how they have incorporated into their online programs the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards. iteachTEXAS recommended that CAEP be added to the list of entities that would accredit or certify that an EPP offers high-quality online coursework and/or training.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. Because many EPPs are already either offering or planning to offer online coursework and/or training, this amendment improves the preparation of educators participating in online coursework and training and provide consistency among preparation programs offering online coursework and training. Courses that are not offered online will continue to be reviewed by TEA staff through the continuing entity approval review process. The ISTE standards are intended to guide educators in the use of technology in teaching and learning, including the design and development of digital age learning experiences and assessments, the use of model digital age work and learning, and the promotion of model digital citizenship and responsibility. The ISTE standards do not address the quality of online course design and online components.

Comment: iteachTEXAS and YPPS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(b)(2) that would increase the number of hours of coursework and training required before a clinical teaching or internship assignment from 80 to 150. iteachTEXAS commented that increasing the amount of coursework and training required prior to an internship creates a significant burden on candidates and school districts. YPPS commented that increasing the amount of coursework and training required prior to an internship would limit the amount of time in the summer that a candidate could complete the hours, more coursework and training would need to be offered online, and fewer candidates would be eligible for internships.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. Campuses with higher percentages of minority, economically disadvantaged, and at-risk students are disproportionately served by teachers participating in internships under probationary certificates. The rule actions to increase the hours and provide more specificity of the coursework and training improves the quality of educator preparation for candidates who will be hired as a classroom teacher under an internship and candidates who will be working directly with students in the capacity of a clinical teacher. The coursework and training requirements will be equivalent to 10 semester credit hours at an accredited IHE. The content of the coursework and training requirement will be similar to the performance standards that are used to inform the training, appraisal, and professional development of all teachers. The rule actions are based on the direction provided by the SBEC and input from a variety of stakeholders. Candidates will be informed about the requirements for certification through the calendar of program activities in 19 TAC §228.20(g). School districts also retain considerable flexibility of hiring candidates who have not completed pre-internship requirements through emergency permits, school districts teaching permits, waivers, exceptions, and other options.

Comment: RYHT commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(1)(B) that would require field-based experience provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method to be similar for onsite experiences. RYHT commented that clarifying standards for electronically provided field-based experience would help ensure this work meaningfully affects teacher development by providing for more authentic experiences in relevant courses tied to opportunities for reflection.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that the rule meaningfully affects teacher development by providing for more authentic experiences in relevant courses tied to opportunities for reflection.

Comment: YPPS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(1)(A) and (B) that would require an EPP to direct the field-based experiences that teacher certification candidates must participate in before clinical teaching or an internship. YPPS commented that this requirement would result in additional programming to ensure candidates are engaging in rigorous and authentic instruction in high-caliber classrooms.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that the rules meaningfully affect teacher development by providing for more authentic field-based experiences tied to opportunities for reflection.

Comment: Three individuals from TSU and two individuals from UT-Austin commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(A) that would increase the clinical teaching requirement from 12 to 14 weeks. Two of the individuals from TSU commented that increasing clinical teaching to 14 weeks would provide more time for student teachers to build their skills, but it would shorten the timeline for EPPs and school districts to find appropriate placements. All three of the individuals from TSU commented that the increase would decrease the amount of time a student can work during the school year. The individuals from UT-Austin commented that extending clinical teaching to 14 weeks will cause issues with IHEs in the fall semester because it is shorter than the spring semester and starts after school districts begin their school years, it would be a burden on clinical teachers with summer jobs and housing needs, and it would extend beyond the end of fall semester when grades are due. The individuals from UT-Austin also commented that changes should be based on proposed deficiencies and research evidence.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with maintaining the clinical teaching requirement at 12 weeks. For 2014, the U.S. Department of Education reported national data from teacher preparation providers. This data suggests that the average clinical teaching assignment is 18 weeks with the mode being 20 weeks. By increasing the minimum standards for the length of clinical teaching by two weeks, the amendment improves the preparation of educators by providing clinical teachers with more opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills.

As the comments relate to issues within and between organizations, the SBEC disagreed. EPPs can minimize selection, training, and assignment issues through improved collaboration with school districts. EPPs at IHEs can also minimize grading issues through improved collaboration within their organization.

As the comments relate to classes at an EPP at an IHE starting after a school district, the SBEC disagreed. According to the "Common Calendar" published by the THECB, a semester normally shall include 15 weeks for instruction and one week for final examinations. The first class day for fall semester is aligned with the fourth Monday in August, the earliest date a school district may begin instruction for students for a school year. The "Common Calendar" also allows a public university or community, technical, or state college to begin its fall semester within seven days of the date without the need to request a waiver from the THECB. Clinical teaching assignments will not be required to start on the first day of school, but 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(F) requires EPPs to ensure that teacher candidates experience a full range of professional responsibilities that include the first weeks of a school year.

As the comments relate to a decrease in the amount of time a student can work during the school year, the SBEC disagreed. While clinical teachers may not be able to work as much during the school year because of the increase in the length of clinical teaching, the long-term benefit of better prepared teachers who will remain in the profession longer outweighs a potential short-term loss of income.

Comment: RYHT commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(A) that would increase the clinical teaching requirement from 12 to 14 weeks. RYHT recommended increasing the clinical preparation required for a standard certificate to the national average of 18 weeks.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that there needs to be an increase in the amount of clinical preparation that is required for a standard certificate, but did not agree that the requirement needed to be raised all the way to the national average at this time. The increase from 12 to 14 weeks is an incremental step toward meeting or exceeding the national average of 18 weeks. To support the goal of improving teacher pre-service training, one of the action items that is included in the TEA Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 is to incentivize and support clinical residency models that place teacher candidates in the classrooms of experienced and effective teachers to learn best practices. The results of this action item will be shared with the SBEC at a future meeting so that the results can inform additional changes to the clinical teaching standards.

Comment: Educate Texas and nine individuals from Lamar University (LU) commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(A) that would require one formal observation of a candidate participating in a practicum to be on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting. Comments from the nine individuals from LU included there is no empirical evidence that face-to-face onsite observations are more effective than a video field observation model; the video field observation model promotes 21st century learning and the change in rule would deny access to 21st century tools; the video field observation model provides thorough feedback to candidates and opportunities for candidates to review and reflect; the cost of sending field supervisors will increase tuition and limit accessibility to educator certification programs; and meeting with a professor on campus would be burdensome.

Educate Texas commented that in-person observations should be required so that candidates receive proper feedback and build relationships with EPP staff.

Board Response: As the comments relate to requiring in-person observations so that candidates receive proper feedback and build relationships with EPP staff, the SBEC agreed.

As the comments relate to empirical evidence, the SBEC disagreed. While there may be limited empirical evidence that face-to-face onsite observations are more effective than a video field observation model, there is also limited empirical evidence that video field observation models are more effective than face-to-face onsite observations. One of the guiding principles that was discussed with the SBEC at their June 2015 workshop was that quantitative data could not be the sole determining driver of decision making because reason and logic matter. The SBEC encouraged EPPs to continue investigating and researching the use of video-based observations.

As the comments relate to 21st century tools, the SBEC disagreed. The approved change in rule will not deny candidates or EPPs from promoting or accessing 21st century tools because if a formal observation is not conducted on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting, the observation may be provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method.

As the comments relate to feedback and reflection, the SBEC disagreed. While a video field observation model may provide thorough feedback to candidates and opportunities for candidates to review and reflect, requiring at least one of the formal observations to be on the candidate's site will allow the field supervisor to have a better relationship with the candidate and a better understanding of the environment in which the candidate is serving his or her practicum.

As the comments relate to additional costs, the SBEC disagreed. The SBEC understands that there will be an additional cost to EPPs that are not currently providing at least one onsite and face-to-face formal observation; however, the benefits of better field supervision costs should be minimal if EPPs are able to employ qualified field supervisors in regions where candidates are participating in practicums.

As the comments relate to on-site meetings with field supervisors, the SBEC disagreed. While the adopted rule requires one formal observation to be onsite and face-to-face, the pre- and post-conferences between the field supervisor and candidate are not required to be onsite and face-to-face.

Comment: RYHT commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C) that defines internships. RYHT commented that an EPP should have an acceptable record of performance before it can place teachers as the teacher of record using intern and probationary certificates. EPPs without an acceptable record of performance would be limited to placing candidates in clinical teaching assignments. RYHT recommended that if an EPP has a current rating of "Accredited-Warned" or "Accredited-Probation," the EPP cannot recommend candidates for an internship.

Board Response: While the SBEC agreed that EPPs without a rating of "Accredited" may need to be prohibited from certain preparation activities, the SBEC also recognized that the adopted rule actions in this chapter are the first step in a series of changes necessary to ensure the highest level of educator preparation.

Comment: iteachTEXAS and YPPS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C)(ii) that would define the beginning and ending date for an internship as the first and last day of instruction with students based on the school calendar of the school or district in which the internship takes place. iteachTEXAS and YPPS commented that this rule could be interpreted to mean that an internship can only start on the first day of school. iteachTEXAS and YPPS recommended removing language that bases the internship on the school calendar.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed. The intent of the rule was to clarify that an internship begins with the first day of instruction with students, no matter when the teacher candidate begins the internship. For example, many teacher candidates hired before the beginning of the school year are required to attend professional development with their school district before the school year begins. To avoid confusion between candidates and field supervisors, the SBEC clarified the start of the internship. Because the last day of an internship will depend on the school calendar and whether other factors such as maternity leave, military leave, illness, or late hire date are involved, the SBEC amended language in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C)(ii) to identify only the beginning date for an internship.

Comment: iteachTEXAS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C)(iv) that would require a candidate to hold an intern or probationary certificate while participating in an internship. iteachTEXAS commented that the implementation of the tiered certification system might increase the number of emergency permits issued, which may result in high turnover of temporary personnel and an increase in parental notification of non-certified teachers. iteachTEXAS recommends that an emergency permit should be allowed to count towards a portion of an internship.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. The rule action to require a candidate to hold an intern or probationary certificate while participating in an internship raise the standard for what it takes to be considered a certified educator. Allowing a portion of an internship to be completed without participating in the required coursework, training, field-based experiences, and certification examination requirements would set a lower standard than what is currently in rule. Parents need to be notified when their children are being taught by uncertified teachers who have not demonstrated basic competencies in the subject matter that they will be teaching and have not completed targeted coursework that addresses performance standards required of beginning teachers. When a school district requests an emergency permit, the school district verifies that it will maintain a support system, assign a trained mentor, and provide release time as needed to assist the individual serving on an emergency permit. The current and amended rule also allow an EPP to provide support to candidates beyond what is required during clinical teaching and internship assignments.

Comment: iteachTEXAS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(C)(iv)(II) and (IV) that would require an EPP to notify certain parties when it has been notified by a candidate that the candidate is withdrawing from the EPP or that the candidate has resigned, been non-renewed, or been terminated by the school or district in which the candidate was participating in an internship. iteachTEXAS commented that it is unlikely that a candidate who resigns, is terminated, or is non-renewed by a school district will notify the EPP within one day of the notice from the school district. iteachTEXAS recommends the removal of the one-day notice mandate from the candidate to the program or clarify that no regulatory action will be taken against the EPP for non-compliance of a candidate.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. The rule is sufficiently clear that the EPP is not responsible for notifying other parties if the EPP is not notified by the candidate of a resignation, non-renewal, termination, or withdrawal.

Comment: Three individuals from UT-Austin commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(D) that would allow an EPP to apply for an exception to the clinical teaching rules. One individual encouraged adoption of the proposed change to allow an exception to the clinical teaching rules, and the other two individuals were thankful for the opportunity to request an exception to the clinical teaching rules.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed with allowing an innovative program to pursue flexible and creative designs to accommodate the unique characteristics and needs of different regions of the state as well as the diverse population of potential educators.

Comment: Two individuals from Texas Lutheran University (TLU), four individuals from TSU, ACT-San Antonio, and two individuals from UT-Austin commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(F) that would require candidates to experience a full range of professional responsibilities that include the first several weeks of the school year through field-based experiences and/or clinical teaching. While most of the individuals commented that the proposed rule was good in theory, an excellent idea, or would result in better prepared teachers, the individuals also commented that there might be issues related to district procedures that may not allow clinical teaching assignments to begin on the first day of school; housing and food service may not be available for candidates that need to start a clinical teaching assignment before the start of the IHE year; candidates may miss IHE classes that are scheduled during the Kindergarten-Grade 12 school day; background checks that may delay the start of an assignment; and liability issues for candidates who begin clinical teaching assignments before they are enrolled in an IHE for the semester.

An individual from TLU and the individuals from UT-Austin commented that the phrase "start of the school year" needed to be clarified. The individuals from UT-Austin recommended defining the start of the school year as the first three weeks of school.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed with the comments related to defining the start of the school year and amended language to define the start of the school year as the first 15 instructional days of the school year in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(F). While this clarification will resolve many of the issues that were included in the comments, collaboration and communication within and between EPPs and schools districts will need to improve so that clinical teachers will have more opportunities to observe how critical routines and procedures are established during the start of the school year.

Comment: Commit!, Educate Texas, RYHT, Texas Teachers, and Education Career Alternatives Program (ECAP) commented on 19 TAC §228.35(g) that would require different levels of support to teacher candidates based on the teacher candidates' demonstration of basic knowledge of pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) (classroom management, code of ethics, etc.) on the PPR certification examination. Commit! commented that the additional support would provide regular, substantive teacher observations and feedback to incoming and novice teachers. Educate Texas commented that the rule would provide differing types of support to teachers as they are working on mastering the required skills. RYHT commented that the rule strengthens the support teachers receive during the internship experience. Texas Teachers commented that it was in support of increasing the number of field supervisor visits a beginning teacher is required to receive from the EPP during the first year in the classroom. ECAP commented that if a person were hired as a long-term substitute, the person would not be supported by an EPP.

Board Response: As the comments relate to increasing the level of support for a teacher candidate participating in an internship under an intern certificate from three to five formal observations, the SBEC agreed. The rule will require teacher candidates to receive additional support that is based on their level of preparation through formal observations by a field supervisor.

As the comments relate to the level of support individuals can receive from an EPP if they are employed as a long-term substitute, the SBEC disagreed. While an individual who is hired as a long-term substitute will not meet the eligibility requirements for an internship under an intern or probationary certificate, the current and amended rule allow an EPP to provide support to candidates before they participate in an internship.

Comment: YPPS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(g)(1) and (3) that would require a field supervisor to provide five 45-minute formal observations to a teacher candidate participating in an internship under an intern certificate. YPPS commented that five 45-minute formal observations may not meet the needs of first-year teachers who may need more frequent touchpoints. YPPS recommended that a certain number of total observation minutes be required.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. Five 45-minute formal observations over the course of a school year is the minimum amount of support that is to be provided by a field supervisor. Field supervisors are required to provide informal observations and coaching as appropriate.

Comment: iteachTEXAS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(g)(5) that would require three observations in each assignment for teacher candidates who are seeking certification in more than one category during the same internship. iteachTEXAS commented that this requirement creates a regulatory burden and increased cost to candidates.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. Instead of requiring five observations in each assignment, the rule will require three observations for each assignment, resulting in six observations instead of ten observations. When a candidate meets all of the eligibility requirements for a standard certificate, there would be a cost savings to the candidate because the EPP will be allowed to recommend two certificates in different categories at the same time. While this cost savings may not totally offset the cost of an additional observation, the long-term benefit of better prepared teachers who will remain in the profession longer outweighs a minimal increase in the cost of preparation.

Comment: An individual from Baylor University commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(g)(7) that would require one formal observation during the first third of a clinical teaching assignment, one formal observation during the second third of a clinical teaching assignment, and one formal observation during the last third of a clinical teaching assignment. The individual commented that this requirement was not appropriate for an all-level clinical teaching assignment where the teacher candidate spends half of the assignment at one level and the second half of the assignment at a different level. The individual recommended that at least two formal observations occur during the first half of the assignment and the third formal observation occurs during the second half of the assignment.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed and amended language for all-level clinical teaching assignments that include more than one level. The language requires a minimum of two formal observations to be provided during the first half of the assignment and a minimum of one formal observation to be provided during the second half of the assignment.

Comment: iteachTEXAS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.35(g) and (h) that would require field supervisors to participate in TEA-approved observation training. iteachTEXAS recommended the removal of the TEA-approved observation training from the proposed rule since all training is already approved by the SBEC and/or TEA, making the TEA-approved observation training requirement redundant.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with removing the TEA-approved observation training from the rule. While EPPs may qualify to become TEA-approved providers of field supervisor training for their own field supervisors or field supervisors from other programs, other entities may also be approved to offer the training.

Comment: An individual from TSU and Texas Teachers commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §228.60 that would require candidates to participate in program requirements that are in effect on the date candidates are admitted to an EPP. Texas Teachers commented that while it supports the increased pre-internship coursework requirement and the increased number of observations for internships, the implementation date should be delayed to July 2017 to allow EPPs to develop meaningful quality training and the logistical challenges of changing support structures during the middle of the year. TSU commented that a more feasible effective date of July or August 2017 would allow EPPs to develop a robust infrastructure to support new rules and communicate changes to teacher candidates, advisors, and faculty.

Board Response: When a candidate is admitted to an EPP, only the rules that are in effect on that date are the rules that are applicable to the candidate.

As the comments relate to delaying the implementation date of the increased number of formal observations, the SBEC disagreed. The rules that require five observations reference the rule actions in 19 TAC Chapter 230, which will have an effective date of September 1, 2017. Any candidate admitted after the effective date of the revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 228 and issued a probationary certificate before September 1, 2017, will be required to have three formal observations.

As the comments relate to delaying the implementation date of the 150 hours of coursework and training required before an internship, the SBEC disagreed. The content of the 150 hours of coursework is based on the Texas Teachers Standards, which have been a required component of EPP curriculum since October 2014. A candidate admitted after the effective date of the revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 228 and hired under a probationary certificate for the spring 2017 semester will be considered a late hire. A late hire candidate will be required to complete the 150 hours within the first 90 instructional days of the internship assignment and up to 50 of the hours could be provided by the school or district. If the assignment does not include 90 instructional days, the coursework could be completed during summer 2017.

Comment: An individual from Dallas Baptist University (DBU), Educate Texas, RYHT, and Commit! provided general comments regarding raising the standards for educator preparation. The individual from DBU commented in opposition of the proposed changes because it would create a financial burden on student teachers and universities. Educate Texas commented that it was in favor of candidate-focused and performance-based coursework and training. RYHT commented that the creation of clear and strong standards for EPPs would go a long way toward improving the quality of Texas' teacher workforce. Commit! commented that it was in support of the recommendations to update program requirements because it is critical to give new and beginning teachers additional supports to enable their effectiveness in the classroom.

Board Response: As the comments relate to the rule changes creating a financial burden for student teachers and universities, the SBEC disagreed. The fiscal impact to student teachers and universities is limited to the requirement that field supervisors participate in TEA-approved observation training by September 1, 2017. The costs associated with additional formal observations will not apply to clinical teachers, and the costs associated with standards for online coursework already apply to universities.

As the comments relate to supporting the raising of standards, the SBEC agreed.

Comment: YPPS commented on proposed 19 TAC §228.40(b) that would require an EPP to ensure that each candidate is adequately prepared to pass the appropriate content certification examination(s) required for certification. YPPS commented as to what "adequately prepared" meant.

Board Response: The SBEC provided the following clarification. At the minimum, adequately prepared will mean that the EPP is meeting the performance standard for the results of certification examinations described in 19 TAC Chapter 229.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 228 at the November 18, 2016, SBOE meeting.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments and new sections are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.031, which authorizes the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators, and states that in proposing rules under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, the SBEC shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.044(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; the TEC, §21.044(b), which requires a person seeking certification that requires a bachelor's degree to receive training in dyslexia; the TEC, §21.044(c-1), which requires a person seeking certification that requires a bachelor's degree to receive training in mental health, substance abuse, and suicide prevention; the TEC, §21.044(g), which requires each EPP to provide certain information related to performance of the EPP, the importance of building strong classroom management skills, the framework for teacher and principal evaluation, the skills that educators are required to possess, the responsibilities that educators are required to accept, and the high expectations for students; the TEC, §21.0443, which states that the SBEC shall propose rules to establish standards to govern the approval or renewal of approval of EPPs and certification fields authorized to be offered by an EPP. To be eligible for approval or renewal of approval, an EPP must adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and meet the standards and requirements of the SBEC. The SBEC shall require that each EPP be reviewed for renewal of approval at least every five years. The SBEC shall adopt an evaluation process to be used in reviewing an EPP for renewal of approval; the TEC, §21.045(a), which states that the board shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the continuing accountability of all EPPs; the TEC, §21.0453, which states that the SBEC may propose rules as necessary to ensure that all EPPs provide candidates with accurate information; the TEC, §21.0454, which states the SBEC shall propose rules necessary to develop a set of risk factors to use in assessing the overall risk level of each EPP; the TEC, §21.0455, which states the SBEC shall propose rules necessary to establish a process for a candidate for teacher certification to direct a complaint against an EPP to the agency; the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC; the TEC, §21.0487(c)(2)(B), which requires the SBEC to propose rules to establish requirements under which a person's employment by a school district as a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor before the person was enrolled in an EPP or while the person is enrolled in an EPP is applied to satisfy any student teaching, internship, or field-based experience program requirement; the TEC, §21.049, which authorizes the SBEC to propose rules providing for educator certification programs as an alternative to traditional EPPs; the TEC, §21.050(a), which states that a person who applies for a teaching certificate for which SBEC rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under the TEC, Chapter 28, Subchapter A; the TEC, §21.050(c), which states that a person who receives a bachelor's degree required for a teaching certificate on the basis of higher education coursework completed while receiving an exemption from tuition and fees under the TEC, §54.363, may not be required to participate in any field experience or internship consisting of student teaching to receive a teaching certificate; and the TEC, §21.051, which provides a requirement that before a school may employ a certification candidate as a teacher of record, the candidate must have completed at least 15 hours of field-based experience in which the candidate is actively engaged at an approved school in instructional or educational activities under supervision. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments and new sections implement the TEC, §§21.031; 21.041(b)(1) and (2); 21.044(a), (b), (c-1), and (g); 21.0443; 21.045(a); 21.0453; 21.0454; 21.0455; 21.048(a); 21.0487(c)(2)(B); 21.049; 21.050(a) and (c); and 21.051.

