TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 1. TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

CHAPTER 4. RULES APPLYING TO ALL PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN TEXAS

SUBCHAPTER C. TEXAS SUCCESS INITIATIVE

19 TAC §§4.52 - 4.59, 4.62

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §§4.52 - 4.59, and §4.62, Rules Applying to All Public Institutions of Higher Education in Texas, concerning the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) to support developmental education reform efforts as related to Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1, Texas Success Initiative. The intent of the amendments is to incorporate into existing rules changes and provisions enacted by House Bill 2223, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, as well as to provide clarification of existing rules to simplify implementation. The amendments would specify the location of the TSI in the TEC, clarify and add certain definitions, further explain the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) waiver, clarify advisement requirements, outline specific requirements for corequisites, and otherwise add language to provide clarity for institutions in implementing TSI.

R. Jerel Booker, J.D., Assistant Commissioner for College Readiness and Success, has determined that for each year of the first five years the amendments are in effect, there will not be any fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Booker has also determined that for each year of the first five years the amendments are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the improvement of persistence and success rates of students entering higher education who are not college ready. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Dr. Suzanne Morales-Vale, Director of Developmental and Adult Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, or suzanne.morales-vale@thecb.state.tx.us.Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §51.344, which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to adopt rules to implement the provisions of Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1 concerning the Texas Success Initiative.

The amendments affect the Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1.

§4.52.Authority.

Under Texas Education Code, §51.344 [§51.307 ], the Board is authorized to adopt rules to implement the provisions of Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1, Texas Success Initiative [§51.3062]. Texas Education Code, §51.403(e), authorizes the Board to establish guidelines and reporting requirements.

§4.53.Definitions.

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

(1) - (6) (No change.)

(7) Co-requisite (also known as corequisite or mainstreaming)--An instructional strategy whereby undergraduate students as defined in paragraph (24) of this section are co-enrolled or concurrently enrolled in a developmental education course or NCBO[,] as defined in paragraph (18) of this section[,] and the entry-level freshman course of the same subject matter within the same semester. The developmental component provides support aligned directly with the learning outcomes, instruction, and assessment of the entry-level freshman course, and makes necessary adjustments as needed in order to advance students' success in the entry-level freshman course. Participation in the entry-level freshman course is not contingent upon performance in the developmental education component of the corequisite.

(8) - (12) (No change.)

(13) Entry-level course (sometimes referred to as entry-level freshman coursework or freshman-level academic coursework)--Any course for academic credit in which a freshman student typically enrolls and comprises college-level content: the course shall not have prerequisites and is open to any student meeting TSI standards as defined in §4.57 of this title (relating to College Ready [and Adult Basic Education (ABE)] Standards) and/or meeting at least one of the exemptions or waivers as defined in §4.54 of this title (relating to Exemptions, Exceptions, and Waivers). These courses (or their local equivalent in Texas Common Core Numbering System) may include, but are not limited to, ENGL 1301, HIST 1301, PSYC 2301, GOVT 2305/2306, MATH 1314/1414/1324/1332/1342, SOCI 1301, PHIL 1301, SPCH 1311/1315, COSC 1401, HUMA 1301, ARTS 1301, and BIOL 1306/1406.

(14) - (16) (No change.)

(17) Minimum Passing Standards--The minimum scores which must be attained by a student in reading, writing, and mathematics in the TSI Assessment Instrument that indicates the student's readiness to enroll in entry-level freshman courses as defined in paragraph (13) [(12 )] of this section. These scores are set forth in §4.57 of this title (relating to College Ready Standards).

(18) - (23) (No change.)

(24) Undergraduate student--a student, other than a high school student enrolled in college-level coursework for dual credit, who enrolls at a Texas public institution of higher education in a field or program of study.

§4.54.Exemptions, Exceptions, and Waivers.

(a) The following students shall be exempt from the requirements of this title, whereby exempt students shall not be required to provide any additional demonstration of college readiness and shall be allowed to enroll in any entry-level freshman course as defined in §4.53(13) [(12)] of this title (relating to Definitions):

(1) - (4) (No change.)

(5) A student who transfers to an institution from a public, private, or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by the receiving institution.

(6) A student who has previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution. For students meeting non-Algebra intensive readiness standards in mathematics as defined in §4.59[(d)(1)(B)] of this title (relating to Determination of Readiness to Perform Entry-Level Freshman Coursework), institutions may choose to require additional preparatory coursework/interventions for Algebra intensive courses, including MATH 1314/1324/1414 (or their local equivalent). It is the institution's responsibility to ensure that students are clearly informed of the consequences of successful completion of a mathematics pathways model which results in meeting the mathematics college readiness standard only for specific entry-level freshman mathematics courses.

(7) - (10) (No change.)

(b) (No change.)

(c) ESOL Waiver--An institution may grant a temporary waiver from the assessment required under this title for students with demonstrated limited English proficiency in order to provide appropriate ESOL/ESL coursework and interventions. The waiver must be removed after the student attempts 15 credit hours of developmental ESOL coursework at a public junior college, public technical institute, or public state college; 9 credit hours of developmental ESOL coursework at a general academic teaching institution; or prior to enrolling in entry-level freshman coursework, whichever comes first, at which time the student would be administered the TSI Assessment. Funding limits as defined in Texas Education Code, §51.340 [§51.3062(l)(1) and (2)] for developmental education still apply. Developmental Education is not available for high school students.

(d) (No change.)

§4.55.Assessment and Placement.

(a) An institution shall assess, by an instrument approved in §4.56 of this title (relating to Assessment Instruments), the academic skills of each entering, non-exempt undergraduate student as defined in §4.53(24) of this title (relating to Definitions) prior to enrollment of the student. Under exceptional circumstances, an institution may permit a student to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework without assessment but shall require the student to be assessed not later than the end of the first semester of enrollment in entry-level freshman [freshman-level academic] coursework.

(b) Prior to the administration of an approved instrument in §4.56 of this title (relating to Assessment Instrument), a test administrator [an institution] shall provide to the student a pre-assessment activity(ies) that addresses at a minimum the following components in an effective and efficient manner, such as through workshops, orientations, and/or online modules:

(1) - (2) (No change.)

(3) Developmental education options including corequisite, course-pairing, non-course-based, modular, and other non-conventional interventions;

(4) Institutional and/or community student resources (e.g., supplemental instruction, tutoring, transportation, childcare, financial aid).

(c) For holistic placement of non-exempt undergraduate students not meeting standards as defined in §4.57(a) [and (b)] of this title (relating to College Ready [and Adult Basic Education (ABE)] Standards), institutions shall use for determination of appropriate courses and/or interventions the TSI Assessment results and accompanying Diagnostic Profile, along with consideration of one or more of the following:

(1) High school Grade Point Average/class ranking;

(2) Prior academic coursework and/or workplace experiences;

(3) Non-cognitive factors (e.g., motivation, self-efficacy); and

(4) Family-life issues (e.g., job, childcare, transportation, finances).

(d) - (e) (No change.)

§4.56.Assessment Instrument.

Beginning with the institution's first class day of Academic Year (fall) 2013, an institution of higher education shall use the TSI Assessment offered by the College Board as the only Board-approved assessment instrument under this title. Any previously-employed assessments (ACCUPLACER, Compass, THEA, Asset, Compass ESL, ACCUPLACER ESL) can no longer be used under this title for entering students who initially enroll in any course on or after the institution's first class day in fall 2013 or for any students retesting for TSI purposes. Test administrators of [Institutions administering] the TSI Assessment must follow the requirements and processes for test administration as set forth by the THECB and the test vendor.

§4.57.College Ready Standards.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Institutions must [should] use the TSI Assessment diagnostic results, along with other holistic factors, in their consideration of courses and/or interventions addressing the educational and training needs of undergraduate students not meeting the college readiness standards as defined in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) - (e) (No change.)

§4.58.Advisement and Plan for Academic Success.

(a) For each undergraduate student as defined in §4.53(24) of this title (relating to Definitions) who fails to meet the minimum passing standards described in §4.57 of this title (relating to College Ready [Minimum Passing] Standards), an institution shall:

(1) Establish a program to advise the student regarding developmental education necessary to ensure the readiness of that student in performing freshman-level academic coursework.

(2) Determine a plan, working with the student, for academic success, which shall include developmental education and may include provisions for enrollment in appropriate non-developmental coursework. Institutions must ensure developmental education courses and interventions meet the criteria set forth in the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM).

(b) - (e) (No change.)

(f) For undergraduate students enrolled in a corequisite model as defined in §4.53(7) of this title (relating to Definitions) who fail to satisfactorily complete the freshman-level course, the institution of higher education must:

(1) review the plan developed for the student under this section and, if necessary, work with the student to revise the plan; and

(2) offer to the student a range of competency-based education programs to assist the student in becoming ready to perform freshman-level academic coursework in the applicable subject area(s).

§4.59.Determination of Readiness to Perform Entry-Level Freshman Coursework.

(a) (No change.)

(b) An institution may enroll a non-exempt, undergraduate student who has not met the college readiness standard on the TSI Assessment [and is not otherwise exempt] in an entry-level freshman course if the student is co-enrolled in developmental education, as defined in §4.53(7) [or §4.53(8)] of this title (relating to Definitions [Texas Success Initiative]). Successful completion of the entry-level freshman course is demonstration of the student's college readiness, independent of his/her performance in co-enrolled developmental education.

(c) As indicators of readiness, institutions shall consider, as appropriate:

(1) Performance in developmental education.

(2) Performance in appropriate non-developmental coursework, including successfully completed college-level coursework in a related field using AP scores, IB scores, and/or grades earned through dual credit, as determined by the receiving institution.

(d) - (e) (No change.)

§4.62.Required Components of Developmental Education Programs.

(a) An institution of higher education must base developmental coursework on research-based best practices that include all of the following components:

(1) - (7) (No change.)

(8) Each institution of higher education shall develop and implement corequisite model(s) as defined in §4.53(7) of this title (relating to Definitions) for developmental mathematics and integrated reading/writing (IRW) courses and interventions, and each institution must ensure that a minimum percentage of its undergraduate students other than those exempt as outlined in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph must be enrolled in such corequisite model(s).

(A) Each public institution of higher education must ensure that the institution's developmental courses and interventions comply with the requirements of this section according to the following schedule:

(i) for the 2018-2019 academic year, at least 25 percent of the institution's non-exempt students enrolled by subject area in developmental education must be enrolled in corequisite model(s);

(ii) for the 2019-2020 academic year, at least 50 percent of the institution's non-exempt students enrolled by subject area in developmental education must be enrolled in corequisite model(s);

(iii) for the 2020-2021 academic year, at least 75 percent of the institution's non-exempt students enrolled by subject area in developmental education must be enrolled in corequisite model(s);

(B) The following students are exempt by subject area(s) from this requirement:

(i) students assessed at ABE Diagnostic levels 1-4 on the TSI Assessment;

(ii) students who are college ready;

(iii) students enrolled in adult education;

(iv) students enrolled in degree plans not requiring a freshman-level academic mathematics course;

(v) students who meet one or more of the exemptions as outlined in §4.54 of this title (relating to Exemptions, Exceptions, and Waivers);

(C) Institutions of higher education must adhere to developmental education funding limitations per 19 TAC §13.107 (relating to Limitation on Formula Funding for Remedial and Developmental Courses and Interventions).

[(8) course pairing of developmental education courses/interventions with entry-level freshman courses, also known as mainstreaming or co-enrollment of developmental education and entry-level freshman courses as defined in §4.53(12) of this title (relating to Definitions).]

(b) - (c) (No change.)

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 October 6, 2017.

TRD-201704035

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


19 TAC §4.63

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §4.63, concerning the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) to support developmental education reform efforts as related to Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1, Texas Success Initiative. The intent of the new section is to incorporate into existing rules changes and provisions enacted by House Bill 2223, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, as well as to provide clarification of existing rules to simplify implementation. This new section is added to define the institution's role with regard to the privacy of student information.

R. Jerel Booker, J.D., Assistant Commissioner for College Readiness and Success, has determined that for each year of the first five years the section is in effect, there will not be any fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Booker has also determined that for each year of the first five years the section is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the section will be the improvement of persistence and success rates of students entering higher education who are not college ready. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Dr. Suzanne Morales-Vale, Director of Developmental and Adult Education, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, or suzanne.morales-vale@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new section is proposed under the Texas Education Code, §51.344, which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to adopt rules to implement the provisions of Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1 concerning the Texas Success Initiative.

The new section affects the Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1.

§4.63.Privacy of Student Information.

Institutions of higher education must ensure that the Texas Success Initiative is administered in a manner that complies with federal law regarding confidentiality of student medical or educational information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. §1320d et seq.), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. §1232g), and any state law relating to the privacy of student information.

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 October 6, 2017.

TRD-201704031

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 6. HEALTH EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND RESEARCH FUNDS

SUBCHAPTER K. AUTISM GRANT PROGRAM

19 TAC §6.213

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §6.213, Health Education, Training, and Research Funds, concerning eligibility requirements. The intent of the amendments is to update existing rules to align with the General Appropriations Act, Senate Bill 1, passed during in the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. Language has been added to open up grant eligibility to private and independent institutions of higher education that operate autism research centers.

Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of amending the rule listed above.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the amendments are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the potential increase of children with autism spectrum disorder served by increasing the number of institutions of higher education that are eligible to compete for grants. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas, 78711 or via email at AQWComments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the General Appropriations Act, Senate Bill 1, Article III, §50, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session which authorizes the Coordinating Board to distribute designated funds to autism research centers at public and private institutions of higher education.

The amendments affect the implementation of Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 6, Health Education, Training, and Research Funds, Subchapter K, Autism Grant Program.

§6.213.Eligibility.

The following are eligible to apply for a grant under the program:

(1) A Texas public, private or independent institution of higher education that operates an autism research center as of September 1, 2015; or

(2) A partnership among Texas public, private or independent institutions of higher education that operate one or more autism research centers as of September 1, 2015.

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 October 6, 2017.

TRD-201704036

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 7. DEGREE GRANTING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES OTHER THAN TEXAS PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §§7.3 - 7.5, 7.7, 7.8, 7.11

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board proposes amendments to §§7.3 - 7.5, 7.7, 7.8, 7.11, Rules Applying to Degree Granting Colleges and Universities Other Than Texas Public Institutions, concerning Definitions; Standards for Operation of Institutions; Administrative Penalties and Injunctions; Institutions Accredited by Board-Recognized Accreditors; Institutions Not Accredited by a Board-Recognized Accreditor; and Changes of Ownership and Other Substantive Changes.

The intent of the amendments is to meet Senate Bill 1781, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session requirement and to clarify and streamline rules regarding oversight of certain degree-granting colleges and universities other than Texas Public Institutions.

Dr. Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of amending the rule listed above.

Dr. Peebles has also determined the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the proposed rule amendments will be greater oversight of certain non-public, degree-granting colleges and universities. The development and maintenance of a closed-school repository will also benefit former students of certain closed post-secondary schools. A program specialist is expected to be hired by THECB for implementation and maintenance of the repository, otherwise there is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWComments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code, Chapter 61, Subchapter G, §§61.3025, 61.303, 61.3075, and 61.315, which authorizes the Coordinating Board to regulate degree-granting colleges and universities other than Texas Public Institutions.

The proposed amendments affect the implementation of Texas Education Code, §§61.3025, 61.303, 61.3075, and 61.315.

§7.3.Definitions.

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

(1) Academic Record--Any information that is:

(A) directly related to a student's educational efforts;

(B) intended to support the student's progress toward completing a degree program;

(C) regardless of the format or manner in which or the location where the information is held, maintained by an institution for the purpose of sharing among academic officials; and

(D) for purposes of this chapter, an academic record includes a student's educational history, but does not include medical records, alumni records other than educational history, human resources records, or criminal history record information or other law enforcement records.

(2) [(1)] Accreditation--The status of public recognition that an accrediting agency grants to an educational institution.

(3) [(2)] Accrediting Agency--A legal entity recognized by the Secretary of Education of the United States Department of Education as an accrediting agency that conducts accreditation activities through voluntary peer review and makes decisions concerning the accreditation status of institutions, including ensuring academic, financial, and operational quality. A Board-recognized Accrediting Agency is any accrediting agency authorized by the Secretary of Education of the United States Department of Education to accredit educational institutions that offer the associate degree or higher, the standards of accreditation or membership for which have been found by the Board to be sufficiently comprehensive and rigorous to qualify its institutional members for an exemption from certain provisions of this chapter.

(4) [(3)] Agent--A person employed by or representing a postsecondary educational institution that does not have a Certificate of Authorization or Certificate of Authority, within or without Texas who:

(A) solicits any Texas student for enrollment in the institution (excluding the occasional participation in a college/career fair involving multiple institutions or other event similarly limited in scope in the state of Texas);

(B) solicits or accepts payment from any Texas student for any service offered by the institution; or

(C) while having a physical presence in Texas, solicits students or accepts payment from students who do not reside in Texas.

(5) [(4)] Associate Degree Program--A grouping of courses designed to lead the individual directly to employment in a specific career or to transfer to an upper-level baccalaureate program. This specifically refers to the associate of arts (AA), the associate of science (AS), the associate of applied arts (AAA), the associate of applied science (AAS), and the associate of occupational studies (AOS) degrees.

