TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 153. SCHOOL DISTRICT PERSONNEL

SUBCHAPTER CC. COMMISSIONER'S RULES ON CREDITABLE YEARS OF SERVICE

19 TAC §153.1021, §153.1022

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes amendments to §153.1021 and §153.1022, concerning school district personnel. The proposed amendments would reflect the current basic allotment in statute made by Senate Bill (SB) 1, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, and would no longer adopt changes to the minimum monthly salary rates in rule. Changes would be posted on the TEA website. The proposed amendments would also add the university nursing experience under the state university and clarify educator signatures to better align with the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.4031.

19 TAC §153.1021, Recognition of Creditable Years of Service

Effective February 1, 1998, the commissioner adopted 19 TAC §153.1021 as authorized by the TEC, §21.403, 75th Texas Legislature, 1997. The law required the commissioner to adopt rules for determining the experience for which certain professional staff are to be given credit in placement on the state minimum salary schedule. The rule provides appropriate definitions and explains required documents, necessary credentials, and the service record. The rule details the provisions for creditable years of service, including recognized employing entities for service credit.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §153.1021 would update and clarify existing provisions, as follows.

Subsection (d)(5) would be updated to change "signed by employee" to "verified by employee," which would allow the employee's service record to be verified in a variety of ways as determined by the employing school district. This would also allow districts greater flexibility in assuring the educator understands and confirms the information on his or her service record.

New subsection (h)(7)(D) would be added to clarify that nursing experience at Texas recognized accredited university-operated hospitals may be counted for salary increment purposes. The current rule allows only out-of-state experience to be counted for salary increment purposes; however, allowing Texas recognized accredited university hospital experience has been the allowed practice since the 2000-2001 school year.

19 TAC §153.1022, Minimum Salary Schedule for Certain Professional Staff

The commissioner is authorized to adopt a minimum monthly salary schedule for certain professionals, including classroom teachers, full-time librarians, full-time counselors, and full-time nurses. The salary schedule is based on the employee's level of experience. In accordance with the TEC, §21.402, enacted by SB 4, 76th Texas Legislature, 1999, 19 TAC §153.1022 was adopted to be effective January 2, 2000. The rule establishes definitions of qualifying staff, details eligibility criteria for placement on the salary schedule, and explains the base pay. The rule also addresses base monthly salary, the determination of "FS," and monthly minimum salary rates.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §153.1022 would update subsection (d) to eliminate the need for rule changes with each new salary schedule. Figure: 19 TAC §153.1022(d)(1) and Figure: 19 TAC §153.1022(d)(2) would be removed, and the new salary schedule would be posted on the TEA website to reflect the basic allotment changes specified by the TEC. This change would allow the official minimum salary schedule to be posted quickly without the delay of the rulemaking process so districts can plan their budgets.

FISCAL NOTE. Ryan Franklin, associate commissioner for educator leadership and quality, has determined that for the first five-year period the amendments are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendments. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed amendments are in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed amendments do not impose a cost on regulated persons and, therefore, are not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: TEA staff has determined that the proposed amendments do not have a government growth impact pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.0221.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Mr. Franklin has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendments are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendments will be clarification of terminology and requirements relating to recognition of creditable years of service for school district personnel and the minimum salary schedule for certain professional staff. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendments.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT AND REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, MICROBUSINESSES, AND RURAL COMMUNITIES. There is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, and rural communities; 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 November 24, 2017, and ends December 27, 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 November 24, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.402, which requires school districts to pay certain personnel at a minimum monthly salary based on experience and other factors as determined by commissioner rule, and the TEC, §21.403, which requires the commissioner to adopt rules determining the experience for which personnel subject to the minimum salary schedule shall be given credit.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendments implement the Texas Education Code, §21.402 and §21.403.

§153.1021.Recognition of Creditable Years of Service.

(a) - (c) (No Change.)

(d) Teacher service record. The basic document in support of the number of years of professional service claimed for salary increment purposes and both the state's sick and personal leave program data for all personnel is the teacher service record (form FIN-115) or a similar form containing the same information. It is the responsibility of the issuing school district or charter school to ensure that service records are true and correct and that all service recorded on the service record was actually performed.

(1) - (4) (No Change.)

(5) The service record shall be kept on file at the school district or charter school. When employment with the district or charter school is terminated, the original service record, verified [signed] by the employee shall be given to the employee upon request or sent to the next employing school district or charter school. The local school district or charter school must maintain a legible copy for audit purposes. A scanned version of the original service record may be considered official if sent directly from one employing district to another employing district.

(6) - (10) (No Change.)

(e) - (g) (No Change.)

(h) Requirements. Requirements for entities recognized for professional personnel are as follows:

(1) - (6) (No Change.)

(7) Texas public or private colleges or universities.

(A) For private colleges and universities, accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is required.

(B) Officer Training Corps programs conducted by accredited colleges or universities must have been employed full-time on a faculty status level. Beginning in 1998-1999, service as an instructor in an agricultural extension service operated by an accredited college or university may be recognized for salary increment purposes as long as the person held a valid Texas teaching certificate at the time the service was rendered.

(C) All college or university experience must be recorded on the teacher service record. A supporting letter or form must be attached to the teacher service record verifying that either the full-time or part-time employment was at faculty status or its equivalent and that the schedule of work and the pay constituted that of other similar faculty employees. It is the responsibility of the employing school district to secure verification of college or university experience.

(D) Hospital nursing experience shall be acceptable provided the person held a registered nurse position with a recognized accredited university-operated hospital listed in this subsection. All eligible prior-year service in this area can be claimed for placement beginning on the 2000-2001 minimum salary schedule.

(8) - (18) (No Change.)

(i) - (m) (No Change.)

§153.1022.Minimum Salary Schedule for Certain Professional Staff.

(a) - (c) (No Change.)

(d) Monthly minimum salary rates. The minimum monthly salary rates, in accordance with this section and TEC, §21.402, shall be as set forth in this subsection. If the minimum monthly salary determined under TEC, §21.402(a), for a particular level of experience is less than the minimum monthly salary for that level of experience in the preceding year, the minimum monthly salary is the minimum monthly salary for the preceding year. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year and thereafter, the minimum salary rates as determined by TEC, §21.402, will be posted on the Texas Education Agency website.

[(1) The minimum monthly salary rates applicable for the 2014-2015 school year, in accordance with this section and TEC, §21.402, shall be as set forth in the table in this subsection.]

[Figure: 19 TAC §153.1022(d)(1)]

[(2) The minimum monthly salary rates applicable for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years, in accordance with this section and TEC, §21.402, shall be as set forth in the table in this subsection.]

[Figure: 19 TAC §153.1022(d)(2)]

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 November 13, 2017.

TRD-201704559

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: December 24, 2017

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