§228.2.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1) Academic year--If not referring to the academic year of a particular public, private, or charter school or institution of higher education, September 1 through August 31.

(2) Accredited institution of higher education--An institution of higher education that, at the time it conferred the degree, was accredited or otherwise approved by an accrediting organization recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(3) Alternative certification program--An approved educator preparation program, delivered by entities described in §228.20(a) of this title (relating to Governance of Educator Preparation Programs), specifically designed as an alternative to a traditional undergraduate certification program, for individuals already holding at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

(4) Benchmarks--A record similar to a transcript for each candidate enrolled in an educator preparation program documenting the completion of admission, program, certification, and other requirements.

(5) Candidate--An individual who has been formally or contingently admitted into an educator preparation program; also referred to as an enrollee or participant.

(6) Certification category--A certificate type within a certification class; also known as certification field.

(7) Certification class--A certificate, as described in §230.33 of this title (relating to Classes of Certificates), that has defined characteristics; also known as certification field.

(8) Classroom teacher--An educator who is employed by a school or district and who, not less than an average of four hours each day, teaches in an academic instructional setting or a career and technical instructional setting. This term does not include an educational aide or a full-time administrator.

(9) Clinical teaching--A supervised educator assignment through an educator preparation program at a public school accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) or other school approved by the TEA for this purpose that may lead to completion of a standard certificate; also referred to as student teaching.

(10) Clock-hours--The actual number of hours of coursework or training provided; for purposes of calculating the training and coursework required by this chapter, one semester credit hour at an accredited institution of higher education is equivalent to 15 clock-hours. Clock-hours of field-based experiences, clinical teaching, internship, and practicum are actual hours spent in the required educational activities and experiences.

(11) Contingency admission--Admission as described in §227.15 of this title (relating to Contingency Admission).

(12) Cooperating teacher--For a clinical teacher candidate, an educator who is collaboratively assigned by the educator preparation program (EPP) and campus administrator; who has at least three years of teaching experience; who is an accomplished educator as shown by student learning; who has completed cooperating teacher training by the EPP within three weeks of being assigned to a clinical teacher; who is currently certified in the certification category for the clinical teaching assignment for which the clinical teacher candidate is seeking certification; who guides, assists, and supports the candidate during the candidate's clinical teaching in areas such as planning, classroom management, instruction, assessment, working with parents, obtaining materials, district policies; and who reports the candidate's progress to that candidate's field supervisor.

(13) Educator preparation program--An entity that must be approved by the State Board for Educator Certification to recommend candidates in one or more educator certification classes.

(14) Entity--The legal entity that is approved to deliver an educator preparation program.

(15) Field-based experiences--Introductory experiences for a classroom teacher certification candidate involving, at the minimum, reflective observation of Early Childhood-Grade 12 students, teachers, and faculty/staff members engaging in educational activities in a school setting.

(16) Field supervisor--A currently certified educator, hired by the educator preparation program, who preferably has advanced credentials, to observe candidates, monitor their performance, and provide constructive feedback to improve their effectiveness as educators. A field supervisor shall have at least three years of experience and current certification in the class in which supervision is provided. A field supervisor shall be an accomplished educator as shown by student learning. A field supervisor with experience as a principal and who holds a current certificate that is appropriate for a principal assignment may supervise principal, classroom teacher, master teacher, and reading specialist candidates. A field supervisor with experience as a superintendent and who holds a current certificate that is appropriate for a superintendent assignment may supervise superintendent, principal, classroom teacher, master teacher, and reading specialist candidates. If an individual is not currently certified, an individual must hold at least a master's degree in the academic area or field related to the certification class for which supervision is being provided and comply with the same number, content, and type of continuing professional education requirements described in §232.11 of this title (relating to Number and Content of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours), §232.13 of this title (relating to Number of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours by Classes of Certificates), and §232.15 of this title (relating to Types of Acceptable Continuing Professional Education Activities). A field supervisor shall not be employed by the same school where the candidate being supervised is completing his or her clinical teaching, internship, or practicum. A mentor, cooperating teacher, or site supervisor, assigned as required by §228.35(e) of this title (relating to Preparation Program Coursework and/or Training), may not also serve as a candidate's field supervisor.

(17) Formal admission--Admission as described in §227.17 of this title (relating to Formal Admission).

(18) Head Start Program--The federal program established under the Head Start Act (42 United States Code, §9801 et seq.) and its subsequent amendments.

(19) Initial certification--The first Texas certificate in a class of certificate issued to an individual based on participation in an approved educator preparation program.

(20) Intern certificate--A type of certificate as specified in §230.36 of this title (relating to Intern Certificates) that is issued to a candidate who has pass all required content certification examinations and is completing initial requirements for certification through an approved educator preparation program.

(21) Internship--A paid supervised classroom teacher assignment for one full school year at a public school accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) or other school approved by the TEA for this purpose that may lead to completion of a standard certificate. An internship is successful when the field supervisor and supervising campus administrator recommend to the EPP that the candidate should be recommended for a standard certificate.

(22) Late hire--An individual who has not been accepted into an educator preparation program before the 45th day before the first day of instruction and who is hired for a teaching assignment by a school after the 45th day before the first day of instruction or after the school's academic year has begun.

(23) Mentor--For an internship candidate, an educator who is collaboratively assigned by the campus administrator and the educator preparation program (EPP); who has at least three years of teaching experience; who is an accomplished educator as shown by student learning; who has completed mentor training by an EPP within three weeks of being assigned to the intern; who is currently certified in the certification category in which the internship candidate is seeking certification; who guides, assists, and supports the candidate during the internship in areas such as planning, classroom management, instruction, assessment, working with parents, obtaining materials, district policies; and who reports the candidate's progress to that candidate's field supervisor.

(24) Pedagogy--The art and science of teaching, incorporating instructional methods that are developed from scientifically-based research.

(25) Post-baccalaureate program--An educator preparation program, delivered by an accredited institution of higher education and approved by the State Board for Educator Certification to recommend candidates for certification, that is designed for individuals who already hold at least a bachelor's degree and are seeking an additional degree.

(26) Practicum--A supervised educator assignment at a public school accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) or other school approved by the TEA for this purpose that is in a school setting in the particular class for which a certificate in a class other than classroom teacher is sought.

(27) Probationary certificate--A type of certificate as specified in §230.37 of this title (relating to Probationary Certificates) that is issued to a candidate who has passed all required certification examinations and is completing requirements for certification through an approved educator preparation program.

(28) School day--If not referring to the school day of a particular public or private school, a school day shall be at least seven hours (420 minutes) each day, including intermissions and recesses.

(29) School year--If not referring to the school year of a particular public or private school, a school year shall provide at least 180 days (75,600 minutes) of instruction for students.

(30) Site supervisor--For a practicum candidate, an educator who has at least three years of experience in the aspect(s) of the certification class being pursued by the candidate; who is collaboratively assigned by the campus or district administrator and the educator preparation program (EPP); who is currently certified in the certification class in which the practicum candidate is seeking certification; who has completed training by the EPP within three weeks of being assigned to a practicum candidate; who is an accomplished educator as shown by student learning; who guides, assists, and supports the candidate during the practicum; and who reports the candidate's progress to the candidate's field supervisor.

(31) Texas Education Agency staff--Staff of the Texas Education Agency assigned by the commissioner of education to perform the State Board for Educator Certification's administrative functions and services.

(32) Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)--The kindergarten-Grade 12 state curriculum in Texas adopted by the State Board of Education and used as the foundation of all state certification examinations.

§228.10.Approval Process.

(a) New entity approval. An entity seeking initial approval to deliver an educator preparation program (EPP) shall submit an application and proposal with evidence indicating the ability to comply with the provisions of this chapter, Chapter 227 of this title (relating to Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates), Chapter 229 of this title (relating to Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs), and Chapter 230 of this title (relating to Professional Educator Preparation and Certification). The proposal will be reviewed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff and a pre-approval site visit will be conducted. The TEA staff shall recommend to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) whether the entity should be approved. A post-approval site visit will be conducted after the first year of the EPP's operation.

(1) The proposal shall include the following program approval components:

(A) ownership and governance of the EPP;

(B) criteria for admission to the EPP;

(C) EPP curriculum;

(D) EPP coursework and/or training, including ongoing support during clinical teaching, internship, and practicum experiences;

(E) certification procedures;

(F) assessment and evaluation of candidates for certification and EPP improvement;

(G) professional conduct of EPP staff and candidates;

(H) EPP complaint procedures; and

(I) required submissions of information, surveys, and other accountability data.

(2) The proposal shall also include identification of the classes and categories of certificates proposed to be offered by the entity.

(b) Continuing entity approval. An entity approved by the SBEC under this chapter shall be reviewed at least once every five years; however, a review may be conducted at any time at the discretion of the TEA staff.

(1) At the time of the review, the entity shall submit to the TEA staff a status report regarding its compliance with existing standards and requirements for EPPs. An EPP is responsible for establishing procedures and practices sufficient to ensure the security of information against unauthorized or accidental access, disclosure, modification, destruction, or misuse prior to the expiration of the retention period. Evidence of compliance is described in the figure provided in this paragraph.

Figure: 19 TAC §228.10(b)(1) (.pdf)

(2) Unless specified otherwise, the entity must retain evidence of compliance described in the figure in paragraph (1) of this subsection for a period of five years.

(3) TEA staff shall, at the minimum, use the following risk factors to determine the need for discretionary reviews and the type of five-year reviews:

(A) a history of the program's compliance with state law and board rules, standards, and procedures, with consideration given to:

(i) the seriousness of any violation of a rule, standard, or procedure;

(ii) whether the violation resulted in an action being taken against the program;

(iii) whether the violation was promptly remedied by the program;

(iv) the number of alleged violations; and

(v) any other matter considered to be appropriate in evaluating the program's compliance history;

(B) whether the program meets the accountability standards under Texas Education Code, §21.045; and

(C) whether a program is accredited by other organizations.

(c) Approval of clinical teaching for an alternative certification program. An alternative certification program seeking approval to implement a clinical teaching component shall submit a description of the following elements of the program for approval by the TEA staff on an application in a form developed by the TEA staff that shall include, at a minimum:

(1) general clinical teaching program description, including conditions under which clinical teaching may be implemented;

(2) selection criteria for clinical teachers;

(3) selection criteria for cooperating teachers;

(4) description of support and communication between candidates, cooperating teachers, and the alternative certification program;

(5) description of program supervision; and

(6) description of how candidates are evaluated.

(d) Addition of certificate categories and classes.

(1) An EPP that is rated "accredited," as provided in §229.4 of this title (relating to Determination of Accreditation Status), may request additional certificate categories be approved by TEA staff, by submitting an application in a form developed by the TEA staff that shall include, at a minimum, the curriculum matrix; a description of how the standards for Texas educators are incorporated into the EPP; and documentation showing that the program has the staff knowledge and expertise to support individuals participating in each certification category being requested. The curriculum matrix must include the standards, framework competencies, applicable Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, course and/or module names, and the benchmarks or assessments used to measure successful program progress.

(2) An EPP rated "accredited " and currently approved to offer a certificate for which the SBEC is changing the grade level of the certificate may request to offer the preapproved category at different grade levels by submitting an application in a form developed by the TEA staff that shall include, at a minimum, a modified curriculum matrix that includes the standards, course and/or module names, and the benchmarks or assessments used to measure successful program progress. The requested additional certificate categories must be within the classes of certificates for which the EPP has been previously approved by the SBEC.

(3) An EPP that is not rated "accredited" may not apply to offer additional certificate categories or classes of certificates.

(4) An EPP that is rated "accredited" may request the addition of a certificate class that has not been previously approved by the SBEC, but must present a full proposal on an application in a form developed by the TEA staff for consideration and approval by the SBEC.

(e) Addition of program locations. An EPP that is rated "accredited," may open additional locations, provided the program informs the SBEC of any additional locations at which the program is providing educator preparation 60 days prior to providing educator preparation at the location. Additional program locations must operate in accordance with the program components under which the program has been approved to operate.

(f) Contingency of approval. Approval of an EPP by the SBEC, including each specific certificate class and category, is contingent upon approval by other lawfully established governing bodies such as the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, boards of regents, or school district boards of trustees. Continuing EPP approval is contingent upon compliance with superseding state and federal law.

§228.20.Governance of Educator Preparation Programs.

(a) Preparation for the certification of educators may be delivered by an institution of higher education, regional education service center, public school district, or other entity approved by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) under §228.10 of this title (relating to Approval Process).

(b) The preparation of educators shall be a collaborative effort among public schools accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and/or TEA-recognized private schools; regional education service centers; institutions of higher education; and/or business and community interests; and shall be delivered in cooperation with public schools accredited by the TEA and/or TEA-recognized private schools. An advisory committee with members representing as many as possible of the groups identified as collaborators in this subsection shall assist in the design, delivery, evaluation, and major policy decisions of the educator preparation program (EPP). The approved EPP shall inform each member of the advisory committee of the roles and responsibilities of the advisory committee and shall meet a minimum of once during each academic year.

(c) The governing body and chief operating officer of an entity approved to deliver educator preparation shall provide sufficient support to enable the EPP to meet all standards set by the SBEC and shall be accountable for the quality of the EPP and the candidates whom the program recommends for certification.

(d) All EPPs must be implemented as approved by the SBEC as specified in §228.10 of this title.

(e) An EPP that is rated "accredited" or "accredited-not rated" may amend its program, provided the program informs TEA staff of any amendments 60 days prior to implementing the amendments. An EPP must submit notification of a proposed amendment to its program on a letter signed by the EPP's legally authorized agent or representative that explains the amendment, details the rationale for changes, and includes documents relevant to the amendment.

(f) An EPP that is not rated "accredited" or "accredited-not rated" may amend its program, provided the program informs TEA staff of any amendments 120 days prior to implementing the amendments. An EPP must submit notification of a proposed amendment on a letter signed by the EPP's legally authorized agent or representative that explains the amendment, details the rationale for changes, and includes documents relevant to the amendment. The EPP will be notified in writing of the approval or denial of its proposal within 60 days following the receipt of the notification by the TEA staff.

(g) Each EPP must develop and implement a calendar of program activities that must include a deadline for accepting candidates into a program cycle to assure adequate time for admission, coursework, training, and field-based experience requirements prior to a clinical teaching or internship experience. If an EPP accepts candidates after the deadline, the EPP must develop and implement a calendar of program activities to assure adequate time for admission, coursework, training, and field-based experience requirements prior to a clinical teaching experience or prior to or during an internship experience.

§228.35.Preparation Program Coursework and/or Training.

(a) Coursework and/or training for candidates seeking initial certification in any certification class.

(1) An educator preparation program (EPP) shall provide coursework and/or training to adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and ensure the educator is effective in the classroom.

(2) Coursework and/or training shall be sustained, rigorous, intensive, interactive, candidate-focused, and performance-based.

(3) All coursework and/or training shall be completed prior to EPP completion and standard certification.

(4) With appropriate documentation such as certificate of attendance, sign-in sheet, or other written school district verification, 50 clock-hours of training may be provided by a school district and/or campus that is an approved TEA continuing professional education provider to a candidate who is considered a late hire. The training provided by the school district and/or campus must meet the criteria described in the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.451 (Staff Development Requirements) and must be directly related to the certificate being sought.

(5) Each EPP must develop and implement specific criteria and procedures that allow:

(A) military service member or military veteran candidates to credit verified military service, training, or education toward the training, education, work experience, or related requirements (other than certification examinations) for educator certification requirements, provided that the military service, training, or education is directly related to the certificate being sought; and

(B) candidates who are not military service members or military veterans to substitute prior or ongoing service, training, or education, provided that the experience, education, or training is not also counted as a part of the internship, clinical teaching, or practicum requirements, was provided by an approved EPP or an accredited institution of higher education within the past five years, and is directly related to the certificate being sought.

(6) Coursework and training that is offered online must meet, or the EPP must be making progress toward meeting, criteria set for accreditation, quality assurance, and/or compliance with one or more of the following:

(A) Accreditation by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission;

(B) Program Design and Teaching Support Certification by Quality Matters;

(C) Chapter 4, Subchapter P, of this title (relating to Approval of Distance Education Courses and Programs for Public Institutions); or

(D) Chapter 7 of this title (relating to Degree Granting Colleges and Universities Other than Texas Public Institutions).

(b) Coursework and/or training for candidates seeking initial certification in the classroom teacher certification class. An EPP shall provide each candidate with a minimum of 300 clock-hours of coursework and/or training. Unless a candidate qualifies as a late hire, a candidate shall complete the following prior to any clinical teaching or internship:

(1) a minimum of 30 clock-hours of field-based experience. Up to 15 clock-hours of this field-based experience may be provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method; and

(2) 150 clock-hours of coursework and/or training that allows candidates to demonstrate proficiency in:

(A) designing clear, well-organized, sequential, engaging, and flexible lessons that reflect best practice, align with standards and related content, are appropriate for diverse learners and encourage higher-order thinking, persistence, and achievement;

(B) formally and informally collecting, analyzing, and using student progress data to inform instruction and make needed lesson adjustments;

(C) ensuring high levels of learning, social-emotional development, and achievement for all students through knowledge of students, proven practices, and differentiated instruction;

(D) clearly and accurately communicating to support persistence, deeper learning, and effective effort;

(E) organizing a safe, accessible, and efficient classroom;

(F) establishing, communicating, and maintaining clear expectations for student behavior;

(G) leading a mutually respectful and collaborative class of actively engaged learners;

(H) meeting expectations for attendance, professional appearance, decorum, procedural, ethical, legal, and statutory responsibilities;

(I) reflect on his or her practice; and

(J) effectively communicating with students, families, colleagues, and community members.

(c) Coursework and/or training for candidates seeking initial certification in a certification class other than classroom teacher. An EPP shall provide coursework and/or training to ensure that the educator is effective in the assignment. An EPP shall provide a candidate with a minimum of 200 clock-hours of coursework and/or training that is directly aligned to the educator standards for the applicable certification class.

(d) Late hire provisions. A late hire for a school district teaching position may begin employment under an intern or probationary certificate before completing the pre-internship requirements of subsection (b) of this section, but shall complete these requirements within 90 school days of assignment.

(e) Educator preparation program delivery. An EPP shall provide evidence of ongoing and relevant field-based experiences throughout the EPP in a variety of educational settings with diverse student populations, including observation, modeling, and demonstration of effective practices to improve student learning.

(1) For initial certification in the classroom teacher certification class, each EPP shall provide field-based experiences, as defined in §228.2 of this title (relating to Definitions), for a minimum of 30 clock-hours. The field-based experiences must be completed prior to assignment in an internship or clinical teaching.

(A) Field-based experiences must include 15 clock-hours in which the candidate, under the direction of the EPP, is actively engaged in instructional or educational activities that include:

(i) authentic school settings in a public school accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) or other school approved by the TEA for this purpose;

(ii) instruction by content certified teachers;

(iii) actual students in classrooms/instructional settings with identity-proof provisions;

(iv) content or grade-level specific classrooms/instructional settings; and

(v) written reflection of the observation.

(B) Up to 15 clock-hours of field-based experience may be provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method. Field-based experience provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method must include:

(i) direction of the EPP;

(ii) authentic school settings in an accredited public or private school;

(iii) instruction by content certified teachers;

(iv) actual students in classrooms/instructional settings with identity-proof provisions;

(v) content or grade-level specific classrooms/instructional settings; and

(vi) written reflection of the observation.

(2) For initial certification in the classroom teacher certification class, each EPP shall also provide at least one of the following:

(A) clinical teaching for a minimum of 14 weeks (no less than 65 full days), with a full day being 100% of the school day; or

(B) clinical teaching for a minimum of 28 weeks (no less than 130 half days, with a half day being 50% of the school day; or

(C) internship for a minimum of one full school year for the classroom teacher assignment or assignments that match the certification category or categories for which the candidate is prepared by the EPP.

(i) An EPP may permit an internship of up to 30 school days less than the minimum if due to maternity leave, military leave, illness, or late hire date.

(ii) The beginning date for an internship is the first day of instruction with students in the school or district in which the internship takes place.

(iii) An internship assignment shall not be less than an average of four hours each day in the subject area and grade level of certification sought. An EPP may permit an additional internship assignment of less than an average of four hours each day if:

(I) the primary assignment is not less than an average of four hours each day in the subject area and grade level of certification sought;

(II) the EPP is approved to offer preparation in the certification category required for the additional assignment;

(III) the EPP provides ongoing support for each assignment as prescribed in subsection (g) of this section;

(IV) the EPP provides coursework and training for each assignment to adequately prepare the candidate to be effective in the classroom; and

(V) the employing school or district notifies the candidate and the EPP in writing that an assignment of less than four hours will be required.

(iv) A candidate must hold an intern or probationary certificate while participating in an internship. A candidate must meet the requirements and conditions, including the subject matter knowledge requirement, prescribed in §230.36 of this title (relating to Intern Certificates) and §230.37 of this title (relating to Probationary Certificates) to be eligible for an intern or probationary certificate.

(v) An EPP may recommend an additional internship if:

(I) the EPP certifies that the first internship was not successful, the EPP has developed a plan to address any deficiencies identified by the candidate and the candidate's field supervisor, and the EPP implements the plan during the additional internship; or

(II) the EPP certifies that the first internship was successful and that the candidate is making satisfactory progress toward completing the EPP before the end of the additional internship.