(A) Academic Associate Degree Program--A grouping of courses designed to transfer to an upper-level baccalaureate program and that includes sixty (60) semester credit hours and not more than sixty-six (66) semester credit hours or ninety (90) quarter credit hours and not more than ninety-nine (99) quarter credit hours. An academic associate degree must include at least twenty (20) semester credit hours or thirty (30) quarter credit hours of general education courses. This specifically refers to the associate of arts (AA) and the associate of science degrees (AS).

(B) Applied Associate Degree Program--A grouping of courses designed to lead the individual directly to employment in a specific career and that includes at least sixty (60) semester credit hours and not more than seventy-two (72) semester credit hours or ninety (90) quarter credit hours and not more than one hundred eight (108) quarter hours. An applied associate degree must include at least fifteen (15) semester credit hours or twenty-three (23) quarter credit hours of general education courses. This specifically refers to the associate of applied arts (AAA) and the associate of applied science (AAS) degrees. Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) degrees are only allowed under §7.5 [§7.5(u)] of this chapter.

(6) [(5)] Board--The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(7) [(6)] Board Staff--The staff of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board including the Commissioner of Higher Education and all employees who report to the Commissioner.

(8) [(7)] Career School or College--Any business enterprise operated for a profit, or on a nonprofit basis, that maintains a place of business in the state of Texas or solicits business within the state of Texas, and that is not specifically exempted by Texas Education Code, §132.002 or §7.4 of this chapter (relating to Standards for Operations of Institutions), and:

(A) that offers or maintains a course or courses of instruction or study; or

(B) at which place of business such a course or courses of instruction or study is available through classroom instruction, by electronic media, by correspondence, or by some or all, to a person for the purpose of training or preparing the person for a field of endeavor in a business, trade, technical, or industrial occupation, or for career or personal improvement.

(9) [(8)] Certificate of Approval--The Texas Workforce Commission's approval of career schools or colleges with operations in Texas to maintain, advertise, solicit for, or conduct any program of instruction in this state.

(10) [(9)] Certificate of Authority--The Board's approval of postsecondary institutions (other than exempt institutions), with operations in the state of Texas, to confer degrees or courses applicable to degrees, or to solicit students for enrollment in institutions that confer degrees or courses applicable to degrees, while seeking Board-recognized accreditation. Additional conditions, restrictions, or requirements may [will] be placed on a Certificate of Authority pursuant to §7.8 of this chapter (relating to Institutions Not accredited by a Board-Recognized Accreditor).[, including, but not limited to, application and review requirements for the initial application and supplementary reporting requirements during the first two years of operation, if an institution does not meet one of the three previous operational history conditions described by §7.8(1)(A)(ii)(I)-(III) of this chapter. Additional conditions, restrictions, or requirements may be placed on any Certificate of Authority if recommended to and approved by the Board.]

(11) [(10)] Certificate of Authorization--The Board's acknowledgment that an institution is qualified for an exemption, unless specifically provided otherwise, from certain identified regulations in this subchapter.

(A) A Certificate of Authorization for an institution offering degrees or courses leading to degrees at a physical location in Texas will be issued for the period of time in the institution's current grant of accreditation by its Board-recognized accreditor.

(B) A Certificate of Authorization may be issued as provisional for a 15-month temporary exemption from certain identified regulations in this subchapter based on its main campus' accreditation while seeking final approval for the new Texas-based campus from its Board-recognized accreditor and the Texas Workforce Commission.

(C) An out-of-state institution may be issued a renewable one-year Certificate of Authorization in order to allow students to complete experiential learning experiences in Texas.

(12) [(11)] Certificate of Registration--The Board's approval of an agent to solicit students on behalf of a private postsecondary educational institution in the state of Texas.

(13) [(12)] Certification Advisory Council--The Council as established by Board rules Chapter 1, Subchapter H, §§1.135 - 1.141 of this title (relating to Certification Advisory Council).

(14) [(13)] Change of Ownership or Control--Any change in ownership or control of a career school or college, or a postsecondary educational institution, or an agreement to transfer control of such institution.

(A) The ownership or control of a career school or college or postsecondary educational institution is considered to have changed:

(i) in the case of ownership by an individual, when more than fifty (50) percent of the institution has been sold or transferred;

(ii) in the case of ownership by a partnership or a corporation, when more than fifty (50) percent of the institution or of the owning partnership or corporation has been sold or transferred; or

(iii) when the board of directors, officers, shareholders, or similar governing body has been changed to such an extent as to significantly alter the management and control of the institution.

(B) A change of ownership or control does not include a transfer that occurs as a result of the retirement or death of the owner if transfer is to a member of the owner's family who has been directly and constantly involved in the management of the institution for a minimum of two years preceding the transfer. For the purposes of this section, a member of the owner's family is a parent, sibling, spouse, or child; spouse's parent or sibling; or sibling's or child's spouse.

(15) [(14)] Cited--Any reference to an institution in a negative finding or action by an accrediting agency.

(16) [(15)] Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code--The four (4) or six (6)-digit code assigned to an approved degree program in accordance with the CIP manual published by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. CIP codes define the authorized teaching field of the specified degree program, based upon the occupation(s) for which the program is designed to prepare its graduates.

(17) [(16)] Commissioner--The Commissioner of Higher Education.

(18) [(17)] Degree--Any title or designation, mark, abbreviation, appellation, or series of letters or words, including "associate," "bachelor's," "master's," "doctor's" and their equivalents and foreign cognates, which signify, purport to signify, or are generally taken to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of all or part of a program of study which is generally regarded and accepted as an academic degree-level program by accrediting agencies recognized by the Board.

(19) [(18)] Educational or Training Establishment--An enterprise offering a course of instruction, education, or training that is not represented as being applicable to a degree.

(20) [(19)] Exempt Institution--A postsecondary educational institution that is fully accredited by and not operating under sanctions imposed by an agency recognized by the Board under §7.6 of this chapter (relating to Recognition of Accrediting Agencies), is defined as a "private or independent institution of higher education" under Texas Education Code, §61.003(15), a career school or college that applies for and is declared exempt under this chapter, an institution that has received approval by a state agency authorizing the institution's graduates to take a professional or vocational state licensing examination administered by that agency as described in Texas Education Code, §61.303(a), or an institution exempted by the Texas Workforce Commission under Texas Education Code, §132.002. Exempt institutions must comply with certain Board rules.

(21) [(20)] Experiential Learning--Process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside an institution's classrooms. Experiential learning encompasses a variety of activities including, but not limited to, internships, externships, practicums, clinicals, field experience, or other professional work experiences. References to clinicals within this chapter encompasses all site-specific health professions experiential learning. Clinicals include site experiences for medical, nursing, allied health, and other health professions degree programs.

(22) [(21)] Fictitious Degree--A counterfeit or forged degree or a degree that has been revoked.

(23) [(22)] Fraudulent or Substandard Degree--A degree conferred by a person who, at the time the degree was conferred, was:

(A) operating in this state in violation of this subchapter;

(B) not eligible to receive a Certificate of Authority under this subchapter and was operating in another state in violation of a law regulating the conferral of degrees in that state or in the state in which the degree recipient was residing or without accreditation by a recognized accrediting agency, if the degree is not approved through the review process described by §7.12 of this chapter (relating to Review and Use of Degrees from Institutions Not Eligible for Certificates of Authority); or

(C) not eligible to receive a Certificate of Authority under this subchapter and was operating outside the United States, and whose degree the Board, through the review process described by §7.12 of this chapter, determines is not the equivalent of an accredited or authorized degree.

(24) [(23)] Out-of-State Public Postsecondary Institution--Any senior college, university, technical institute, junior or community college, or the equivalent which is controlled by a public body organized outside the boundaries of the state of Texas. For purposes of this chapter, out-of-state public institutions of higher education are considered postsecondary educational institutions.

(25) [(24)] Person--Any individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, enterprise, postsecondary educational institution, other private entity, or any combination thereof.

(26) Personally Identifiable Information-information of a potential, current or former student, including name, address, telephone number, social security number, email address, date of birth, education records, or any other identifying number or information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual.

(27) [(25)] Physical Presence--

(A) While in Texas, a representative of the school or a person being paid by the school, who conducts an activity related to postsecondary education, including for the purposes of recruiting students (excluding the occasional participation in a college/career fair involving multiple institutions or other event similarly limited in scope in the state of Texas), teaching or proctoring courses including internships, clinicals, externships, practicums, and other similarly constructed educational activities (excluding those individuals that are involved in teaching courses in which there is no physical contact with Texas students or in which visiting students are enrolled), or grants certificates or degrees; and/or

(B) The institution has any location within the state of Texas which would include any address, physical site, telephone number, or facsimile number within or originating from within the boundaries of the state of Texas. Advertising to Texas students, whether through print, billboard, internet, radio, television, or other medium alone does not constitute a physical presence.

(28) [(26)] Postsecondary Educational Institution--An educational institution which:

(A) is not a public community college, public technical college, public senior college or university, medical or dental unit or other agency as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003;

(B) is incorporated under the laws of this state, or maintains a place of business in this state, or has an agent or representative present in this state, or solicits business in this state; and

(C) furnishes or offers to furnish courses of instruction in person, by electronic media, by correspondence, or by some means or all leading to a degree; provides or offers to provide credits alleged to be applicable to a degree; or represents that credits earned or granted are collegiate in nature, including describing them as "college-level," or at the level of any protected academic term.

(29) [(27)] Private Postsecondary Educational Institution--An institution which:

(A) is not an institution of higher education as defined by Texas Education Code, §61.003;

(B) is incorporated under the laws of this state, maintains a place of business in this state, has an agent or representative presence in this state, or solicits business in this state; and

(C) furnishes or offers to furnish courses of instruction in person, by electronic media, or by correspondence leading to a degree or providing credits alleged to be applied to a degree.

(30) [(28)] Professional Degree--A degree that is awarded for a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and their equivalents and foreign cognates.

(31) [(29)] Program or Program of Study--Any course or grouping of courses which are represented as entitling a student to a degree or to credits applicable to a degree.

(32) [(30)] Protected Term--The terms "college," "university," "school of medicine," "medical school," "health science center," "school of law," "law school," or "law center," its abbreviation, foreign cognate or equivalents.

(33) [(31)] Reciprocal State Exemption Agreement--An agreement entered into by the Board with an out-of-state state higher education agency or higher education system for the purpose of creating a reciprocal arrangement whereby that entity's institutions are exempted from the Board oversight for the purposes of distance education. In exchange, participating Texas public or private institutions of higher education as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003 would be exempted from that state's oversight for the purposes of distance education.

(34) [(32)] Representative--A person who acts on behalf of an institution regulated under this subchapter. The term includes, without limitation, recruiters, agents, tutors, counselors, business agents, instructors, and any other instructional or support personnel.

(35) [(33)] Required State or National Licensure--The requirement for graduates of certain professional programs to obtain a license from state or national entities for entry-level practice.

(36) Sanction-An action taken by an accrediting agency indicating that an institution is out of compliance with its accrediting agency's standards or criteria and may lose such accreditation if the institution does not take action to comply within a certain period of time. Sanctions include, but are not limited to, warnings, notations, probation, or loss of accreditation and equate to a violation of this chapter.

(37) [(34)] Single Point of Contact--An individual who is designated by an institution as the person responsible for receiving and conveying information between an institution and the Board or Board staff. The Board will direct all communications regarding an institution to the Single Point of Contact. Institutions must inform the Board of changes in the designated Single Point of Contact within 30 days of change.

(38) [(35)] Substantive Change--Any change in principal location, ownership, or governance of an institution, change in accrediting agency or final action by an accrediting agency changing such institution's status with such accrediting agency, including negative actions taken by the accrediting agency against an institution, change in degree- or credential-level for an approved program, addition of new programs, degrees or credentials offered, change of institution name, or change in United States Department of Education requirements for receipt of federal financial aid based on financial or accreditation status.

(39) [(36)] Visiting Student--A student pursuing a degree at an out-of-state institution (i.e., home institution) with no physical presence in Texas who has permission from the home institution and a Texas institution, which is either exempt from Board rules or currently in compliance with Board rules, to take specific courses at the Texas institution. The two institutions have an agreement that courses taken at the Texas institution will transfer back to the home institution.

§7.4.Standards for Operation of Institutions.

[(a)] All institutions that operate within the state of Texas are required to meet the following standards. These standards will be enforced through the Certificate of Authority process. Standards addressing the same principles will be enforced by Board-recognized accrediting agencies under the Certificate of Authorization process. Particular attention will be paid to the institution's commitment to education, responsiveness to recommendations and suggestions for improvement, and, in the case of a renewal of a Certificate of Authority, record of improvement and progress. These standards represent generally accepted administrative and academic practices and principles of accredited postsecondary institutions in Texas. Such practices and principles are generally set forth by institutional and specialized accrediting bodies and the academic and professional organizations.

(1) - (4) (No change.)

(5) Financial Resources and Stability. The institution shall have adequate financial resources and financial stability to provide education of good quality and to be able to fulfill its commitments to students. The institution shall have sufficient reserves, line of credit, or surety instrument so that, together with tuition and fees, it would be able to complete its educational obligations for the current term to currently enrolled students if it were unable to admit any new students.

(6) - (18) (No change.)

(19) Academic Records. Adequate records of each student's academic performance shall be securely and permanently maintained by the institution.

(A) The records for each student shall contain:

(i) student contact and identification information, including address and telephone number;

(ii) records of admission documents, such as high school diploma or GED (if undergraduate) or undergraduate degree (if graduate);

(iii) records of all courses attempted, including grade; completion status of the student, including the diploma, degree or award conferred to the student, designation of the major course of study; and

(iv) any other information typically contained in academic records.

(B) Two copies of said records shall be maintained in separate secure places. Records of students who are no longer enrolled at the institution for any reason, including graduation, must be maintained in accordance with §7.15 of this chapter (Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort).

(C) Students in good standing will be provided transcripts [Transcripts shall be provided] upon request [by a student], subject to the institution's obligation, if any, to cooperate with the rules and regulations governing state and federally guaranteed student loans.

(20) Accurate and Fair Representation in Publications, Advertising, and Promotion.

(A) - (E) (No change.)

(F) Upon satisfactory completion of the program of study, the student in good standing shall be given appropriate educational credentials indicating the degree level, degree designation, and the designation of the major course of study, and a transcript accurately listing the information typically found on such a document, subject to the institution's obligation, if any, to enforce with the rules and regulations governing state, and federally guaranteed student loans by temporarily withholding such credentials.

(21) - (23) (No change.)

(24) Learning Outcomes.

(A) An institution must have an objective system of assessing learning outcomes in place for each part of the curriculum and the institution can demonstrate that appropriate learning outcomes are being achieved.

(B) [(b)] An institution may deviate, for a compelling academic reason, from Standard (12) relating to Faculty Size and Standard (16) relating to Credit for Work Completed Outside a Collegiate Setting, as long as academic objectives are fully met.

§7.5.Administrative Injunctions, Limitations, and Penalties. [Penalties and Injunctions.]

(a) - (b) (No change.)

(c) Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) Degree- Texas has three career schools or colleges awarding the AOS degree: Universal Technical Institute, Western Technical College, and Golf Academy of America. The AOS degree shall be awarded in only the following fields: automotive mechanics, diesel mechanics, refrigeration, electronics, business and golf complex operations and management. Each of the three Institutions may continue to award the AOS degree for those fields listed in this subsection and shall be restricted to those fields. The Board shall not consider new AOS degree programs from any other career schools or colleges. A career school or college authorized to grant the AOS degree shall not represent such degree by using the terms "associate" or "associate's" without including the words "occupational studies." An institution authorized to grant the AOS degree shall not represent such degree as being the equivalent of the AAS or AAA degrees.

(d) [(c)] Offenses--A violation of this subsection may constitute a violation of the Texas Penal Code, §32.52, or Texas Education Code §§61.312, 61.313. An offense under subsection (a)(1) - (5) of this section may be a Class A misdemeanor and an offense under subsection (a)(6) of this section may be a Class B misdemeanor.

[(d) Transfer of Records--In the event any institution now or hereafter operating in this state proposes to discontinue its operation, the chief administrative officer, by whatever title designated, of said institution shall cause to be filed with the Board the original or legible true copies of all such academic records of said institution as may be specified by the Commissioner. Such records shall include, without limitation:]

[(1) such academic information as is customarily required by colleges when considering students for transfer or advanced study; and]

[(2) the academic records of each former student.]

[(e) Record Protection--In the event it appears to the Commissioner that any records of an institution that is discontinuing its operations are in danger of being destroyed, secreted, mislaid, or otherwise made unavailable to the Board, the Commissioner may seek, on the Board's behalf, court authority to take possession of such records.]

[(f) Maintenance of Records--The Board shall maintain or cause to be maintained a permanent file of such records coming into its possession.]

(e) [(g)] Administrative Penalties--If a person or institution violates a provision of this subchapter, the Commissioner may assess an administrative penalty against the person or institution as provided in this section.

