TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 1. TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

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

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §4.10

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §4.10, concerning Limitations on the Number of Courses That May Be Dropped under Certain Circumstances by Undergraduate Students. Specifically, the proposed amendments reflect changes to Texas Education Code (TEC), §51.907, that were enacted by Senate Bill 1782, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. Senate Bill 1782 modified the number of courses that may be dropped under specific conditions regarding breaks in enrollment and academic progress.

Dr. Julie Eklund, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Funding, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board), 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 this change to the rules.

Dr. Eklund has determined the public benefit anticipated in administering this section to be alignment of the Texas Education and Administrative Codes. 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 David Young, Senior Director, Funding, Strategic Planning and Funding, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board), 1200 East Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas, 78752, david.young@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, §51.907.

The amendments affect the following Texas Education Code, §51.907.

§4.10.Limitations on the Number of Courses That May Be Dropped under Certain Circumstances By Undergraduate Students.

(a) Beginning with the fall 2007 academic term, and applying to students who enroll in higher education for the first time during the fall 2007 academic term or any term subsequent to the fall 2007 term, an institution of higher education may not permit an undergraduate student a total of more than six dropped courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education, unless:

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

(3) the enrollment is for a student who qualifies for a seventh course enrollment, who:

(A) has reenrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering at least the 24-month period preceding the first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's reenrollment; and

(B) successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of course work at an institution of higher education that are not exempt from the limitation on formula funding set out in §13.104(1) - (6) of this title (relating to Exemptions for Excess Hours) before that break in enrollment.

(b) - (e) (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 13, 2017.

TRD-201704116

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 26, 2017

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


CHAPTER 9. PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT IN PUBLIC TWO-YEAR COLLEGES

SUBCHAPTER N. BACCALAUREATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

19 TAC §§9.670 - 9.678

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes new §§9.670 - 9.678, concerning certain Baccalaureate Degree Programs. The intent of these new sections is to address Senate Bill 2118, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session which allows public junior colleges to offer certain baccalaureate degree programs.

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 proposing the rules listed above.

Dr. Peebles has also determined that for the first five years the new rules are in effect, the public benefits anticipated as a result of administering the sections will be the potential increase in the number of students able to complete a bachelor's degree. It will enable community colleges to meet local workforce demand in selected industries which traditional higher education institutions cannot.

Comments on the proposed new rules 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 subchapter is in response to provisions enacted by the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session (SB 2118), which authorizes the Coordinating Board oversight for public junior colleges regarding offering certain baccalaureate degree programs. Texas Education Code (TEC), Subchapter L, §§130.301 - 130.312.

The new Subchapter affects the implementation of Texas Education Code (TEC), Subchapter L, §§130.301 - 130.312 and Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 9, Subchapter N, Baccalaureate Degree Programs, §§9.670 - 9.678.

§9.670.Purpose.

The purpose of this subchapter is to establish the Coordinating Board's oversight for public junior colleges regarding offering certain baccalaureate degree programs.

§9.671.Authority.

Authority for this subchapter is provided by Texas Education Code, §130.302 and §130.312, which provides the board with the authority to adopt rules to administer and approve certain baccalaureate degree programs at public junior colleges.

§9.672.Definitions.

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

(1) Baccalaureate degree programs--any grouping of subject matter courses consisting of at least 120 semester credit hours which, when satisfactorily completed by a student, will be entitled to a degree from a public junior college, public senior college or university or a medical or dental unit.

(2) Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science (BAAS)--builds on an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree, as defined in §9.1 of this chapter, relating to definitions, combined with enough additional core curriculum courses and upper level college courses to meet the minimum semester credit hour requirements for a bachelor's degree. The degree program is designed to grow professional management skills of the learner and meet the demand for leadership of highly technical professionals in the workplace. May also be called a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) or Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS).

(3) Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-270, and any successor(s) thereto). The Act requires core indicators of performance for career and technical education students to be developed by each eligible agency in its State plan.

(4) Coordinating Board--the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

(5) External financial governing bodies--The Government Accounting Standards Board, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, or similar bodies that direct the structure and process of annual financial reporting. This does not include Boards of Regents or other bodies not having the ability to compel financial reporting changes at all institutions of higher education.