(vi) An EPP must provide ongoing support to a candidate as described in subsection (g) of this section for the full term of the initial and any additional internship, unless, prior to the expiration of that term:

(I) a standard certificate is issued to the candidate during any additional internship under a probationary certificate;

(II) the candidate resigns, is non-renewed, or is terminated by the school or district. A candidate must provide the EPP the official notice of resignation or termination within one business day after receipt of the notice from the employing school or district. Within one business day after receipt of the official notice of resignation or termination, an EPP must notify a candidate in writing that the EPP will provide TEA with notice about the resignation or termination and that the intern certificate will be inactivated by the TEA 30 calendar days from the effective date of the resignation or termination. Within one business day after providing the notice to a candidate, an EPP must email the TEA a copy of the notice to the candidate and a copy of the official notice of the resignation or termination;

(III) the candidate is discharged or is released from the EPP. An EPP must notify a candidate in writing that the candidate is being discharged or released, that the EPP will provide the employing school or district with notice of the discharge or release, that the EPP will provide TEA with notice about the resignation or termination, and that the intern certificate will be inactivated by the TEA 30 calendar days from the effective date of the discharge or release. Within one business day after providing a candidate with notice of discharge or release, an EPP must provide written notification to the employing school or district of the withdrawal, discharge, or release. Within one business day of providing notice to the employing school or district, an EPP must email the TEA a copy of the notice of discharge or release and a copy of the notice to the employing school or district; or

(IV) the candidate withdraws from the EPP. A candidate must notify the EPP in writing that the candidate is withdrawing from the EPP. Within one business day after receipt of the withdrawal notice, an EPP must notify a candidate in writing that the EPP will provide the employing school or district with notice of the withdrawal, that the EPP will provide TEA with notice about the withdrawal, and that the intern certificate will be inactivated by the TEA 30 calendar days from the effective date of the withdrawal. Within one business day after providing a candidate with notice of discharge or release, an EPP must provide written notification to the employing school or district of the withdrawal, discharge, or release. Within one business day of providing notice to the employing school or district, an EPP must email the TEA a copy of the notice of withdrawal and a copy of the notice to the employing school or district.

(D) An EPP may request an exception to the clinical teaching option described in this subsection. An exception must include an alternate requirement that will adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and ensure the educator is effective in the classroom. The request for an exception must be submitted in a form developed by the TEA staff which shall include:

(i) the rationale and support for the alternate clinical teaching option;

(ii) a full description and methodology of the alternate clinical teaching option;

(iii) a description of the controls to maintain the delivery of equivalent, quality education; and

(iv) a description of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation process to ensure that EPP objectives are met.

(E) Exception requests will be reviewed by TEA staff, and the TEA staff shall recommend to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) whether the exception should be approved.

(F) Candidates need to experience a full range of professional responsibilities that shall include the start of the school year. The start of the school year is defined as the first 15 instructional days of the school year. If these experiences cannot be provided through clinical teaching, they must be provided through field-based experiences.

(3) An internship or clinical teaching experience for certificates that include early childhood may be completed at a Head Start Program with the following stipulations:

(A) a certified teacher is available as a trained mentor;

(B) the Head Start program is affiliated with the federal Head Start program and approved by the TEA;

(C) the Head Start program teaches three- and four-year-old students; and

(D) the state's prekindergarten curriculum guidelines are being implemented.

(4) An internship or clinical teaching experience must take place in an actual school setting rather than a distance learning lab or virtual school setting.

(5) An internship or clinical teaching experience shall not take place in a setting where the candidate:

(A) has an administrative role over the mentor or cooperating teacher; or

(B) is related to the field supervisor, mentor, or cooperating teacher by blood (consanguinity) within the third degree or by marriage (affinity) within the second degree.

(6) For certification in a class other than classroom teacher, each EPP shall provide a practicum for a minimum of 160 clock-hours whereby a candidate must demonstrate proficiency in each of the educator standards for the certificate class being sought.

(A) A practicum experience must take place in an actual school setting rather than a distance learning lab or virtual school setting.

(B) A practicum shall not take place in a setting where the candidate:

(i) has an administrative role over the site supervisor; or

(ii) is related to the field supervisor or site supervisor by blood (consanguinity) within the third degree or by marriage (affinity) within the second degree.

(C) An intern or probationary certificate may be issued to a candidate for a certification class other than classroom teacher who meets the requirements and conditions, including the subject matter knowledge requirement, prescribed in §230.37 of this title.

(i) A candidate for an intern or probationary certificate in a certification class other than classroom teacher must meet all requirements established by the recommending EPP, which shall be based on the qualifications and requirements for the class of certification sought and the duties to be performed by the holder of a probationary certificate in that class.

(ii) An EPP may recommend an additional practicum under a probationary certificate if:

(I) the EPP certifies that the first practicum was not successful, the EPP has developed a plan to address any deficiencies identified by the candidate and the candidate's field supervisor, and the EPP implements the plan during the additional practicum; or

(II) the EPP certifies that the first practicum was successful and that the candidate is making satisfactory progress toward completing the EPP before the end of the additional practicum.

(D) A practicum is successful when the field supervisor and the site supervisor recommend to the EPP that the candidate should be recommended for a standard certificate.

(7) Subject to all the requirements of this section, the TEA may approve a school that is not a public school accredited by the TEA as a site for field-based experience, internship, clinical teaching, and/or practicum.

(A) All Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, wherever located, and all schools accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) are approved by the TEA for purposes of field-based experience, internship, clinical teaching, and/or practicum.

(B) An EPP may file an application with the TEA for approval, subject to periodic review, of a public school, a private school, or a school system located within any state or territory of the United States, as a site for field-based experience. The application shall be in a form developed by the TEA staff and shall include, at a minimum, evidence showing that the instructional standards of the school or school system align with those of the applicable Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and SBEC certification standards.

(C) An EPP may file an application with the TEA for approval, subject to periodic review, of a public or private school located within any state or territory of the United States, as a site for an internship, clinical teaching, and/or practicum required by this chapter. The application shall be in a form developed by the TEA staff and shall include, at a minimum:

(i) the accreditation(s) held by the school;

(ii) a crosswalk comparison of the alignment of the instructional standards of the school with those of the applicable TEKS and SBEC certification standards;

(iii) the certification, credentials, and training of the field supervisor(s) who will supervise candidates in the school; and

(iv) the measures that will be taken by the EPP to ensure that the candidate's experience will be equivalent to that of a candidate in a Texas public school accredited by the TEA.

(D) An EPP may file an application with the TEA for approval, subject to periodic review, of a public or private school located outside the United States, as a site for clinical teaching, internship, or practicum required by this chapter. The application shall be in a form developed by the TEA staff and shall include, at a minimum, the same elements required in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph for schools located within any state or territory of the United States, with the addition of a description of the on-site program personnel and program support that will be provided and a description of the school's recognition by the U.S. State Department Office of Overseas Schools.

(f) Mentors, cooperating teachers, and site supervisors. In order to support a new educator and to increase educator retention, an EPP shall collaborate with the campus or district administrator to assign each candidate a mentor during the candidate's internship, assign a cooperating teacher during the candidate's clinical teaching experience, or assign a site supervisor during the candidate's practicum. If an individual who meets the certification category and/or experience criteria for a cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor is not available, the EPP and campus or district administrator shall assign an individual who most closely meets the criteria and document the reason for selecting an individual that does not meet the criteria. The EPP is responsible for providing mentor, cooperating teacher, and/or site supervisor training that relies on scientifically-based research, but the program may allow the training to be provided by a school, district, or regional education service center if properly documented.

(g) Ongoing educator preparation program support for initial certification of teachers. Supervision of each candidate shall be conducted with the structured guidance and regular ongoing support of an experienced educator who has been trained as a field supervisor. Supervision provided on or after September 1, 2017, must be provided by a field supervisor who has completed TEA-approved observation training. The initial contact, which may be made by telephone, email, or other electronic communication, with the assigned candidate must occur within the first three weeks of assignment. For each formal observation, the field supervisor shall participate in an individualized pre-observation conference with the candidate, document educational practices observed; provide written feedback through an individualized, synchronous, and interactive post-observation conference with the candidate; and provide a copy of the written feedback to the candidate's cooperating teacher or mentor. Neither the pre-observation conference nor the post-observation conference need to be onsite. For candidates participating in an internship, the field supervisor shall provide a copy of the written feedback to the candidate's supervising campus administrator. Formal observations by the field supervisor conducted through collaboration with school or district personnel can be used to meet the requirements of this subsection. Informal observations and coaching shall be provided by the field supervisor as appropriate. In a clinical teaching experience, the field supervisor shall collaborate with the candidate and cooperating teacher throughout the clinical teaching experience. For an internship, the field supervisor shall collaborate with the candidate, mentor, and supervising campus administrator throughout the internship.

(1) Each formal observation must be at least 45 minutes in duration, must be conducted by the field supervisor, and must be on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting.

(2) An EPP must provide the first formal observation within the first third of all clinical teaching assignments and the first six weeks of all internship assignments.

(3) For an internship under an intern certificate or an additional internship described in subsection (e)(2)(C)(v)(I) of this section, an EPP must provide a minimum of three formal observations during the first half of the internship and a minimum of two formal observations during the last half of the internship.

(4) For a first-year internship under a probationary certificate or an additional internship described in subsection (e)(2)(C)(v)(II) of this section, an EPP must provide a minimum of one formal observation during the first third of the assignment, a minimum of one formal observation during the second third of the assignment, and a minimum of one formal observation during the last third of the assignment.

(5) If an internship under an intern certificate or an additional internship described in subsection (e)(2)(C)(v)(I) of this section involves certification in more than one certification category that cannot be taught concurrently during the same period of the school day, an EPP must provide a minimum of three observations in each assignment. For each assignment, the EPP must provide at least two formal observations during the first half of the internship and one formal observation during the second half of the internship.

(6) For a first-year internship under a probationary certificate or an additional internship described in subsection (e)(2)(C)(v)(II) of this section that involves certification in more than one certification category that cannot be taught concurrently during the same period of the school day, an EPP must provide a minimum of one formal observation in each of the assignments during the first half of the assignment and a minimum of one formal observation in each assignment during the second half of the assignment.

(7) For a 14-week, full-day clinical teaching assignment, an EPP must provide a minimum of one formal observation during the first third of the assignment, a minimum of one formal observation during the second third of the assignment, and a minimum of one formal observation during the last third of the assignment. For an all-level clinical teaching assignment in more than one location, a minimum of two formal observations must be provided during the first half of the assignment and a minimum of one formal observation must be provided during the second half of the assignment.

(8) For a 28-week, half-day clinical teaching assignment, an EPP must provide a minimum of two formal observations during the first half of the assignment and a minimum of two formal observations during the last half of the assignment.

(h) Ongoing educator preparation program support for certification in a certification class other than classroom teacher. Supervision of each candidate shall be conducted with the structured guidance and regular ongoing support of an experienced educator who has been trained as a field supervisor. Supervision provided on or after September 1, 2017, must be provided by a field supervisor who has completed TEA-approved observation training. The initial contact, which may be made by telephone, email, or other electronic communication, with the assigned candidate must occur within the first quarter of the assignment. For each formal observation, the field supervisor shall participate in an individualized pre-observation conference with the candidate; document educational practices observed; provide written feedback through an individualized, synchronous, and interactive post-observation conference with the candidate; and provide a copy of the written feedback to the candidate's site supervisor. Neither the pre-observation conference nor the post-observation conference need to be onsite. Formal observations conducted through collaboration with school or district personnel can be used to meet the requirements of this subsection. Informal observations and coaching shall be provided by the field supervisor as appropriate. The field supervisor shall collaborate with the candidate and site supervisor throughout the practicum experience.

(1) Formal observations must be at least 135 minutes in duration in total throughout the practicum and must be conducted by the field supervisor.

(2) At least one of the formal observations must be on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting.

(3) If a formal observation is not conducted on the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting, the formal observation may be provided by use of electronic transmission or other video or technology-based method. A formal observation that is not conducted on the candidates' site in a face-to-face setting must include a pre- and post-conference.

(4) An EPP must provide a minimum of one formal observation within the first third of the practicum, one formal observation within the second third of the practicum, and one formal observation within the final third of the practicum.

(i) Exemptions.

(1) Under the TEC, §21.050(c), a candidate who receives a bachelor's degree required for a teaching certificate on the basis of higher education coursework completed while receiving an exemption from tuition and fees under the TEC, §54.363, is exempt from the requirements of this chapter relating to field-based experience, internship, or clinical teaching.

(2) Under the TEC, §21.0487(c)(2)(B), a candidate's employment by a school or district as a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor before the person was enrolled in an EPP or while the person is enrolled in an EPP is exempt from any clinical teaching, internship, or field-based experience program requirement.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606372

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


CHAPTER 229. ACCOUNTABILITY SYSTEM FOR EDUCATOR PREPARATION PROGRAMS

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §§229.1-229.9 and repeal of 19 TAC §229.21, concerning the accountability system for educator preparation programs (EPPs). The amendments to §§229.1-229.8 and repeal of 19 TAC §229.21 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016 issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6338) and will not be republished. The amendment to §229.9 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016 issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6338). The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 229 establish the process used for issuing annual accreditation ratings for all EPPs. The adopted amendments to 19 TAC §§229.1-229.9 and repeal of 19 TAC §229.21 include changes as the result of recent legislative changes, SBEC input, stakeholder input, and input received from staff at the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.045, states that the SBEC shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the approval and continuing accountability of all EPPs. At the January 2015 SBEC work session, the SBEC members received three presentations on educator quality as it pertains to EPPs in the state of Texas. The Texas Teaching Commission, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the National Council on Teacher Quality provided state and national perspectives on educator quality in relation to Texas EPPs. SBEC members provided feedback to TEA staff on those presentations. Specifically, as it relates to 19 TAC Chapter 229, the SBEC requested policy options that focus on raising EPP standards, improving teacher preparation programs, and new and improved ways to train better teachers. The TEA staff also convened three stakeholder meetings in December 2015 and three stakeholder meetings in June 2016 to gather input on the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 229.

General Provisions and Purpose of Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs

Language was amended in 19 TAC §229.1(a) to replace certification field with certification class or category This aligns the language used in 19 TAC Chapters 227, 228, 230, and 233.

Definitions

The definitions of accredited institution of higher education and site supervisor were added for clarity and alignment between other chapters in the TAC. The definitions of candidate, clinical teaching, cooperating teacher, educator preparation program, field supervisor, internship, and practicum were amended for clarity and alignment between other chapters in the TAC. The definitions of completer and educator preparation program data were amended for clarity, the definition of campus-based mentor was replaced by mentor for clarity and alignment between other chapters in the TAC, and the definitions of alternative certification program, institutional report, and scaled score were removed because the terms are not referenced in the chapter.

The definition of certification field was replaced by certification category and certification class so that the definitions align with 19 TAC Chapters 227, 228, 230, and 233. The definitions include "also referred to as certification field" so that the common term for categories and classes can continue to be used by TEA staff and EPPs. To align the definitions across all chapters, these adopted changes are made in 19 TAC §229.2 with conforming changes made throughout the chapter.

In accordance with the TEC, §21.045(a)(5), as amended by House Bill (HB) 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, a definition of new teacher was added as the first year of employment as a classroom teacher under a standard certificate after completing an EPP. In accordance with the TEC, §21.0441, as added by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, a definition of incoming class was added.

The definition of beginning teacher was amended to clarify that it means a classroom teacher with less than three years of experience and is used for the purpose of implementing the TEC, §21.045(a)(3), in this chapter. The definition of first-year teacher was also amended to clarify that it is used for the purpose of implementing the TEC, §21.045(a)(2), in this chapter.

The definition of pass rate was moved to the determination of accreditation status section. In addition, the definitions have been renumbered accordingly.

Required Submissions of Information, Surveys, and Other Data

In accordance with the TEC, §21.045(a)(5), as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, and the TEC, §21.0441, as added by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, language in 19 TAC §229.3(a), (e), and (f) was amended and added to clarify who is required to provide data and when the data is required to be submitted. These subsections were also amended to clarify that the data and information required to be provided is set forth in subsections (e) and (f).

In accordance with the TEC, §21.045, as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, and §21.0452, as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, the figure in 19 TAC §229.3(f)(1) was replaced to clarify data that is required to be collected and reported.

The collection and reporting of new annual performance report data includes the results of teacher satisfaction surveys; data related to field supervision of candidates completing clinical teaching and internships; the number of teachers employed under standard certificates within one year of completing an EPP; the amount of time required by candidates employed as beginning teachers under probationary certificates to be issued standard certificates; the ratio of field supervisors to candidates completing clinical teaching or an internship; and any other information necessary to assess effectiveness of the program on the basis of teacher retention and success criteria such as the performance of candidates on all examinations approved by an EPP and the percentage of applicants who are admitted to a program.

The collection and reporting of new consumer information data includes for each semester, the average ratio of field supervisors to candidates completing clinical teaching and internships; the percentage of teachers employed under a standard teaching certificate within one year of completing an EPP; and the results of teacher satisfaction surveys.

Determination of Accreditation Status

In accordance with the TEC, §21.045(a), as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, language in 19 TAC §229.4(a) was amended to include disaggregation of EPP accountability indicators by race. Language in 19 TAC §229.4(a)(4) was amended to include candidates completing clinical teaching in the performance standards related to field supervision. Section 229.4(5) was added to include the teacher satisfaction survey indicator into rule. The performance standard will be set after the teacher satisfaction survey is piloted during the 2016-2017 academic year. Language in 19 TAC §229.4(d) and (e) was also amended to align with the accreditation indicators in subsection (a) and include race as a way to disaggregate EPP candidates.

The current definition of pass rate and the performance standard of 80% on all certification examinations in 19 TAC §229.4(a)(1) continues to be used for accreditation purposes for the 2016-2017 academic year. A new pass rate is used for accreditation purposes after the 2016-2017 academic year. This pass rate includes, for each academic year, the percent of candidates who passed an examination that was approved by the EPP and required for the certification field in which the EPP is preparing or has prepared the candidate within the first two attempts. The amended definition also includes examination attempts that may occur in the academic years while a candidate is enrolled or after a candidate has completed a program. The amended definition creates a higher and more transparent standard for this accreditation indicator.

A separate performance standard was also set for the results of Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) and non-PPR examinations after the 2016-2017 academic year. The performance standard for PPR examinations will use the new pass rate, set at 80% for the 2016-2017 academic year, for reporting purposes only. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the performance standard will be set at 85% for the 2017-2018 academic year and 90% for the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond. The performance standard for the non-PPR examination will also use the new pass rate, set at 70% for the 2016-2017 academic year, for reporting purposes only. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the performance standard also increases by 5% until it reaches 90% for the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond. As required by the TEC, §21.045(a)(1), the results of certification examinations are required to be used as part of the accreditation status of an EPP. Separating PPR examination results from non-PPR examination results provides more transparency in the accountability system. Lowering the performance standard below the current standard of 80% and considering 2016-2017 as a reporting year provides EPPs time to evaluate and make changes to their programs before the performance standards are used for accreditation purposes. Incrementally raising the standard by 5% each year is a similar method for raising the performance standard to what the SBEC has done in the past. Raising the performance standard beyond the current standard of 80% to 90% comports with the SBEC's request for policy options that focus on raising EPP standards and improving teacher preparation programs.

Language in 19 TAC §229.4(a)(2) was amended to set a performance standard for the results of a principal survey of first-year teachers. The performance standard was defined as the percentage of first-year teachers who were appraised as sufficiently prepared or well prepared. The performance standard is 70% for the 2016-2017 academic year and used for reporting purposes only. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, the performance standard increases by 5% until it reaches 90% for the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond. The use of first-year teacher performance data is required by the TEC, §21.045(a)(2), and the adopted performance standards are based on the results of SBEC-approved surveys that have been piloted for several years. Incrementally raising the standard by 5% each year is a similar method for raising the performance standard to what the SBEC has done in the past. Raising the performance standard to 90% comports with the SBEC's request for policy options that focus on raising EPP standards and improving teacher preparation programs.

Language in 19 TAC §229.4(a)(4) was amended to set the performance standards for the frequency, duration, and quality of field supervision of clinical teachers and intern teachers. The performance standard for the frequency and duration of field supervision was defined as the percentage of candidates who were observed by their field supervisor according to the requirements described in 19 TAC §228.35. For accreditation purposes, the performance standard for the frequency and duration of field supervision was set at 95% for the 2016-2017 academic year for internship observations. For reporting purposes, the performance standard for the frequency and duration of field supervision was set at 95% for the 2016-2017 academic year for internship and clinical teaching observations. For accreditation purposes, the performance standard for the frequency and duration of field supervision was set at 95% for the 2017-2018 academic year and beyond for internship and clinical teaching observations. The performance standard for the quality of field supervision will be based on an exit survey of candidates when they complete an EPP. The performance standard was defined as the percentage of candidates who rate the field supervision as "frequently" or "always or almost always" providing the required components of structural guidance and ongoing support. The performance standard was set at 85% for the 2016-2017 academic year and used for reporting purposes only. The performance standard increases to 90% for the 2017-2018 academic year and beyond. The use of field supervision data is required by the TEC, §21.045(a)(4), and the adopted performance standards are based on the results of surveys that have been piloted for several years. Incrementally raising the standard by 5% each year is a similar method for raising the performance standard to what the SBEC has done in the past. Raising the performance standard to 90% comports with the SBEC's request for policy options that focus on raising EPP standards and improving teacher preparation programs.

In accordance with the TEC, §21.045(a), as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, language in 19 TAC §229.4(g) was amended to include disaggregation of EPP accountability indicators by race. Because the TEC, §21.045(a), requires the SBEC to propose rules that disaggregate EPP performance data by race, ethnicity, and gender, current 19 TAC §229.4(g)(2) was removed and 19 TAC §229.4(g)(1) and adopted subsection (g)(2), (3), and (4) were amended to include groups disaggregated by race, ethnicity, and gender if the group contains more than 10 candidates. This is a decrease from the current small group exception of 20, but a small group size of 10 provides more transparency as to how EPPs are preparing candidates of different genders, races, and ethnicities. A small group size of 10 is also used for the kindergarten-Grade 12 accountability system. The small group exception will not be applied to compliance with the frequency and duration of field supervisor observations. Language in adopted subsection (g)(3) and (4) was amended to clarify how two- and three-year cumulated group performance is calculated. Language was amended in 19 TAC §229.4(g) to remove certification field as a disaggregated group for accreditation status determination but retains language in 19 TAC §229.5(c) so that approval to offer a certification class or category may be revoked if performance standards are not met by the EPP for three consecutive years. Language was also amended in adopted subsection (g)(5) to clarify that the SBEC, rather than TEA staff, may modify sanctions assigned to an EPP.

Accreditation Sanctions and Procedures

Language in 19 TAC §229.5(c)-(e) was amended to replace certification field with certification class or category. This aligns the language used in 19 TAC Chapters 227, 228, 230, and 233. Language in 19 TAC §229.5(d) was amended to set the 2016-2017 academic year as the first year that candidate performance in an individual certification class or category is used for determining whether an EPP has failed to meet performance standards for three consecutive years. This allows EPPs to be held accountable under provisions that are clearer. To provide more consistency and clarity, language was also amended in 19 TAC §229.5(e) to align the small group exception and cumulating rules for individual certification classes and categories with the accreditation status determination rule in 19 TAC §229.4(g).