(f) [(h)] Notice of Violation--The Commissioner shall send written notice by certified mail to the person or institution charged with the violation. The notice shall state the facts on which the penalty is based, the amount of the penalty assessed, and the right of the person or institution to request a hearing.

(g) [(i)] Appeal of Assessment--The Commissioner's assessment shall become final and binding unless, within forty-five (45) days of receipt of the notice of assessment, the person or institution invokes the administrative remedies contained in Chapter 1, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Dispute Resolution).

(h) [(j)] Collection of Assessment--If the person or institution does not pay the amount of the penalty within thirty (30) days of the date on which the assessment becomes final, the Commissioner may refer the matter to the attorney general for collection of the penalty, plus court costs and attorney fees.

(i) [(k)] Specific Administrative Penalty--Any person or institution that is neither exempt nor the holder of a Certificate of Authority to grant degrees, shall be assessed an administrative penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for, either individually or through an agent or representative:

(1) conferring or offering to confer a degree;

(2) awarding or offering to award credits purported to be applicable toward a degree to be awarded by another person or institution (except under conditions and in a manner specified and approved by the Board);

(3) representing that any credits offered are collegiate in nature subject to the provisions of this subchapter; and

(4) with regard to assessment of such specific administrative penalties, each degree conferred without authority, and each person enrolled in a course or courses at the institution whose decision to enroll was influenced by the misrepresentations, constitutes a separate offense.

(j) [(l)] Other Administrative Penalties--

(1) Any person or institution that violates subsection (a)(4) of this section shall be assessed an administrative penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $3,000.

(2) Any person or institution that fails to maintain in a manner specified by the Board in §7.15 of this chapter (relating to Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort) the academic records of enrolled or former students, including records of credits and degrees awarded, or that fails to protect the personally identifiable information of enrolled or former students shall be assessed an administrative penalty of not less than $100 or more than $500 for each student whose academic record was not maintained or whose personally identifiable information was not protected.

(k) [(m)] Specific Administrative Penalties for Agents--Any agent who solicits students for enrollment in an institution subject to the provisions of this subchapter without a Certificate of Registration shall be assessed an administrative penalty of not less than $500 or more than $1,000. Each student solicited without authority constitutes a separate offense.

(l) [(n)] Termination of Operation--Any operations which are found to be in violation of the law shall be terminated.

(m) [(o)] Report to Attorney General--The Commissioner may report possible violations of this subchapter to the attorney general. The attorney general, after investigation and consultation with the Board, shall bring suit to enjoin further violations.

(n) [(p)] Venue--An action for an injunction under this section shall be brought in a district court in Travis County.

(o) [(q)] Civil Penalties--A person who violates this subchapter or a rule adopted under this subchapter is liable for a civil penalty in addition to any injunctive relief or any other remedy allowed by law. A civil penalty may not exceed $1,000 a day for each violation.

(p) [(r)] Civil Litigation--The attorney general, at the request of the Board, shall bring a civil action to collect a civil penalty under this section.

(q) [(s)] Deceptive Trade Practice Act--A person who violates this subchapter commits a false, misleading, or deceptive act or practice within the meaning of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, §17.46.

(r) [(t)] Applicability of Other Law--A public or private right or remedy under the Texas Business and Commerce Code, Chapter 17, may be used to enforce this section.

[(u) Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS Degree- Texas has three career schools or colleges awarding the AOS degree: Universal Technical Institute, and Western Technical College. The AOS degree shall be awarded in only the following fields: automotive mechanics, diesel mechanics, refrigeration, electronics, and business. Each of the two Institutions may continue to award the AOS degree for those fields listed in this subsection and shall be restricted to those fields. The Board shall not consider new AOS degree programs from any other career schools or colleges. A career school or college authorized to grant the AOS degree shall not represent such degree by using the terms "associate" or "associate's" without including the words "occupational studies." An institution authorized to grant the AOS degree shall not represent such degree as being the equivalent of the AAS or AAA degrees.]

§7.7.Institutions Accredited by Board-Recognized Accreditors.

An institution which does not meet the definition of institution of higher education contained in Texas Education Code §61.003, is accredited by a Board-recognized accreditor, and is interested in offering degrees or courses leading to degrees in the State of Texas must follow the requirements in paragraphs (1) - (4) of this section.

(1) Authorization to Offer Degrees or Courses Leading to Degrees in Texas.

(A) Each institution and/or campus location must submit an application for a Certificate of Authorization to offer degree(s) or courses leading to degrees in Texas. The application form for the Certificate of Authorization may be found on the Board's website. The application must contain the following information:

(i) Name of the institution;

(ii) Physical location of campus, or in the case of only providing clinicals or internships in Texas, the physical location of all clinical or internship sites, number of students in clinicals or internships and start and end date of clinicals or internships;

(iii) Name and contact information of the Chief Administrative Officer of the campus and name and contact information of the designated Single Point of Contact as defined in §7.3 of this chapter (relating to Definitions). In the case of an application based on clinicals or internships, name and contact information of clinical or internship site supervisors;

(iv) Name of Board-recognized accreditor;

(v) Level of degree, degree program name, and CIP code as authorized by the Board-recognized accreditor;

(vi) Documentation of notification to students and potential students of any program which does not make the graduate eligible to take required professional examinations in that field or to practice regulated professions in that field in Texas;

(vii) Dates of accreditation granted by the Board-recognized accreditor.

(I) If the institution or a location in Texas is currently subject to a negative or adverse action by its Board-recognized accreditor which has not resulted in a sanction, the institution must provide documentation explaining the reasons for the action [its current status] and actions taken to reverse the negative or adverse action.

(II) If the institution or a location in Texas is currently subject to a sanction by its Board-recognized accreditor, the institution must provide documentation explaining the reasons for the action and actions taken to comply with the accrediting agency's standards or criteria, including a timeline for returning to compliance, in order to maintain accreditation.

(III) [(II)] If the institution applies based on accreditation of its main campus while seeking final approval for the new Texas-based campus from its Board-recognized accreditor and the Texas Workforce Commission, the institution must provide documentation from its accreditor acknowledging that a decision on campus accreditation can be made within fifteen (15) months of the issuance of a provisional Certificate of Authorization.

(viii) Acknowledgement of student complaint procedure, compliance with the institutional accrediting agency's standards for operation of institutions, annual review reporting requirements, substantive change notification, and student data reporting requirements contained in this section, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title (relating to Student Complaint Procedure), §7.4 of this chapter (relating to Standards for Operation of Institutions), §7.11 of this chapter (relating to Changes of Ownership and Other Substantive Changes), and §7.13 of this chapter (relating to Student Data Reporting), respectively;

(ix) Texas Workforce Commission Certificate of Approval or a Texas Workforce Commission exemption or exclusion from Texas Education Code, Chapter 132;

(x) Disclosure of most recent United States Department of Education financial responsibility composite score, including applicable academic year for score. If the institution has a score under 1.5, the institution must provide documentation of all actions taken since date of calculation to raise the score.

(xi) Documentation of reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments that, when combined with tuition and fee receipts, are sufficient to allow the institution to fulfill its educational obligations for the current term to its enrolled students if the institution is unable to continue to provide instruction to its enrolled students for any reason.

(I) A surety instrument includes, but are not limited to, a surety bond, an assignment of a savings or escrow account, certificate of deposit, irrevocable letter of credit, or a properly executed participation contract with a private associations, partnership, corporation, or other entity whose membership is comprised of postsecondary institutions.

(II) The documented reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments must be:

(-a-) In a form and amount acceptable to the Board;

(-b-) In an amount equal to or greater than the cost of providing a refund, including administrative costs associated with processing claims, for the maximum prepaid, unearned tuition and fees of the institution for a period or term during the applicable academic year for which programs of instruction are offered, including, but not limited to, on a semester, quarter, monthly, or class basis; except that the period or term of greatest duration and expense shall be utilized for this computation where an institution's year consists of one or more such periods or terms;

(-c-) Conditioned to provide indemnification to any student or enrollee of the school or his/her parent or guardian determined by the Board to have suffered loss of prepaid tuition or any fees as a result of violation of any minimum standard or as a result of the institution ceasing operation, provide evidence satisfactory to the Board of its financial ability to provide such indemnification, and list the amount of surety liability the guaranteeing entity will assume; and

(-d-) Held in Travis County, Texas, and conditioned to allow only the Board to withdraw funds for the benefit of persons identified in clause (ii) of this paragraph.

(III) The institution shall include a letter signed by an authorized representative of the institution showing in detail the calculations made pursuant to this section and explaining the method used for computing the amount of the reserves, lines of credit or surety instrument.

(B) (No change.)

(C) Certificates of Authorization are subject to annual review for continued compliance with the Board-recognized accreditor's standards of operation, student complaint processes, financial viability, and accurate and fair representation in publications, advertising, and promotion.

(i) Institutions must submit the following documentation on an annual basis for Board staff review and recommendation to the Board for continuation or revocation of the Certificate of Authorization:

(I) Annual audited financial statements, issued less than one year from time of submission, prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles by an independent certified public accountant;

(II) Documentation of reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments that, when combined with tuition and fee receipts, are sufficient to allow the institution to fulfill its educational obligations for the current term to its enrolled students if the institution is unable to continue to provide instruction to its enrolled students for any reason. Institutions under a Certificate of Authorization as of September 1, 2017 are required to provide documentation of reserves, lines of credit, or surety instruments going forward with the 2019 annual compliance review.

(III) [(II)] Certification that the institution is providing accurate and fair representation in publications, advertising, and promotion, including disclosure to students and potential students of any program which does not make the graduate eligible to take required professional examinations in that field or to practice regulated professions in that field in Texas. The institution shall further certify that it is maintaining any advertising used in Texas for a minimum of five years and shall make any such advertisements available to the Board for inspection upon request.

(IV) [(III)] An annotated copy of the student catalog or student handbook showing compliance with the principles addressed in §7.4 of this chapter with cross-reference to the operational standards of its institutional accrediting agency;

(V) [(IV)] A copy of the institution's student complaint policy, links to online student complaint procedures and forms, and summary of all complaints made by Texas residents or students enrolled at a Texas-based institution concerning the institution in accordance with §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title. The complaint summary shall include complaints which have been filed, with the institution, its accrediting agency, or the Board within the 12 months prior to the annual review reporting date and shall indicate whether pending or resolved;

(VI) [(V)] Official statement of current accreditation status and any pending or final actions that change the institution's accreditation status from the institution's Board-recognized accreditor, including changes in degree levels or programs offered approvals, changes in ownership or management, changes in name, and changes in physical location within the 12 months prior to the annual review reporting date;

(VII) Information regarding heightened cash monitoring or other changes that affect students' federal financial aid eligibility through the US Department of Education;

(VIII) [(VI)] Attestation that all documentation submitted is true and correct and continued acknowledgement of student complaint procedure, annual review reporting requirements, substantive change notification, and student data reporting requirements contained herein this section, §§1.110 - 1.120 of this title, §§7.4, 7.11, [and] 7.13, and 7.15 of this chapter, respectively.

(ii) Annual reviews are conducted based on an institution's name and initial date of authorization.

(I) Institutions with names starting with "A" through "O" must submit annual review documentation by January 15 of each year. The Board will review staff recommendations at the annual July Board meeting.

(II) Institutions with names starting with "P" through "Z" must submit annual review documentation by July 15 of each year. The Board will review staff recommendations at the annual January Board meeting.

(III) Institutions that have received their first Certificate of Authorization less than six months from the due date for submission of annual review documentation may wait to submit documentation until the following annual review submission date.

(iii) Prior to making a recommendation to the Board, staff has discretion to conduct a site visit at the institution if warranted by facts disclosed in the annual review documentation. The Board-recognized accreditor will be notified and invited to participate.

(D) - (F) (No change.)

(G) Institutions under an existing Certificate of Authorization must immediately notify the Board if the institution or its main campus becomes subject to a sanction by its Board-recognized accreditor. The institution must provide documentation explaining its current status and actions taken to comply with the accrediting agency's standards or criteria, including a timeline for returning to compliance, in order to maintain accreditation.

(2) Restrictions Placed on Institution under Sanctions by Its Accreditor

(A) If an institution is under sanctions by its accreditor, limitations appropriate for the sanction shall be placed upon the institution's Certificate of Authorization. Limitations may include, but are not limited to:

(i) Restrictions on adding degree programs to its authorization;

(ii) An increase in the amount of financial reserves, lines of credit or surety instrument required to maintain a Certificate of Authorization; and

(iii) Review every six months, including unannounced site visits.

(B) The Board will notify the institution via letter of all restrictions placed upon its Certificate of Authorization due to its accreditors' sanctions.

(C) The Board will place a notice of all sanctions placed upon an institution via the Board's website.

(D) Restrictions and public notification will be removed upon written documentation from the institution's accreditor that all sanctions have ended.

(3) [(2)] Grounds for Revocation of any Certificate of Authorization.

(A) Institution no longer holds a Certificate of Approval or Letter of Exemption issued by the Texas Workforce Commission.

(B) Institution loses accreditation from Board-recognized accreditor.

(C) Institution's Accreditor is removed from the U.S. Department of Education or the Board's list of approved accreditors.

(i) If the institution's Certificate of Authorization is revoked due to its accrediting agency's removal from the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Board's list of approved accreditors, the Board, or Board staff as delegated, shall set a provisional time period within which institutions may continue to operate, not to exceed any provisional time period set by the United States Department of Education.

(ii) If the institution's Certificate of Authorization is revoked due to its accrediting agency's removal from the U.S. Department of Education or the Board's list of approved accreditors, a request to extend its Certificate of Authorization for the provisional time period set under paragraph (2)(C) of this section, must be submitted to the Commissioner within ten (10) days of publication, by either the U.S. Department of Education or the Board, of such revocation.

(D) Institution fails to comply with data reporting, substantive change notification requirements, or annual review reporting requirements.

(E) Board staff recommends revocation based on deficiencies in compliance with the principles addressed in §7.4 of this chapter as evidenced by lack of compliance with the Board-recognized accreditor's standards, which are found in annual review documentation and not corrected by the institution upon request by Board staff.

(F) Institution offers degrees for which it does not have accreditor approval.

(4) [(3)] Process for Removal of Authorization.

(A) Commissioner notifies institution of grounds for revocation as outlined in paragraph (2) of this section unless paragraph (2)(C) above applies and the Board sets a provisional time period for compliance.

(B) Upon receipt of the notice of revocation, the institution shall not enroll new students and may only grant or award degrees or offer courses leading to degrees in Texas to students enrolled on the date of notice of revocation until it has either been granted a Certificate of Authority to grant degrees, or has received a determination that it did not lose its qualification for a Certificate of Authorization.

(C) Within ten (10) days of its receipt of the Commissioner's notice, the institution must provide, as directed by Board staff, one or more of the following:

(i) proof of its continued qualification for the exemption; or

(ii) submit data as required by §7.13 of this chapter; or

(iii) a plan to correct any non-compliance or deficiencies which lead to revocation; or

(iv) a plan to seek new Board-recognized accreditation; or

(v) written intention to apply for a Certificate of Authority within 60 days of the notice of revocation; or

(vi) a written teach-out plan, which must be approved by Board staff before implementation.

(D) After reviewing the evidence, the Commissioner will issue a notice of determination, which in the case of an adverse determination, shall contain information regarding the reasons for the denial, and the institution's right to a hearing.

(E) If a determination under this section is adverse to an institution, it shall become final and binding unless, within forty-five (45) days of its receipt of the adverse determination, the institution invokes the administrative remedies contained in Chapter 1, Subchapter B of this title (relating to Dispute Resolution).

(F) If a determination allows the institution to continue operating, a new Certificate of Authorization will be provisionally-granted. Provisions for continued operation under the new Certificate of Authorization may include, but are not limited to:

(i) requirements to provide updates to Board staff on a monthly basis;

(ii) continued progress toward full compliance with all Board rules and requirements;

(iii) continued progress toward new Board-recognized accreditation, if applicable, or toward approval for a Certificate of Authority; and

(iv) other requirements imposed by the Board.

(G) Certificates of Authorization which are provisionally-granted after a notice of revocation continue only as long as the institution complies with all such provisions.

(5) [(4)] Closure of an Institution.

(A) The governing board, owner, or chief executive officer of an institution that plans to cease operation shall provide the Board with written notification of intent to close at least ninety (90) days prior to the planned closing date.

(B) If an institution closes unexpectedly, the governing board, owner, or chief executive officer of the school shall provide the Board with written notification immediately.

(C) If an institution closes or intends to close before all currently enrolled students have completed all requirements for graduation, the institution shall assure the continuity of students' education by entering into a teach-out agreement with another institution authorized by the Board to hold a Certificate of Authority, with an institution operating under a Certificate of Authorization, or with a public or private institution of higher education as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003. The agreement shall be in writing, shall be subject to Board approval, shall contain provisions for student transfer, and shall specify the conditions for completion of degree requirements at the teach-out institution. The agreement shall also contain provisions for awarding degrees.

(D) The Certificate of Authorization for an institution is automatically withdrawn when the institution closes. The Commissioner may grant to an institution that has a degree-granting authority temporary approval to award a degree(s) in a program for which the institution does not have approval in order to facilitate a formal agreement as outlined under this section.

