TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 1. TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

CHAPTER 17. RESOURCE PLANNING

SUBCHAPTER B. BOARD APPROVAL

19 TAC §17.12

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts new §17.12, concerning delegation of approval for Energy Savings Performance Contracts with changes to correct grammatical errors to the proposed text as published in the February 10, 2017, of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 538). Prior to the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 215 (83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session), the THECB was required to review and approve certain capital projects. SB 215 eliminated some of these requirements, but the requirement to review and approve Energy Savings Performance Contracts was unchanged. Texas Education Code (TEC) §51.927 still requires the THECB to approve these performance contracts. In July 2014, the Coordinating Board convened the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (NCR) on Capital Projects, and the committee recommended making sweeping changes to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) for establishment of statewide standards for newly purchased improved real property added to an institution's educational and general buildings and facilities inventory. The Board of the Coordinating Board adopted the recommended changes at the July 24, 2014, Board meeting. However, one of the changes was removing TAC Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 17, Subchapter B, §17.12 (regarding delegation of authority for approval). These changes inadvertently removed delegation of approval authority for the Energy Savings Performance Contracts. In order to increase efficiency and reduce administrative burden while satisfying the conditions of TEC §51.927, Coordinating Board staff is adopting a rule change that provides for a delegation of approval for Energy Savings Performance Contracts. Coordinating Board staff contacted the members of the disbanded NRC on Capital Projects for input on the proposed change; a majority responded, and all responding participants agreed with the proposed changes.

Specifically, this change will establish a methodology that stratifies projects based on two factors: project cost and term of the contract. Energy Savings Performance Contracts that are lower in cost and shorter in term may be approved by the Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Funding; medium-cost and medium-term projects shall be approved by the Board's Committee on Affordability, Accountability and Planning; and the full Board remains the final approval authority for high-cost and long-term contracts. Any project that is not approved by a delegated party is immediately referred to the next higher level approval authority.

No comments were received concerning the new section.

The new section is adopted under the Texas Education Code, §51.927.

§17.12.Delegation of Approval Authority.

(a) Assistant Commissioner. The Board authorizes the Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Funding to approve the following types of energy savings performance contracts, upon certification of authority by the proposing institution's governing board that the project meets all of the specified Board standards and statutory requirements:

(1) Less than $20 million in cost with a contract term of ten or fewer years; and

(2) $10 million or less in cost with a contract term greater than 10 years but less than or equal to 15 years

(b) Committee on Affordability, Accountability and Planning. The Board authorizes the Committee to approve the following types of energy savings performance contracts, upon certification of authority by the proposing institution's governing board that the project meets all of the specified Board standards and statutory requirements:

(1) Greater than $20 million in cost with a contract term of 15 or fewer years; and

(2) Greater than $10 million but less than or equal to $20 million in cost with a contract term of greater than ten years but less than 20 years.

(3) $10 million or less in cost with a contract term of greater than 15 years.

(c) Board. The following types of energy savings performance contracts shall be considered for approval by the Board. Contracts with a project cost of greater than $20 million and a contract term greater than 15 years.

(d) Any project that is not approved by a delegated party is immediately referred to the next higher level approval authority.

(e) The Assistant Commissioner may refer projects to the Committee for review.

(f) Decisions of the Assistant Commissioner may be appealed to the Committee. Decisions of the Committee may be appealed to the Board.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701762

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: February 10, 2017

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


CHAPTER 21. STUDENT SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER C. HINSON-HAZLEWOOD COLLEGE STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM

19 TAC §21.62

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to §21.62, concerning the Hinson-Hazlewood College Student Loan Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 20, 2017 issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 182). Specifically, amendments to §21.62(e), removes the term "presents" and is replaced with the term "provides." This section is also modified by removing language that requires forbearance requests to be provided in writing. The amendments to this section aligns the Board rules with federal guidelines for the administration of Federal Family Education Loan Program. The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code §52.54 which authorize the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to establish rules and regulations to administer the Hinson-Hazlewood College Student Loan Program.