Continuing Approval

In accordance with the TEC, §21.0443(b), as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, language in 19 TAC §229.6(a) was amended so that the continuing approval review indicators are congruent with those that are in the program approval process section of 19 TAC Chapter 228. In accordance with the TEC, §21.0443(c), as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, language was amended in 19 TAC §229.6(b) so that TEA staff makes a recommendation for continuing approval of an EPP and the SBEC makes the final decision for continuing approval of an EPP. In accordance with the TEC, §21.0451(a), as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, language in 19 TAC §229.6(b) was also amended to add failure to comply with the TEC, Chapter 21, as a reason why TEA staff shall propose a recommendation to the SBEC relating to an EPP's approval to recommend candidates for educator certification.

Informal Review of Texas Education Agency Recommendations

The TEC, §21.0451, as amended by HB 2205, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, provides for a contested case hearing for an EPP if the SBEC seeks to revoke the EPP's accreditation. Changes to the rule were not necessary to implement this requirement because the rule is already written in such a way to be in compliance with the change in law.

Language was amended in 19 TAC §229.7(a) to replace certification field with certification class or category. This aligns the language used in 19 TAC Chapters 227, 228, 230, and 233. Language in 19 TAC §229.7(c) was amended to allow the designee of an EPP's chief operating officer to make the request for an informal review. This provides EPPs with flexibility in responding to a proposed recommendation for an order or a change in accreditation status. Clarifying language was added in 19 TAC §229.7(c)(2) so that EPPs have a better understanding of what they are responding to in an informal review request. The adopted change of shall to may in 19 TAC §229.7(c)(3) provides flexibility for EPPs in their informal review request responses. Cross references to other SBEC rules were also updated.

Contested Cases for Accreditation Revocation

Language was amended in 19 TAC §229.8(a) and (c) to replace certification field with certification class or category. This aligns the language used in 19 TAC Chapters 227, 228, 230, and 233. In accordance with the Texas Government Code, Chapter 2003, language in 19 TAC §229.8(b) was amended to remove a sentence that allows the provision to prevail in the event that there is a conflict with the rule or practice of the SOAH. Section 229.8(c) was also amended to clarify that the finality of an order from the SBEC is made under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Fees for Educator Preparation Program Approval and Accountability

The TEC, §21.041(d), allows the SBEC to propose rules to adopt fees to provide for the administrative cost of approving, renewing the approval of, and appropriately ensuring the accountability of EPPs. Language was amended in 19 TAC §229.9(2) and (3) to clarify that the fees for continuing and discretionary approval reviews are assessed when a site visit is required for a review. These amendments revise the fees to more adequately cover the cost of onsite reviews. Section 229.9(6) was added to establish a fee for reviewing requests for out-of-state and out-of-country school sites for field-based experiences, clinical teaching, internships, and practicums. This fee will adequately cover the administrative cost of these types of reviews. In addition, 19 TAC §229.9(7) was added to establish a fee to adequately cover the costs of administering the accreditation, annual performance, and consumer information requirements for EPPs as required by the TEC, §21.045 and §21.0452. This fee will be collected in the fall of each academic year based on the number of candidates an EPP admitted the prior academic year. The revenue from the fees adequately covers the cost of the personnel, hardware, and contracted services that are required to develop and maintain the internal and external systems needed to collect, analyze, and report data. The fee was set at $55 per admitted candidate for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years and $35 per admitted candidate for the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond. TEA staff will provide annual updates to the SBEC on the revenues and expenditures related to this new fee as well as any recommendations to lower or raise the fee to adequately cover costs related to Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs technology systems.

In response to public comment, language was amended in 19 TAC §229.9(7) to delay the collection of the ASEP technology fee from admitted EPP candidates until March 15, 2017. This delay in implementation allows EPPs to work with their governing boards and chief operating officers to adopt the fee in their own policies. By delaying the implementation of the ASEP technology fee, fees for the 2016-2017 academic year are only collected for candidates who are admitted to an EPP on or after March 15, 2017, through August 31, 2017.

Transitional Provisions

Section §229.21 was repealed because updated transitional provisions have been added to language in 19 TAC §229.4 and §229.5.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016 meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding board responses regarding the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 229.

Comment: Raise Your Hand Texas (RYHT) and an individual from The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) commented on proposed Figure: 19 TAC §229.3(f)(1). RYHT and the individual from UT-Austin commented that valuable information collected through this process needs to be provided to decision makers in a way that improves the likelihood it will be used by policymakers, EPPs, prospective teachers, and school districts. RYHT recommended adding a requirement for Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff to publish a performance report for each EPP containing all of the information included in Figure: 19 TAC §229.3(f)(1) and, where possible, comparing this information to the state average and to beginning teachers placed on similarly situated campuses for each indicator. RYHT recommended adding additional short-term information on teacher retention so that one-, three-, and five-year rates are captured. RYHT also recommended including information from the most recent academic year and that the report be available on the TEA website. The individual from UT-Austin recommended comparing the acceptance rate with the completion rate in a way that highlights the variety of candidates who are admitted to and complete an EPP.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that the accreditation, annual performance, and consumer information data that are required by statute and rule should be accessible on the TEA website so that it can be used by policymakers, EPPs, prospective teachers, and school districts. By December 2016, TEA staff will publish on the TEA website static performance reports for each EPP containing all of the information included in Figure: 19 TAC §229.3(f)(1) and, where applicable, comparing this information to the state average. These published reports will be accompanied by an accountability manual that describes how each performance indicator was calculated. By summer 2017, TEA staff plans to publish on the TEA website dynamic performance reports for each EPP containing all of the information included in Figure: 19 TAC §229.3(f)(1) and, where applicable, comparing this information to the state average.

Comment: RYHT, an individual from Texas State University (TSU), Educate Texas, an individual from UT-Austin, and Commit! commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §229.4(a). RYHT and the individual from UT-Austin commented that the creation of transparent outcomes-based accountability would go a long way toward improving the quality of Texas' teacher workforce. The individual from TSU commented that we must continue to raise our standards because current standards do not ensure adequate teacher quality. Educate Texas and Commit! commented that teacher satisfaction and principal surveys will provide feedback to EPPs that will be used for continual improvement. Commit! recommended that the principal survey be aligned with in-district teacher assessment measures.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed and will work with stakeholders to align the principal and teacher satisfaction surveys with the Texas Teacher Standards, standards that are to be used to inform the training, appraisal, and professional development of teachers.

Comment: Educate Texas and RYHT commented on proposed 19 TAC §229.4(a)(1)(A) - (B). RYHT commented that setting required pass rates for both content and pedagogy examinations and then increasing those expectations over time raises the standards for teacher education in Texas. Educate Texas commented that while the statute requires the use of examination results and there needs to be a way to distinguish quality, these measures may serve as a disincentive to work with teacher candidates that are more likely to face challenges in testing.

Board Response: As the comments relate to setting required pass rates for both content and pedagogy examinations and then increasing those expectations over time, the SBEC agreed.

As the comments relate to this performance standard serving as a disincentive to work with teacher candidates that are more likely to face challenges in testing, the SBEC disagreed. The performance standards were set at a reasonable level. Using 2015-2016 data, the percentage of candidates passing all content certification examinations within two attempts was 90%. The percentage of candidates passing the PPR examination within the first attempt was 93%. By changing the way results of certification examinations are calculated from candidates who have completed an EPP to individuals who have been admitted to an EPP, EPPs can better track the results of their candidates to determine areas that are in need of improvement. TEA staff and the certification examination vendor will also continue to provide support to EPPs and individuals.

Comment: Two individuals from TSU, one individual from the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), YES Prep Public Schools (YPPS), and Education Career Alternatives Program (ECAP) commented on proposed 19 TAC §229.4(a)(1)(B). The individuals from TSU and ECAP commented that if the performance standard for certification examinations are set at two attempts, programs might not allow students to progress to certification if they fail on the first attempt. One individual from TSU and YPPS commented about the difference between the proposed performance standard for EPPs and the five-time limit for individuals. The other individual from TSU commented that the performance standard may disproportionately affect bilingual education, speech, and social studies candidates and EPPs may lose accreditation if performance standards are not met after three years. The individual from TAMUS commented that without a certain period for reporting scores, it would be more difficult for university-based EPPs to support and stay connected with students. ECAP commented that a large majority of EPPs disagreed with setting the performance standard at two attempts.

Board Response: As the comments relate to programs not allowing candidates to progress to certification if candidates do not pass a certification examination within the first attempt, the SBEC disagreed. EPPs should improve their preparation process so that they are able to meet the performance standards rather than change their preparation process to limit the number of candidates who will need more than one attempt to pass a certification examination.

As the comments relate to the five-time limit for individuals, the SBEC provided the following clarification. The five-time limit was put in place by statute and allows an individual up to five attempts on a certification examination before the individual must request a waiver from the SBEC to attempt a certification examination again. If the performance standard was set at the percentage of candidates who pass a certification examination within five attempts, there would be no meaningful differentiation among EPPs.

As the comment relates to the performance standard disproportionately affecting certain certification fields, the SBEC disagreed. Using 2014-2015 data, the percentage of candidates passing bilingual education, speech, and social studies certification examinations within two attempts was 84%, 75%, and 78%, respectively. Because these are average percentages across all EPPs, many EPPs performed better than the average. In addition, EPPs have several years before the performance standards reach the 75%, 80%, and 85% thresholds so EPPs have time to improve their programs to meet the performance standards.

As the comments relate to the potential loss of accreditation, the SBEC agreed. The purpose of the accountability performance indicators is to determine the annual accreditation status of EPPs. If an EPP is not able to address deficiencies with the support of TEA staff, technical assistance, professional services, and/or the appointment of a monitor, an EPP may be assigned a "Not Accredited-Revoked" rating by the SBEC in as few as two years.

As the comments relate to the period of time for reporting scores, the SBEC disagreed. The Legislative Budget Board already has a performance standard for public universities that measures the percentage of an institution's undergraduate teacher education program graduates who become certified to teach no later than the end of the fiscal year following the year of graduation from the program. This measure is used to provide an indicator of the effectiveness of an undergraduate teacher education program.

As the comments relate to EPPs disagreeing with the performance standard being set at two attempts, the SBEC agreed. Input from a variety of stakeholders was collected throughout the rulemaking process, including EPPs, school districts, and organizations that represent teachers and school districts. While the consensus of EPPs was not to set the standard at two attempts, this opinion was not shared by all stakeholders.

Comment: RYHT and Commit! commented on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §229.4(a)(3). RYHT commented that student outcomes needed to be incorporated into the EPP accountability system in a timely manner. Commit! commented that the EPP accountability system needs to be updated to provide transparency. Commit! recommended adding outcomes-based accountability that measures teacher effectiveness and student learning. RYHT recommended specifying that a measure of student performance, including an analysis of growth in student performance, for each EPP be published no later than the 2017-2018 school year, using 2016-2017 data, and that the data be used to determine accountability ratings beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, using 2017-2018 data.

Board Response: While the SBEC agreed that student outcomes need to be incorporated into the EPP accountability system in a timely manner, the SBEC also recognized that the proposed rule actions in this chapter are the first steps in a series of changes necessary to ensure the highest level of educator preparation. To support the goal of improving teacher pre-service training, one of the action items that is included in the TEA Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 is to establish and implement a more rigorous teacher preparation and certification process that uses performance metrics and student achievement data to evaluate teacher preparation program effectiveness by August 2018.

Comment: One individual from TAMUS, YPPS, one individual from Dallas Baptist University (DBU), four individuals from TSU, and an individual commented on proposed 19 TAC §229.9(7).The individuals from TSU, YPPS, and another individual commented that the Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs (ASEP) technology fee would add to the financial burden of students, and two of the individuals from TSU noted that the proposed rule actions provide EPPs with a short timeline to determine how to make the first annual payment. The individual from TAMUS commented that the fee should not be based on the number of admitted candidates because not every admitted candidate becomes certified and that the additional costs administered by the university would not be in the best interest of students. The individual from TAMUS recommended that TEA administer and collect the ASEP technology fee when candidates apply for their standard certificate. The individual from DBU opposed the change because it will be a financial burden on student teachers and universities. YPPS recommended seeking an alternative revenue source.

Board Response: As the comments relate to the ASEP technology fee adding to the financial burden of students, the SBEC disagreed. The cost to implement the ASEP, which includes accreditation, annual performance, and consumer information data, must be adequately covered by an increase in fees. While there would be a small increase to the cost of being admitted to an EPP, applicants, students, graduates, and EPPs would benefit from a fully implemented ASEP.

As the comments relate to the recommendation to add the ASEP technology fee to the cost of the standard certificate or other source, the SBEC disagreed. As part of its report to the 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013, the Sunset Advisory Commission recommended an evaluation of the SBEC fee structure for educator certification and EPPs and that adjustments be made to ensure that the fees in rule more adequately cover costs and are equitable across fee payers. The accountability, performance, and consumer information data would benefit a wide range of individuals because it collects and reports data from the number of EPP applicants to the number of EPP completers who are retained in the profession after five years. Assessing the fee on a larger number of admitted candidates rather than a smaller number of certified candidates would result in a lower fee per individual.

As the comments relate to a short timeline for EPPs to determine how to make the first annual payment, the SBEC agreed and modified language in 19 TAC §229.9(7) to delay the implementation date until March 15, 2017. This delay in implementation would allow EPPs to work with their governing boards and chief operating officers to adopt the fee in their own policies. By delaying the implementation of the ASEP technology fee, fees for the 2016-2017 academic year would only be collected for candidates who are admitted to an EPP on or after March 15, 2017, through August 31, 2017.

Comment: ACT-San Antonio commented on proposed 19 TAC §229.4(a)(1)(B) that would include individuals who completed an EPP in the pass rate for the EPP. ACT-San Antonio commented that it was not clear which examination results would be included in the pass rate.

Board Response: The SBEC provided the following clarification. Only results from examinations that were approved by the EPP and required for initial certification in the class or category for which the individual served his or her clinical teaching, internship, or practicum would be included in the pass rate.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 229 at the November 18, 2016 SBOE meeting.

19 TAC §§229.1 - 229.9

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(a), which allows the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to adopt rules as necessary for its own procedures; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which states that the SBEC shall propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(d), which allows the SBEC to propose a rule adopting a fee for the approval or renewal of approval of an educator preparation program (EPP), or for the addition of a certificate or field of certification to the scope of a program's approval. A fee imposed may not exceed the amount necessary, as determined by the SBEC, to provide for the administrative cost of approving, renewing the approval of, and appropriately ensuring the accountability of EPPs; the TEC, §21.0441(c) and (d), which requires the SBEC to adopt rules setting certain admission requirements for EPPs; the TEC, §21.0443, which states that the SBEC shall propose rules to establish standards to govern the approval or renewal of approval of EPPs and certification fields authorized to be offered by an EPP. To be eligible for approval or renewal of approval, an EPP must adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and meet the standards and requirements of the SBEC. The SBEC shall require that each EPP be reviewed for renewal of approval at least every five years. The SBEC shall adopt an evaluation process to be used in reviewing an EPP for renewal of approval; the TEC, §21.045, which states that the board shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the continuing accountability of all EPPs; the TEC, §21.0451, which states that the SBEC shall propose rules for the sanction of EPPs that do not meet accountability standards and shall annually review the accreditation status of each EPP. The costs of technical assistance required under TEC, §21.0451(a)(2)(A), or the costs associated with the appointment of a monitor under TEC, §21.0451(a)(2)(C), shall be paid by the sponsor of the EPP; and the TEC, §21.0452, which states that to assist persons interested in obtaining teaching certification in selecting an EPP and assist school districts in making staffing decisions, the SBEC shall make certain specified information regarding educator programs in this state available to the public through the SBEC's Internet website. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.041(a), (b)(1), and (d), 21.0441(c) and (d), 21.0443, 21.045, 21.0451, and 21.0452.

§229.9.Fees for Educator Preparation Program Approval and Accountability.

An educator preparation program requesting approval and continuation of accreditation status shall pay the applicable fee from the following list.

(1) New educator preparation program application and approval (nonrefundable)--$9,000.

(2) Five-year continuing approval review visit pursuant to §228.10(b) of this title (relating to Approval Process)--$4,500.

(3) Discretionary continuing approval review visit pursuant to §228.10(b) of this title--$4,500.

(4) Addition of new certification category or addition of clinical teaching--$500.

(5) Addition of each new class of certificate--$1,000.

(6) Applications for out-of-state and out-of-country school sites for field-based experiences, clinical teaching, internships, and practicums--$500.

(7) Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs technology fee:

(A) on or after March 15, 2017, and before September 1, 2017--$55 per admitted candidate; and

(B) for the 2017-2018 academic year--$55 per admitted candidate; and

(C) for the 2018-2019 academic year and beyond--$35 per admitted candidate.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606373

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


19 TAC §229.21

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The repeal is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(a), which allows the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to adopt rules as necessary for its own procedures; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which states that the SBEC shall propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(d), which allows the SBEC to propose a rule adopting a fee for the approval or renewal of approval of an educator preparation program (EPP), or for the addition of a certificate or field of certification to the scope of a program's approval. A fee imposed may not exceed the amount necessary, as determined by the SBEC, to provide for the administrative cost of approving, renewing the approval of, and appropriately ensuring the accountability of EPPs; the TEC, §21.0441(c) and (d), which requires the SBEC to adopt rules setting certain admission requirements for EPPs; the TEC, §21.0443, which states that the SBEC shall propose rules to establish standards to govern the approval or renewal of approval of EPPs and certification fields authorized to be offered by an EPP. To be eligible for approval or renewal of approval, an EPP must adequately prepare candidates for educator certification and meet the standards and requirements of the SBEC. The SBEC shall require that each EPP be reviewed for renewal of approval at least every five years. The SBEC shall adopt an evaluation process to be used in reviewing an EPP for renewal of approval; the TEC, §21.045, which states that the board shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the continuing accountability of all EPPs; the TEC, §21.0451, which states that the SBEC shall propose rules for the sanction of EPPs that do not meet accountability standards and shall annually review the accreditation status of each EPP. The costs of technical assistance required under TEC, §21.0451(a)(2)(A), or the costs associated with the appointment of a monitor under TEC, §21.0451(a)(2)(C), shall be paid by the sponsor of the EPP; and the TEC, §21.0452, which states that to assist persons interested in obtaining teaching certification in selecting an EPP and assist school districts in making staffing decisions, the SBEC shall make certain specified information regarding educator programs in this state available to the public through the SBEC's Internet website. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted repeal implements the TEC, §§21.041(a), (b)(1), and (d), 21.0441(c) and (d), 21.0443, 21.045, 21.0451, and 21.0452.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606374

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


CHAPTER 230. PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND CERTIFICATION

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §230.1

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §§230.1, 230.11, 230.13, 230.31, 230.33, 230.35, 230.37, 230.41, 230.53, 230.71, 230.73, 230.75, 230.77, 230.79, 230.81, 230.83, 230.91, 230.93, 230.97, 230.101, 230.105, 230.111, and 230.113; new 19 TAC §§230.36, 230.63, 230.65, 230.104, and 230.107; and repeal of 19 TAC §230.15 and §230.39, concerning professional educator preparation and certification. The amendments to §§230.1, 230.11, 230.13, 230.31, 230.33, 230.35, 230.41, 230.53, 230.73, 230.75, 230.77, 230.79, 230.81, 230.83, 230.91, 230.93, 230.97, 230.105, 230.111, and 230.113; new §§230.36, 230.63, 230.65, 230.104, and 230.107; and repeal of §230.15 and §230.39 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6351) and will not be republished. The amendments to §§230.37, 230.71, and 230.101 are adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6351). The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 230 are currently organized as follows: Subchapter A, General Provisions; Subchapter B, General Certification Requirements; Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued; Subchapter E, Educational Aide Certificate; Subchapter F, Permits; Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures; and Subchapter H, Texas Educator Certificates Based on Certification and College Credentials from Other States or Territories of the United States. The subchapters provide for rules that establish guidelines and procedures for certification requirements, fees, permits, educational aides, and assignment criteria relating to professional educator preparation and certification. Chapter 230 serves as a foundation for the practices and procedures related to educator preparation and certification. The seven subchapters include key definitions relevant to educator preparation and certification; provide general eligibility, recommendation and issuance requirements for various types of certificates; outline testing requirements for certification; identify certificate application fees; and confirm the overall process for individuals already certified in other states or countries to obtain Texas certification. The adopted amendments to 19 TAC §§230.1, 230.11, 230.13, 230.31, 230.33, 230.35, 230.37, 230.41, 230.53, 230.71, 230.73, 230.75, 230.77, 230.79, 230.81, 230.83, 230.91, 230.93, 230.97, 230.101, 230.105, 230.111, and 230.113; new 19 TAC §§230.36, 230.63, 230.65, 230.104, and 230.107; and repeal of 19 TAC §230.15 and §230.39 result from SBEC board input, stakeholder input, and input received from staff at the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.031, states that the SBEC is established to oversee all aspects of the certification and continuing education of public school educators and to ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state.

At the January 2015 SBEC work session, the SBEC members received three presentations on educator quality as it pertains to educator preparation programs (EPPs) in the state of Texas. The Texas Teaching Commission, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the National Council on Teacher Quality provided state and national perspectives on educator quality in relation to Texas EPPs. SBEC members provided feedback to TEA staff on those presentations. Specifically, as it related to 19 TAC Chapter 230, the SBEC requested policy options that focused on raising EPP standards, improving teacher preparation programs, and new and improved ways to train better teachers.

TEA staff conducted an SBEC work session on June 9, 2016, to provide the Board with a shared understanding of the preparation process, to discuss current issues related to educator preparation and teacher quality, and to capture SBEC's perspective on preparation so that TEA could provide the desired support in preparation for possible rule changes.

The TEA staff also convened three face-to-face stakeholder meetings in December 2015 and June 2016, to gather input on the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, Subchapter A, General Provisions; Subchapter B, General Certification Requirements; Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued; Subchapter E, Educational Aide Certificate; Subchapter F, Permits; Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures; and Subchapter H, Texas Educator Certificates Based on Certification and College Credentials from Other States or Territories of the United States. The adopted revisions reflect input received from the SBEC, TEA staff, and TEA staff-convened stakeholder meetings, but also includes additional changes since the draft rule text was shared at the December 2015, April 2016, and June 2016 SBEC meetings.