(6) General academic teaching institution--means any college or university as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003(3).

(7) Governing board--the body charged with policy direction of any public junior college, including but not limited to boards of directors, boards of regents, boards of trustees, and independent school district boards insofar as they are charged with policy direction of a public junior college.

(8) Institutions of higher education--any college or university as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003(8).

(9) Medical and dental unit--any college or university as defined in Texas Education Code §61.003(5).

(10) Pilot project--refers to a public junior college authorized by the Coordinating Board to offer a baccalaureate degree before January 1, 2017.

(11) Positive Assessment of the overall financial health of a district--A score of 2.0 or higher on the composite financial index as produced by the THECB in the annual Community College Financial Condition Report. (As required by the General Appropriations Act, 85th Texas Legislature, Article III, Public Community/Junior Colleges, Rider 12 and any successor(s) thereto).

(12) Public Junior College--any junior college as defined in Texas Education Code, §61.003(2).

§9.673.General Provisions.

(a) All baccalaureate degree programs offered at public junior colleges must comply with the provisions of this subchapter.

(b) A public junior college offering a baccalaureate degree program under this subchapter must meet all applicable accreditation requirements of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges of a Level II institution.

(c) A public junior college district offering a baccalaureate degree program may not offer more than three baccalaureate degree programs at any time unless the institution previously participated in a pilot project to offer baccalaureate degrees as defined in Texas Education Code §130.0012(a) not-withstanding if accredited as a single institution or as separate institutions within a district.

(d) A public junior college may be approved to offer a baccalaureate degree program under this subchapter only if its junior college district:

(1) has a taxable property valuation of not less than $6 billion based on the preceding year's calculations as determined by the county's appraisal district. This valuation shall include the valuation of the taxing district as well as any branch campus maintenance tax valuations; and

(2) has received a positive assessment of the overall financial health, as defined in §9.672 of this chapter, on the most recent Community College Financial Condition Report. If changes to financial reporting, mandated by external financial governing bodies as defined in §9.672 of this chapter directing financial reporting processes, or other extraordinary factors have a short-term impact to the assessment of the financial health of the institution, the Coordinating Board may, at the Commissioner's discretion:

(A) Use the most recent report not impacted by the mandated changes; or

(B) Calculate the financial health correcting for the mandated changes or extraordinary factors.

(e) Offering a baccalaureate degree program under this subchapter does not otherwise alter the role and mission of a public junior college.

(f) Degree programs offered under this subchapter are subject to the continuing approval of the coordinating board.

§9.674.Program Requirements.

(a) Must meet the same criteria and standards the coordinating board uses to approve baccalaureate degree programs at general academic teaching institutions and medical and dental units.

(b) Before a baccalaureate degree program can be offered at a public junior college these additional requirements must be met:

(1) workforce need for the degree program must be documented in the region served by the junior college; and

(2) how the degree program would complement the other programs and course offerings of the junior college; and

(3) Carl D. Perkins Core performance indicators of success.

(c) Before a public junior college may be authorized to offer a baccalaureate degree program under this subchapter, the public junior college must submit a report to the coordinating board that includes:

(1) a long-term financial plan for receiving accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges;

(2) a long-term plan for faculty recruitment that:

(A) indicates recruitment strategies and the ability to pay the increased salaries of doctoral faculty; and

(B) ensures the program would not draw faculty employed by a neighboring institution offering a similar program; and

(3) detailed information on the manner of program and course delivery.

§9.675.Required Articulation Agreements.

(a) Before a public junior college may offer a baccalaureate degree program, the institution must provide at least three articulation agreements with general academic teaching institutions or medical and dental units that:

(1) provide detailed information regarding existing course transfer and dual enrollment pathways, detailing the maximum number of students that can be served by the agreements, and

(2) explain why existing facilities and resources cannot be expanded to meet workforce need, and

(3) documentation that the established articulation agreements are at capacity, or

(4) the reasons why no articulation agreements have been established.

(b) The Coordinating Board may not authorize a public junior college to offer a baccalaureate degree in a field if articulation agreements with general academic teaching institutions or medical and dental units are sufficient to meet the needs of that field.