There were no comments received concerning these amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code §52.54 which authorize the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to establish rules and regulations to administer the Hinson-Hazlewood College Student Loan Program.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701763

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: January 20, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER M. TEXAS COLLEGE WORK-STUDY PROGRAM

19 TAC §21.403

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to §21.403, concerning Texas College Work-Study Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 14, 2017 issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 738). Specifically, §21.403(c)(3)(B) and (C) is amended to remove language pertaining to penalties for late reports or refunds because this provision does not benefit students if such penalties are imposed. This section has been renumbered accordingly.

There were no comments received concerning the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code, §56.077 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to implement the Texas College Work-Study Program.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701764

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: February 24, 2017

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


CHAPTER 22. STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §22.1, §22.2

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts new §22.1 and §22.2, concerning General Provisions with changes to the proposed text as published in the January 20, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 183). Amendments add new Subchapter A to the Board rules. Specifically, new §22.1 provides definitions for terms commonly found throughout the Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 22. New §22.2 provides guidelines to be used by institutions of higher education concerning the timely distribution of funds for all of the financial aid programs within the Chapter. Specifically, §22.1(5) amends the definition of "Cost of Attendance/Total Cost of Attendance" to include language acknowledging the other allowable costs for financial aid purposes. Specifically, §22.2(2) concerning Timely Determination of Ineligibility is amended to add clarity and improve readability of the rule by replacing the phrase "excepting work study" with "except work study". Specifically, §22.2(3) concerning Timely Cancellation is amended to provide clarification through the replacement of the phrase "change in student eligibility" with "student's decision to cancel financial aid", as §22.2(3) applies to other financial aid.

The following comments were received regarding the new sections:

Comment: University of Texas at Austin suggested language for §22.1(5), regarding the general definition of cost of attendance/total cost of attendance, to more clearly describe allowable educational costs, through the addition of the phrase "and other allowable costs for financial aid purposes."

Response: Staff agrees with the institution's comment regarding allowable educational costs and has amended the definition of "Cost of Attendance/Total Cost of Attendance" to include the suggested language acknowledging the other allowable costs for financial aid purposes.

Comment: University of Texas at Austin suggested the alteration of language in §22.2(2), regarding the timely determination of ineligibility, to reduce confusion and add clarity.

Response: Staff agrees with the institution's comment regarding improving the readability of the rule and has amended the Timely Determination of Ineligibility language to reflect the suggested wording.

Comment: University of Texas at Austin suggested the alteration of language to §22.2(3), regarding the timely cancellation of awards, to provide further clarification through the replacement of "change in student eligibility" with "student's decision to cancel grant aid."

Response: Staff agrees with the institution's comment regarding improving the clarity of the rule and has amended the Timely Cancellation language to reflect the suggested wording, with one exception. The suggested term "grant aid" is replaced with the phrase "financial aid," since §22.2(3) applies to other financial aid programs, as well.

The new rules are adopted under Texas Government Code, §2001.004 which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to adopt rules of practice stating the nature and requirements of all available formal and informal procedures.

§22.1.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in Chapter 22, shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise defined in a particular subchapter:

(1) Board or Coordinating Board--The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(2) Board Staff--The staff of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(3) Categorical Aid--Gift aid that the institution does not award to the student, but that the student brings to the school from a non-governmental third party.

(4) Commissioner--The Commissioner of Higher Education, the Chief Executive Officer of the Board.

(5) Cost of Attendance/Total Cost of Attendance--An institution's estimate of the expenses incurred by a typical financial aid recipient in attending a particular institution of higher education. It includes direct educational costs (tuition and fees) as well as indirect costs (room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, and other allowable costs for financial aid purposes).

(6) Expected Family Contribution (EFC)--A measure of how much the student and his or her family can be expected to contribute to the cost of the student's education for the year as determined following the federal methodology.

(7) Financial Need--The Cost of Attendance at a particular public or private institution of higher education less the Expected Family Contribution. The Cost of Attendance and Expected Family Contribution are to be determined in accordance with Board guidelines.

(8) Full-Time--For undergraduate students, enrollment or expected enrollment for the equivalent of twelve or more semester credit hours per regular semester or term. For graduate students, enrollment or expected enrollment for the normal full-time course load of the student's program of study as defined by the institution.