Following is a description of the adopted revisions.

Subchapter A, General Provisions

The purpose of Subchapter A, General Provisions, is to define key terms that share common meaning across several certification and educator preparation rules within the Texas Administrative Code.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §230.1 reflects the addition of terms relevant to general requirements for educator preparation and certification and the removal of terms not applicable to Chapter 230. The goal is to ensure there is common understanding of frequently used terms so that there is accurate and effective communication and alignment throughout the state between EPPs, school districts, educators, candidates for certification, and other stakeholders.

In 19 TAC §230.1, definitions were added for candidate, certification class, charter school, intern certificate, probationary certificate, standard certificate, teacher, and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills; removed for field supervision, high-quality professional development, internship, mentor, State Board for Educator Certification, and Texas Education Agency staff; and amended for accredited institution of higher education, certificate, classroom teacher, continuing professional education, educator, educator preparation program, initial certification and teacher of record.

Subchapter B, General Certification Requirements

The purpose of Subchapter B, General Certification Requirements, is to outline general certification requirements applicable to all individuals regardless of the route taken to obtain Texas certification.

Language in 19 TAC §230.11(b)(5)(B) was amended to clarify that the English language proficiency requirement can be satisfied for individuals coming from territories of the United States, if English was the primary language of instruction at the university where the degree was earned. Regardless of their route to Texas certification, all individuals unable to provide a letter from their university confirming the primary language of instruction was English will be required to take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language--Internet Based Test (TOEFL-ibt). Subsection (b)(7)(F) was removed since 19 TAC §230.39, Temporary Teacher Certificate, was repealed in Subchapter D.

Language in 19 TAC §230.13(a)(2) and (b)(3) was amended to clarify that standard certificate applications must be completed and recommended by the EPP by the application and issuance deadlines for the certificate.

Section 230.15 was repealed because provisions for the military community are addressed in 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans, effective August 28, 2016.

Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued

The purpose of Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued, is to identify types and classes of certificates issued in Texas. This subchapter also identifies some of the temporary credentials issued as individuals complete requirements to obtain a five-year Texas standard certificate.

Language in 19 TAC §230.31(a)(2) and (3) was retained to confirm that prior to September 1, 1999, provisional certificates were issued for all classroom teacher subject areas and professional certificates were issued for areas other than classroom teacher; however, both of these certificate types remain valid for life unless suspended, surrendered in lieu of revocation, or revoked by lawful authority as referenced in subsection (b).

To better reflect certification requirements, educational aide was moved from the list of types of classes of certificates in §230.33(b) to the list of types of certificates in §230.31(a)(8). Adopted subsection (d) was added to reflect the change from a five-year validity period to a two-year validity period for the educational aide certificate. TEA staff discussed potential changes to the educational aide certificate with the SBEC during the December 2015, February 2016, and April 2016 meetings. While the SBEC acknowledges the important role of the educational aide and that the certificate should remain in place, the validity period of the certificate was shortened. TEA staff ran data for the 2014-2015 school year that confirmed a total of 227,910 educational aide certificates were issued. Of those, 153,789 certificates were valid for life, while 74,121 educational aide certificates were issued as standard certificates that must currently be renewed every five years. While there were a large number of educational aide certificates issued, employment data from school year 2014-2015 show approximately 53,791 educational aides were actively employed. Of those 53,791 educational aides, only 8,044 (or 18%) had been employed for over two years.

The shortening of the validity period of the educational aide certificate addresses the challenge the TEA faces allocating limited resources to the investigation and prosecution of individuals possessing only educational aide certificates that are either in inactive status and/or are not otherwise being utilized by the individual as a condition of employment by a Texas school district. A significant number of cases involving educational aides (paraprofessionals) accused of wrongdoing result in defaults when filed at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). Over the course of five recent SBEC meetings, 65 defaults were issued for educational aides making up 39% of the defaults issued. The investigation and prosecution of defaults require the same or more resources as non-default cases. Shortening the validity period for the educational aide certificate focuses TEA investigative and prosecutorial resources only on those who are actively using the educational aide certificate in a Texas public school.

Adopted new 19 TAC §230.36 establishes a new intern certificate. The concept of the intern certificate was first presented to the SBEC at the April 2016 meeting and was originally intended to replace the probationary certificate. At the time, TEA staff recommended that candidates pass all required examinations (content and pedagogy) for the certification area prior to issuance of the intern certificate to ensure that a teacher of record has demonstrated minimal competence in both pedagogy and content prior to placement in a classroom with only minimal supervision. District and EPP representatives expressed concerns about future plans to increase the testing requirements for issuance of the intern certificate. During the June 2016 SBEC work session and meeting, TEA staff presented a tiered licensure process for certification through an EPP that better reflects the candidate's progress toward full certification and the level of support the candidate receives. This two-tiered licensure structure for EPP candidates included an intern certificate, where prior to issuance, successful completion of all content examinations was required; and a probationary certificate, where prior to issuance, successful completion of all examinations (content and pedagogy) was required. The validity period for the intern certificate will be one year and the validity period for the probationary certificate will be a maximum of two one-year validity periods. Probationary certificates will remain in 19 TAC §230.37.

Section 230.37 currently allows EPP candidates to be placed on a probationary certificate and serve as the teacher of record for up to three years. The amount of time a candidate can serve on a probationary certificate will be limited. Language was amended in adopted subsection (c)(4) to add intern certificates and reduce the total amount of time allowed from three years to two years. The adopted change may impact an EPP's timeline on preparing candidates but better aligns with the SBEC's goals and principles. To ensure that school districts and the TEA are properly notified about candidates serving on an intern or probationary certificate who resign or are terminated from assignments and/or candidates who withdraw or are released from an EPP, EPP notification requirements were removed from this subchapter and moved to Chapter 228.

Adopted subsection (d) establishes testing requirements for issuance of a probationary certificate and includes a transition from testing requirements and options in place prior to September 1, 2017, and testing requirements for issuance of the probationary certificate beginning September 1, 2017. Adopted subsection (d)(2) requires candidates to successfully complete all examinations currently required for issuance of a standard certificate prior to issuance of the probationary certificate in any subject area (i.e., pedagogy, content, and as applicable, oral, written, or sign communication assessments) beginning September 1, 2017. In addition, the adopted amendment adds a requirement for successful completion of the pedagogy and professional responsibilities examination in addition to the required content examinations and removes the provision in subsection (d)(1) that prior to September 1, 2017, allows individuals to receive the probationary certificate for Grades 7-12 by substituting the required content examination with a minimum number of college hours. The adopted changes to the probationary certificate rules will ensure that individuals have demonstrated minimal competence in both pedagogy and content prior to placement in a classroom as the paid teacher of record with only minimal supervision. The adopted testing requirement to qualify for issuance of a probationary certificate will become effective September 1, 2017. Current subsections (d) - (f) were removed.

Since published as proposed, a technical correction was made to 19 TAC §230.37(d)(1)(B)(i) to confirm that the successful completion of the appropriate pedagogy and professional responsibilities test is not required until September 1, 2017.

The SBEC recognizes the impact of these adopted changes and acknowledges stakeholder feedback on the adopted rule actions and their concerns related to testing requirements prior to issuance of the intern and/or probationary certificate and the potential impact these requirements could have on bilingual certification candidates and certification candidates in other high-need areas. The SBEC carefully considered this issue. The SBEC has continued to focus on the need to ensure that individuals entering classrooms as the teacher of record demonstrate content proficiency to ensure that students have the best opportunity to master academic content. It is particularly critical that students in bilingual or special education classrooms have teachers with the academic knowledge and skills to meet the needs of those students. Although teachers on an intern or probationary certificate will still be receiving training in essential pedagogical skills, the adopted rule action supports the belief that all students deserve teachers who have demonstrated content knowledge. There are processes in place that allow districts to apply for bilingual exceptions to receive some flexibility from the bilingual program requirements. Creating a tiered licensure structure also allows for meaningful differentiation for districts in making hiring decisions and EPPs in supporting their intern or probationary teachers.

Section 230.39, Temporary Teacher Certificates, was repealed due to a lack of district participation for several years and because the TEA no longer issues the Grades 8-12 certificates that aligned with this process.

Language in 19 TAC §230.41, Visiting International Teacher Certificates, was amended in subsection (a) to remove the reference to the agreement since rules in this subsection provide eligibility and certificate issuance requirements. Adopted subsection (e) was added to confirm that issuance of the visiting international certificate does not preclude candidates from completing the credentials review process and being issued a one-year certificate if all requirements are met.

Subchapter E, Educational Aide Certificate

The purpose of Subchapter E, Educational Aide Certificate, is to outline the general requirements for the recommendation, issuance, and renewal of educational aide certificates.

The majority of the rules in this subchapter remain the same. Language was added as adopted 19 TAC §230.53(f) and (g) to confirm that individuals already certified as a classroom teacher will be eligible to serve as an educational aide without obtaining the educational aide certificate unless requested by the employing district and confirm that individuals seeking a higher level of educational aide certificate (i.e., transferring from educational aide I to II or educational aide II to III) will need to complete an online application, pay a fee, and be recommended for the new level of certification by the employing district.

Adopted new 19 TAC §230.63 addresses the adopted change in the validity period for educational aide certificates; provides notification of the adopted change taking effect September 1, 2017; and confirms the elimination of the renewal requirements having to be completed for an expired lower level educational aide certificate when applying and being recommended by the district for a higher level certificate.

Adopted new 19 TAC §230.65 clarifies the new process for reissuance of educational aide certificates by confirming that effective September 1, 2017, all educational aide certificates issued will expire at the end of their validity period and that reissuance of an educational aide certificate will require a new online application, a new recommendation from the employing district, and a new fee paid online. Because holders of educational aide certificates will be required to reapply for new certification each time, a fee reduction for issuance of this certificate will begin September 1, 2017. The adopted fee of $15 every two years is included in the adopted changes to 19 TAC §230.101, Schedule of Fees for Certification Services, in Subchapter G. It is also important to note that all educational aide certificates issued prior to September 1, 2017, will be issued with a five-year validity period, but the certificate will expire at the end of the period and is not subject to renewal. Individuals will be required to reapply for a new educational aide certificate with a two-year validity period. Individuals holding a lifetime educational aide certificate will maintain that certificate.

Subchapter F, Permits

The purpose of Subchapter F, Permits, is to outline the general requirements for the recommendation, issuance, and renewal of emergency permits.

The adopted rule action reflects returning use of emergency permits back to serving as a temporary credential that provides resolution to a "true emergency" and allows an employing district to fill an immediate need for placement of a teacher into the classroom. Language in 19 TAC §230.71, General Provisions, was amended to alert districts of adopted changes in issuance of emergency permits. Adopted subsection (b) was added to indicate that effective with the 2017-2018 school year, emergency permits will be limited to one year of issuance, with no option for renewal. Adopted subsection (c) was added to confirm that the one-year limitation does not apply to the annual reissuance of emergency permits for Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) instructors or renewals of emergency permits for teachers of students with visual impairments. Language in adopted subsection (d)(1) was amended to confirm that the superintendent or his designee must take specific steps to determine an individual's qualifications for placement on an emergency permit. Language in adopted subsection (d)(3) was amended to add "open-enrollment charter school" to expand the type of educational setting where a permit may be initiated for an individual. Language in adopted subsection (h)(3)(A) was amended to include a change from "deficiency plan" to "certification plan" to better align with EPP terminology. Language in adopted subsection (h)(3)(B) was amended to add "or higher" after the bachelor's degree reference to confirm a higher degree is acceptable and in adopted subsection (i) to add "pertaining to parental notification."

Since published as proposed, language was amended in adopted subsection (j) to confirm that individuals issued an intern or probationary certificate will be allowed to also be placed on an emergency permit for a certificate area that the employing district may need coverage for if that certificate area is not offered through the entity that provided recommendation for the intern or probationary certificate. The change addresses the need for districts and EPPs to have flexibility to work with candidates to ensure eligibility for placement into assignments.

Language in 19 TAC §230.73 was amended in subsection (d) and adopted subsections (e)-(g) to confirm that the 2016-2017 school year will be a transition year and that rules currently in place for emergency permits, including renewal of permits will remain the same. However, in the 2017-2018 school year, the one-year limit will become effective. The only exceptions to the limited use of emergency permits are for the assignments to teach JROTC and to serve as teachers of students with visual impairments. Districts will continue being allowed to apply for new emergency permits every year to allow individuals employed in their district to continue serving in the assigned role of JROTC instructor. Districts will also be allowed a maximum of two renewals on emergency permits for assignments to teach students with visual impairments. TEC, §21.0485, requires individuals pursuing the Visually Impaired (VI) Supplemental Certificate to complete an EPP and does not allow them to earn this certificate through the certification by examination route. Individuals assigned to teach students with visual impairments on a permit are already certified educators who must complete requirements through an approved EPP to qualify for issuance of the VI Supplemental Certificate. Teachers of students with visual impairments often serve in itinerant positions that go where the students are at their local school in a district or as part of a cooperative for more rural areas of Texas. These teachers also receive additional support from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired's statewide mentoring program. Because the statute does not allow individuals to earn certification solely by test passage and due to the specialized and intensive nature of the training requirements for individuals seeking this certificate, the adopted rule action reflects additional time under the emergency permit for teachers of students with visual impairments. This will allow districts to maintain qualified staff in this specialized area without causing a disruption to the population of students being served.

Language in 19 TAC §230.75(1)(A) was amended to incorporate associate's degree or more advanced degree reference into the rule text to align with health science certification requirements.

Language in 19 TAC §230.77(c)(1)(B) was amended to increase the semester credit hour requirement from six to twelve in the subject to be taught. Also, changes to subsection (c)(2)(A) will match the increase in semester credit hours in subsection (c)(1)(B). Adopted subsection (c)(2)(C) incorporates stakeholder feedback to prohibit approval of a temporary classroom assignment permit for an individual teaching more than four class periods with fewer than six semester credit hours in the specific subject area to be taught. Language in subsections (d)-(g) was amended to incorporate minor edits to update certificate names, align semester credit hour requirements or licensure and experience requirements for certain certificates (e.g., career and technical education areas), and clarify degree requirements.

Language in 19 TAC §230.79(a)(1) and (b)(1) was amended to clarify application for the emergency permit is an online process. The adopted rule action also reflects changing "deficiency plan" to "certification plan" in subsections (a)(2)(A) and (b)(4) to better align with EPP terminology. Clarifying language specific to career and technical education assignments based on skill and experience was added in subsection (b)(2) and adopted paragraph (3).

Language was amended in 19 TAC §230.81(2) to confirm emergency permits are limited to one year in an assignment, and language in paragraph (3)(B) was amended to reflect a change in semester credit hour requirements needed for one renewal. Because the adopted change in the emergency permit validity period is not effective until the 2017-2018 school year, retaining the renewal provisions in rule will provide districts with guidance until the new emergency permit rules are effective.

Section 230.83(b)(3) was removed since there are very few district requests for nonrenewable permits related to candidates from other states who held the one-year certificate and did not pass the pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) test during the validity period of their one-year certificate. The SBEC is cognizant of concerns expressed by stakeholders that the requirements for placement on emergency permits has been more rigorous for certified educators versus non-certified individuals. Attempts have been made to address this discrepancy by revising the emergency permit rule to treat both populations more fairly while maintaining a balance of meeting needs at the local level and still ensuring the placement of qualified individuals in every classroom.

Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures

The purpose of Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures, is to identify the general procedures for issuance of certificates, to confirm the roles of EPPs in the recommendation of their candidates for certification, to highlight the process for dating and issuing certificates and permits, to establish in rule the fees for various certification services, to outline the process for submitting fees for correction of a certificate or permit issued in error, and to identify requirements for issuance of additional certificates based on examination only.

The majority of the rules in this subchapter will remain the same; however, language was amended in 19 TAC §230.91(a)(1) to confirm that the virtual certificate is considered to be the official record of educator certification in Texas. This online certificate is available on the TEA website and satisfies the TEC, §21.053(a). The reference to the SBEC board chair signature was removed since TEA stopped printing and mailing paper certificates in January 2011.

Language was amended in 19 TAC §230.93, Candidates of Approved Educator Preparation Programs, to confirm that an EPP is responsible for recommending candidates for certification by the deadlines for issuance of the certificate. Language was amended in 19 TAC §230.97(c) to confirm that a fee is required to change the effective date for a certificate or permit.

Adopted fee changes in 19 TAC §230.101, Schedule of Fees for Certification Services, will support necessary online system updates to implement the adopted rule changes and cover TEA's administrative costs. Language was amended in subsection (a)(1) to confirm the fee reduction from $30 to $15 for the educational aide certificate, effective September 1, 2017, and in subsection (a)(3) to add the intern certificate to the line item and adopt a fee increase from $50 to $75 for issuance of the probationary or intern certificate. In subsection (a)(6), changing "temporary credential" to "one-year certificate" better reflects what is issued and aligns rule text with wording in Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued. In subsection (a)(8), the adopted amendment increases the national criminal history check processing fee from $6 to $10 to better cover TEA's administrative costs and, in adopted subsection (a)(9), add a fee for reviewing superintendent applications for the substitution of managerial experience for the principal certification requirements. The SBEC's approval of this fee allows TEA staff to begin the timely review of anticipated requests from individuals to utilize the new process recently established in rule to allow flexibility in obtaining the Superintendent Certificate in accordance to rules outlined in 19 TAC Chapter 242, Superintendent Certificate. The fee references in adopted subsections (a)(10) and (11) will not apply to educational aide certificates effective September 1, 2017; however, the current fees will be in place until they are no longer applicable to the certification process for educational aides. Language in adopted subsection (a)(18) was amended to increase the Visiting International Teacher certificate from $50 to $75 to better cover TEA's administrative costs.

Since published as proposed, language was added in 19 TAC §230.101(a)(8) that better differentiates between the portion of the fee that the TEA receives to review criminal histories and the portion of the fee that goes to the Texas Department of Public Safety for the scanning and processing of fingerprints.

Adopted new 19 TAC §230.104, Correcting a Certificate or Permit Issued in Error, confirms in rule the need for payment by an EPP or district to correct a certificate or permit issued in error based on information submitted by the EPP or district. TEA does not charge a fee to individuals, EPPs, or districts, if TEA staff was responsible for the incorrect issuance of a certificate or permit.

Section 230.105(2) was removed to allow marketing, health science, and trade and industrial education to the list of certificates eligible to be added under the provision of additional certification by examination. However, because there are legislative requirements that must be met for issuance of the health science certificate, as well as licensure and work experience requirements needed for the trade and industrial education certificate, TEA staff has aligned the test approval process for health science and trade and industrial education to the process already in place for marketing certification through additional certification by examination. Like marketing, candidates seeking the health science and/or trade and industrial education certificate through this route will need to have licensure and wage-earning experience verified through a school district or approved EPP before test approval can be granted.

And finally, adopted new 19 TAC §230.107 places into rule a process that allows individuals to relinquish a Texas certificate if they no longer wish to have the credential listed as part of their official record of certification. Over the years, educators have requested to relinquish one or more of their approved educator certifications. There is no current rule that addresses this type of request from an educator. Language in this section will allow an individual to relinquish the certificate, but also emphasizes that once it is relinquished, it cannot be added back to the official certificate record without the individual completing the requirements for issuance of the certificate (i.e., retaking the applicable test, completing EPP requirements as applicable, reapplying and paying the fee for certificate issuance).

Subchapter H, Texas Educator Certificates Based on Certification and College Credentials from Other States and Territories of the United States

The purpose of Subchapter H, Texas Educator Certificates Based on Certification and College Credentials from Other States and Territories of the United States, is to outline the process for individuals already certified to teach in other states to obtain Texas certification. This subchapter also explains the legislatively mandated comparable tests process that eliminates some of the Texas certification testing requirements for educators already certified to teach in other states.

The majority of the rules in this subchapter will remain the same, but a few minor changes were made. Language in 19 TAC §230.111(a) was amended to add the word "acceptable" to further describe the certificate or credential that can be submitted for the Texas review of credentials process. Language was amended in subsection (c) to resolve grammatical issues and clarify that examination and/or certificate renewal requirements pending in another state will not impact an individual's ability to complete the Texas review of credentials process if he or she has met all other requirements for certification in the other state. Language in subsection (d) was amended to confirm that a letter from another state department of education responsible for issuance of certification or licensure can be accepted in place of a copy of the actual certificate for purposes of the TEA's review of credentials process. Language was amended in subsection (e) to confirm that the Texas credentials review process can only be completed based on the areas and grade levels of certification included on the certificate issued by another state department of education.

Section 230.113(e) was removed to align with deletion of similar text in the nonrenewable permit section of this chapter. Language in adopted subsection (e) was amended to confirm that individuals must establish a base classroom teaching certificate before they can add a supplemental certification area to their Texas certificate record. After much consideration and discussion, along with stakeholder input, it was determined that it is important to leave territories of the United States in place as part of this subchapter's title, and any concerns regarding English language proficiency for individuals can be addressed directly with the individuals pursuing certification. The general certification requirements outlined in Subchapter B apply to all individuals seeking certification, regardless of the path taken to obtain Texas certification. For this reason, if an individual from a territory of the United States cannot provide proof that English was the primary language of instruction at the university where the bachelor's degree or higher was earned, that individual will be required to take and pass the oral proficiency test approved by the SBEC before a certificate could be issued.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016, meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding board responses regarding the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 230, Subchapters A, B, and D - H.

Comment: Pilot Point ISD stated this new rule requiring successful completion of examinations for issuance of certificates will make it harder to recruit teachers. With a bilingual program just being started in the district, the commenter also expressed concerns about limited test administration dates for Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) and English Language Arts and Reading, Grades 7-12. Lastly, the commenter suggested no changes to current rule, which met the NCLB requirement that secondary teachers could have 24 semester hours in the subject and 12 of the 24 semester hours being at the junior/senior level.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with the commenter regarding limited test administration dates. The BTLPT and the English Language Arts and Reading, Grades 7-12 tests are both administered six times a year. The SBEC acknowledged the district's concerns regarding starting a bilingual program; however, the district has the option to apply for a bilingual waiver as it strengthens the new bilingual program. The SBEC also disagreed with the commenter's suggestion to retain the 24/12 semester credit hours provision for secondary teachers. The SBEC determined it is appropriate to request demonstration of content knowledge through successful completion of the certification test(s) prior to entry into the classroom.