(c) Each public junior college that offers a baccalaureate degree program under this subchapter must enter into a teach out agreement for the first five years of the program with one or more general academic teaching institutions or medical and dental units to ensure that students enrolled in the degree program have an opportunity to complete the degree if the public junior college ceases to offer the degree program.

(d) The coordinating board may require a general academic teaching institution or medical and dental unit that offers a comparable baccalaureate degree program to enter into an articulation agreement with the public junior college as provided by this subsection.

(e) Each public junior college that offers a program under this subchapter must inform all students who enroll in the program covered by the articulation agreement about the opportunity to complete the degree at a general academic teaching institution or medical and dental unit.

§9.676.Special Requirements for Nursing Degree Programs.

Before a public junior college may offer a baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the institution must:

(1) provide evidence to the coordinating board and the Texas Board of Nursing that the public junior college has secured adequate long-term clinical space and documentation from each clinical site provider indicating that the clinical site has not refused a similar request from a general academic teaching institution or medical and dental unit; and

(2) establish that the corresponding associate degree nursing program offered by the public junior college has been successful as indicated by job placement rates and licensing exam scores for the previous three years; and

(3) be a bachelor of science degree program that meets the standards and criteria the Texas Board of Nursing uses to approve pre-licensure degree programs at general academic teaching institutions and medical and dental units regardless of whether the program is a pre-licensure or post-licensure program; and

(4) be accredited or seeking accreditation by a national nursing accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education; and

(5) A public junior college offering a baccalaureate degree program in the field of nursing under this subchapter must demonstrate to the coordinating board that it will maintain or exceed the 2016-2017 academic year enrollment level of the institution's associate degree nursing program each academic year until the 2021-2022 academic year.

§9.677.Funding.

(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, a degree program created under this subchapter may be funded solely by a public junior college's proportionate share of state appropriations under §130.003, local funds, and private sources.

(b) This subchapter does not require the legislature to appropriate state funds to support a degree program created under this subchapter. Nor does this subsection prohibit the legislature from directly appropriating state funds to support junior-level and senior-level courses to which this subsection applies.

(c) The coordinating board shall weigh contact hours attributable to students enrolled in a junior-level or senior-level course offered under this subchapter used to determine a public junior college's proportionate share of state appropriations under §130.003 in the same manner as a lower division course in a corresponding field unless the college participated in a pilot project to offer baccalaureate degree programs as defined in Texas Education Code §130.0012.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c) of this section, in its recommendations to the legislature relating to state funding for public junior colleges, the coordinating board shall recommend that a public junior college that participated in a pilot project to offer baccalaureate degree programs as defined in Texas Education Code §130.0012 receive substantially the same state support for junior-level and senior-level courses in the fields of applied science, applied technology, dental hygiene, and nursing offered under this subchapter as that provided to a general academic teaching institution for substantially similar courses.

(e) In determining the contact hours attributable to students enrolled in a junior-level or senior-level course in the field of applied science, applied technology, dental hygiene, or nursing offered under this section used to determine a public junior college's proportionate share of state appropriations under §130.003, the coordinating board shall weigh those contact hours as necessary to provide the junior college the appropriate level of state support to the extent state funds for those courses are included in the appropriations.

(f) A public junior college may not charge a student enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program offered under this subchapter tuition and fees in an amount that exceeds the amount of tuition and fees charged by the junior college to a similarly situated student who is enrolled in an associate degree program in a corresponding field. This subsection does not apply to tuition and fees charged for a baccalaureate degree program in the field of applied science or applied technology previously offered as part of a pilot project to offer baccalaureate degree programs as defined in Texas Education Code §130.0012.

§9.678.Reporting.

Each public junior college offering a baccalaureate degree program under this subchapter shall conduct a review of each baccalaureate degree program offered and prepare a biennial report on the operation, quality, and effectiveness of the junior degree programs in a format specified by the board. A copy of the report shall be delivered to the coordinating board by January 1 of each odd numbered year.

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 16, 2017.