(E) The curriculum and delivery shall be appropriate to accommodate the remaining students.

(F) No new students shall be allowed to enter the transferred degree program unless the new entity seeks and receives permanent approval for the program(s) from the Board.

(G) The institution shall transfer all academic records pursuant to §7.15 [§7.5(d)] of this chapter (relating to Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort) [Administrative Penalties and Injunctions].

§7.8.Institutions Not Accredited by a Board-Recognized Accreditor.

An institution which is not accredited by a Board-recognized accreditor and which does not meet the definition of institution of higher education contained in Texas Education Code, §61.003, must follow the Certificate of Authority process in paragraphs (1) - (9) of this section in order to offer degrees or courses leading to degrees in the state of Texas. Institutions are encouraged to contact the Board staff before filing a formal application.

(1) - (8) (No change.)

(9) Closure of an Institution.

(A) - (D) (No change.)

(E) The institution shall transfer all academic records pursuant to §7.15 of this chapter (relating to Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort).

§7.11.Changes of Ownership and Other Substantive Changes.

(a) (No change.)

(b) The Commissioner may authorize the institution to retain the Certificate of Authority or Certificate of Authorization during and after a change of ownership or control, provided that the institution notifies Board staff of the impending transfer in time for staff to receive, review, and approve the documents listed in paragraphs (1) - (4) [(1) - (3)] of this subsection and provided that the following conditions are met:

(1) - (4) (No change.)

(c) - (e) (No change.)

(f) All notifications regarding changes of ownership or other substantive changes, as defined in §7.3 of this chapter (relating to Definitions), should be provided to the Board via the institution's designated Single Point of Contact.

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 October 6, 2017.

TRD-201704038

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


19 TAC §7.15

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §7.15, Rules Applying to Degree Granting Colleges and Universities Other Than Texas Public Institutions, concerning Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort. The intent of the new section is to meet Senate Bill 1781, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session requirement regarding maintaining an academic repository for closed schools.

Dr. Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined estimated cost for state or local governments is $255,343 in fiscal year 2018 and $240,343 in fiscal year 2019 and subsequent years as a result of the new rule listed above to meet SB 1781 requirements. Appropriation of General Revenue funds was approved to implement the provisions of the bill.

Dr. Peebles has also determined the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the proposed new rule will be greater oversight of certain non-public, degree-granting colleges and universities. The development and maintenance of a closed-school repository will also benefit former students of certain closed post-secondary schools. A program specialist is expected to be hired by THECB for implementation and maintenance of the repository, otherwise there is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed new section may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWComments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new section is proposed under the Texas Education Code, Chapter 61, Subchapter G, §61.3025 and §61.315, which authorizes the Coordinating Board to regulate degree-granting colleges and universities other than Texas Public Institutions.

The proposed new section affects the implementation of Texas Education Code, §61.3025 and §61.315.

§7.15.Academic Records Maintenance, Protection, and Repository of Last Resort.

(a) Maintenance of Records at the Institution

(1) Authorized institutions are required to maintain academic records securely and permanently as required in §7.4 of this chapter (relating to Standards for Operation of Institutions) and must protect the personally identifiable information of enrolled or former students.

(2) At the end of each institution's academic year, an institution shall consolidate copies of all academic records for all former students who have graduated, withdrawn, or otherwise ceased to attend during the previous academic year. These academic records, for each academic year, shall be stored separately in an identifiable and printable electronic record for each student in a format specified by the Board. The files or records are subject to inspection and shall be made available to the Board for inspection upon request.

(b) Transfer and Maintenance of Records Upon School Closure

(1) In the event any authorized institution operating in this state proposes to discontinue its operation, the chief administrative officer, by whatever title designated, of said institution shall notify the Board of its plan to secure and store all student's records.

(2) If the institution is part of an educational system which is continuing to operate in other U.S. locations, the academic records shall be maintained at the main campus or corporate location. Contact information so that a student may request an academic transcript or academic records must be provided to the Board and updated as information changes.

(3) If the institution enters into an agreement with another institution to teach out or continue students' degree programs, the institution responsible for accepting the transferring students shall maintain academic records for the transferring students.

(4) If the institution is closing all locations, the academic records shall be transferred to the Board. Such records shall include, without limitation:

(A) academic information as is customarily required by colleges when considering students for transfer or advanced study; and

(B) in the format specified by the Board to ensure a separate identifiable and printable file is provided for each student.

(c) Record Protection--In the event it appears to the Commissioner that any records of an institution that is discontinuing its operations are in danger of being destroyed, secreted, mislaid, or otherwise made unavailable to the Board, the Commissioner may seek, on the Board's behalf, court authority to take possession of such records.

(d) Closed School Repository

(1) The Board shall maintain or cause to be maintained a permanent file of such records coming into its possession from an institution previously authorized under a Certificate of Authority or a Certificate of Authorization in a closed school academic record repository. The Board may specify the required format for records coming into its possession.

(2) Upon request and verification of identity, the Board will provide to a student either a copy of the student's academic record as received from the closed institution or the information contained in the academic record in a standard transcript format utilized by the Board.

(A) The Board will charge a nominal fee to cover the average expense of retrieval, reproduction and mailing of the student academic record.

(B) A statement will accompany the academic record providing information regarding the date of closure, verification the information contained in the academic record is as received from the institution, and no alterations to the information contained in the academic record can be made.

(3) The academic records repository is considered to be a repository of last resort.

(4) The Board may discontinue its maintenance of the repository if adequate funding is not provided for that maintenance.

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 October 6, 2017.

TRD-201704037

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 21. STUDENT SERVICES

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §21.6

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes the repeal of §21.6 concerning General Provisions. Specifically, this section concerning student compliance with selective service registration will be incorporated into Chapter 22 Subchapter A, concerning General Provisions. Administratively moving this existing section to Chapter 22, Student Financial Aid Programs allows better cataloging for this type of rule.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Ed.D, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the section is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the section is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of this proposal will be better understanding of program requirements. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The repeal is proposed under Texas Education Code, §51.9095(e), which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules regarding student compliance with the selective service registration requirements stated in §51.9095. Additionally, Texas Government Code, §2001.004, authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules of practice stating the nature and requirements of all available formal and informal procedures.

The repeal affects Texas Education Code, §51.9095 and Texas Administrative Code, Chapters 21 and 22.

§21.6.Student Compliance with Selective Service Registration.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704041

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


19 TAC §21.10

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §21.10, concerning General Provisions. Specifically, amendments to §21.10(a) add language that require institutions to use March 15 as their priority application deadline for academic years 2018-2019 and prior. New subsection (b) adds language indicating that beginning the 2019-2020 academic year, all general academic teaching institutions shall use January 15 as their priority application deadline for state financial assistance. This change is needed because the U.S. Department of Education now allows students to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as October 1. The section has been renumbered accordingly.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Ed.D, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the section is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the section is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of this proposal will be the institutions' improved ability to administer financial aid services and to meet the needs of their students. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 56, §56.008(c), which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules providing for the priority deadline required by TEC, §56.008(a).

The amendments affect Texas Education Code, §56.008(a) and Texas Administrative Code, §21.10.

§21.10.Priority Deadline for Applying for State Aid.

(a) For academic year 2018-2019 and prior academic years, [All] general academic teaching institutions shall use March 15 as their priority application deadline for application for state financial assistance [for the following year].

(b) Beginning with academic year 2019-2020 and hereafter, all general academic teaching institutions shall use January 15 as the priority application deadline to receive state financial assistance.

(c) [(b)] The priority deadline is not to serve as a determination of eligibility for state financial assistance, but otherwise eligible students who apply on or before the deadline shall be given priority consideration for available state financial assistance before other applicants.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704040

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 22. STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §22.3, §22.4

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §22.3 and §22.4, concerning General Provisions. The proposed new sections will align the Board rules with the Student Compliance with Selective Service Registration provisions of the Texas Education Code (TEC). New §22.3 is added to indicate that individuals attending institutions of higher education must meet Selective Service Registration requirements to qualify for financial assistance funded by the state, in keeping with TEC, §51.9095. Specifically, new §22.4 provides guidelines to be used by institutions of higher education concerning the records retention requirements for all financial aid programs in Chapter 22. These rules are not completely new, but are simply being moved from chapter 21 to chapter 22 for better clarification.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Ed.D, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the new sections are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the new sections are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of this proposal will be the institutions' improved ability for consistent administration of the grant and scholarship programs. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new sections are proposed under Texas Education Code, §51.9095(e), which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules regarding student compliance with the selective service registration requirements stated in §51.9095. Additionally, Texas Government Code, §2001.004, authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules of practice stating the nature and requirements of all available formal and informal procedures.

The new sections affect Texas Education Code, §51.9095 and Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 22, Subchapter A.

§22.3.Student Compliance with Selective Service Registration.

(a) An individual may not receive a loan, grant, scholarship, or other financial assistance funded by state revenue, including federal funds or gifts and grants accepted by this state, unless the individual files a statement of the individual's Selective Service status with the institution granting or certifying the financial assistance as required by this section.

(b) Rules and guidelines to be used in administering the Texas Education Code, §51.9095 will be the same as those used for students receiving federal financial aid.

§22.4.Records Retention.

(a) All institutions participating in the financial aid programs described in Chapter 22 shall follow the records retention guidelines outlined in subsections (a) and (b) of this section:

(1) An institution shall maintain its records and accounts of all transactions related to state and federal student financial aid in keeping with the institution's records retention schedule to ensure a full accounting for all funds received, disbursed, and expended by the institution.

(2) Records and accounts shall be available for inspecting, monitoring, programmatic or financial auditing, or evaluation by the Coordinating Board, and by others authorized by law or regulation, for a period (whichever is later):

(A) not less than seven (7) years after the date of the completion of the award period,

(B) the date of the receipt of the institution's final claim for payment of final expenditure report, or

(C) until a resolution of all billing questions in connection with the account has been resolved.

(3) Records and accounts shall include, but are not limited to, general institutional and program specific record-keeping requirements in accordance with Federal Student Aid Title IV regulations (USOE, 34 CFR §668.24).

(b) If an audit is announced, an institution shall retain its records until the audit has been completed or not less than seven (7) years after the expiration date of the Memorandum of Understanding for State Financial Aid Programs (MOU), whichever is later.

(1) An institution shall make available to the auditing entity all documents and other information related to state financial aid programs.

(2) An institution and any subcontractors shall provide any information the auditing entity deems relevant to any monitoring, investigation, evaluation, or audit.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704042

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER F. MATCHING SCHOLARSHIPS TO RETAIN STUDENTS IN TEXAS

19 TAC §22.117

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes the repeal of §22.117, concerning the Matching Scholarships to Retain Students in Texas. Senate Bill 1179, passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, repealed Texas Education Code, §61.087 (c), which required institutions granting matching scholarships under this section to provide an annual statistical report to the Coordinating Board. Since §61.087 (c) has been repealed, it is appropriate to delete §22.117 from the rules.

Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for each year of the first five years the repeal is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the repeal.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the repeal is in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering this repeal will be that institutions will have a clearer understanding of the requirements of the program. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the repeal as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365 or via email at charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The repeal is proposed under Texas Education Code §61.087, which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules to implement the Matching Scholarships to Retain Students in Texas.

The repeal affects Chapter 22, Subchapter F, §22.117 of the Texas Administrative Code.

§22.117.Reporting 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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704043

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER M. TEXAS EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT PROGRAM

19 TAC §§22.254, 22.256, 22.257, 22.260, 22.262

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §§22.254, 22.256, 22.257, 22.260, and §22.262, concerning the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant (TEOG) Program. The amendment to §22.254 adds a definition for the "average statewide amount of tuition and required fees", which serves as the basis for calculating the TEOG maximum award amount. The definition is added to provide clarity for current award calculation practices as recommended in the May 2017 internal auditor's Report No.THECB-IA-WP-17-192. Subsequent definitions have been renumbered accordingly.

The amendment to §22.257 removes "Students Awarded Grants on or After September 1, 2005" from the title, as this distinction is no longer relevant. The new title, "Hardship Provisions", indicates that the provisions apply to all students receiving TEOG. The reference to the previous title in subsection (a) and §22.256(4) has been updated to reflect this same change.

The amendments to §22.260 clarify the provisions relating to determining the maximum award amount and strike language prohibiting institutions from decreasing grant awards to award more students. The statute allows institutions to make initial awards below the maximum per student, provided they use other available sources of financial aid, other than a loan or Pell grant, to cover any difference in the amount of a TEOG award and the student's actual amount of tuition and required fees. Subsections (e) and (f) have been combined to indicate that the proration schedule for a student having a low balance of "eligible hours" or a low balance of "attempted hours" are identical: 100% of the maximum award if the balance of hours equals 12 or more; 75% if the balance of hours equals 9 - 11; 50% if the balance equals 6 - 8; and 25% if the balance equals fewer than 6 hours. Stand-alone subsection (f) has been deleted.

Section 22.262(a) is amended to delete language pertaining only to allocations for fiscal year 2015. Subsequent sections have been re-numbered accordingly. Similarly, subsection (b)(3) has been stricken, as this provision expired at the end of FY2017.

Two references to outdated administrative code section numbers have been updated accordingly.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the sections are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the sections are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the section will be a clearer understanding of the requirements of the program. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §56.403 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules for the administration of the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program.

The amendments affect Texas Education Code, §56.405 and §56.407.

§22.254.Definitions.

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

(1) (No change.)

(2) Average statewide amount of tuition and required fees--in determining the maximum award amount, the average amount of tuition and required fees by institution type (public community colleges, public state colleges, and public technical colleges) for a resident student enrolled full-time in an associate degree or certificate program, as reported in the most recent Integrated Federal Reporting System report.

(3) [(2)] Awarded--Offered to a student.

(4) [(3)] Board--The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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

(6) [(5)] Cost of attendance--An estimate of the expenses incurred by a typical financial aid student in attending a particular college. It includes direct educational costs (tuition, fees, books, and supplies) as well as indirect costs (room and board, transportation, and personal expenses).

(7) [(6)] Encumbered funds--Program funds that have been offered to a specific student, which offer the student has accepted, and which may or may not have been disbursed to the student.

(8) [(7)] Enrolled on at least a half-time basis--Enrolled for the equivalent of six semester credit hours in a regular semester.

(9) [(8)] Entering student--A student enrolled in the first 30 semester credit hours or their equivalent, excluding hours taken during dual enrollment in high school and courses for which the student received credit through examination.

(10) [(9)] Expected family contribution--The amount of discretionary income that should be available to a student from his or her resources and that of his or her family, as determined following the federal methodology.

(11) [(10)] 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 family contribution are to be determined in accordance with Board guidelines. Federal and state veterans' educational and special combat pay benefits are not to be considered in determining a student's financial need.

(12) [(11)] Initial year award--The grant award made in the student's first year in the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program, typically made up of a fall and spring disbursement.

(13) [(12)] Institution--A public junior college as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003(2); a public technical institution as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003(7); and a public state college as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003(16).

(14) [(13)] Period of enrollment--The term or terms within the current state fiscal year (September 1-August 31) for which the student was enrolled in an approved institution and met all the eligibility requirements for an award through this program.

(15) [(14)] Program--The Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program.

(16) [(15)] 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 maintenance of all records and preparation and submission of reports reflecting program transactions. Unless otherwise indicated by the administration, the director of student financial aid shall serve as Program Officer.

(17) [(16)] 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.

(18) [(17)] State-wide total cost of attendance--For allocation purposes, the aggregate sum of costs of attendance reported by participating eligible institutions in the most recent Financial Aid Database Report for each first-time-in-college student who meets the eligibility requirements listed in §22.262(b)(1) of this title.

§22.256.Eligible Students.

(a) - (b) (No change.)

(c) Discontinuation of Eligibility or Non-Eligibility.

(1) A student may not receive a Texas Educational Opportunity Grant for more than 75 semester credit hours or its equivalent. Beginning with awards for the 2015-2016 academic year, a student's eligibility for a Texas Educational Opportunity Grant ends once he or she has attempted 75 semester credit hours or the equivalent unless the student is granted a hardship extension in accordance with §22.257(b) [§22.231(b)] of this chapter.

(2) - (3) (No change.)

(4) Unless granted a hardship extension in accordance with §22.257 of this title (relating to Hardship Provisions [for Students Awarded Grants On or After September 1, 2005)], if a person fails to meet any of the requirements for receiving a continuation award as outlined in subsection (b) of this section after completion of any year, the person may not receive a Texas Educational Opportunity Grant award until he or she completes courses while not receiving a Texas Educational Opportunity Grant and meets all the requirements of subsection (b) of this section as of the end of that period of enrollment.

§22.257.Hardship Provisions [for Students Awarded Grants on or After September 1,2005].

(a) In the event of a hardship or for other good cause, the Program Officer at an eligible institution may allow an otherwise eligible person who is awarded a grant [on or after September 1, 2005] to receive a Texas Educational Opportunity Grant while enrolled for an equivalent of less than one-half time or if the student's grade point average or completion rate falls below the satisfactory academic progress requirements of §22.256(b)(8)[(7)] of this title (relating to Eligible Students). Such conditions are not limited to, but include:

(1) a showing of a severe illness or other debilitating condition that may affect the student's academic performance;

(2) an indication that the student is responsible for the care of a sick, injured, or needy person and that the student's provision of care may affect his or her academic performance; or

(3) the requirement of fewer than six hours to complete one's degree plan.