Comment: An individual from Liberty-Eylau ISD acknowledged the importance of improving the quality and preparedness of candidates entering the profession and of retaining more prepared teachers; but stated the school district still battles a shortage of appropriately certified applicants every hiring season. The commenter believes that increasing the rigor of the certification tests, requiring the tests be passed upfront, and reducing the length of allowable time for a probationary certificate from up to three years to two years further narrows the field of scarce candidates. The commenter also expressed concern that the proposed changes to increase the required semester credit hours for emergency permits and the more stringent requirements for math and science credits for Temporary Classroom Assignment Permits (TCAPs) could significantly increase the hardship on districts since they are working with extremely limited choices of applicants.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed with the commenter about improving the quality and preparedness of candidates entering the profession. The SBEC also agreed that increased requirements for issuance of probationary certificates and approval of emergency permits and/or TCAPs could narrow the field of candidates eligible for certification; but determined it is appropriate to raise standards for permit and certificate issuance because students in every classroom deserve the best qualified teachers. The SBEC disagreed with the commenter's suggestion to retain the 24/12 semester credit hours provision for secondary teachers and maintained it is appropriate to request demonstration of content knowledge through successful completion of the certification test(s) prior to entry into the classroom.

Comment: Texas Teachers asked for clarification on whether, under the old and new law, candidates currently serving in their first or second year of a probationary certificate will be permitted to be issued an intern certificate after September 1, 2017, to serve the third year on an internship.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed there will still be options for intern and/or probationary certificates to be issued to eligible candidates after September 1, 2017. TEA staff confirms three years is still the maximum amount of time an individual can be placed in a classroom assignment on a credential that is not a standard certificate. The references to the limit on preliminary certifications and permits are included in 19 TAC §230.36(c)(4) and §230.37(c)(4).

Comment: Education Career Alternatives Program, Ltd., stated that creation of a tiered certificate system will complicate certification tracking for personnel departments. The commenter also stated that the proposal will dictate that an individual pass ALL content tests (including supplemental tests) to be eligible for an initial certificate and that despite a degree in the content, an individual will have to pass the content test before applying for teaching positions. The commenter added, if hired as long-term substitutes, they will not be supported by an EPP.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with the commenter's statement that creation of a tiered certificate system will complicate certification tracking for personnel departments. The SBEC maintained that having an Intern Certificate and a Probationary Certificate will better identify a candidate's level of preparation and confirm content and/or pedagogy mastery prior to classroom entry.

Comment: iteachTEXAS commented that it does not believe a tiered system of educator preparation is needed. The commenter recommends that the time length, training and testing requirements, and the names of the Intern Certificate and Probationary Certificate be reversed, both for clarity and accuracy to reflect how the educator training process works. The commenter also suggested one technical correction to 19 TAC §230.37(d)(1)(B) to strike text that references passing the appropriate PPR test since that testing requirement is not effective prior to September 1, 2017.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with the commenter's position about a tiered licensure system for preparation and certification. The SBEC maintained that having an Intern Certificate and a Probationary Certificate will better identify a candidate's level of preparation and confirm content and/or pedagogy mastery prior to classroom entry. The SBEC disagreed with reversing the names and validity periods of the two certificates. The intern status is appropriate for the first year as the candidate is still making progress toward his or her full mastery of the content and pedagogy. The probationary status is appropriate for the second year because all required certification examinations have been successfully completed and a full year of direct responsibility for content and pedagogy has been completed. The SBEC agreed with the technical correction mentioned by the commenter and modified language in 19 TAC §230.37(d)(1)(B).

Comment: An individual from Killeen ISD stated that allowing teachers to voluntarily relinquish a Texas teaching certificate puts districts at a disadvantage. The commenter mentioned a teacher assigned to teach in a certified area can subsequently decide they do not want to teach the subject and can request to have the certificate area removed. The commenter suggested that if this rule is put into effect, the educator should be required to provide notice to the current school district and any school district for which the educator has accepted employment, but has not yet begun the assignment. The commenter added that the educator should notify TEA of his or her employing district and that TEA should, in turn, contact the district to determine current teaching assignments. The commenter stated that districts need immediate notification of educators who voluntarily relinquish their certificates.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that districts could be placed at a disadvantage if the process to voluntarily relinquish a Texas certificate is not implemented correctly. The SBEC determined the credential belongs to the educator and that the revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 230 would formalize an educator's right to return the certificate area(s) that he or she is no longer interested in maintaining as part of his or her official record of certification. The SBEC agreed that an individual should not be allowed to relinquish a certificate during an active assignment, but should be allowed to voluntarily relinquish certification at the end of a school year or while not currently employed in the specific certification area. The SBEC also determined that the process established should require written confirmation of the individual's decision to voluntarily relinquish the certificate and an understanding that he or she would be required to meet requirements for certification again if interested in reinstating the certificate area on his or her official record.

Comment: An individual from Texas State University requested that the implementation date be pushed back given the magnitude of the changes to 19 TAC Chapters 228, 229, and 230. The commenter added that implementation of the new rules mid-semester would be very chaotic and inconsistent. The commenter stated that universities need time to align catalogs, websites, degree audits, and policy and procedure statements with the new rules. The commenter suggested July or August 2017, the end of the academic year, as a more feasible effective date to allow time for EPPs to develop a robust infrastructure to support the new rules and to communicate changes to teacher candidates, advisors, and faculty.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with the commenter's position on the timing of the rule changes, but acknowledged the concerns expressed about the impact on educator preparation programs, certification candidates, school districts, parents, the agency, and a host of other stakeholders. The SBEC determined that this is the appropriate time to raise standards and increase everyone's level of accountability in ensuring every child has the best qualified classroom teacher.

Comment: Raise Your Hand Texas (RYHT) commented in support of the creation of an intern certificate with clearly articulated requirements for coursework and content knowledge, which will strengthen the preparation new teachers receive prior to entering the classroom. The commenter also stated that teachers represent the largest investment of educational dollars in the public school system and that producing a well-prepared teacher workforce is the most effective way Texas can ensure better educational outcomes for all students.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that the rules would begin to further strengthen requirements for preparation, testing, certification, and accountability for licensure.

Comment: Educate Texas commented that the proposal in Chapter 230 would give educator preparation programs an opportunity to focus training and mentor support differently in year one and year two in a manner that builds skills upon skills for the teacher. The commenter added that a tiered system creates a more dynamic and thoughtful approach for the iterative and layered support that programs can provide teachers, as these layers of support have the potential to create foundations in teachers that may increase their effectiveness over time. The commenter expressed the enormous need as a state to prepare sufficient numbers of teachers for the state's continuously growing student population. The commenter added that regardless of the quantity of teachers needed, the quality of the preparation and support given to teachers cannot be compromised.

Board Response: The SBEC agreed that the rules would begin to further strengthen requirements for preparation, testing, certification, and accountability for licensure.

Comment: An individual from YES Prep Public Schools commented that the fee increase for Probationary and Intern Certificates will impact alternative certification candidates because they do not get their first paychecks until September.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. Because the fee increase from $52 to $77 is not effective until September 1, 2017, there is sufficient time for alternative certification program candidates to plan accordingly for payment of online application fees necessary for issuance of the credential.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC §§230.1, 230.11, 230.13, 230.31, 230.33, 230.35, 230.37, 230.41, 230.53, 230.71, 230.73, 230.75, 230.77, 230.79, 230.81, 230.83, 230.91, 230.93, 230.97, 230.101, 230.105, 230.111, and 230.113; new 19 TAC §§230.36, 230.63, 230.65, 230.104, and 230.107; and repeal of 19 TAC §230.15 and §230.39 at the November 18, 2016, SBOE meeting.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(b)(1), which requires the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.044(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC; the TEC, §21.050(a), which states that a person who applies for a teaching certificate for which SBEC rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under TEC, Chapter 28, Subchapter A; and the TEC, §22.082, which states that the SBEC shall subscribe to the criminal history clearinghouse as provided by the Texas Government Code, §411.0845, and may obtain from any law enforcement or criminal justice agency all criminal history record information and all records contained in any closed criminal investigation file that relate to a specific applicant for or holder of a certificate issued under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendment implements the TEC, §§21.041(b)(1) and (2) and (4), 21.044(a), 21.048, 21.050, and 22.082.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606375

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER B. GENERAL CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

19 TAC §230.11, §230.13

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(b)(2), which requires the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.044(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC; the TEC, §21.050(a), which states that a person who applies for a teaching certificate for which SBEC rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under TEC, Chapter 28, Subchapter A; and the TEC, §22.082, which states that the SBEC shall subscribe to the criminal history clearinghouse as provided by the Texas Government Code, §411.0845, and may obtain from any law enforcement or criminal justice agency all criminal history record information and all records contained in any closed criminal investigation file that relate to a specific applicant for or holder of a certificate issued under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.041(b)(2) and (4), 21.044(a), 21.048, 21.050, and 22.082.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606376

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


19 TAC §230.15

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The repeal is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(b)(2), which requires the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.044(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC; the TEC, §21.050(a), which states that a person who applies for a teaching certificate for which SBEC rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under TEC, Chapter 28, Subchapter A; and the TEC, §22.082, which states that the SBEC shall subscribe to the criminal history clearinghouse as provided by the Texas Government Code, §411.0845, and may obtain from any law enforcement or criminal justice agency all criminal history record information and all records contained in any closed criminal investigation file that relate to a specific applicant for or holder of a certificate issued under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted repeal implements the TEC, §§21.041(b)(2) and (4), 21.044(a), 21.048, 21.050, and 22.082.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606377

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER D. TYPES AND CLASSES OF CERTIFICATES ISSUED

19 TAC §§230.31, 230.33, 230.35 - 230.37, 230.41

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments and new section are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which authorizes the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.031(b), which states that in proposing rules under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, the SBEC shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(3), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the period for which each class of educator certificate is valid; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.041(b)(5), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to the TEC, §21.052; the TEC, §21.041(b)(9), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for continuing education requirements; the TEC, §21.051, which provides a requirement that before a school may employ a certification candidate as a teacher of record, the candidate must have completed at least 15 hours of field-based experience in which the candidate was actively engaged at an approved school in instructional or educational activities under supervision; the TEC, §22.0831(c), which provides that the SBEC shall review the national criminal history record information of all applicants for or holders of educator certification; and the TEC, §22.0831(f), which authorizes the SBEC to propose rules to implement the national criminal history record information review of certified educators. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments and new section implement the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031, 21.041(b)(1)-(5) and (9), 21.051, and 22.0831(c) and(f).

§230.37.Probationary Certificates.

(a) General provisions.

(1) Certificate classes. A probationary certificate may be issued for any class of certificate except educational aide.

(2) Requirement to hold a probationary certificate. A candidate seeking certification as an educator must hold a probationary certificate while participating in an internship through an approved educator preparation program (EPP).

(b) Requirements for issuance. A probationary certificate may be issued to a candidate seeking certification as an educator who meets the conditions and requirements prescribed in this subsection.

(1) Bachelor's degree. Except as otherwise provided in rules of the State Board for Educator Certification related to certain career and technical education certificates based on skill and experience, the candidate must hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education. An individual who has earned a degree outside the United States must provide an original, detailed report or course-by-course evaluation of all college-level credits prepared by a foreign credential evaluation service recognized by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The evaluation must verify that the individual holds, at a minimum, the equivalent of a bachelor's degree issued by an accredited institution of higher education in the United States.

(2) General certification requirements. The candidate must meet the general certification requirements prescribed in §230.11 of this title (relating to General Requirements).

(3) Fee. The candidate must pay the fee prescribed in §230.101 of this title (relating to Schedule of Fees for Certification Services).

(4) Fingerprints. The candidate must submit fingerprints in accordance with §232.35(c) of this title (relating to Submission of Required Information) and the Texas Education Code (TEC), §22.0831.

(c) Conditions. The validity and effectiveness of a probationary certificate is subject to the following conditions.

(1) Internship. The holder of a probationary certificate must be a participant in good standing of an approved Texas EPP, serving in an acceptable, paid internship supervised by the EPP.

(2) Inactive status. A probationary certificate will become inactive 30 calendar days after the holder's separation from the school assignment or the EPP. The unexpired term of a probationary certificate may be reactivated if the holder satisfies the program enrollment and school assignment requirements specified in §228.35 of this title (relating to Preparation Program Coursework and/or Training.

(3) Term of a probationary certificate. A probationary certificate shall be valid for a 12-month period from the date of issuance.

(4) Limit on preliminary certifications and permits. Without obtaining standard certification, an individual may not serve for more than three 12-month periods while holding any combination of the following:

(A) intern certificates, limited to one 12-month period maximum, as described in this subsection;

(B) probationary certificates, limited to two 12-month periods maximum, as described in this subsection;

(C) emergency permits as specified in Subchapter F of this chapter (relating to Permits); or

(D) one-year certificates as specified in Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Texas Educator Certificates Based on Certification and College Credentials from Other States or Territories of the United States) and Chapter 245 of this title (relating to Certification of Educators from Other Countries).

(5) Reduction in force exception. If an educator is employed under a probationary certificate and is terminated or resigns in lieu of termination before the end of the school year due to a reduction in force, that probationary term shall not count as one of the two allowed annual probationary terms.

(d) Testing requirements for issuance of a probationary certificate.

(1) Prior to September 1, 2017, a candidate must meet the subject matter knowledge requirements for issuance of a probationary certificate to serve an internship in a classroom teacher assignment for each subject area to be taught:

(A) At the elementary school level, by passing the appropriate content area certification examination(s), as prescribed in Subchapter C of this chapter (relating to Assessment of Educators), appropriate to the grade level and subject matter assignment(s) as prescribed in Chapter 231 of this title (relating to Requirements for Public School Personnel Assignments).

(B) At the middle or high school level:

(i) by passing the appropriate content area certification examination(s), as prescribed in Subchapter C of this chapter, appropriate to the grade level and subject matter assignment(s) as prescribed in Chapter 231 of this title; or

(ii) by completing coursework that complies with the TEC, §21.050, and comprised of not fewer than 24 semester credit hours, including 12 semester credit hours of upper division coursework in the subject area(s) taught; or

(iii) in the case of career and technical education assignments based on skill and experience, by satisfying the requirements for that subject area contained in §233.14 of this title (relating to Career and Technical Education (Certificates requiring experience and preparation in a skill area)).

(C) A candidate who is the teacher of record in a special education assignment must meet the appropriate subject matter knowledge requirements prescribed in subparagraph (A) and/or (B) of this paragraph and pass the appropriate special education certification examination(s), as prescribed in Subchapter C of this chapter, appropriate to the assignment(s) as prescribed in Chapter 231 of this title. If a candidate has not passed the special education supplemental examination prior to the beginning of an internship, an EPP may permit the internship assignment if:

(i) the EPP has developed a plan to address any deficiencies identified through the candidate's previous attempt(s) on the examination; and

(ii) the EPP implements the plan during the initial internship, an EPP shall not permit an additional internship if all examinations requirements are not met.

(D) A candidate who is in a bilingual education and/or English as a Second Language (ESL) assignment must meet the appropriate subject matter knowledge requirements prescribed in subparagraph (A) and/or (B) of this paragraph and pass the appropriate bilingual education and/or ESL certification examination(s), as prescribed in Subchapter C of this chapter, appropriate to the assignment(s) as prescribed in Chapter 231 of this title. If a candidate has not passed the bilingual education supplemental examination, ESL supplemental examination, or the bilingual target language proficiency test prior to the beginning of an internship, an EPP may permit the internship if:

(i) the EPP has developed a plan to address any deficiencies identified through the candidate's previous attempt(s) on the examination(s); and

(ii) the EPP implements the plan during the initial internship. An EPP shall not permit an additional internship if all examination requirements are not met.

(2) Beginning September 1, 2017, a candidate must meet all testing requirements for issuance of a probationary certificate.

(A) To meet the subject matter knowledge requirements to be issued a probationary certificate for an internship in a classroom teacher assignment, a candidate must pass the appropriate certification examination(s), including the appropriate pedagogy and professional responsibilities examination, as prescribed in Subchapter C of this chapter.

(B) To meet the subject matter knowledge requirements to be issued a probationary certificate for an internship in a career and technical education classroom teacher assignment that is based on skill and experience, a candidate must satisfy the requirements for that subject area contained in §233.14 of this title and pass the appropriate certification examination(s), including the appropriate pedagogy and professional responsibilities examination, as prescribed in Subchapter C of this chapter.

(e) Probationary certificate in a certification class other than classroom teacher. A probationary certificate may be issued for an assignment as a superintendent, principal, reading specialist, master teacher, school librarian, school counselor, and/or educational diagnostician to an individual who meets the applicable requirements prescribed in subsection (b) of this section and who also meets the requirements prescribed in this subsection.

(1) An applicant for a probationary certificate in a certification class other than classroom teacher must meet all requirements established by the recommending EPP, which shall be based on the qualifications and requirements for the class of certification sought and the duties to be performed by the holder of a probationary certificate in that class.

(2) The individual must have also been:

(A) accepted and enrolled to participate in a Texas EPP that has been approved to prepare candidates for the certificate sought; and

(B) assigned in the certificate area being sought in a Texas school district, open-enrollment charter school, or, pursuant to §228.35 of this title, other school approved by the TEA.

(3) Effective September 1, 2017, to meet the subject matter requirements for issuance of the probationary certificate in a certification class other than classroom teacher, the individual must pass the appropriate examination(s) for that certificate.

(4) The holder of a probationary certificate in a certification class other than classroom teacher is subject to all terms and conditions of an intern certificate prescribed in subsection (c) of this section.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606378

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


19 TAC §230.39

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The repeal is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which authorizes the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.031(b), which states that in proposing rules under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, the SBEC shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(3), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the period for which each class of educator certificate is valid; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.041(b)(5), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to the TEC, §21.052; the TEC, §21.041(b)(9), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for continuing education requirements; the TEC, §21.051, which provides a requirement that before a school may employ a certification candidate as a teacher of record, the candidate must have completed at least 15 hours of field-based experience in which the candidate was actively engaged at an approved school in instructional or educational activities under supervision; the TEC, §22.0831(c), which provides that the SBEC shall review the national criminal history record information of all applicants for or holders of educator certification; and the TEC, §22.0831(f), which authorizes the SBEC to propose rules to implement the national criminal history record information review of certified educators. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted repeal implements the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031, 21.041(b)(1)-(5) and (9), 21.051, and 22.0831(c) and(f).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606379

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER E. EDUCATIONAL AIDE CERTIFICATE

19 TAC §§230.53, 230.63, 230.65

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment and new sections are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(a), which allows the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to adopt rules as necessary for its own procedures; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(3), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the period for which each class of educator certificate is valid; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendment and new sections implement the TEC, §21.041(a) and (b)(1)-(4).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606380

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER F. PERMITS

19 TAC §§230.71, 230.73, 230.75, 230.77, 230.79, 230.81, 230.83

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.031(a), which authorizes the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.044(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; and the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.031(a), 21.041(b)(1), (2), and (4), 21.044(a), and 21.048.

§230.71.General Provisions.

(a) In accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, emergency permits are issued under the authority of the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

(b) Effective with the 2017-2018 school year, an emergency permit will limit an individual to one year of service and no renewal will be allowed.

(c) The one-year limitation on permits referenced in subsection (b) of this section does not apply to individuals serving in the position of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) instructor or teachers of students with visual impairments. As indicated in §230.77(g)(4)(B) of this title (relating to Specific Requirements for Initial Emergency Permits), emergency permits for JROTC instructors must be reissued every year. Emergency permits for visual impairments referenced in §230.77(f)(2)(B) of this title may be renewed a maximum of two years.

(d) Under this subchapter, a superintendent or his or her designee who cannot secure an appropriately certified and qualified individual to fill a vacant position may activate an emergency permit for an individual who does not have one of the appropriate credentials required for the assignment as specified in Chapter 231 of this title (relating to Requirements for Public School Personnel Assignments). The superintendent or his or her designee must:

(1) document locally the efforts the school district or open-enrollment charter school has taken to employ an appropriately certified individual in the position for which an emergency permit is activated;

(2) apply for an emergency permit when a vacant position is filled with an uncertified or inappropriately certified individual who will serve as the teacher of record or will serve in the assignment for more than 30 consecutive instructional days. The application must be submitted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) within 45 instructional days of the date of assignment;

(3) verify that the school district or open-enrollment charter school maintains a support system, has assigned a trained mentor, and will provide release time as needed to assist the individual serving on an emergency permit. (A school district shall not be required to provide a mentor for a degreed, certified teacher assigned on an emergency permit if the teacher has one or more creditable years experience within the school district, as defined in Chapter 153, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules on Creditable Years of Service)); and

(4) verify that the individual for whom the emergency permit is activated has been advised of the SBEC rules regarding permits and permit renewal requirements in this subchapter.

(e) A certified teacher must consent to the activation of an emergency permit and be advised of the conditions of the emergency permit. A teacher who refuses to consent to activation of an emergency permit may not be terminated or nonrenewed or otherwise retaliated against because of the teacher's refusal to consent to the activation of the emergency permit. However, a teacher's refusal to consent shall not impair a school district's right to implement a necessary reduction in force or other personnel actions in accordance with local school district or open-enrollment charter school policy.

(f) An emergency permit is authorized for the school district or open-enrollment charter school for a specific assignment and is not the property of the individual for whom the emergency permit was activated.

(g) If an emergency permit authorized by the SBEC is not used, the school district or open-enrollment charter school shall notify TEA staff by email.

(h) An emergency permit may be authorized on a hardship basis for an individual who does not meet all emergency permit requirements as listed in §§230.75, 230.77, and 230.81 of this title (relating to General Eligibility Requirements for Emergency Permits, Specific Requirements for Initial Emergency Permits, and Renewal Requirements and Procedures) only if approval has been granted and email notification received from the TEA staff. The school district must:

(l) document local conditions requiring the assignment of an individual who does not meet emergency permit requirements;

(2) verify that the deficiencies for the certificate sought do not exceed 36 semester credit hours; and

(3) verify:

(A) that the individual will be enrolled in the first available course listed on the certification plan; or

(B) registration for the next available administration of the appropriate content specialization portion of the certification examination for an individual who holds a valid Texas classroom teaching certificate and a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher education and is placed in an assignment requiring a different classroom teaching certificate.