(9) Gift Aid--Grants, scholarships, exemptions, waivers, and other financial aid provided to a student without a requirement to repay the funding or earn the funding through work.

(10) Half-Time--For undergraduates, enrollment or expected enrollment for the equivalent of six or more semester credit hours per regular semester. For graduate students, enrollment or expected enrollment for the equivalent of 50 percent of the normal full-time course load of the student's program of study as defined by the institution.

(11) Program Officer--The individual named by each participating institution's chief executive officer to serve as agent for the Board. The Program Officer has primary responsibility for all ministerial acts required by the program, including the determination of student eligibility, selection of recipients, maintenance of all records, and preparation and submission of reports reflecting program transactions. Unless otherwise indicated by the institution's chief executive officer, the director of student financial aid shall serve as Program Officer.

(12) Resident of Texas--A resident of the State of Texas as determined in accordance with Chapter 21, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Determination of Resident Status). Nonresident students who are eligible to pay resident tuition rates are not residents of Texas.

(13) Three-Quarter-Time--For undergraduate students, enrollment or expected enrollment for the equivalent of nine or more semester credit hours per regular semester. For graduate students, enrollment or expected enrollment for the equivalent of 75 percent of the normal full-time course load of the student's program of study as defined by the institution.

(14) Timely Distribution of Funds--Activities completed by institutions of higher education related to the receipt and distribution of state financial aid funding from the Board and subsequent distribution to recipients or return to the Board.

§22.2.Timely Distribution of Funds.

All institutions participating in the financial aid programs outlined in Chapter 22 shall follow the guidelines for the timely distribution of funds, as outlined within paragraph (1) - (4) of this section:

(1) Timely Disbursement. Institutions shall disburse state student financial aid funding, excepting work-study, to a student recipient's account no later than three business days after receiving the funds. Undisbursed funds must be returned to the Board no later than six business days after the receipt of funds. Gift aid funds for which a student is no longer eligible may be disbursed to a different eligible student for whom funds have not yet been requested in order to meet the timely disbursement requirement.

(2) Timely Determination of Ineligibility. For state student financial aid funding already disbursed to a student, except work study, institutions shall return funds to the Board within 45 calendar days of a student becoming ineligible for the funding. Gift aid funds for which a student has been determined ineligible may be disbursed to a different eligible student for whom funds have not yet been requested in order to meet the timely determination of ineligibility requirement. In all cases, an institution must provide notification to the Board regarding the change in student eligibility, as appropriate for the particular student financial aid program.

(3) Timely Cancellation. For state student financial aid funds already disbursed to a student, institutions may return funds to the Board within 120 calendar days of disbursement in situations where a student has notified the institution of his or her decision to cancel the financial aid. Gift aid funds for which a student has made the decision to cancel may be disbursed to a different eligible student for whom funds have not yet been requested in order to meet the timely cancellation requirement. In all cases, an institution must provide notification to the Board regarding the student's decision to cancel financial aid, as appropriate for the particular student financial aid program.

(4) Texas College Work-Study. Funds for the Texas College Work-Study program are provided to institutions as a lump sum at the start of each fiscal year and are subject to the reallocation guidelines outlined in §21.407 of the Texas Administrative Code.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701765

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: January 20, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER B. PROVISIONS FOR THE TUITION EQUALIZATION GRANT PROGRAM

19 TAC §22.22, §22.24

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to §22.22 and §22.24, concerning the Provisions for the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the February 10, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 538).

Specifically, changes to §22.22 adds the definition for "Religious ministry" to the rule. Subsequent definitions are renumbered accordingly. The amendment is made to clarify that the term "Religious ministry" applies to organized and structured roles and does not apply to informal roles performed by lay persons. Amendments to §22.24(a)(5) adds language which clarify that degree plans specifically intended to lead a student to religious ministry, as defined in §22.22, are excluded from TEG eligibility. This is in recognition of the sectarian purpose clause of the Texas Constitution (Article I, Section 7), mentioned in §61.229(b) of TEG statute

No comments were received regarding the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code §61.229 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to implement the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Program.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701768

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: February 10, 2017

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


19 TAC §22.23

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to §22.23 concerning the Provisions for the Tuition Equalization Grant Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 20, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 184). Specifically, §22.23(c)(3)(B) and (C) is amended to remove language pertaining to penalties for late reports and late refunds, as this provision does not benefit the student if such penalties are imposed. This section has been renumbered accordingly.