(b) - (c) (No change.)

§22.260.Award Amounts and Adjustments.

(a) (No change.)

(b) Award Amounts.

(1) (No change.)

(2) The Board shall determine and announce the maximum amount of a Texas Educational Opportunity Grant award in a given state fiscal year by January 31 of the prior fiscal year. The calculation of the maximum amount will be based on the average statewide amount of tuition and required fees at eligible institutions that a resident student enrolled full-time in an associate degree or certificate program would be charged for that semester or term [mandates contained in] (Texas Education Code, §56.407). [To ensure the program has sufficient funds to make awards to all eligible returning recipients, institutions may not decrease award amounts per student in order to provide grants to a larger number of applicants.] If an otherwise eligible student, due to hardship, enrolls for less than a half-time course load, his or her award is to be prorated. The amount he or she can be awarded is equal to the semester's maximum award for the relevant type of institution, divided by 12 hours and multiplied by the actual number of hours for which the student is enrolled.

(3) - (4) (No change.)

(c) - (d) (No change.)

(e) Prorated Awards in Case of Low Balance of Eligible Hours or Attempted Hours. If the student's balance of eligible hours or attempted hours is less than the number of hours he or she is taking in a given term or semester, the student's award amount for that term or semester should be prorated[. Beginning no later than Fiscal Year 2012, prorated amounts shall be calculated] using the following schedule:

(1) If balance of hours equals 12 or more hours--100% of the maximum award;

(2) If balance of hours equals 9-11 hours--75% of the maximum award;

(3) If balance of hours equals 6-8 hours--50% of the maximum award; and

(4) If balance of hours equals fewer than 6 hours--25% of the maximum award.

[(f) Prorated Awards in Case of Low Balance of Eligible Attempted Hours, beginning with the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If the student's balance of eligible attempted hours is less than the number of hours he or she is taking in a given term or semester, the student's award amount for that term or semester should be prorated the following schedule:]

[(1) If balance of attempted hours equals 12 or more hours--100% of the maximum award;]

[(2) If balance of attempted hours equals 9-11 hours--75% of the maximum award;]

[(3) If balance of attempted hours equals 6-8 hours--50% of the maximum award; and]

[(4) If balance of attempted hours equals fewer than 6 hours--25% of the maximum award.]

§22.262.Allocation and Reallocation of Funds.

[(a) Allocations for Fiscal Year 2015.]

[(1) Initial Year Funds. Available program funds for initial year awards will be allocated to each participating institution in proportion to each institution's share of the state's undergraduate financial aid population with significant amounts of financial need.]

[(2) Renewal Year Funds. Available program funds for continuation or renewal awards will be allocated in proportion to the number of prior year recipients reported for each institution, adjusted for the institution's student retention rate.]

(a) [(b)] Allocations for public junior colleges for Fiscal Year 2016 and Later. Allocations are to be determined on an annual basis as follows:

(1) The allocation base for each eligible institution will be the number of students it reported in the most recent Financial Aid Database Report who met the following criteria:

(A) - (D) (No change.)

(2) Each institution's percent of the available funds will equal its percent of the state-wide need as determined by multiplying each institution's enrollments by the respective award maximums of students who meet the criteria in subsection (a) [(b)](1) of this section.

[(3) No institution's annual allocation will be reduced by more than 15 percent of the prior year's annual allocation not including any reallocations that occurred in that prior year. This provision will apply to FY2016 and FY2017 allocations after which it will expire.]

(b) [(c)] Allocations for public technical colleges and public state colleges for Fiscal Year 2016 and Later. Allocations are to be determined on an annual basis as follows:

(1) The allocation base for each eligible institution will be the number of students it reported in the most recent Financial Aid Database Report who met the following criteria:

(A) were classified as Texas residents,

(B) were enrolled as undergraduates half-time, three-quarter time or full-time,

(C) completed either the FAFSA or the TASFA, and

(D) have a 9-month Expected Family Contribution less than or equal to the Federal Pell Grant eligibility cap for the year reported in the Financial Aid Database Report.

(2) Each institution's percent of the available funds will equal its percent of the state-wide need as determined by multiplying each institution's enrollments by the respective award maximums of students who meet the criteria in subsection (b)(1) of this section.

(c) [(d)] Verification of Data for Fiscal Year 2016 and Later. Allocation calculations will be shared with all participating institutions for comment and verification prior to final posting and the institutions will be given 10 working days, beginning the day of the notice's distribution and excluding State holidays, to confirm that the allocation report accurately reflects the data they submitted or to advise Board staff of any inaccuracies.

(d) [(e)] Reallocations. Institutions will have until the close of business on February 20 or the first working day thereafter if it falls on a weekend or a holiday to encumber the program funds that have been allocated to them. On that date, institutions lose claim to any unencumbered funds, and the unencumbered funds are available to the Board for reallocation to other institutions. For the institutions that request additional funds, reallocations for amounts up to the amount requested per institution will be calculated on the same basis as was used for the allocation for the relevant fiscal year. If necessary for ensuring the full use of funds, subsequent reallocations may be scheduled until all funds are awarded and disbursed.

(e) [(f)] Disbursement of Funds to Institutions. As requested by institutions throughout the fall and spring terms, the Board shall forward to each participating institution a portion of its allocation of funds for immediate release to students or immediate application to student accounts at the institution.

(f) [(g)] Authority to Transfer Funds. Institutions participating in a combination of the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant and Texas College Work-Study Programs, in accordance with instructions from the Board, may transfer in a given fiscal year up to the lesser of 10 percent or $20,000 between these programs. This threshold is applied to the program from which the funds are being transferred.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704046

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 23. EDUCATION LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER D. LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAM FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

19 TAC §§23.95, 23.97, 23.100

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §§23.95, 23.97, and 23.100, concerning the Mental Health Loan Repayment Program (MHLRP). The amendments are necessary for rules to comply with Texas Education Code §61.601, as amended by House Bill 3083 and House Bill 3808, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. Specifically, the amendments in §23.95 add chemical dependency counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists to the list of mental licensed health providers eligible to apply for loan repayment through the MHLRP. The amendments to §23.97 clarify application of the "30 percent" rule and describe the ranking criteria for applications in the event that excess funds are available. In keeping with the statutory amendment, §23.100(2) is amended to clarify that the total amount of state appropriated repayment assistance may not exceed specified amounts and to indicate the designated repayment amounts for licensed chemical dependency counselors and marriage and family therapists.

Dr. Charles W. Puls, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Student Financial Aid Programs, has determined that for the first five years the sections are in effect, there will be no fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the rules.

Dr. Puls has also determined that for each year of the first five years the sections are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be a clearer understanding of the requirements of the program. There is no effect on small businesses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the sections as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Charles W. Puls, Ed.D., Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Student Financial Aid Programs, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711, (512) 427-6365, charles.puls@thecb.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.608 which authorizes the Coordinating Board to adopt rules for the administration of the Loan Repayment Program for Mental Health Professionals.

The amendments affect Texas Education Code, §§61.601, 61.604, and 61.607 - 61.609.

§23.95.Eligible Practice Specialties.

For purposes of this subchapter, the following mental health providers may apply for enrollment in the program:

(1) a psychiatrist;

(2) a psychologist, as defined by §501.002, Occupations Code;

(3) a licensed professional counselor, as defined by §503.002, Occupations Code;

(4) an advanced practice registered nurse, as defined by §301.152, Occupations Code, who holds a nationally recognized board certification in psychiatric or mental health nursing; [and]

(5) a licensed clinical social worker, as defined by §505.002, Occupations Code;[.]

(6) a licensed chemical dependency counselor, as defined by §504.001, Occupations Code; and

(7) a licensed marriage and family therapist, as defined by §502.002, Occupations Code.

§23.97.Selection of Eligible Applicants and Limitations.

(a) - (b) (No change.)

(c) Not more than 30 percent of the number of repayment assistance grants paid under this subchapter each fiscal year may be awarded to mental health professionals in any one of the eligible practice specialties, unless excess funds remain available after the 30 percent maximum has been met.

(d) For each practice specialty, applications will be ranked in order of the following priorities:

(1) - (4) (No change.)

(e) If funds remain available after loan repayment awards have been reserved for applicants selected according to the criteria stated in §23.97(d), applications will be ranked in order of the following priorities, regardless of the applicant's practice specialty:

(1) providers whose employers are located in areas having MHPSA scores that reflect the highest degrees of shortage. If a provider works for an agency located in an MHPSA that has satellite clinics and the provider works in more than one of the clinics, the highest MHPSA score where the provider works shall apply. If a provider travels to make home visits, the provider's agency base location and its MHPSA score shall apply. If a provider works for different employers in multiple MHPSAs having different degrees of shortage, the location having the highest MHPSA score shall apply;

(2) providers whose employers are located in rural areas, if, in the case of providers serving at multiple sites, at least 75% of their work hours are spent serving in those areas; and

(3) providers whose applications were received on the earliest dates.

§23.100.Amount of Repayment Assistance.

Loan repayment awards will be disbursed directly to lenders in behalf of eligible mental health professionals and:

(1) Repayment assistance for each year of full-time service will be in an amount determined by applying the following applicable percentage to the maximum total amount of assistance allowed for the professional:

(A) for the first year, 10 percent;

(B) for the second year, 15 percent;

(C) for the third year, 20 percent;

(D) for the fourth year, 25 percent; and

(E) for the fifth year, 30 percent.

(2) The total amount of state appropriated repayment assistance received by a mental health professional under this subchapter may not exceed:

(A) $160,000, for a psychiatrist;

(B) $80,000, for:

(i) a psychologist;

(ii) a licensed clinical social worker, if the social worker has received a doctoral degree related to social work; or

(iii) a licensed professional counselor, if the counselor has received a doctoral degree related to counseling; or

(iv) a licensed marriage and family therapist, if the marriage and family therapist has received a doctoral degree related to marriage and family therapy;

(C) $60,000, for an advanced practice registered nurse; [and]

(D) $40,000, for a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed marriage and family therapist, or a licensed professional counselor who has not received a doctoral degree related to social work or counseling; and[.]

(E) $10,000, for assistance received by a licensed chemical dependency counselor, if the chemical dependency counselor has received an associate's degree related to chemical dependency counseling or behavioral science.

(3) - (5) (No change.)

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704044

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 27. FIELDS OF STUDY

SUBCHAPTER X. SOCIOLOGY FIELD OF STUDY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

19 TAC §§27.561 - 27.567

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board proposes new Chapter 27, Subchapter X, §§27.561 - 27.567 concerning Sociology Field of Study Advisory Committee. The proposed new rules authorize the Board to create an advisory committee to develop a Sociology field of study. The newly added rules will affect students when the Sociology field of study is adopted by the Board.

Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of adding the new sections.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the clarification of which lower division courses are required in a Sociology degree and improvement of the transferability and applicability of courses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed new sections may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWcomments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new sections are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a), which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to develop fields of study curricula with the assistance of advisory committees and Texas Government Code, §2110.005, which requires a state agency that establishes an advisory committee to adopt rules that state the purpose and tasks of the committee and describe the manner in which the committee will report to the agency.

The new sections affect the implementation of Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.

§27.561.Authority and Specific Purposes of the Sociology Field of Study Advisory Committee.

(a) Authority. Statutory authority for this subchapter is provided in the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a).

(b) Purpose. The Sociology Field of Study Advisory Committee is created to provide the Commissioner and the Board with guidance regarding the Sociology field of study curricula.

§27.562.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings:

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

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

(3) Field of Study Curricula--The block of courses which may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred.

(4) Institutions of Higher Education--As defined in Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.003(8).

§27.563.Committee Membership and Officers.

(a) The advisory committee shall be equitably composed of representatives of institutions of higher education.

(b) Each university system or institution of higher education which offers a degree program for which a field of study curriculum is proposed shall be offered participation on the advisory committee.

(c) At least a majority of the members of the advisory committee named under this section shall be faculty members of an institution of higher education. An institution shall consult with the faculty of the institution before nominating or recommending a person to the board as the institution's representative on an advisory committee.

(d) Board staff will recommend for Board appointment individuals who are nominated by institutions of higher education.

(e) Members of the committee shall select co-chairs, who will be responsible for conducting meetings and conveying committee recommendations to the Board.

(f) The number of committee members shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

(g) Members shall serve staggered terms of up to three years. The terms of chairs and co-chairs (if applicable) will be two years dating from their election.

§27.564.Duration.

The Committee shall be abolished no later than January 31, 2022, in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110. It may be reestablished by the Board.

§27.565.Meetings.

The Committee shall meet as necessary. Special meetings may be called as deemed appropriate by the presiding officer. Meetings shall be open to the public and broadcast via the web, unless prevented by technical difficulties, and minutes shall be available to the public after they have been prepared by the Board staff and reviewed by members of the Committee.

§27.566.Tasks Assigned to the Committee.

Tasks assigned to the Committee include:

(1) Advise the Board regarding the Sociology Field of Study Curricula;

(2) Provide Board staff with feedback about processes and procedures related to the Sociology Field of Study Curricula; and

(3) Any other issues related to the Sociology Field of Study Curricula as determined by the Board.

§27.567.Report to the Board; Evaluation of Committee Costs and Effectiveness.

The Committee shall report recommendations to the Board. The Committee shall also report Committee activities to the Board to allow the Board to properly evaluate the Committee work, usefulness, and the costs related to the Committee existence. The Board shall report its evaluation to the Legislative Budget Board in its biennial Legislative Appropriations Request.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704047

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER Y. ECONOMICS FIELD OF STUDY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

19 TAC §§27.581 - 27.587

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board proposes new §§27.581 - 27.587 concerning Economics Field of Study Advisory Committee. The proposed new rules authorize the Board to create an advisory committee to develop an Economic field of study. The newly added rules will affect students when the Economics field of study is adopted by the Board.

Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of adding the new sections.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the clarification of which lower division courses are required in an Economics degree and improve transferability and applicability of courses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed new sections may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWcomments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new sections are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a), which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to develop fields of study curricula with the assistance of advisory committees and Texas Government Code, §2110.005, which requires a state agency that establishes an advisory committee to adopt rules that state the purpose and tasks of the committee and describe the manner in which the committee will report to the agency.

The new sections affect the implementation of Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.

§27.581.Authority and Specific Purposes of the Economics Field of Study Advisory Committee.

(a) Authority. Statutory authority for this subchapter is provided in the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a).

(b) Purpose. The Economics Field of Study Advisory Committee is created to provide the Commissioner and the Board with guidance regarding the Economics field of study curricula.

§27.582.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings:

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

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

(3) Field of Study Curricula--The block of courses which may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred.

(4) Institutions of Higher Education--As defined in Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.003(8).

§27.583.Committee Membership and Officers.

(a) The advisory committee shall be equitably composed of representatives of institutions of higher education.

(b) Each university system or institution of higher education which offers a degree program for which a field of study curriculum is proposed shall be offered participation on the advisory committee.

(c) At least a majority of the members of the advisory committee named under this section shall be faculty members of an institution of higher education. An institution shall consult with the faculty of the institution before nominating or recommending a person to the board as the institution's representative on an advisory committee.

(d) Board staff will recommend for Board appointment individuals who are nominated by institutions of higher education.

(e) Members of the committee shall select co-chairs, who will be responsible for conducting meetings and conveying committee recommendations to the Board.

(f) The number of committee members shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

(g) Members shall serve staggered terms of up to three years. The terms of chairs and co-chairs (if applicable) will be two years dating from their election.

§27.584.Duration.

The Committee shall be abolished no later than January 31, 2022, in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110. It may be reestablished by the Board.

§27.585.Meetings.

The Committee shall meet as necessary. Special meetings may be called as deemed appropriate by the presiding officer. Meetings shall be open to the public and broadcast via the web, unless prevented by technical difficulties, and minutes shall be available to the public after they have been prepared by the Board staff and reviewed by members of the Committee.

§27.586.Tasks Assigned to the Committee.

Tasks assigned to the Committee include:

(1) Advise the Board regarding the Economics Field of Study Curricula;

(2) Provide Board staff with feedback about processes and procedures related to the Economics Field of Study Curricula; and

(3) Any other issues related to the Economics Field of Study Curricula as determined by the Board.

§27.587.Report to the Board; Evaluation of Committee Costs and Effectiveness.

The Committee shall report recommendations to the Board. The Committee shall also report Committee activities to the Board to allow the Board to properly evaluate the Committee work, usefulness, and the costs related to the Committee existence. The Board shall report its evaluation to the Legislative Budget Board in its biennial Legislative Appropriations Request.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704048

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER Z. MATHEMATICS FIELD OF STUDY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

19 TAC §§27.601 - 27.607

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §§27.601 - 27.607 concerning Mathematics Field of Study Advisory Committee. The proposed new rules authorize the Board to create an advisory committee to develop a Mathematics field of study. The newly added rules will affect students when the Mathematics field of study is adopted by the Board.

Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of adding the new sections.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the clarification of which lower division courses are required in a Mathematics degree and improve transferability and applicability of courses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed new sections may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWcomments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new sections are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a), which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to develop fields of study curricula with the assistance of advisory committees and Texas Government Code, §2110.005, which requires a state agency that establishes an advisory committee to adopt rules that state the purpose and tasks of the committee and describe the manner in which the committee will report to the agency.

The new sections affect the implementation of Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.

§27.601.Authority and Specific Purposes of the Mathematics Field of Study Advisory Committee.

(a) Authority. Statutory authority for this subchapter is provided in the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a).

(b) Purpose. The Mathematics Field of Study Advisory Committee is created to provide the Commissioner and the Board with guidance regarding the Mathematics field of study curricula.

§27.602.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings:

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

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

(3) Field of Study Curricula--The block of courses which may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred.

(4) Institutions of Higher Education--As defined in Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.003(8).

§27.603.Committee Membership and Officers.

(a) The advisory committee shall be equitably composed of representatives of institutions of higher education.

(b) Each university system or institution of higher education which offers a degree program for which a field of study curriculum is proposed shall be offered participation on the advisory committee.

(c) At least a majority of the members of the advisory committee named under this section shall be faculty members of an institution of higher education. An institution shall consult with the faculty of the institution before nominating or recommending a person to the board as the institution's representative on an advisory committee.

(d) Board staff will recommend for Board appointment individuals who are nominated by institutions of higher education.

(e) Members of the committee shall select co-chairs, who will be responsible for conducting meetings and conveying committee recommendations to the Board.

(f) The number of committee members shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

(g) Members shall serve staggered terms of up to three years. The terms of chairs and co-chairs (if applicable) will be two years dating from their election.

§27.604.Duration.

The Committee shall be abolished no later than January 31, 2022, in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110. It may be reestablished by the Board.

§27.605.Meetings.

The Committee shall meet as necessary. Special meetings may be called as deemed appropriate by the presiding officer. Meetings shall be open to the public and broadcast via the web, unless prevented by technical difficulties, and minutes shall be available to the public after they have been prepared by the Board staff and reviewed by members of the Committee.

§27.606.Tasks Assigned to the Committee.

Tasks assigned to the Committee include:

(1) Advise the Board regarding the Mathematics Field of Study Curricula;

(2) Provide Board staff with feedback about processes and procedures related to the Mathematics Field of Study Curricula; and

(3) Any other issues related to the Mathematics Field of Study Curricula as determined by the Board.

§27.607.Report to the Board; Evaluation of Committee Costs and Effectiveness.

The Committee shall report recommendations to the Board. The Committee shall also report Committee activities to the Board to allow the Board to properly evaluate the Committee work, usefulness, and the costs related to the Committee existence. The Board shall report its evaluation to the Legislative Budget Board in its biennial Legislative Appropriations Request.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704049

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER AA. RADIO AND TV FIELD OF STUDY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

19 TAC §§27.621 - 27.627

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §§27.621 - 27.627, concerning Radio and TV Field of Study Advisory Committee. The proposed new rules authorize the Board to create an advisory committee to develop a Radio and TV field of study. The newly added rules will affect students when the Radio and TV field of study is adopted by the Board.

Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of adding the new sections.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the clarification of which lower division courses are required in a Radio and TV degree and improve transferability and applicability of courses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed new sections may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWcomments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new sections are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a), which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to develop fields of study curricula with the assistance of advisory committees and Texas Government Code, §2110.005, which requires a state agency that establishes an advisory committee to adopt rules that state the purpose and tasks of the committee and describe the manner in which the committee will report to the agency.

The new sections affect the implementation of Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.

§27.621.Authority and Specific Purposes of the Radio and TV Field of Study Advisory Committee.

(a) Authority. Statutory authority for this subchapter is provided in the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a).

(b) Purpose. The Radio and TV Field of Study Advisory Committee is created to provide the Commissioner and the Board with guidance regarding the Radio and TV field of study curricula.

§27.622.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings:

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

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

(3) Field of Study Curricula--The block of courses which may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred.

(4) Institutions of Higher Education--As defined in Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.003(8).

§27.623.Committee Membership and Officers.

(a) The advisory committee shall be equitably composed of representatives of institutions of higher education.

(b) Each university system or institution of higher education which offers a degree program for which a field of study curriculum is proposed shall be offered participation on the advisory committee.

(c) At least a majority of the members of the advisory committee named under this section shall be faculty members of an institution of higher education. An institution shall consult with the faculty of the institution before nominating or recommending a person to the board as the institution's representative on an advisory committee.

(d) Board staff will recommend for Board appointment individuals who are nominated by institutions of higher education.

(e) Members of the committee shall select co-chairs, who will be responsible for conducting meetings and conveying committee recommendations to the Board.

(f) The number of committee members shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

(g) Members shall serve staggered terms of up to three years. The terms of chairs and co-chairs (if applicable) will be two years dating from their election.

§27.624.Duration.

The Committee shall be abolished no later than January 31, 2022, in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110. It may be reestablished by the Board.

§27.625.Meetings.

The Committee shall meet as necessary. Special meetings may be called as deemed appropriate by the presiding officer. Meetings shall be open to the public and broadcast via the web, unless prevented by technical difficulties, and minutes shall be available to the public after they have been prepared by the Board staff and reviewed by members of the Committee.

§27.626.Tasks Assigned to the Committee.

Tasks assigned to the Committee include:

(1) Advise the Board regarding the Radio and TV Field of Study Curricula;

(2) Provide Board staff with feedback about processes and procedures related to the Radio and TV Field of Study Curricula; and

(3) Any other issues related to the Radio and TV Field of Study Curricula as determined by the Board.

§27.627.Report to the Board; Evaluation of Committee Costs and Effectiveness.

The Committee shall report recommendations to the Board. The Committee shall also report Committee activities to the Board to allow the Board to properly evaluate the Committee work, usefulness, and the costs related to the Committee existence. The Board shall report its evaluation to the Legislative Budget Board in its biennial Legislative Appropriations Request.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704050

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


SUBCHAPTER BB. MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS FIELD OF STUDY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

19 TAC §§27.641 - 27.647

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §§27.641 - 27.647 concerning Management Information Systems Field of Study Advisory Committee. The proposed new rules authorize the Board to create an advisory committee to develop a Management Information Systems field of study. The newly added rules will affect students when the Management Information Systems field of study is adopted by the Board.

Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner for Academic Quality and Workforce, has determined that for the first five years there will be no fiscal implications for state or local governments as a result of adding the new sections.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the rules are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the clarification of which lower division courses are required in a Management Information Systems degree and improve transferability and applicability of courses. There are no anticipated economic costs to persons who are required to comply with the section as proposed. There is no impact on local employment.

Comments on the proposed new sections may be submitted by mail to Rex C. Peebles, Assistant Commissioner, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, P.O. Box 12788, Austin, Texas 78711 or via email at AQWcomments@THECB.state.tx.us. Comments will be accepted for 30 days following publication of the proposal in the Texas Register.

The new sections are proposed under the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a), which provides the Coordinating Board with the authority to develop fields of study curricula with the assistance of advisory committees and Texas Government Code, §2110.005, which requires a state agency that establishes an advisory committee to adopt rules that state the purpose and tasks of the committee and describe the manner in which the committee will report to the agency.

The new sections affect the implementation of Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.

§27.641.Authority and Specific Purposes of the Management Information Systems Field of Study Advisory Committee.

(a) Authority. Statutory authority for this subchapter is provided in the Texas Education Code, §61.823(a).

(b) Purpose. The Management Information Systems Field of Study Advisory Committee is created to provide the Commissioner and the Board with guidance regarding the Management Information Systems field of study curricula.

§27.642.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings:

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

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

(3) Field of Study Curricula--The block of courses which may be transferred to a general academic teaching institution and must be substituted for that institution's lower division requirements for the degree program into which the student transfers, and the student shall receive full academic credit toward the degree program for the block of courses transferred.

(4) Institutions of Higher Education--As defined in Texas Education Code, Chapter 61.003(8).

§27.643.Committee Membership and Officers.

(a) The advisory committee shall be equitably composed of representatives of institutions of higher education.

(b) Each university system or institution of higher education which offers a degree program for which a field of study curriculum is proposed shall be offered participation on the advisory committee.

(c) At least a majority of the members of the advisory committee named under this section shall be faculty members of an institution of higher education. An institution shall consult with the faculty of the institution before nominating or recommending a person to the board as the institution's representative on an advisory committee.

(d) Board staff will recommend for Board appointment individuals who are nominated by institutions of higher education.

(e) Members of the committee shall select co-chairs, who will be responsible for conducting meetings and conveying committee recommendations to the Board.

(f) The number of committee members shall not exceed twenty-four (24).

(g) Members shall serve staggered terms of up to three years. The terms of chairs and co-chairs (if applicable) will be two years dating from their election.

§27.644.Duration.

The Committee shall be abolished no later than January 31, 2022, in accordance with Texas Government Code, Chapter 2110. It may be reestablished by the Board.

§27.645.Meetings.

The Committee shall meet as necessary. Special meetings may be called as deemed appropriate by the presiding officer. Meetings shall be open to the public and broadcast via the web, unless prevented by technical difficulties, and minutes shall be available to the public after they have been prepared by the Board staff and reviewed by members of the Committee.

§27.646.Tasks Assigned to the Committee.

Tasks assigned to the Committee include:

(1) Advise the Board regarding the Management Information Systems Field of Study Curricula;

(2) Provide Board staff with feedback about processes and procedures related to the Management Information Systems Field of Study Curricula; and

(3) Any other issues related to the Management Information Systems Field of Study Curricula as determined by the Board.

§27.647.Report to the Board; Evaluation of Committee Costs and Effectiveness.

The Committee shall report recommendations to the Board. The Committee shall also report Committee activities to the Board to allow the Board to properly evaluate the Committee work, usefulness, and the costs related to the Committee existence. The Board shall report its evaluation to the Legislative Budget Board in its biennial Legislative Appropriations Request.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704051

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 62. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING THE EQUALIZED WEALTH LEVEL

19 TAC §62.1072

(Editor's note: In accordance with Texas Government Code, §2002.014, which permits the omission of material which is "cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient," the figure in 19 TAC §62.1072 is not included in the print version of the Texas Register. The figure is available in the on-line version of the October 20, 2017, issue of the Texas Register.)

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes new §62.1072, concerning the equalized wealth level. The proposed new section would adopt as a part of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2017-2018 School Year and the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2018-2019 School Year.

The TEA has adopted the procedures contained in each yearly manual for districts subject to wealth equalization as part of the TAC since 2011.

Each school year's manual for districts subject to wealth equalization explains how districts subject to wealth equalization are identified; the fiscal, procedural, and administrative requirements those districts must meet; and the consequences for not meeting requirements. The manual also provides information on using the online Foundation School Program (FSP) System to fulfill certain requirements.

Proposed new 19 TAC §62.1072, Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization, would adopt in rule the official TEA publications Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2017-2018 School Year as Figure: 19 TAC §62.1072(a) and Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2018-2019 School Year as Figure: 19 TAC §62.1072(b). The intent is to update 19 TAC §62.1072 every two years to refer to the most recently published manual and the manual that will be used the following school year. Manuals adopted for previous school years will remain in effect with respect to those school years.

One significant change to the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2017-2018 School Year from the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2016-2017 School Year is as follows.

The Chapter 41 Contract is automated via the Chapter 41 subsystem of the online FSP System. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the letter approving the contract is located in a link at the bottom of the Contract Detail in the Chapter 41 subsystem of the online FSP System. The sections of the manual affected by this change are the Chapter 41 Calendar for School Year 2017-2018 and the question "What actions must our district take following official notification of its Chapter 41 status in the summer?" under Section 2: Administrative Procedures.

There are no significant changes to the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2018-2019 School Year from the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2017-2018 School Year.

The proposed new section would place the specific procedures contained in the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2017-2018 School Year and the Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2018-2019 School Year in the TAC. The TEA administers the wealth equalization provisions of the Texas Education Code, Chapter 41, according to the procedures specified in each yearly manual for districts subject to wealth equalization. Data reporting requirements are addressed primarily through the online FSP System.

The proposed new section would have no locally maintained paperwork requirements.

FISCAL NOTE. Kara Belew, deputy commissioner for finance administration, has determined that for the first five-year period the new section is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the new section. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed new section is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed new section does not impose a cost on regulated persons and, therefore, is not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Belew has determined that for each year of the first five years the new section is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the new section will be continuing to inform the public of the existence of annual publications specifying requirements for school districts subject to wealth equalization. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed new section.

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 October 20, 2017, and ends November 20, 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 October 20, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The new section is proposed under the Texas Education Code, §41.006, which authorizes the commissioner of education to adopt rules necessary for the implementation of the TEC, Chapter 41, Equalized Wealth Level.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The new section implements the Texas Education Code, §41.006.

§62.1072.Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 School Years.

(a) For the 2017-2018 school year, the processes and procedures that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will use in the administration of the provisions of the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 41, and the fiscal, procedural, and administrative requirements that school districts subject to the TEC, Chapter 41, must meet are described in the official TEA publication Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2017-2018 School Year, provided in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC §62.1072(a) (.pdf)

(b) For the 2018-2019 school year, the processes and procedures that the TEA will use in the administration of the provisions of the TEC, Chapter 41, and the fiscal, procedural, and administrative requirements that school districts subject to the TEC, Chapter 41, must meet are described in the official TEA publication Manual for Districts Subject to Wealth Equalization 2018-2019 School Year, provided in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC §62.1072(b) (.pdf)

(c) The specific processes, procedures, and requirements used in the manuals for districts subject to wealth equalization are established biennially by the commissioner of education and communicated to all school districts.

(d) School district actions and inactions in previous school years and data from those school years will continue to be subject to the annual manual for districts subject to wealth equalization with respect to those years.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704056

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 89. ADAPTATIONS FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS

SUBCHAPTER AA. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

DIVISION 2. CLARIFICATION OF PROVISIONS IN FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND STATE LAW

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes amendments to §§89.1011, 89.1040, 89.1049, 89.1055, 89.1070, and 89.1075; the repeal of §89.1047; and new §89.1047, concerning clarification of special education provisions in federal regulations and state law. The proposed revisions would modify procedures related to content and review of students' individualized education programs (IEPs), provisions related to transition services, notice requirements for students with disabilities and their parents, and procedures for surrogate and foster parents as well as make technical edits.

Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) resulted in the removal of references to scientific, researched-based intervention and replaced those references with evidence-based intervention. The proposed amendments to §89.1011, Full Individual and Initial Evaluation, and §89.1040, Eligibility Criteria, would make technical changes to align these two sections with the changes in IDEA and ESSA.

House Bill (HB) 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, amended the Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.015 and §29.0151, to change state requirements related to foster parents of students with disabilities and the appointing of surrogate parents to students with disabilities who are in the foster care system. The proposed repeal of §89.1047, Procedures for Surrogate and Foster Parents, and new §89.1047, Procedures for Special Education Decision-Making for Students in Foster Care, would address these new requirements.

Senate Bill (SB) 748 and HB 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, amended the TEC, §29.017, to change state requirements related to notice regarding transfer of rights to adult students with disabilities and content of the student's IEP. The proposed amendments to §89.1049, Parental Rights Regarding Adult Students, and §89.1055, Content of the Individualized Education Program, would address these new requirements. In addition, the proposed amendment to §89.1055 would address updated state requirements for transition services resulting from changes to the TEC, §29.011, by SB 748 and HB 1886.

SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, amended the TEC, §28.0158 and §39.025, to extend the time frame under which a student who has failed to achieve end-of-course assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses may graduate high school. The proposed amendment to §89.1070, Graduation Requirements, would address this change in time frame.

SB 1259, 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, amended the TEC, §29.001, to allow teachers who instruct a student with a disability in a regular classroom setting to provide input into the development of the student's IEP. To ensure consistency between statute and administrative rule, the proposed amendment to §89.1075, General Program Requirements and Local District Procedures, would incorporate this requirement into rule.

The proposed revisions would have no procedural and reporting implications. The proposed revisions would have no procedural and reporting implications.

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

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Ms. Schwinn has determined that for each year of the first five years the revisions are in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the revisions will be providing constituents with clearly aligned state requirements related to special education services. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed revisions.

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 October 20, 2017, and ends November 20, 2017. Public hearings to solicit testimony and input on the proposed revisions will be held at 8:30 a.m. on October 30 and October 31, 2017, in Room 1-104, William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Anyone wishing to testify at one of the hearings must sign in between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the day of the respective hearing. Each hearing will conclude either once all who have signed in have been given the opportunity to comment or at 11:00 a.m., whichever comes first.