(i) The school district is not required to comply with the requirements of this subchapter if an uncertified individual is assigned for a certified teacher that will be absent for more than 30 consecutive instructional days due to documented health related reasons and has expressed the intention to return to the assignment. The school district must comply with the Texas Education Code, §21.057, pertaining to parental notification.

(j) Candidates who hold an intern certificate under the provisions of §230.36 of this title (relating to Intern Certificates) or a probationary certificate under the provisions of §230.37 of this title (relating to Probationary Certificates) may be employed on an emergency permit during the validity of the intern certificate or probationary certificate, if the emergency permit is being issued in a certificate area not available through the educator preparation program that provided recommendation for the intern certificate or probationary certificate.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606381

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER G. CERTIFICATE ISSUANCE PROCEDURES

19 TAC §§230.91, 230.93, 230.97, 230.101, 230.104, 230.105, 230.107

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments and new sections are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.031(a), which authorizes the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(3), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the period for which each class of educator certificate is valid; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.041(b)(5), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to the TEC, §21.052; the TEC, §21.041(b)(9), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for continuing education requirements; the TEC, §21.041(c), which requires the SBEC to propose a rule adopting a fee for the issuance and maintenance of an educator certificate that is adequate to cover the cost of administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.044(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; the TEC, §21.044(e), which provides the requirements that SBEC rules must specify for a person to obtain a certificate to teach a health science technology education course; the TEC, §21.044(f), which provides that SBEC rules for a person to obtain a certificate to teach a health science technology education course shall not specify that a person must have a bachelor's degree or establish any other credential or teaching experience requirements that exceed the requirements under §21.044(e); the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC; the TEC, §21.0485, which provides that all candidates for a certificate to teach students with visual impairments must complete an approved educator preparation program; the TEC, §21.050(a), which states that a person who applies for a teaching certificate for which SBEC rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under TEC, Chapter 28, Subchapter A; the TEC, §21.054(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing a process for identifying continuing education courses and programs that fulfill educators' continuing education requirements; the TEC, §22.082, which states that the SBEC shall subscribe to the criminal history clearinghouse as provided by the Texas Government Code, §411.0845, and may obtain from any law enforcement or criminal justice agency all criminal history record information and all records contained in any closed criminal investigation file that relate to a specific applicant for or holder of a certificate issued under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §22.0831(f), which authorizes the SBEC to propose rules to implement the national criminal history record information review of certified educators; and the Texas Occupations Code (TOC), §53.105, which specifies that a licensing authority may charge a person requesting an evaluation under the TOC, Chapter 53, Subchapter D, a fee adopted by the authority. Fees adopted by a licensing authority under the TOC, Chapter 53, Subchapter D, must be in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of administering this subchapter. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments and new sections implement the TEC, §§21.031(a); 21.041(b)(1)-(5) and (9) and (c); 21.044(a), (e) and (f); 21.048; 21.0485; 21.050; 21.054(a); 22.082; and 22.0831(f) and TOC, §53.105.

§230.101.Schedule of Fees for Certification Services.

(a) An applicant for a certificate or a school district requesting a permit shall pay the applicable fee from the following list.

(1) Educational aide certificate:

(A) prior to September 1, 2017--$30; and

(B) after August 31, 2017--$15.

(2) Standard certificate--$75.

(3) Probationary or intern certificate:

(A) prior to September 1, 2017 --$50; and

(B) after August 31, 2017--$75.

(4) Addition of certification based on completion of appropriate examination--$75.

(5) Review of a credential issued by a jurisdiction other than Texas (nonrefundable):

(A) prior to September 1, 2016--$175; and

(B) after August 31, 2016--$160.

(6) One-year certificate based on a credential issued by a jurisdiction other than Texas--$50.

(7) Emergency permit (nonrefundable)--$55.

(8) National criminal history check (nonrefundable)--The fee, posted on the Texas Education Agency website, shall include a $10 criminal history review fee in addition to the current cost of fingerprint scanning, processing, and obtaining national criminal history record information from the Texas Department of Public Safety, its contractors, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The same fee will be paid by current certified educators who are subject to a national criminal history check pursuant to the Texas Education Code, §§22.082, 22.0831, and 22.0836.

(9) Review of the superintendent application for the substitution of managerial experience for the principal certificate requirement (nonrefundable)--$160.

(10) On-time renewal of educational aide certificate:

(A) prior to September 1, 2017--$10; and

(B) after August 31, 2017--no charge.

(11) Additional fee for late renewal of educational aide certificate:

(A) prior to September 1, 2017--$5; and

(B) after August 31, 2017--no charge.

(12) Reactivation of an inactive educational aide certificate--$15.

(13) Reinstatement following restitution of child support or student loan repayment for educational aide certificate--$20.

(14) On-time renewal of a standard certificate--$20.

(15) Additional fee for late renewal of a standard certificate--$10.

(16) Reactivation of an inactive standard certificate--$40; except for an inactivation pursuant to §232.9 of this title (relating to Inactive Status and Late Renewal).

(17) Reinstatement following restitution of child support or student loan repayment--$50.

(18) Visiting international teacher certificate--$75.

(19) Request for preliminary criminal history evaluation (nonrefundable)--$50.

(b) The fee for correcting a certificate or permit when the error is not made by the Texas Education Agency shall be equal to the fee for the original certificate or permit.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606382

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER H. TEXAS EDUCATOR CERTIFICATES BASED ON CERTIFICATION AND COLLEGE CREDENTIALS FROM OTHER STATES OR TERRITORIES OF THE UNITED STATES

19 TAC §230.111, §230.113

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.040(6), which allows the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) authority to develop and implement policies that define responsibilities of the SBEC; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.041(b)(5), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to the TEC, §21.052; the TEC, §21.041(c), which requires the SBEC to propose a rule adopting a fee for the issuance and maintenance of an educator certificate that is adequate to cover the cost of administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC; the TEC, §21.050(a), which states that a person who applies for a teaching certificate for which SBEC rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under TEC, Chapter 28, Subchapter A; the TEC, §21.052(a), which states that the SBEC may issue a certificate to an educator who holds a degree issued by an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency or group that is recognized by a nationally recognized accreditation board or a degree issued by an institution located in a foreign country, if the degree is equivalent to a degree described by §21.052(a)(1)(A), holds an appropriate certificate or other credential issued by another state or country, and performs satisfactorily on the examination prescribed under the TEC, §21.048, or, if the educator holds a certificate or other credential issued by another state or country, an examination similar to and at least as rigorous as that described by §21.052(a)(1)(A) administered to the educator under the authority of that state; the TEC, §21.052(b), which states that for purposes of §21.052(a)(2), a person is considered to hold a certificate or other credential if the credential is not valid solely because it has expired; the TEC, §21.052(c), which states that the SBEC may issue a temporary certificate under this section to an educator who holds a degree required by §21.052(a)(1) and a certificate or other credential required by §21.052(a)(2) but who has not satisfied the requirements prescribed by §21.052(a)(3); and the TEC, §21.052(d), which states that a temporary certificate issued under §21.052(c) to an educator employed by a school district that has constructed or expanded at least one instructional facility as a result of increased student enrollment due to actions taken under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (10 U.S.C. Section 2687) may not expire before the first anniversary of the date on which the SBEC completes the review of the educator's credentials and informs the educator of the examination or examinations under the TEC, §21.048, on which the educator must perform successfully to receive a standard certificate. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.040(6); 21.041(b)(4) and (5) and (c); 21.048; 21.050; and 21.052.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606383

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


CHAPTER 231. REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL ASSIGNMENTS

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §§231.97, 231.241, 231.251, 231.257, 231.365, and 231.611 and new 19 TAC §231.175, concerning requirements for public school personnel assignments. The amendments to §§231.97, 231.241, 231.251, 231.257, and 231.365 and new §231.175 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6375) and will not be republished. The amendment to §231.611 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6375). The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 231 provide guidance to school districts by listing courses by grade level and subject area and identifying the corresponding certificates appropriate for placement into each classroom assignment. The adopted amendments to 19 TAC §§231.97, 231.241, 231.251, 231.257, 231.365, and 231.611 and adopted new 19 TAC §231.175 identify the appropriate credential for placement in a particular teaching assignment, incorporate courses approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE), and provide guidance to districts on special education assignments.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The adopted revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 231, Subchapters D-F, identify the appropriate certificates for placement in particular assignments for Grades 6-12 to teach electives, disciplinary courses, local credit courses, and innovative courses; various assignments for Grades 9-12; and special education-related services personnel assignments.

Subchapter D, Electives, Disciplinary Courses, Local Credit Courses, and Innovative Courses, Grades 6-12 Assignments

Language in 19 TAC §231.97, including the section title, was amended to delete the reference to magnet course since the Texas Education Agency (TEA) stopped approving magnet courses several years ago. The adopted amendment also strengthens alignment with the internal processes for approval of innovative courses and confirms the TEA's role in identifying the appropriate certificates for assignments to teach innovative courses.

Subchapter E, Grades 9-12 Assignments

Division 3. Social Studies, Grades 9-12 Assignments. Adopted new 19 TAC §231.175, Personal Financial Literacy, Grades 9-12, was added to incorporate this new course approved by the SBOE. TEA staff has worked closely with the TEA Curriculum Standards and Student Supports Division to confirm the list of certificates appropriate to ensure the individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the course and be eligible for placement into the assignment.

Division 7. Fine Arts, Grades 9-12 Assignments. Language in 19 TAC §231.241, Art, Music, Theatre, and Dance, Grades 9-12, was amended to add a reference to the adopted new Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate in subsection (d). The adopted new Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate is included in the adopted amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 233, Categories of Classroom Teaching Certificates, which may be found in the Adopted Rules section of this issue of the Texas Register. With the addition of the reference to the adopted new certificate, all remaining information under subsection (d) was renumbered accordingly.

Division 8. Technology Applications, Grades 9-12 Assignments. In response to a citizen petition addressed by the SBEC at the April 2016 meeting, TEA staff has worked closely with the TEA Curriculum Standards and Student Supports Division to confirm the transfer of the reference to "Fundamentals of Computer Science" from 19 TAC §231.251, Computer Science, Grades 9-12, to 19 TAC §231.257, Game Programming and Design or Mobile Application Development, Grades 9-12. This change is an appropriate rulemaking action that accurately addresses the petition and maintains appropriate certification for placement into the assignment. Language in 19 TAC §231.257, including the section title, was also amended to add "Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles," another course approved by the SBOE that had not yet been incorporated into this chapter.

Division 13. Business Management and Administration, Grades 9-12 Assignments. Subsection (b) in 19 TAC §231.365, Business English, Grades 9-12, was deleted since TEA staff has confirmed with the TEA Curriculum Standards and Student Supports Division that the reference to the TEA-approved training requirement is no longer needed. The list of certificates appropriate to teach this course provide individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to teach this course.

Subchapter F, Special Education-Related Services Personnel Assignments

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §231.611, Special Education Teacher, specifies that anyone delivering content instruction will be required to hold one of the special education certificates listed and a valid certificate that matches the subject and grade level of the assignment. The addition of this requirement to also hold a valid certificate parallels the federal requirements for special education that were implemented as part of the highly qualified (HQ) requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Effective with the 2016-2017 school year, federal requirements are no longer in place and districts must now rely solely on certification rules. Language clarifies that individuals assigned to deliver content instruction in a special education setting must be certified in special education and the specific content area being taught to ensure that the individuals have the content knowledge necessary to deliver appropriate content instruction. Numerous districts have expressed a need for guidance from the TEA and flexibility to address the critical staffing shortage area of special education teachers. In addition, language was included to allow individuals to demonstrate competency through the state's 2010 and 2011 high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers as suggested by the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education. These adopted changes in rule are necessary to provide districts the ability to retain teachers already qualified for special education assignments under the previous federal requirements and ensure that students in special education settings continue to receive the support they need from teachers who have appropriate content knowledge.

Since published as proposed, a technical edit was made in subsection (a) to accurately refer to the high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016, meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding board responses regarding the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 231, Subchapters D-F.

Comment: Enabled Advocacy commented that the use of qualifying language added in 19 TAC §231.611(a) gives the impression that it is more likely that an individual is not providing content instruction in special education and that should not be the case. Enabled Advocacy also referenced Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements to have the same academic content and achievement standards for all students, including students with disabilities (except alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities). Lastly, Enabled Advocacy asked that the SBEC follow the recommendations of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and eliminate the generic Early Childhood-Grade 12 Special Education certification and offer certification for special education Prekindergarten-Grade 6 and Grades 7-12 to better align with Texas general educator certifications.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with the commenter's interpretation that the language in the amendment to 19 TAC §231.611, Special Education Teacher, makes it seem like special education teachers are not providing content instruction. Language was added in subsection (a) to parallel the federal requirements for special education that were implemented as part of the highly qualified (HQ) requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) prior to the passage of ESSA. By specifying that anyone delivering content instruction would be required to hold one of the special education certificates listed and a valid certificate that matches the subject and grade level of the assignment, the revisions provide districts with guidance and flexibility to address the critical staffing needs for special education teachers. Additional language has been included to allow individuals to demonstrate competency through the state's 2010 and 2011 high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers as suggested by the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education. These changes are necessary to provide districts the ability to retain teachers already qualified for special education assignments under the previous federal requirements and ensure that students in special education settings continue to receive the support they need from teachers who have appropriate content knowledge.

The SBEC disagreed with the suggestion to eliminate the Early Childhood-Grade 12 Special Education certification to align with recommendations from NCTQ. There is a Special Education Supplemental certificate available to add to the classroom content certificates at the various grade levels of Early Childhood-Grade 6, Grades 4-8, Grades 6-12, Grades 7-12, Grades 8-12, or Early Childhood-Grade 12.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC §§231.97, 231.241, 231.251, 231.257, 231.365, and 231.611 and proposed new 19 TAC §231.175 at the November 18, 2016, SBOE meeting.

SUBCHAPTER D. ELECTIVES, DISCIPLINARY COURSES, LOCAL CREDIT COURSES, AND INNOVATIVE COURSES, GRADES 6-12 ASSIGNMENTS

19 TAC §231.97

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which states that the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendment implements the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031(a), and 21.041(b)(1) and (2).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606384

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER E. GRADES 9-12 ASSIGNMENTS

DIVISION 3. SOCIAL STUDIES, GRADES 9-12 ASSIGNMENTS

19 TAC §231.175

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The new section is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which states that the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted new section implements the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031(a), and 21.041(b)(1) and (2).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606385

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


DIVISION 7. FINE ARTS, GRADES 9-12 ASSIGNMENTS

19 TAC §231.241

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which states that the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendment implements the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031(a), and 21.041(b)(1) and (2).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606386

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


DIVISION 8. TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS, GRADES 9-12 ASSIGNMENTS

19 TAC §231.251, §231.257

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which states that the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031(a), and 21.041(b)(1) and (2).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606387

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


DIVISION 13. BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION, GRADES 9-12 ASSIGNMENTS

19 TAC §231.365

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which states that the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendment implements the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031(a), and 21.041(b)(1) and (2).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606388

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


SUBCHAPTER F. SPECIAL EDUCATION-RELATED SERVICES PERSONNEL ASSIGNMENTS

19 TAC §231.611

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031(a), which states that the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; and the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendment implements the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031(a), and 21.041(b)(1) and (2).

§231.611.Special Education Teacher.

(a) Subject to the requirements in subsection (c) of this section, an assignment for Special Education Teacher is allowed with one of the following certificates. If an individual is providing content instruction in a special education classroom setting, a valid certificate that matches the subject and grade level of the assignment is also required, or the individual must demonstrate competency through the state's 2010 and 2011 high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers.

(1) Blind School (Texas State School for the Blind and Visually Impaired only).

(2) Deaf and Severely Hard of Hearing.

(3) Deaf School (Texas State School for the Deaf only).

(4) Deaf-Blind.

(5) Deficient Vision.

(6) Early Childhood Education for Handicapped Children (Infants-Grade 6 only).

(7) Elementary Generic Special Education.

(8) Emotionally Disturbed.

(9) Generic Special Education.

(10) Hearing Impaired.

(11) High School--Generic Special Education.

(12) Language and/or Learning Disabilities.

(13) Mentally Retarded.

(14) Physically Handicapped.

(15) School Speech-Language Pathologist.

(16) Secondary Generic Special Education (Grades 6-12) (Grades 6-12 only).

(17) Severely and Profoundly Handicapped.

(18) Severely Emotionally Disturbed and Autistic.

(19) Special Education Supplemental (Valid at grade level and subject area of the base certificate).

(20) Special Education: Early Childhood-Grade 12.

(21) Speech and Hearing Therapy.

(22) Speech and Language Therapy.

(23) Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments Supplemental: Early Childhood-Grade 12.

(24) Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Early Childhood-Grade 12.

(25) Visually Handicapped.

(b) The certificates specified in subsection (a) of this section are appropriate for a special education assignment in Prekindergarten-Grade 12 except where otherwise noted.

(c) The employing school district should make every effort to secure educators trained in the specialized skills and knowledge needed to serve the special needs of the children. If a staff member does not have the skills and knowledge needed for the assignment, the school district is responsible for making provisions for the person to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606389

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


CHAPTER 233. CATEGORIES OF CLASSROOM TEACHING CERTIFICATES

19 TAC §§233.5, 233.8, 233.10, 233.14

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §§233.5, 233.8, 233.10, and 233.14, concerning categories of classroom teaching certificates. The amendments to §§233.5, 233.10, and 233.14 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6380) and will not be republished. The amendment to §233.8 is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016 issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6380). The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 233 establish the general categories of classroom teaching certificates, specific grade levels and subject areas of classroom certificates, and the general area(s) of assignments that may be taught by the holder of each certificate. The adopted amendments to 19 TAC §§233.5, 233.8, 233.10, and 233.14 update the list of courses eligible to be taught with these certificates, identify any additional requirements to obtain certification, provide guidance to districts on special education assignments, and establish a new Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.041(b)(2), authorizes the SBEC to adopt rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

The adopted amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 233 expand the list of courses eligible to be taught by holders of specific certificates, provide guidance to districts on special education assignments, and establish a new standard certificate for Dance: Grades 6-12.

§233.5. Technology Applications and Computer Science

Language was amended in subsection (c) to expand the list of courses referenced as eligible to be taught by individuals with computer science certification. Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff worked closely with the TEA Curriculum Standards and Student Supports Division to confirm holders of the computer science certificate have the knowledge and skills necessary to teach the following courses for Grades 9-12: Computer Science I, II, and III; Digital Forensics; Robotics Programming and Design; Fundamentals of Computer Science; Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles; Game Programming and Design; and Mobile Application Development.

§233.8. Special Education

The adopted amendment to subsection (a) specifies that anyone delivering content instruction in a special education setting will be required to hold a special education certificate and a valid classroom certificate that matches the subject and grade level of the assignment. The addition of this requirement to also hold a valid classroom certificate parallels the federal requirements for special education that were implemented as part of the highly qualified (HQ) requirements under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Effective with the 2016-2017 school year, federal requirements are no longer in place and districts must now rely solely on certification rules. The adopted amendment clarifies that individuals assigned to deliver content instruction in a special education setting must be certified in special education and the specific content area being taught. Numerous districts have expressed a need for guidance from the TEA and flexibility to address the critical staffing shortage of special education teachers.

In addition, language was included to allow individuals to demonstrate competency through the state's 2010 and 2011 high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers as suggested by The Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education. These adopted changes in rule provide districts the ability to retain teachers already qualified for special education assignments under the federal requirements and ensure that students in special education settings continue to receive the support they need from teachers who have appropriate content knowledge. The adopted revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 231, Requirements for Public School Personnel Assignments, which also address eligibility for placement into special education assignments, may be found in the Adopted Rules section of this issue of the Texas Register. The adopted change to 19 TAC §231.611 includes identical language.

Since published as proposed, a technical edit was made in subsection (a) to accurately refer to the high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers.

§233.10. Fine Arts

Adopted new subsection (e) adds the new certificate for Dance: Grades 6-12. Language had previously been amended in subsection (d) to specify that Dance, Middle School 1-3 courses for Grades 6-8 will be taught by the holder of a Dance: Grades 8-12 certificate. Language in subsection (d) was added to establish a deadline of August 31, 2018, for candidates to complete all requirements for issuance of the last group of certificates for Dance: Grades 8-12 that the SBEC will issue and a deadline of October 30, 2018, for candidates and EPPs to submit completed applications to the TEA.

The adopted assignment for the new Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate may be found in the Adopted Rules section of this issue of the Texas Register adopting revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 231, Requirements for Public School Personnel Assignments, to ensure courses approved by the SBOE were included in SBEC rules and that the rules identified the appropriate teaching certificate needed for these course assignments. Initially, there were no plans to develop a new certification examination when the SBEC approved rule changes to allow the Dance: Grades 8-12 certificate to satisfy the requirement to teach Dance, Middle School 1-3 courses for Grades 6-8. However, now that a new certification examination for Dance: Grades 6-12 will be available in early 2017, a new Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate was added to the rule. The adopted amendment allows Dance: Grades 8-12 certificate holders to remain eligible to teach Dance, Middle School 1-3 courses for Grades 6-8. Once the Dance: Grades 6-12 examination and the Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate are available in 2017, all individuals seeking certification to teach Dance, Middle School 1-3 courses for Grades 6-8 must earn the Dance: Grades 6-12 certificate.

§233.14. Career and Technical Education (Certificates requiring experience and preparation in a skill area)

Language was amended in subsection (h)(1) to add Health Science Technology Education: Grades 8-12, Health Science: Grades 6-12, and Trade and Industrial Education: Grades 6-12 to the list of career and technical education (CTE) certificates eligible to pursue under the route of additional certification by examination. The requirements for Health Science certification mandated in the TEC must still be met, but individuals with the required licensure and years of experience that already hold classroom certification in another area will have a new option for pursuing this certification. TEA staff understands the increased demand on districts to provide trade and industrial education (TIE) classes and the ongoing challenges that districts continue to face with staffing individuals for TIE assignments. While it remains critical that individuals assigned to teach TIE courses know their trade and have experience in the area, the adopted amendment offers more flexibility in obtaining TIE certification for individuals already certified in another classroom certificate area. Prior to receiving approval to take the Trade and Industrial Education Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test, individuals must obtain support from a district to verify they have the appropriate work experience and licensure for the specific trade. The adopted changes regarding health science technology education, health science, and TIE may be found in the Adopted Rules section of this issue of the Texas Register adopting revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, that address the list of certificates eligible to be obtained through additional certification by examination.

