TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 61. SCHOOL DISTRICTS

SUBCHAPTER BB. COMMISSIONER'S RULES ON REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

19 TAC §61.1023

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes an amendment to §61.1023, concerning community and student engagement. The proposed amendment would address the inclusion of community and student engagement ratings in the state academic accountability system as required by the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.0546, added by House Bill (HB) 2804, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015.

HB 5, 83rd Texas Legislature, 2013, added the TEC, §39.0545, which establishes community and student engagement ratings and requires districts to report to TEA self-assigned district and campus ratings in eight specific categories. The TEA adopted 19 TAC §61.1023, effective June 25, 2014, to provide instructions for reporting these ratings and the record of compliance with statutory reporting and policy to the TEA.

HB 2804, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, added the TEC, §39.0546, which requires that community and student engagement ratings be part of the state academic accountability system. The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §61.1023 would implement the requirements of the TEC, §39.0546, by adding new subsections (j) and (k) to provide guidance to districts regarding including community and student engagement ratings in the state academic accountability system. Other technical edits would also be made throughout the section.

The proposed amendment would require school districts to submit new data elements related to community and student engagement in the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS).

The proposed amendment would have no locally maintained paperwork requirements.

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

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Schwinn has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendment is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendment will be ensuring that district and campus accountability ratings incorporate input from parents and community members. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment.

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

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The public comment period on the proposal begins March 31, 2017, and ends May 1, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on March 31, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.0545, which requires each school district to annually evaluate its performance and the performance of each of its campuses in the area of community and student engagement using eight specific categories and also requires each district to report to the TEA the rating of Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, or Unacceptable that it has assigned to itself and to each of its campuses for overall performance in community and student engagement and for each of the eight categories; and TEC, §39.0546, which requires each school district and campus to annually select three of the eight categories in community and student engagement on which it will rate itself for the purpose of academic accountability ratings and also requires each district and campus to report to TEA the rating of A, B, C, D, or F that it has assigned to itself for overall performance in community and student engagement and for each of the three categories.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §39.0545 and §39.0546.

§61.1023.Community and Student Engagement.

(a) Each [In accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.0545(a), each] school district shall assign performance ratings to itself [the district] and to each of its campuses [campus] for community and student engagement (CaSE) indicators based on locally determined criteria.

(b) Each school district shall designate a local committee(s) to determine criteria that districts shall use to evaluate and assign a rating of Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, or Unacceptable for the following programs or specific categories of performance for the district and each campus:

(1) fine arts;

(2) wellness and physical education;

(3) community and parental involvement;

(4) the 21st Century Workforce Development program;

(5) the second language acquisition program;

(6) the digital learning environment;

(7) dropout prevention strategies; and

(8) educational programs for gifted and talented students.

(c) A school district may [only] assign a rating of Not Applicable to a program or performance category in subsection (b) of this section only if it [when the district] determines that the program or performance category is not applicable to the district or a campus. A district may not assign a rating of Not Applicable to all of the program or performance categories in subsection (b) of this section for the district or any [a] campus.

(d) Each school district shall require the local committee(s) to determine the criteria that the district [districts] shall use to evaluate and assign an overall performance rating of Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, or Unacceptable to each campus and the district. A district may not assign a rating of Not Applicable for [to] this indicator for the district or any [a] campus.

(e) Each school district shall require the local committee(s) to determine the criteria that the district [districts] shall use to evaluate and assign a status of "Yes" or "No" on the record of the district and each campus regarding compliance with statutory reporting and policy requirements under the Texas Education Code [TEC], §39.0545. A district may not assign a rating of Not Applicable to this indicator for the district or for any [a] campus.

(f) Each school district shall assign performance ratings for the CaSE [community and student engagement] indicators and compliance status as defined in subsections (b)-(e) of this section to the district and to each campus [all campuses] in the district, except for budgeted campuses, disciplinary alternative education program [Disciplinary Alternative Education Program] campuses, and juvenile justice alternative education program [Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program] campuses. Districts are not required to assign performance ratings for the CaSE [community and student engagement] indicators and compliance status to facilities operated by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

(g) Each school district shall report the locally determined performance ratings and compliance status to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in accordance with the reporting requirements and timelines specified in the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS) [(PEIMS) Data Standards and the] Texas Education Data Standards (TEDS) applicable for that school year.

(h) Each school district shall post the locally determined performance ratings and compliance status for the district and each campus on the school district internet website no later than August 8 of each year. Districts shall post the locally determined performance ratings and compliance status for campuses that operate on a year-round calendar on the school district internet website no later than the last day of August of each year.