19 TAC §§89.1011, 89.1040, 89.1047, 89.1049, 89.1055, 89.1070, 89.1075

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments and new section are proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.001, which requires the Texas Education Agency to develop and modify, as necessary, a statewide plan that includes rules for the administration and funding of the delivery of services to children with disabilities in the state of Texas so that a free appropriate public education is available to all of those children between the ages of 3 and 21; TEC, §29.011, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 748 and House Bill (HB) 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amends the transition requirements for students that must be in place for a student not later than when the student reaches 14 years of age; TEC, §29.015, as amended by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which allows foster parents to serve as the parent of a student with a disability under certain circumstances and specifies the timelines for completing the required training program; TEC, §29.0151, as added by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which establishes the requirements for surrogate parents of students with disabilities who are in the foster care system and specifies the timelines for completing the required training program; TEC, §29.017, as amended by SB 748 and HB 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which specifies the content of the notice that must be provided to students with disabilities and their parents not later than one year before a student's 18th birthday; requires students' individualized education programs (IEPs) to include a statement that the notice has been provided; and specifies the content of the notice that must be provided to students with disabilities and their parents when a student with a disability turns 18; and TEC, §28.0258 and §39.025, as amended by SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which allow a student who has failed to achieve the end-of-course assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses to receive a Texas high school diploma under the TEC, §28.0258, with an expiration date of September 1, 2019.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendments and new section implement the Texas Education Code, §§29.001; 29.011 and 29.017, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 748 and House Bill (HB) 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 28.0258 and 39.025, as amended by SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 29.015, as amended by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and 29.0151, as added by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

§89.1011.Full Individual and Initial Evaluation.

(a) Referral of students for a full individual and initial evaluation for possible special education services must be a part of the district's overall, general education referral or screening system. Prior to referral, students experiencing difficulty in the general classroom should be considered for all support services available to all students, such as tutorial; remedial; compensatory; response to evidence-based [scientific, research-based] intervention; and other academic or behavior support services. If the student continues to experience difficulty in the general classroom after the provision of interventions, district personnel must refer the student for a full individual and initial evaluation. This referral for a full individual and initial evaluation may be initiated by school personnel, the student's parents or legal guardian, or another person involved in the education or care of the student.

(b)-(h) (No change.)

§89.1040.Eligibility Criteria.

(a)-(b) (No change.)

(c) Eligibility definitions.

(1)-(8) (No change.)

(9) Learning disability.

(A) (No change.)

(B) A student with a learning disability is one who:

(i) (No change.)

(ii) does not achieve adequately for the student's age or meet state-approved grade-level standards in oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skill, reading fluency skills, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, or mathematics problem solving when provided appropriate instruction, as indicated by performance on multiple measures such as in-class tests; grade average over time (e.g. six weeks, semester); norm- or criterion-referenced tests; statewide assessments; or a process based on the student's response to evidence-based [scientific, research-based] intervention; and

(I) does not make sufficient progress when provided a process based on the student's response to evidence-based [scientific, research-based] intervention (as defined in 20 USC, §7801(21) [§7801(37)] ), as indicated by the student's performance relative to the performance of the student's peers on repeated, curriculum-based assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting student progress during classroom instruction; or

(II) (No change.)

(10)-(13) (No change.)

§89.1047.Procedures for Special Education Decision-Making for Students in Foster Care.

(a) A foster parent may act as a parent of a child with a disability, in accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.30, relating to the definition of parent, if requirements of Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.015(a), are met, including the completion of the training program described in subsection (c)(1) of this section.

(1) For a foster parent to serve as a student's parent, a school district must ensure that the foster parent has received training described in subsection (c)(1) of this section. The foster parent must complete the training program before the student's next scheduled admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee meeting, but not later than the 90th day after the foster parent begins acting as the parent for the purpose of making special education decisions.

(2) The training program can be conducted or provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS), a school district, an education service center, or any entity that receives federal funds to provide Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) training to parents. Once an individual has completed the training, the individual may not be required by any school district to complete additional training in order to serve as the parent or the surrogate parent for the student or other students with disabilities who are in foster care. School districts may provide optional ongoing or supplemental training.

(b) If a school district denies a foster parent the right to serve as a parent, the school district must provide the foster parent with written notice of such denial within seven calendar days after the date on which the decision is made. The written notice must:

(1) specifically explain why the foster parent is being denied the right to serve as the student's parent; and

(2) inform the foster parent of his or her right to file a complaint with the Texas Education Agency in accordance with 34 CFR, §§300.151-300.153, relating to special education complaint procedures.

(c) Except as provided by Texas Family Code, §263.0025, which authorizes a court to appoint a surrogate parent, if a district cannot locate or identify a parent, if the foster parent is unwilling or unable to serve as a parent, or if the student does not reside in a foster home setting, the school district must assign a surrogate parent to make special education decisions on behalf of the student. An individual assigned by a school district to act as a surrogate parent for a student with a disability, in accordance with 34 CFR, §300.519, and TEC, §29.0151, relating to surrogate parents, must comply with the requirements specified in TEC, §29.001(10).

(1) Pursuant to TEC, §29.001(10)(A), a foster parent serving as a parent or an individual assigned by a school district to act as a surrogate parent must complete a training program in which the individual is provided with an explanation of the provisions of federal and state laws, rules, and regulations relating to:

(A) the identification of a student with a disability;

(B) the collection of evaluation and re-evaluation data relating to a student with a disability;

(C) the ARD committee process;

(D) the development of an individualized education program (IEP), including the consideration of transition services for a student who is at least 14 years of age;

(E) the determination of least restrictive environment;

(F) the implementation of an IEP;

(G) the procedural rights and safeguards available under 34 CFR, §§300.148, 300.151-300.153, 300.229, 300.300, 300.500-300.520, 300.530-300.537, and 300.610-300.627, relating to the issues described in 34 CFR, §300.504(c); and

(H) where to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of federal and state laws, rules, and regulations relating to students with disabilities.

(2) The training program described in subsection (c)(1) of this section must be provided in the native language or other mode of communication used by the individual being trained.

(3) To serve as a student's surrogate parent, a school district must ensure that the surrogate parent has received training described in subsection (c)(1) of this section. The individual assigned by a school district to act as a surrogate parent must complete the training program before the student's next scheduled ARD committee meeting but not later than the 90th day after the date of initial assignment as a surrogate parent.

(4) The training program can be conducted or provided by the TDFPS, a school district, an education service center, or any entity that receives federal funds to provide IDEA training to parents. Once an individual has completed the training, the individual may not be required by any school district to complete additional training in order to serve as the surrogate parent or the parent for the student or other students with disabilities who are in foster care. School districts may provide optional ongoing or supplemental training.

(d) Each school district or shared services arrangement must develop and implement procedures for conducting an analysis of whether a potential surrogate parent has an interest that conflicts with the interests of his or her child. Issues concerning quality of care of the child do not constitute a conflict of interest. Concerns regarding quality of care of the child should be communicated, and may be statutorily required to be reported, to TDFPS.

(e) If a court appoints a surrogate parent for a child with a disability under Texas Family Code, §263.0025, and the school district determines that the surrogate parent is failing to perform or is not properly performing the duties listed under TEC, §29.0151(d), the district must consult with TDFPS and appoint another person to serve as the surrogate parent for the child.

§89.1049.Parental Rights Regarding Adult Students.

(a) In accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.320(c) and §300.520, and Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.017, beginning at least one year before a student reaches 18 years of age, the student's individualized education program (IEP) must include a statement that the student has been informed that, unless the student's parent or other individual has been granted guardianship of the student under the Probate Code, Chapter XIII, Guardianship, all rights granted to the parent under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, other than the right to receive any notice required under IDEA, Part B, will transfer to the student upon reaching age 18. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the IEP must also state that the student has been provided information and resources regarding guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, including a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357, and other supports and services that may enable the student to live independently. After the student reaches the age of 18, except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, the school district shall provide any notice required under IDEA, Part B, to both the adult student and the parent.

(b) In accordance with 34 CFR, §300.520(a)(2), and TEC, §29.017(a), all rights accorded to a parent under IDEA, Part B, including the right to receive any notice required by IDEA, Part B, will transfer to an 18-year-old student who is incarcerated in an adult or juvenile [,] state or local correctional institution, unless the student's parent or other individual has been granted guardianship of the student under Texas Estates Code, Title 3 [the Probate Code, Chapter XIII, Guardianship].

(c) In accordance with 34 CFR, §300.520(a)(3), a school district must notify in writing the adult student and parent of the transfer of parental rights, as described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, at the time the student reaches the age of 18. This notification is separate and distinct from the requirement that the student's IEP include a statement relating to the transfer of parental rights beginning at least one year before the student reaches the age of 18. This notification is not required to contain the elements of notice referenced in 34 CFR, §300.503, but must include a statement that parental rights have transferred to the adult student . Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, the notice must also include information and resources regarding guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, including a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357, and other supports and services that may enable the student to live independently, and must provide contact information for the parties to use in obtaining additional information.

(d) A notice under IDEA, Part B, which is required to be given to an adult student and parent does not create a right for the parent to consent to or participate in the proposal or refusal to which the notice relates. For example, a notice of an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee meeting does not constitute invitation to, or create a right for, the parent to attend the meeting. However, in accordance with 34 CFR, §300.321(a)(6), the adult student or the school district may invite individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including the parent.

(e) Nothing in this section prohibits a supported decision-making agreement or a valid power of attorney from being executed by an individual who holds rights under IDEA, Part B.

§89.1055.Content of the Individualized Education Program.

(a)-(h) (No change.)

(i) Subsection (h) of this section expires with the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

(j) Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, not later than when a student reaches 14 years of age, the ARD committee must consider and, if appropriate, address the following issues in the IEP:

(1) appropriate student involvement in the student's transition to life outside the public school system;

(2) if the student is younger than 18 years of age, appropriate involvement in the student's transition by the student's parents and other persons invited to participate by:

(A) the student's parents; or

(B) the school district in which the student is enrolled;

(3) if the student is at least 18 years of age, involvement in the student's transition and future by the student's parents and other persons, if the parent or other person:

(A) is invited to participate by the student or the school district in which the student is enrolled; or

(B) has the student's consent to participate pursuant to a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357;

(4) appropriate postsecondary education options, including preparation for postsecondary-level coursework;

(5) an appropriate functional vocational evaluation;

(6) appropriate employment goals and objectives;

(7) if the student is at least 18 years of age, the availability of age-appropriate instructional environments, including community settings or environments that prepare the student for postsecondary education or training, competitive integrated employment, or independent living, in coordination with the student's transition goals and objectives;

(8) appropriate independent living goals and objectives;

(9) appropriate circumstances for facilitating a referral of a student or the student's parents to a governmental agency for services or public benefits, including a referral to a governmental agency to place the student on a waiting list for public benefits available to the student such as a waiver program established under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 1396n(c)), §1915(c); and

(10) the use and availability of appropriate:

(A) supplementary aids, services, curricula, and other opportunities to assist the student in developing decision-making skills; and

(B) supports and services to foster the student's independence and self-determination, including a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357.

(k) Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, a student's ARD committee shall annually review the issues described in subsection (j) of this section and, if necessary, update the portions of the student's IEP that address those issues.

(l) In accordance with 34 CFR, §300.320(b), beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16 years of age, or younger if determined appropriate by the ARD committee, and updated annually thereafter, the IEP must include the following:

(1) appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and

(2) the transition services, including courses of study, needed to assist the student in reaching the postsecondary goals developed under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

[(i) In accordance with 34 CFR, §300.320(b), beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16 years of age, or younger if determined appropriate by the ARD committee, and updated annually thereafter, the IEP must include the following:]

[(1) appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and]

[(2) the transition services, including courses of study, needed to assist the student in reaching the postsecondary goals developed under paragraph (1) of this subsection.]

(m) [(j)] The written statement of the IEP must document the decisions of the ARD committee with respect to issues discussed at each ARD committee meeting. The written statement must also include:

(1) the date of the meeting;

(2) the name, position, and signature of each member participating in the meeting; and

(3) an indication of whether the child's parents, the adult student, if applicable, and the administrator agreed or disagreed with the decisions of the ARD committee.

§89.1070.Graduation Requirements.

(a)-(c) (No change.)

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c)(3) of this section, a student receiving special education services classified in Grade 11 or 12 [during the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, or 2016-2017 school year] who has taken each of the state assessments required by Chapter 101, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Implementation of the Academic Content Areas Testing Program) or Subchapter DD of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation) but failed to achieve satisfactory performance on no more than two of the assessments is eligible to receive an endorsement if the student has met the requirements in subsection (c)(1) and (2) of this section.

(e) (No change.)

(f) A student receiving special education services who entered Grade 9 before the 2014-2015 school year may graduate and be awarded a high school diploma under the Foundation High School Program as provided in §74.1021 of this title (relating to Transition to the Foundation High School Program), if the student's ARD committee determines that the student should take courses under that program and the student satisfies the requirements of that program. Subsections (c) and (d) of this section apply to a student transitioning to the Foundation High School Program under this subsection. As the TEC, §28.0258 and §39.025(a-2), modify the state assessment requirements applicable to students in general education, a student receiving special education services who is classified in Grade 11 or 12 [during the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, or 2016-2017 school year] who has taken each of the state assessments required by Chapter 101, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Implementation of the Academic Content Areas Testing Program) or Subchapter DD of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation) but failed to achieve satisfactory performance on no more than two of the assessments may graduate if the student has satisfied all other applicable graduation requirements.

(g) A student receiving special education services who entered Grade 9 before the 2014-2015 school year may graduate and be awarded a regular high school diploma if the student meets one of the following conditions.

(1) (No change.)

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, as the TEC, §28.0258 and §39.025(a-2), modify the state assessment requirements applicable to students in general education, a student receiving special education services who is classified in Grade 11 or 12 [during the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, or 2016-2017 school year] may graduate under the recommended or distinguished achievement high school program, as applicable, if the student has taken each of the state assessments required by Chapter 101, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Implementation of the Academic Content Areas Testing Program) or Subchapter DD of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation) but failed to achieve satisfactory performance on no more than two of the assessments and has met all other applicable graduation requirements in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)-(4) (No change.)

(h)-(l) (No change.)

§89.1075.General Program Requirements and Local District Procedures.

(a) Each school district must maintain an eligibility folder for each student receiving special education services, in addition to the student's cumulative record. The eligibility folder must include, but need not be limited to: copies of referral data; documentation of notices and consents; evaluation reports and supporting data; admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee reports; and the student's individualized education programs (IEPs).

(b) For school districts providing special education services to students with visual impairments, there must be written procedures as required in the Texas Education Code (TEC), §30.002(c)(10).

(c) Each school district must ensure that each teacher who provides instruction to a student with disabilities:

(1) has access to relevant sections of the student's current IEP;

(2) is informed of the teacher's specific responsibilities related to implementation of the IEP, such as goals and objectives, and of needed accommodations, modifications, and supports for the student; and

(3) has an opportunity to request assistance regarding implementation of the student's IEP.

(d) Each school district must develop a process to be used by a teacher who instructs a student with a disability in a regular classroom setting :

(1) to request a review of the student's IEP;

(2) to provide input in the development of the student's IEP;

(3) [(2)] that provides for a timely district response to the teacher's request; and

(4) [(3)] that provides for notification to the student's parent or legal guardian of that response.

(e) Students with disabilities must have available an instructional day commensurate with that of students without disabilities. The ARD committee must determine the appropriate instructional setting and length of day for each student, and these must be specified in the student's IEP.

(f) School districts that jointly operate their special education programs as a shared services arrangement, in accordance with TEC, §29.007, must do so in accordance with procedures developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

(g) School districts that contract for services from non-public day schools must do so in accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations, §300.147, and procedures developed by the TEA.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704053

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


19 TAC §89.1047

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The repeal is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.001, which requires the Texas Education Agency to develop and modify, as necessary, a statewide plan that includes rules for the administration and funding of the delivery of services to children with disabilities in the state of Texas so that a free appropriate public education is available to all of those children between the ages of 3 and 21; TEC, §29.011, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 748 and House Bill (HB) 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which amends the transition requirements for students that must be in place for a student not later than when the student reaches 14 years of age; TEC, §29.015, as amended by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which allows foster parents to serve as the parent of a student with a disability under certain circumstances and specifies the timelines for completing the required training program; TEC, §29.0151, as added by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which establishes the requirements for surrogate parents of students with disabilities who are in the foster care system and specifies the timelines for completing the required training program; TEC, §29.017, as amended by SB 748 and HB 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which specifies the content of the notice that must be provided to students with disabilities and their parents not later than one year before a student's 18th birthday; requires students' individualized education programs (IEPs) to include a statement that the notice has been provided; and specifies the content of the notice that must be provided to students with disabilities and their parents when a student with a disability turns 18; and TEC, §28.0258 and §39.025, as amended by SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which allow a student who has failed to achieve the end-of-course assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses to receive a Texas high school diploma under the TEC, §28.0258, with an expiration date of September 1, 2019.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The repeal implements the Texas Education Code, §§29.001; 29.011 and 29.017, as amended by Senate Bill (SB) 748 and House Bill (HB) 1886, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 28.0258 and 39.025, as amended by SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 29.015, as amended by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and 29.0151, as added by HB 1556, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

§89.1047.Procedures for Surrogate and Foster Parents.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704052

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


DIVISION 7. DISPUTE RESOLUTION

19 TAC §§89.1151, 89.1170, 89.1175

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes amendments to §§89.1151, 89.1170, and 89.1175, concerning special education dispute resolution. The proposed amendments would update provisions related to the assignment of hearing officers for due process hearings and implement legislation from the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, by adding language regarding the tolling of the statute of limitations in special education due process hearings for certain individuals and expanding the requirements for representing a party in a due process hearing.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations provide that parents and public agencies may request due process hearings when disputes arise regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a child with a disability or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. IDEA requires TEA, as the state educational agency, to conduct due process hearings and have procedural safeguards in effect to ensure that each public agency in the state meets the IDEA requirements.