In addition, language in §233.14(f) was modified to remove dates that will have passed by the effective date of the adopted amendments.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016 meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding board responses regarding the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 233.

Comment: Enabled Advocacy commented that the use of qualifying language added in 19 TAC §233.8(a) gives the impression that it is more likely that an individual is not providing content instruction in special education and that should not be the case. Enabled Advocacy also referenced ESSA requirements to have the same academic content and achievement standards for all students, including students with disabilities (except alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities). Lastly, Enabled Advocacy asked that the SBEC follow the recommendations of the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and eliminate the generic Early Childhood-Grade 12 Special Education certification and offer certification for special education Prekindergarten-Grade 6 and Grades 7-12 to better align with Texas general educator certifications.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed with the commenter's interpretation that the language in the amendment to 19 TAC §233.8, Special Education, makes it seem like special education teachers are not providing content instruction. Language was added in subsection (a) to parallel the federal requirements for special education that were implemented as part of the HQ requirements under NCLB prior to the passage of ESSA. By specifying that anyone delivering content instruction would be required to hold one of the special education certificates listed and a valid certificate that matches the subject and grade level of the assignment, the amendments provide districts with guidance and flexibility to address the critical staffing needs for special education teachers. Additional language has been included to allow individuals to demonstrate competency through the state's 2010 and 2011 high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers as suggested by the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education. These changes are necessary to provide districts the ability to retain teachers already qualified for special education assignments under the previous federal requirements and ensure that students in special education settings continue to receive the support they need from teachers who have appropriate content knowledge.

The SBEC disagreed with the suggestion to eliminate the Early Childhood-Grade 12 Special Education certification to align with recommendations from NCTQ. There is a Special Education Supplemental certificate available to add to the classroom content certificates at the various grade levels of Early Childhood-Grade 6, Grades 4-8, Grades 6-12, Grades 7-12, Grades 8-12, or Early Childhood-Grade 12.

Comment: An individual stated the proposal to allow a previously certified teacher to challenge the TIE test for adding this credential to the teacher's certification record increases problems within the classroom in relation to instruction of public school students. The commenter questions how the teacher's experience and proof of current industry certification or licensure will be verified and how the new TIE teacher will provide the appropriate Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO) experience for students since CTSO is a requirement for those teaching in all the CTE classrooms as described in the TEC, §29.182(b)(3)(D). Lastly, the commenter stated this is a bad revision and should be removed from the proposed rule changes.

Agency Response: The SBEC disagreed that the rule change for TIE certification is a bad revision. The SBEC agreed there is an increased demand on districts to provide TIE classes and the ongoing challenges that districts continue to face with staffing individuals for TIE assignments. While it remains critical that individuals assigned to teach TIE courses know their trade and have experience in the area, the amendment offers more flexibility in obtaining TIE certification for individuals already certified in another classroom certificate area. Prior to receiving approval to take the Trade and Industrial Education Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities test, individuals must obtain support from a district to verify they have the appropriate work experience and licensure for the specific trade. The SBEC agreed with the commenter's reference to the importance of teachers and districts collaborating to support and enhance CTE experiences for students as outlined in TEC, §29.182, State Plan for Career and Technology Education, but these requirements are not directly related to certificate issuance and are outside the scope of the rule changes.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 233 at the November 18, 2016 SBOE meeting.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.003(a), which states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.031, which authorizes the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators and states that in proposing rules under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, the SBEC shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; the TEC, §21.041(b)(2), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates; the TEC, §21.041(b)(3), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the period for which each class of educator certificate is valid; the TEC, §21.041(b)(4), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate; the TEC, §21.041(b)(6), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for special or restricted certification of educators, including certification of instructors of American Sign Language; the TEC, §21.044(e), which provides the requirements that SBEC rules must specify for a person to obtain a certificate to teach a health science technology education course; the TEC, §21.044(f), which provides that SBEC rules for obtaining a certificate to teach a health science technology education course shall not specify that a person must have a bachelor's degree or establish any other credential or teaching experience requirements that exceed the requirements under TEC, §21.044(e); and the TEC, §21.048(a), which requires the SBEC to propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the SBEC. TEC, §21.048(a), also specifies that the commissioner of education shall determine the satisfactory level of performance required for each certification examination and require a satisfactory level of examination performance in each core subject covered by the generalist certification examination.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031, 21.041(b)(1)-(4) and (6), 21.044(e) and (f), and 21.048(a).

§233.8.Special Education.

(a) Special Education: Early Childhood-Grade 12. The Special Education: Early Childhood-Grade 12 certificate may be issued no earlier than September 1, 2003. The holder of the Special Education: Early Childhood-Grade 12 certificate may teach at any level of a basic special education instructional program serving eligible students 3-21 years of age, unless otherwise specified in §89.1131 of this title (relating to Qualifications of Special Education, Related Service, and Paraprofessional Personnel). If an individual is providing content instruction in a special education classroom setting, a valid certificate that matches the subject and grade level of the assignment is also required, or the individual must demonstrate competency through the state's 2010 and 2011 high objective uniform State standard of evaluation for elementary and secondary special education teachers.

(b) Special Education Supplemental. The Special Education Supplemental certificate may be issued no earlier than September 1, 2003. The holder of the Special Education Supplemental certificate may teach in a special education instructional program serving eligible students at the same grade levels and in the content area(s) of the holder's base certificate, unless otherwise specified in §89.1131 of this title.

(c) Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Early Childhood-Grade 12. The Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Early Childhood-Grade 12 certificate may be issued no earlier than September 1, 2005. The holder of the Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Early Childhood-Grade 12 certificate is eligible to teach at any level in a special education instructional program serving eligible students, unless otherwise specified in §89.1131 of this title.

(d) Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments Supplemental: Early Childhood-Grade 12. The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments Supplemental: Early Childhood-Grade 12 certificate may be issued no earlier than September 1, 2005. The holder of the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments Supplemental: Early Childhood-Grade 12 certificate is eligible to teach at any level in a special education instructional program serving eligible students, unless otherwise specified in §89.1131 of this title.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606390

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


CHAPTER 247. EDUCATORS' CODE OF ETHICS

19 TAC §247.1, §247.2

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §247.1 and §247.2, concerning the educators' code of ethics. The amendments to §247.1 and §247.2 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6385) and will not be republished. The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 247 establish the purpose and scope of the Educators' Code of Ethics and standard practices for Texas educators. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §247.1 makes conforming changes to correctly refer to the titles of cross-referenced sections from 19 TAC Chapter 249, Disciplinary Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §247.2 implements the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and makes it a violation of the Educators' Code of Ethics for an educator to be intoxicated on school property or during school activities when students are present.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §247.1 conforms the titles of cross-referenced sections in 19 TAC Chapter 249 to the new titles of those sections following recent revisions to Chapter 249.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §247.2(1)(M) prohibits educators from being under the influence of alcohol while working as educators. Without language explicitly prohibiting educators from being under the influence of alcohol, it has been difficult for the SBEC to penalize educators who exhibit symptoms of alcohol intoxication while working as educators, but are not witnessed actually drinking on campus.

The adopted amendment that adds new 19 TAC §247.2(1)(N) implements the ESSA, 20 United States Code, §7926 (2015), which requires state educational agencies that receive federal funds to adopt rules that prohibit school employees from assisting other school employees from obtaining new jobs if the individual knows or has probable cause to believe that the individual seeking a job has engaged in sexual misconduct regarding a minor or student.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016 meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. No comments were received regarding the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 247.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 247 at the November 18, 2016 SBOE meeting.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.031(a), which charges the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) with regulating and overseeing all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct for public school educators; TEC, §21.041(a), which authorizes the SBEC to adopt rules as necessary to implement its procedures; and TEC, §21.041(b)(1), (7), and (8), which give the SBEC rulemaking authority to regulate educators, provide for disciplinary proceedings against educators, and create and enforce an educator's code of ethics; and 20 United States Code, §7926 (ESSA), which requires state educational agencies to adopt rules prohibiting school employees from assisting another school employee in obtaining a new job, if the school employee seeking employment has engaged in illegal sexual misconduct with a student or minor.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §21.031(a) and §21.041(a) and (b)(1), (7), and (8); and 20 United States Code, §7926 (ESSA).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606391

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


CHAPTER 249. DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS, SANCTIONS, AND CONTESTED CASES

SUBCHAPTER B. ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AND GUIDELINES

19 TAC §249.14, §249.17

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopts amendments to 19 TAC §249.14 and §249.17, concerning disciplinary proceedings, sanctions, and contested cases. The amendments to §249.14 and §249.17 are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the August 26, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6388) and will not be republished. The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 249 establish guidelines and procedures for conducting investigations and disciplinary actions relating to educator misconduct. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.14(d) conforms the rule on superintendent reporting to the SBEC with changes to the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.006, as a result of House Bill (HB) 1783, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.14(h) includes inappropriate communications with a student and inappropriate educator-student relationships and boundaries to the behaviors by an educator toward students that qualify as "Priority 1" conduct for purposes of investigation priority, investigative notices, and sanction authority. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.17 creates a mandatory minimum sanction for an educator who tests positive for, possesses, or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol on campus. The adopted amendment also requires permanent revocation for an educator who injures a student, but is not immune from disciplinary action.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.14(d) updates the rule to meet the requirements of amendments to TEC, §21.006, enacted by HB 1783, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015. The changes eliminate any discrepancy between the statute and the rule and prevent confusion about when a superintendent or director must report to the SBEC.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.14(h) clarifies the breadth of "soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct or a romantic relationship with a student or minor" by explicitly stating that inappropriate communication, inappropriate professional educator-student relationships, and boundaries are all included as "Priority 1" misconduct. Inappropriate professional educator-student relationships and boundaries and inappropriate communication with a student or minor are violations of the Educators' Code of Ethics, 19 TAC §247.2(3)(H) and (I). To ensure the health, safety, and welfare of students and minors, the SBEC must prioritize investigations and immediately place investigation notices on the certificates of all educators who are alleged to have engaged in any form of an inappropriate relationship between the educator and students or minors, including inappropriate communications and inappropriate educator-student boundaries.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.14(k) expands the reasons for which TEA staff may toll the time limit for removal of an investigative notice on the certificate of an educator under investigation to include administrative investigations and administrative enforcement litigation. This allows TEA staff to avoid redundant parallel investigations and thereby preserve resources by waiting for a related administrative investigation conducted by another division of TEA or another state or federal agency to conclude before determining how to proceed with the SBEC investigation of the educator.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.17(d)(2)(A) increases the length of time in advance of the start of school that an educator has to give written notice of resignation to the school district in order to have the advance notice count as a mitigating factor in a disciplinary action for contract abandonment. The increased notice period for mitigation acknowledges that two weeks is not sufficient time for a school district to find a replacement teacher before the start of the next school year and prevents an educator from getting a lesser penalty when the educator's contract abandonment leaves the school district without reasonable time to find a replacement.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §249.17(d)(3)(C), (e)(4), and relettered (i) clarifies that for determining penalty, the SBEC treats default cases the same as cases following a contested case hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). This reflects the majority of SBEC precedent in final orders arising from both default cases and contested cases. The adopted amendment is, therefore, not intended to increase penalties in default cases, but to ensure fairness and predictability in SBEC decisions regarding default cases.

The adopted amendment adds a new subsection (h) to 19 TAC §249.17 that creates a mandatory minimum sanction of a one-year suspension and required completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program for educators who are subject to sanction for testing positive for drugs or alcohol, or are in possession of drugs or alcohol, while on a school campus. This mandatory minimum gives clear guidance to staff at TEA and administrative law judges at SOAH regarding appropriate penalties in such cases and to ensure fairness and predictability in SBEC decisions regarding such cases.

The adopted amendment to relettered 19 TAC §249.17(i) adds intentional, knowing, or reckless injury to a student or minor from which the educator is not immune under TEC, §22.0512, to the list of conduct for which permanent revocation is the mandatory penalty. The adopted amendment parallels the elements of the criminal charge of felony injury to a child because the majority of cases for which the SBEC has ordered permanent revocation in the past have involved criminal charges of injury to a child. The adopted amendment reflects the extreme danger that such conduct presents to students and ensures fairness and predictability in SBEC decisions regarding such cases.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND BOARD RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 26, 2016, and ended September 26, 2016. The SBEC also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at the October 7, 2016 meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and corresponding board responses regarding the proposed amendments to 19 TAC §249.14 and §249.17.

Comment: The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) commented that the mandatory minimum sanction proposed in 19 TAC §249.17(h) is inappropriate for the wide variety of behaviors that could cause an educator to test positive, be under the influence, or be in possession of drugs or alcohol on school grounds. ATPE raised concerns that the proposed language could cause educators to be sanctioned with a one-year suspension for taking, being under the influence of, or being in possession of legally prescribed medications.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed. The language in 19 TAC §249.17(h) is only a penalty guideline and does not independently create a new source of disciplinary authority. Instead, a certified educator must be subject to discipline due to violating another statute or rule within SBEC jurisdiction before the educator could be subject to sanction in keeping with the minimum. The language uses the wording "subject to sanction" to note this distinction.

The provision of the Educators' Code of Ethics that makes educators subject to sanction for using or possessing drugs, 19 TAC §247.2(1)(L), limits the proscribed conduct to "the illegal use or distribution of controlled substances and/or abuse of prescription drugs and toxic inhalants." The adjective "illegal" in 19 TAC §247.2(1)(L) prevents educators from being subject to discipline under that provision for using, possessing, or being under the influence of legally prescribed drugs when used as prescribed. An educator may also be subject to discipline for activities involving drugs or alcohol that violate a local district policy under 19 TAC §247.2(1)(G), which makes certified educators subject to sanction if the educator fails to comply with local policies. The question of whether and how local district policy forbids employees from testing positive, being under the influence, or being in possession of drugs or alcohol on school grounds is one that only local school districts can determine and is not within the purview of the SBEC.

The intent of 19 TAC §249.17(h) is to improve predictability and consistency in sanctioning educators who have violated one of these provisions of the Educators' Code of Ethics without necessitating any additional proof or analysis beyond that required to prove the violation itself. The language also sends a clear message to educators that any incident involving drugs or alcohol on campus that violates the Educators' Code of Ethics is serious enough to warrant a one-year suspension.

Comment: The Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) commented that it opposes proposed 19 TAC §249.17(i)(7), which requires permanent revocation for certified educators who are found after a contested case hearing to have intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused bodily injury to a student or minor and are not immune from discipline by SBEC under TEC, §22.0512. TCTA argued that the SBEC should not adopt the proposed language because it removes the SBEC's discretion to determine a lesser penalty; creates a negligence standard for such cases; requires permanent revocation even in cases of self-defense, events that occur outside of school, and automobile accidents; fails to include immunity from SBEC sanction for the broader swath of conduct that is currently only immune from civil personal liability suits under TEC, §22.0511; and is overbroad in that it includes injury to any student or minor, not just those under age 14 as in the Texas Penal Code's definition of criminal Injury to a Child.

Board Response: The SBEC disagreed that §249.17(i)(7) should not be adopted because it limits the SBEC's discretion and approved the language as proposed. The intent of the language is to create more consistency and predictability in educator discipline cases. Imposition of a mandatory sanction serves the interests of justice by ensuring that all educators who are found at a contested case hearing to have knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly injured a student or minor are treated equally.

The SBEC disagreed that §249.17(i)(7) creates a negligence standard for permanent suspension in cases of injury to a child by certified educators. It is unclear how TCTA believes the language creates a negligence standard, as the language specifically limits the provision to conduct that "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury." Negligence is clearly and intentionally not included. It is important to note that "recklessly" is defined in Texas law as when a person is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur--when a person ignores red flags that his or her conduct is likely to cause injury. In contrast, Texas law defines "negligence" as when a person ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur--when there are no red flags. The language intentionally excludes negligent conduct so that only educators who are aware, but consciously disregard that their conduct is likely to cause injury to a student or minor, are subject to permanent revocation.

The SBEC further disagreed that additional exceptions to the rule beyond the immunity created by TEC, §22.0512, are appropriate or necessary. The SBEC determined that educators must be sanctioned for intentional, knowing, or reckless injury to a child even when the injury does not occur at school. TCTA notes that an educator who recklessly caused a car accident in which the educator's own child is injured would be subject to permanent revocation, but such a sanction is appropriate because certified educators worthy of being entrusted with Texas schoolchildren would not recklessly injure any child, even their own.

Moreover, carving out additional immunity from SBEC discipline for negligent actions that occur in the course of the educator's professional duties, as TCTA suggests, is both unnecessary, because negligent actions are already excluded from the proposed language, and inappropriate. TCTA confuses the standard set out by the Texas Legislature for immunity from professional discipline by the SBEC in TEC, §22.0512, from the lesser standard the Texas Legislature set to protect educators from civil lawsuits for damages under TEC, §22.0511. By distinguishing these two types of immunity for educators, the Texas Legislature intended for the SBEC to be able to sanction educators even when parents or students could not sue for monetary damages. TEC, §22.0511, does not apply to administrative actions by the SBEC and, therefore, should not be the basis for SBEC rules. Creating additional exceptions will only cause confusion and inconsistency in SBEC penalties and thereby undermine the primary purpose for which SBEC adopted this rule.

The SBEC also disagreed with TCTA's comment that the SBEC should limit its penalty guideline to cover only educators who cause injuries to children under age 14, in keeping with the criminal statute for felony Injury to a Child. Certified educators are placed in a special position of authority and trust with Texas students. The SBEC determined that all minors and students, regardless of age, should be protected from intentional, knowing, or reckless injury by an educator. The penalties and sanctions for certified educators must extend to cover all students and minors to ensure that all Texas students, regardless of age, are safe in their classrooms with their teachers.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) took no action on the review of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC §249.14 and §249.17 at the November 18, 2016 SBOE meeting.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.006(a)-(c), (f), and (g), which set reporting requirements for when superintendents and directors have to inform State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) regarding an educator's criminal record, termination, or resignation. The statute requires the superintendent or director to inform SBEC not later than the seventh day after the superintendent knows any of the following has occurred: (1) an educator has a criminal history that the superintendent learned about other than through the standard criminal history background check; (2) an educator's employment is terminated based on evidence that the educator committed certain misconduct; or (3) an educator resigned and there is evidence that the educator may have engaged in misconduct; the TEC, §21.006, also gives SBEC authority to make rules as necessary and to sanction an educator who fails to make a required report; the TEC, §21.007, which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for a procedure for placing a public notice of alleged misconduct on an educator's certificate immediately when the educator is alleged to have committed misconduct that presents a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of a student or minor. The TEC, §21.007, also allows the SBEC to determine what types of misconduct would present such a risk; the TEC, §21.031(a), which charges the SBEC with regulating and overseeing all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct for public school educators; the TEC, §21.035, which states that Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff provides administrative functions and services for SBEC and gives SBEC the authority to delegate to either the commissioner of education or to TEA staff the authority to settle or otherwise informally dispose of contested cases involving educator certification; the TEC, §21.041(a), which authorizes the SBEC to adopt rules as necessary to implement its procedures; the TEC, §21.041(b)(1), (7), and (8), which give the SBEC rulemaking authority to regulate educators, specify requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate, provide for disciplinary proceedings against educators, and create and enforce an educator's code of ethics; the TEC, §21.058, which requires SBEC to revoke an educator's certificate if the educator is convicted of certain felony offenses or offenses that require the defendant to register as a sex offender, and the victim of the offense was under 18 years old; the TEC, §21.060, which sets out crimes that relate to the education profession and authorizes the SBEC to sanction or refuse to issue a certificate to any person who has been convicted of one of these offenses; the TEC, §§21.105(c), 21.160(c), and 21.210(c), which give SBEC authority to sanction an educator who has a continuing, term, or probationary contract and who resigns without good cause; the TEC, §22.085, which allows the SBEC to sanction educators who fail to fire or to refuse to hire an applicant when the educator knew or should have known from the background check that the employee had a criminal record reflecting certain offenses and requires a superintendent to certify to the commissioner of education that the school district is in compliance with this section; the TEC, §22.087, which requires a superintendent to report to SBEC if the superintendent knows of information showing that an educator or an applicant for an educator certificate has criminal history that is not reflected in the criminal history information provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety in response to a background check; and the TEC, §57.491(g), which requires the SBEC to refuse to renew the certificate of any educator who is in default on student loan payments; the Texas Government Code, §2001.058, which sets out the powers and duties of the State Office of Administrative Hearings and other state agencies with regard to contested case proceedings; and the Texas Occupations Code, §§53.021(a), 53.022-53.025, 53.051, and 53.052, which give the SBEC the authority to automatically suspend, revoke, or disqualify a person from receiving an educator certificate if the person has been convicted of certain offenses. As these statutes charge the SBEC with regulating and overseeing all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct for public school educators, the adopted changes, as indicated in the reasoned justification, provide notice and clarity to the regulated how the SBEC will fulfill its statutorily required duties. These rules are authorized or required by the statutory provisions described above.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The adopted amendments implement the TEC, §§21.006(a)-(c), (f), and (g); 21.007; 21.031(a); 21.035; 21.041(a) and (b)(1), (4), (7), and (8); 21.058; 21.060; 21.105(c); 21.160(c); 21.210(c); 22.085; 22.087; and 57.491(g); Texas Government Code, §2001.058; and Texas Occupations Code, §§53.021(a), 53.022-53.025, 53.051, and 53.052.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 7, 2016.

TRD-201606392

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency

State Board for Educator Certification

Effective date: December 27, 2016

Proposal publication date: August 26, 2016

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


PART 8. WINDHAM SCHOOL DISTRICT

CHAPTER 300. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §300.2

Adopted Amendments Preamble

The Windham School District Board of Trustees adopts amendments to §300.2, concerning Windham School District Board of Trustees Operating Procedures, without changes to the proposed text as published in the September 2, 2016, issue of the Texas Register (41 TexReg 6607).

The adopted amendments are necessary to provide clarification of Open Meetings requirements and update formatting.

No comments were received regarding the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Government Code §492.013.

Cross Reference to Statutes: None.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 12, 2016.

TRD-201606525

Sharon Howell

General Counsel

Windham School District

Effective date: January 1, 2017

Proposal publication date: September 2, 2016

For further information, please call: (936) 437-6700