(i) The TEA shall report the performance ratings and compliance status for CaSE [community and student engagement] indicators reported by school districts on the TEA website no later than October 1.

(j) For the purpose of including CaSE ratings in the state academic accountability system, each school district must report to the TEA, in accordance with reporting requirements and timelines specified in subsection (g) of this section:

(1) the three CaSE indicators it has selected to be used in the state academic accountability system;

(2) the criteria that it will use to evaluate and assign ratings for its performance in the three indicators reported in paragraph (1) of this subsection and post these criteria on the district internet website;

(3) the three CaSE indicators selected by each campus to be used in the state academic accountability system;

(4) the criteria that it will use to evaluate and assign ratings for its performance in the three indicators reported in paragraph (3) of this subsection and post these criteria on each campus internet website;

(5) the rating of A, B, C, D, or F that the district has assigned to itself for both overall performance and for each of the three indicators reported in paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

(6) the rating of A, B, C, D, or F that each campus has assigned to itself for both overall performance and for each of the three indicators reported in paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(k) For the purpose of including CaSE ratings in the state academic accountability system, a school district or campus shall not assign to itself a rating of Not Applicable for any of the three indicators reported in subsection (j) of this section.

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

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on March 20, 2017.

TRD-201701178

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: April 30, 2017

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


PART 7. STATE BOARD FOR EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION

CHAPTER 232. GENERAL CERTIFICATION PROVISIONS

SUBCHAPTER A. CERTIFICATE RENEWAL AND CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS

19 TAC §232.9

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes an amendment to §232.9, concerning certificate renewal and continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. The proposed amendment would clarify procedures used by the automated system to process late applications submitted for standard certificate renewal.

Current 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, establishes the renewal requirements relating to types and classes of certificates issued, CPE hours to be completed, and the national criminal history record information review.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §232.9 would clarify procedures the automated system uses to renew an educator's certificate(s) when the educator files a late renewal application.

Texas standard certificates have effective (start) dates and expiration (end) dates. The timeframe between the start and end dates of a standard certificate is considered the validity period for that certificate cycle. During that time, individuals should be accruing the required CPE hours for certificate renewal (i.e., 150 hours total for classroom teacher certificates and 200 hours total for certificates other than classroom teacher). Individuals are allowed to submit on-time applications for certificate renewal as early as six months prior and up to the certificate expiration date. Standard certificates not renewed by their expiration date immediately move from "valid" to "inactive" status. Standard certificates remain inactive until they are renewed. Once the renewal has been processed, based on submission of the online application and required fees, confirmation of CPE hours, and a clear background check, the next validity period is posted to the educator's online record of certification.

The renewal of Texas standard certificates is an online, automated application process that requires each educator to respond to a series of affidavit questions, pay the required application fee, complete the fingerprinting process, and provide TEA with the date that all CPE hours for renewal were completed. A renewal application for either certificate class is considered to be on time if it is submitted before or by the expiration date of the certificate. An online application for certificate renewal is considered complete when all questions have been answered, including the date that the required CPE hours were completed, when the required renewal fee has been paid, and when the fingerprint status for an educator shows as "Complete." Once an educator has completed the fingerprinting process for certificate issuance purposes, he or she is not required to repeat that process for future certificate applications.

An individual who submits an online renewal application within the first six months after the certificate expiration date is required to pay a late fee in addition to the renewal fee. If all CPE hours were completed before or by the certificate expiration date, once the late renewal application has been processed, there will be no break in certification validity periods for the certificates being renewed (i.e., the beginning of the next certificate renewal period is dated to begin immediately after the last certificate expiration date).

An individual who submits a renewal application more than six months after the certificate expiration date is required to pay the late fee, a reactivation fee, and the renewal fee. If all CPE hours have been completed, once the late renewal application has been processed, the certification will have a new effective date, which will have a break in validity from the prior expiration date to the new effective date. The next certificate renewal period will be the date the educator enters as the completion of CPE requirements, provided it is not more than 60 days prior to the date of the application.

Between September 1, 2012, through December 31, 2016, approximately 80% of the total applications submitted (181,401) were processed as on-time certificate renewals; approximately 15% of the total applications submitted (28,160) were processed as late renewals within the first six months after the expiration of the certificate validity period; and approximately 5% of the total applications submitted (12,893) were processed as late renewals more than six months after the expiration of the certificate validity period.