No comments were received regarding the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code §61.229 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to implement the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) Program.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701767

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: January 20, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER L. TOWARD EXCELLENCE, ACCESS, AND SUCCESS (TEXAS) GRANT PROGRAM

19 TAC §22.227

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to §22.227, concerning the Toward EXcellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 20, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 185). Specifically, §22.227(c)(3)(B) and (C) is amended to remove language pertaining to penalties for late reports and/or late refunds, as this provision does not benefit the student if such penalties are imposed. This section has been renumbered accordingly.

No comments were received regarding the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code §56.303 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to implement the Toward EXcellence, Access, and Success (TEXAS) Grant Program.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701769

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: January 20, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER M. TEXAS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT PROGRAM

19 TAC §22.255

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) adopts amendments to §22.255, concerning the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) Program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the January 20, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 186). Specifically, §22.255 (c)(3)(B) and (C) is amended to remove language pertaining to penalties for late reports or refunds because this provision does not benefit students if such penalties are imposed. This section has been renumbered accordingly.

No comments were received concerning the amendments.

The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code §56.403 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to implement the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) Program.

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 May 2, 2017.

TRD-201701770

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: May 22, 2017

Proposal publication date: January 20, 2017

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


PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 30. ADMINISTRATION

SUBCHAPTER A. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §30.1

The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts an amendment to §30.1, concerning petition for adoption of rule changes. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the March 3, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 856). The amendment updates the petition form adopted in rule to require the petitioner to indicate that the petitioner meets one of the four definitions of an interested person specified in statute and adds language to specify the reasons the SBOE may deny a petition for rulemaking.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION. Texas Government Code, §2001.021, requires that procedures to petition for the adoption of rule changes be adopted by rule. To comply with statute, the SBOE adopted 19 TAC §30.1 effective December 5, 2004. Effective April 26, 2009, the section was amended to adopt in rule as a figure the form used to petition for the adoption of rule changes to ensure compliance with statute and increase public awareness.

House Bill 763, 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, amended the Texas Government Code, §2001.021, to define the term interested person for the purposes of petitioning a rule change. The statute states that an interested person must be one of the following: a resident of Texas, a business entity located in Texas, a governmental subdivision located in Texas, or a public or private organization located in Texas that is not a state agency. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §30.1 updates Figure: 19 TAC §30.1(a) to require the petitioner to indicate that the petitioner meets one of the four definitions of an interested person specified in statute.

In addition, in order to facilitate public awareness of the petition process, the adopted amendment adds a new subsection (d) that specifies the reasons the SBOE may deny a petition for rulemaking. The reasons include lack of jurisdiction or authority; conflict with statute, court decisions, or another SBOE rule; determination that another process would be more appropriate than rulemaking; inappropriate use of the petition process if filing a petition within one year of having the petition denied or to amend a rule proposed or adopted by the SBOE that has not yet become effective; or any other reason the SBOE determines is grounds for denial.

The amendment was approved by the SBOE for first reading and filing authorization at its February 3, 2017, meeting and for second reading and final adoption at its April 21, 2017, meeting.

In accordance with the Texas Education Code, §7.102(f), the SBOE approved the amendment for adoption by a vote of two-thirds of its members to specify an effective date earlier than the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. The earlier effective date will ensure that the petition form adopted in rule aligns with statute in a timely manner.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES. No public comments were received on the proposal.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under the Texas Government Code, §2001.021, which authorizes a state agency to prescribe by rule the form for a petition and the procedure for the submission, consideration, and disposition.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Government Code, §2001.021.

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 May 3, 2017.

TRD-201701780

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: May 23, 2017

Proposal publication date: March 3, 2017

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