TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 53. REGIONAL EDUCATION SERVICE CENTERS

SUBCHAPTER AA. COMMISSIONER'S RULES

19 TAC §53.1001

The Texas Education Agency adopts an amendment to §53.1001, concerning regional education service center board of directors. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 20, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 186) and will not be republished. The adopted amendment allows State Board of Education members to serve as board of trustees members for regional education service centers.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. The Texas Education Code, §8.003, requires the commissioner to adopt rules concerning the selection of members of the boards of trustees for regional education service centers. To implement the statute, 19 TAC §53.1001 was adopted effective September 1, 1998, setting out the requirements for members of the board of directors of regional education service centers. The adopted amendment allows members of the State Board of Education to be members of the boards of directors of regional education service centers and will ensure that more individuals with experience in education can serve as members of the boards of directors of regional education service centers.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began January 20, 2017, and ended February 21, 2017. Following is a summary of public comments received and corresponding agency responses regarding the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 53, Regional Education Service Centers, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules, §53.1001, Board of Directors.

Comment: Teach Plus Texas and the Texas Classroom Teachers Association commented that regional teachers of the year should be made non-voting members of regional education service center boards.

Agency Response: The suggested change to the proposed amendment cannot be adopted at this time because it is outside the scope of the proposal. The proposed amendment does not concern non-voting members, much less does it concern mandatory non-voting members.

Comment: An individual objected that the head of a state educational agency was proposing an amendment that would make an exception for the State Board of Education and termed the situation self-dealing.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. The commissioner of education is not a State Board of Education member. Hence, a commissioner rule allowing State Board of Education members to be regional education service center board members is not self-dealing.

Comment: An individual commented that if one person was both a State Board of Education member and a member of a regional education service center board, that person would be powerful and the result might be that members of the regional education service center board would feel uncomfortable expressing opinions. The commenter stated that this could result in less fruitful discussions.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. Members of regional education service center boards are elected by the members of school district boards in the region. It is assumed that they will elect individuals that will not be dissuaded from offering their true opinions just because a State Board of Education member is on the board of a regional education service center.

Comment: An individual objected that fewer independent individuals will serve because it would be possible for one person to be both a State Board of Education member and a regional education service center board member.

Agency Response: It is true that if an individual was elected to both the State Board of Education and a regional education service center board, fewer total individuals would be board members for both entities. However, a greater number of individuals would not necessarily result in better governance.

Comment: An individual commented that there should be a proposal to seek industry diversification for members of the board of regional education service centers.

Agency Response: The suggested change to the proposed amendment cannot be adopted at this time because it is outside the scope of the proposal. The proposed amendment seeks to increase the people who could be members of regional education service center boards. The suggestion that regional education service center boards would have to be composed of those who work in certain industries would decrease the number of those who could be elected to regional education service center boards.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Education Code, §8.003, which requires the commissioner to adopt rules concerning the selection of members of the boards of trustees for regional education service centers.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §8.003.

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 March 20, 2017.

TRD-201701179

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: April 9, 2017

Proposal publication date: January 20, 2017

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