Language in 19 TAC §232.9(b) would be amended to clarify that the automated processing of late renewal applications submitted within six months of the certificate expiration date involves the dating of an educator's next certificate renewal begin date to the expiration date of the last certificate as long as the educator has submitted a complete online application, paid renewal fee(s), completed the fingerprinting process, and confirmed that he or she has completed the required CPE hours for certificate renewal prior to the expiration date. Language would also be added to clarify the automated processing of late renewal applications and the effective date for the next certificate renewal period for educators submitting online renewal applications more than six months after the certificate expiration date. The new language would confirm that upon receipt of a complete online application, renewal fee(s), fingerprinting, and confirmation that an educator has completed the required CPE hours for certificate renewal, the automated processing will commence and issue an effective date for the next renewal period. The proposed amendment to §232.9(b) would clarify that SBEC allows those who are late in renewing a certificate, but have otherwise completed all renewal requirements, to renew effective when the previous license expired. This process keeps otherwise qualified educators in the classroom, resulting in less disruption to students. The proposed amendment is intended to prevent public confusion regarding the effective date of late-renewed certificates.

The proposed amendment would have no additional procedural and reporting implications. The proposed amendment would have no additional locally maintained paperwork requirements.

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

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Mr. Franklin has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendment is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendment will be clarifying certificate renewal requirements relating to the types and classes of certificates issued and a safer school environment through national criminal history record information review of active certificate holders. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment.

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

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC COMMENT. The public comment period on the proposal begins March 31, 2017, and ends May 1, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to sbecrules@tea.texas.gov. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on March 31, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed 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; TEC, §21.0031(f), which clarifies and places certain limits on provisions authorizing termination of an educator's contract for failure to maintain a valid certificate; TEC, §21.031, which authorizes the SBEC to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators; 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; 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; 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; 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; TEC, §21.041(b)(9), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for continuing education requirements; and TEC, §21.054, which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing a process for identifying continuing education courses and programs that fulfill educators' continuing education requirements.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §§21.003(a), 21.0031(f), 21.031, 21.041(b)(1)-(4) and (9), and 21.054.

§232.9.Inactive Status and Late Renewal.

(a) The certificate(s) of an educator holding a valid standard certificate who does not satisfy the requirements of this subchapter shall be placed on inactive status, subject to the requirements of the Texas Education Code, §21.0031(f). Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff shall notify a person by email of the reason(s) for denying the renewal and the actions or conditions required for removal from inactive status. At any time, the educator may apply to have his or her certificate(s) reactivated and submit the reactivation fee. The TEA staff shall administratively approve reactivation of the educator's certificate(s) subject to verification that the educator is in compliance with §232.7 of this title (relating to Requirements for Certificate Renewal). The renewal date of a reactivated certificate(s) shall be five years after the last day of the certificate holder's next birth month.

(b) A person who satisfies all requirements for renewal prior to the certificate expiration date and submits an application no more than six months after the expiration [renewal ] date of a certificate shall pay a late renewal fee in addition to the standard renewal fee. The certificate status will be set to valid, and the effective date of the certificate will be the day after the prior expiration date. A person whose certificate has become inactive longer than six months after the expiration date because of failure to renew shall pay a late renewal fee in addition to the standard renewal fee and also pay a reactivation fee. The certificate status will be set to valid, and the effective date of the certificate will be the date the educator completed continuing professional education (CPE) hours, provided it is not more than 60 days prior to the date of the application. If the application is submitted more than 60 days after CPE hours were completed, the effective date will be 60 days prior to the date of the application. The amount of these fees shall be as provided in §230.101 of this title (relating to Schedule of Fees for Certification Services).

(c) If a person does not satisfy the required CPE [continuing professional education (CPE)] hours at the expiration of the renewal period, the person may have the certificate(s) removed from inactive status and reactivated by verifying through an affidavit whether he or she is in compliance with renewal requirements, including CPE hours, and paying any applicable fee(s).

(d) The TEA staff shall be responsible for auditing compliance with renewal requirements. The TEA audit procedures shall be based on available resources and may include random audits. The TEA staff shall contact an educator selected for an audit of his or her renewal requirements and provide the educator with information needed to submit the documentation that supports certificate renewal. The TEA staff at any time may review the documentation required for renewal under this subchapter, which may include the documentation described in §232.15 of this title (relating to Types of Acceptable Continuing Professional Education Activities) and §232.21 of this title (relating to Provider Registration Requirements).

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

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on March 20, 2017.

TRD-201701182

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

State Board for Educator Certification

Earliest possible date of adoption: April 30, 2017

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