The rules in Chapter 89, Subchapter AA, Division 7, implement the requirements of IDEA and state statute by addressing provisions for dispute resolution. Legislation from the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, made changes to the requirements for due process hearings that necessitate updates to rules in Chapter 89, Subchapter AA, Division 7. Specifically, the following changes would be made.

Section 89.1151, Special Education Due Process Hearings, would be amended in response to House Bill 3632, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. The proposed amendment would specify that the statute of limitations for requesting a special education due process hearing may be tolled for certain activity-duty military personnel.

Section 89.1175, Representation in Special Education Due Process Hearings, would be amended in response to Senate Bill 2141, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. The proposed amendment would add new requirements for a non-attorney representative to represent a party in a special education due process hearing. Specifically, a non-attorney representative that would receive monetary compensation for his or her representation would be required to agree to abide by a voluntary code of ethics and enter into a representation agreement with the party being represented. The agreement would be required to be in writing, include a process for resolving any disputes that arise between the representative and the party being represented, and be kept confidential. Figure: 19 TAC §89.1175(c) would be updated to include the new requirements for non-attorney representatives.

In addition, an amendment would be made to §89.1170, Impartial Hearing Officer, under the authority of 34 CFR, §300.511, which specifies that state policy determines the way hearings are assigned to hearing officers. Subsection (a) would be amended to allow, but not require, the assignment of a hearing involving the same student to the same hearing officer who presided over the previous hearing. This change would ensure timely assignment of cases. Subsection (g) would be amended to require a hearing officer to review a request for recusal within three business days of receipt of the request. This change would reduce the risk of a delay in due process proceedings.

The proposed amendments have no new procedural and reporting implications. The proposed amendments have no new locally maintained paperwork requirements.

FISCAL NOTE. Von Byer, general counsel, 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.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Mr. Byer 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 the special education dispute resolution system for students, parents, and school districts. 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 October 20, 2017, and ends November 20, 2017. Public hearings to solicit testimony and input on the proposed amendments will be held at 8:30 a.m. on October 30 and October 31, 2017, in Room 1-104, William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Anyone wishing to testify at one of the hearings must sign in between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the day of the respective hearing. Each hearing will conclude either once all who have signed in have been given the opportunity to comment or at 11:00 a.m., whichever comes first.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.001, which requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop and modify as necessary a statewide plan that includes rules for the administration and funding of the delivery of services to children with disabilities in the state of Texas so that a free appropriate public education is available to all of those children between the ages of 3 and 21; TEC, §29.0162, as amended by Senate Bill 2141, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires the commissioner to adopt rules related to the qualification of and requirements for non-attorney representatives at due process hearings; TEC, §29.0163, as added by House Bill 3632, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires the commissioner to adopt rules regarding the tolling of the statute of limitations for filing a due process hearing by certain active-duty servicemembers; 34 CFR, §300.100, which requires a state to submit a plan to the Secretary of Education that provides assurances that the state has policies and procedures in effect to ensure that it meets the conditions in 34 CFR, §§300.101-300.176; 34 CFR, §300.121, which requires that a state have procedural safeguards in effect to ensure that each public agency in the state meets the dispute resolution requirements in 34 CFR, §§300.500-300.536, and also requires that children with disabilities and their parents be afforded those procedural safeguards; 34 CFR, §300.511, which requires the state education agency to conduct special education due process hearings as determined under state statute, regulation, or policy; and 34 CFR, §300.512, which allows for state law determination of whether parties may be represented at due process hearings by non-attorney representatives.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendments implement the Texas Education Code, §29.001; §29.0162, as amended by Senate Bill 2141, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and §29.0163, as added by House Bill 3632, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and 34 Code of Federal Regulations, §§300.100, 300.121, 300.511, and 300.512.

§89.1151.Special Education Due Process Hearings.

(a) A parent or public education agency may initiate a due process hearing as provided in 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.507 and §300.508.

(b) The Texas Education Agency will implement a one-tier system of hearings. The proceedings in hearings will be governed by the provisions of 34 CFR, §§300.507-300.515 and 300.532, if applicable, and this division.

(c) A parent or public education agency must request a hearing within one year of the date the parent or public education agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that serves as the basis for the request.

(d) The timeline described in subsection (c) of this section does not apply to a parent if the parent was prevented from filing a request for a due process hearing due to:

(1) specific misrepresentations by the public education agency that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the request for a hearing; or

(2) the public education agency's withholding of information from the parent that was required by 34 CFR, §300.1, et seq. to be provided to the parent.

(e) TEA will include in the Notice of Procedural Safeguards a statement that the statute of limitations for the parent of a student to request an impartial due process hearing under 20 USC, §1415(b), may be tolled if:

(1) the parent is an active-duty member of the armed forces, the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service; and

(2) 50 USC, §3936, applies to the parent.

§89.1170.Impartial Hearing Officer.

(a) The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will maintain a pool of impartial hearing officers to conduct due process hearings. The TEA will assign cases to hearing officers who are private practice attorneys based on an alphabetical rotation. The TEA will assign cases to hearing officers who are employed by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) in accordance with the procedures specified in the interagency contract between the TEA and SOAH. If, however, a request for a hearing relates to the same student who was involved in another hearing that was filed within the last 12 months, the TEA may [will] assign the recently filed hearing request to the same hearing officer who presided over the previous hearing. In addition, the same hearing officer may be assigned to hearings involving siblings that are filed within 12 months of each other.

(b) If a hearing officer is also a mediator under §89.1193 of this title (relating to Special Education Mediation), that individual will not be assigned as hearing officer if he or she is the mediator in a pending mediation involving the same student who is the subject of the hearing or was the mediator in a previous mediation involving the student who is the subject of the hearing.

(c) A hearing officer must possess the knowledge and abilities described in 34 Code of Federal Regulations, §300.511(c), and must not be:

(1) an employee of the TEA or the public agency that is involved in the education or care of the child who is the subject of the hearing; or

(2) a person having a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the person's objectivity in the hearing.

(d) A hearing officer is not an employee of the TEA solely because the individual is paid by the TEA to serve as a hearing officer.

(e) A hearing officer has the authority to administer oaths; call and examine witnesses; rule on motions, including discovery and dispositive motions; determine admissibility of evidence and amendments to pleadings; maintain decorum; schedule and recess the proceedings from day to day; and make any other orders as justice requires, including the application of sanctions as necessary to maintain an orderly hearing process.

(f) If a hearing officer is removed, dies, becomes disabled, or withdraws from a hearing before the completion of duties, the TEA will designate a substitute hearing officer to complete the performance of duties without the necessity of repeating any previous proceedings.

(g) A party to a hearing who has grounds to believe that the assigned hearing officer cannot afford the party a fair and impartial hearing due to bias, prejudice, or a conflict of interest may file a written request with the assigned hearing officer asking that the hearing officer recuse himself or herself from presiding over the hearing. Any such written request must state the grounds for the request and the facts upon which the request is based. Upon receipt of a request, the assigned hearing officer must review the request and determine the sufficiency of the grounds stated in the request. The hearing officer then must prepare a written order concerning the request and serve the order on the parties to the hearing within three business days of receiving the request. If the hearing officer finds that the grounds for recusal are insufficient, the TEA will assign a second hearing officer to review the request. The second hearing officer must rule on the request and serve a written order on the parties to the hearing within three business days of receiving the assignment. If the second hearing officer also determines that the grounds for recusal are insufficient, the assigned hearing officer will continue to preside over the hearing. If either the assigned hearing officer or the second hearing officer finds that the grounds for recusal are sufficient, the TEA will assign another hearing officer to preside over the remainder of the proceedings in accordance with the procedures in subsection (a) of this section.

§89.1175.Representation in Special Education Due Process Hearings.

(a) A party to a due process hearing may represent himself or herself or be represented by:

(1) an attorney who is licensed in the State of Texas; or

(2) an individual who is not an attorney licensed in the State of Texas but who has special knowledge or training with respect to problems of children with disabilities and who satisfies the qualifications of this section.

(b) A party who wishes to be represented by an individual who is not an attorney licensed in the State of Texas must file a written authorization with the hearing officer promptly after filing the request for a due process hearing or promptly after retaining the services of the non-attorney representative. The party must forward a copy of the written authorization to the opposing party at the same time that the written authorization is filed with the hearing officer.

(c) The written authorization must be on the form provided in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC §89.1175(c) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §89.1175(c)]

(d) The written authorization must include the non-attorney representative's name and contact information and a description of the non-attorney representative's:

(1) special knowledge or training with respect to problems of children with disabilities;

(2) knowledge of the rules and procedures that apply to due process hearings, including those in 34 Code of Federal Regulations, §§300.507-300.515 and 300.532, if applicable, and this division;

(3) knowledge of federal and state special education laws, regulations, and rules; and

(4) educational background.

(e) The written authorization must state the party's acknowledgment of the following:

(1) the non-attorney representative has been given full authority to act on the party's behalf with respect to the hearing;

(2) the actions or omissions by the non-attorney representative are binding on the party, as if the party had taken or omitted those actions directly;

(3) documents are deemed to be served on the party if served on the non-attorney representative;

(4) communications between the party and a non-attorney representative are not generally protected by the attorney-client privilege and may be subject to disclosure during the hearing proceeding;

(5) neither federal nor state special education laws provide for the recovery of fees for the services of a non-attorney representative; and

(6) it is the party's responsibility to notify the hearing officer and the opposing party of any change in the status of the authorization and that the provisions of the authorization will remain in effect until the party notifies the hearing officer and the opposing party of the party's revocation of the authorization.

(f) If the non-attorney representative receives monetary compensation in exchange for representing the party in the due process hearing, the written authorization must affirm the following:

(1) the non-attorney representative has agreed to abide by a voluntary code of ethics and professional conduct during the period of representation; and

(2) the non-attorney representative and the party have entered into a confidential, written representation agreement that includes a process for resolving any disputes that may arise between the non-attorney representative and the party.

(g) [(f)] The written authorization must be signed and dated by the party.

(h) [(g)] An individual is prohibited from being a party's representative under subsection (a)(2) of this section if the individual has prior employment experience with the school district and the school district raises an objection to the individual serving as a representative based on the individual's prior employment experience. No other objections to a party's representation by a non-attorney are permitted under this section.

(i) [(h)] Upon receipt of a written authorization filed under this section, the hearing officer must promptly determine whether the non-attorney representative is qualified and meets the requirements to represent the party in the hearing and must notify the parties in writing of the determination. A hearing officer's determination is final and not subject to review or appeal.

(j) [(i)] A non-attorney representative may not file pleadings or other documents on behalf of a party, present statements and arguments on behalf of a party, examine and cross-examine witnesses, offer and introduce evidence, object to the introduction of evidence and testimony, or engage in other activities in a representative capacity unless the hearing officer has reviewed a written authorization filed under this section and determined that the non-attorney representative is qualified to represent the party in the hearing.

(k) [(j)] In accordance with the Texas Education Code, §38.022, a school district may require an attorney or a non-attorney representative who enters a school campus to display his or her driver's license or another form of government-issued identification. A school district may also verify whether the representative is a registered sex offender and may apply a policy adopted by its board of trustees regarding the action to be taken when a visitor to a school campus is identified as a sex offender.

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704054

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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


CHAPTER 103. HEALTH AND SAFETY

SUBCHAPTER CC. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SAFE SCHOOLS

19 TAC §103.1205

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes new §103.1205, concerning school safety and discipline. The proposed new rule would establish criteria for participation in a pilot program for alternative disciplinary placement in accordance with House Bill (HB) 156, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

The Texas Education Code (TEC), §37.031, as added by HB 156, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, establishes a pilot program for placement of high school students in Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) programs as an alternative to placement in disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs) or juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEPs). The statute requires the TEA to designate not more than two high schools that meet certain criteria, as specified in the TEC, §37.031(b), to participate in the pilot program. The statute also requires the commissioner to adopt by rule additional criteria that promote positive student educational outcomes for the agency to use in making designations for participation in the pilot program.

Proposed new §103.1205 would implement the TEC, §37.031, by adopting in rule additional criteria that the TEA will use in making designations for the JROTC pilot program. The rule would also specify that schools participating in the pilot program must follow the minimum standards and best practices for truancy prevention measures as outlined in the TEC, §25.0915, and comply with the data reporting required under the TEC, §37.020(d).

The proposed new rule would require school districts that wish to participate in the pilot program to submit an application to the TEA. In addition, the TEC, §37.020(d), requires school districts participating in the pilot program to report information for each disciplinary placement in a JROTC program.

The proposed new rule would not specifically impose any locally maintained paperwork requirements. However, the submission of an application and the reporting required under the TEC, §37.020(d), may necessitate that participating school districts maintain certain documentation.

FISCAL NOTE. A.J. Crabill, deputy commissioner for governance, has determined that for the first five-year period the new rule is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the new rule. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed new rule is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed new rule does not impose a cost on regulated persons and, therefore, is not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Mr. Crabill has determined that for each year of the first five years the new rule is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the new rule will be ensuring that students in designated schools are given an opportunity to participate in a JROTC program as an alternative disciplinary placement. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed new rule.

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 October 20, 2017, and ends November 20, 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 October 20, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The new rule is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §37.031(c), as added by House Bill (HB) 156, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires the commissioner to adopt additional criteria that promote positive student educational outcomes for use in making designations of not more than two high schools for the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) pilot program; TEC, §37.020(d), as amended by HB 156, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires districts who place students in a JROTC program to report information on each placement; and TEC, §25.0915, which establishes truancy prevention measures for districts to implement to address student conduct related to truancy.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The new rule implements the Texas Education Code, §37.031(c), as added by House Bill (HB) 156, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; §37.020(d), as amended by HB 156, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and §25.0915.

§103.1205.Pilot Program for Placement of Students in Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) Program.

(a) Purpose. Texas Education Code (TEC), §37.031, establishes a pilot program in which Texas Education Agency (TEA) designates two high schools to offer Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program placement as an alternative to placement in disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs) or juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEPs).

(b) Eligible applicants. TEA will solicit applications and make designations of high schools for the establishment of the pilot program based on applicants that meet the statutory eligibility criteria described in the TEC, §37.031(b), and demonstrate the promotion of positive student educational outcomes for their pilot program as described by subsection (c) of this section.

(c) Requirements for application. Applicants must meet the requirements of the TEC, §37.031(b), and also demonstrate in the application the ability to satisfy the following criteria that promote positive student educational outcomes pursuant to the TEC, §37.031(c):

(1) a plan to support the JROTC educator to successfully engage the student in meeting the goals of the JROTC program, including participation in all JROTC-sponsored activities and promotion of leadership, social responsibility, and character development;

(2) identification of the root causes of the student's disciplinary actions and steps necessary to address the causes;

(3) a plan to engage community resources, including the establishment of partnerships with mental health professionals for screening, consultation, and services when requested by the parent of a student assigned to the JROTC program as an alternative placement in a DAEP or JJAEP or when needed to support the student's positive educational outcomes;

(4) a plan for the coordination of academic, social, and emotional supports for each student assigned to the JROTC program as an alternative placement in a DAEP or JJAEP. The plan should reflect best practices in educational research that promote positive education, including, but not limited to:

(A) individual or group counseling sessions;

(B) parent and family outreach;

(C) a review with both the student and student's parent of:

(i) the student's personal graduation plan, endorsement, and college and career goals to ensure that the student is on track toward high school completion; and

(ii) opportunities to earn dual credit and technical certification and participate in additional curricular or extracurricular programs to support the student's goals;

(D) a review of academic, social, and emotional interventions to promote successful course completion in all courses in which the student is enrolled in the student's course of study, including tutoring programs and services;

(E) a plan to provide credit recovery and academic supports for students who need acceleration to be on track for high school graduation, including monitoring a student's grades, attendance, and academic performance in all courses using an early warning data system and engaging the student in strategies for self-monitoring;

(F) a plan for ensuring continuity in programming for the student such as participation in a full semester of the JROTC program and a description of eligibility for continued participation in the program during the following school year; and

(G) a plan describing the process and documentation to be followed for entering the JROTC program, including the applicable student code of conduct, types of offenses, and the need for a conference or hearing, as well as definitions of a successful and an unsuccessful exit process for transition out of the JROTC program.

(d) Truancy prevention measures. Designated schools must follow the minimum standards and best practices for truancy prevention measures as outlined in the TEC, §25.0915, for students whose disciplinary placements are the result of truancy.

(e) Data reporting. Schools designated for this pilot program must comply with the data reporting required under the TEC, §37.020(d).

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 October 9, 2017.

TRD-201704055

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 19, 2017

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