TRD-201704148

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 26, 2017

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


CHAPTER 13. FINANCIAL PLANNING

SUBCHAPTER F. FORMULA FUNDING AND TUITION CHARGES FOR REPEATED AND EXCESS HOURS OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

19 TAC §13.101

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §13.101 concerning Authority. Specifically, the citation for the authority for institutions to charge a higher rate of tuition to students with repeated or excess hours is updated from §54.068 to §54.014. Also, the citation for the limits on the number of remedial or developmental education semester credit hours for which formula funding may be received is updated from §51.3062(l) to §51.340(a). In addition, the citation for the special provision that limits formula funding for a course for which a student would generate formula funding for the third time is updated from SB 1, General Appropriations Act, 79th Legislature, Regular Session, III-251, §49 to SB 1, General Appropriations Act, 85th Legislature, Regular Session, III-267, §40.

Dr. Julie Eklund, Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Planning and Funding, has determined that for each year of the first five years the section is in effect, there will not be a fiscal impact to the state.

Dr. Eklund has determined that there will be no impact on the public. 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 proposed amendments may be submitted to David Young, Senior Director, Funding, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 1200 East Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78752, david.young@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, §61.059(b), which provides the Coordinating Board with authority to review and revise formula recommendations for institutions of higher education.

The amendments affect Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 13, Formula Funding and Tuition Charges for Repeated and Excess Hours of Undergraduate Students, Subchapter F, Authority.

§13.101.Authority.

Texas Education Code, §54.014 [§54.068], provides that institutions may charge a higher rate of tuition to students with repeated or excess hours. Texas Education Code, §61.0595, limits formula funding for excess hours. SB 1, General Appropriations Act, 85th [79th] Legislature, Regular Session, III-267 [III-251], §40 [§49], limits formula funding for a course for which a student would generate formula funding for the third time. Texas Education Code, §51.340(a) [§51.3062(l)] limits the number of remedial or developmental education semester credit hours for which formula funding may be received.

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 16, 2017.

TRD-201704137

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 26, 2017

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


19 TAC §13.104, §13.105

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board) proposes amendments to §13.104, concerning Exemptions for Excess Hours and §13.105, concerning Limitation in Formula Funding for Repeated Hours for Attempted Courses.

Specifically, the proposed amendments to §13.104 reflect changes to Texas Education Code (TEC), §61.0595, that were enacted by Senate Bill 1782, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. Senate Bill 1782 created an additional exemption regarding limitations on formula funding for excess semester credit hours.

Specifically, the proposed amendments to §13.105 reflect changes to Texas Education Code (TEC), §61.059, that were enacted by Senate Bill 1782, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session. Senate Bill 1782 modified the limitation on repeating a course, setting the conditions where a third attempt at a course may be submitted for formula funding under certain conditions.

Dr. Julie Eklund, Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Funding, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board), has determined that for each year of the first five years the sections are in effect, there will not be any fiscal implications to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering these changes to the rules.

Dr. Eklund has determined the public benefit anticipated in administering these sections to be alignment of the Texas Education and Administrative Codes. 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 David Young, Senior Director, Funding, Strategic Planning and Funding, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board), 1200 East Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78752, david.young@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, §61.059.

The amendments affect the following Texas Education Code, §61.059.

§13.104.Exemptions for Excess Hours.

The following types of hours are exempt and are not subject to the limitation on formula funding set out in §13.103 of this title (relating to Limitation on Formula Funding for Excess Hours):

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

(3) hours from remedial and developmental courses and/or interventions, workforce education courses, or other courses that would not generate academic credit that could be applied to a degree at the institution if the course work is within limitations specified in §13.107 of this title (relating to Limitation on Formula Funding for Remedial and Developmental Courses and Interventions) [the 27-hour limit at two-year colleges and the 18-hour limit at general academic institutions];

(4) hours earned by the student at a private institution or an out-of-state institution;

(5) hours not eligible for formula funding; [and]

(6) semester credit hours earned by the student before graduating from high school and used to satisfy high school graduation requirements; and[.]

(7) 15 semester credit hours not otherwise exempt earned toward a degree program by a student who:

(A) has reenrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering at least the 24-month period preceding the first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's reenrollment; and

(B) successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of course work at an institution of higher education that are not exempt in paragraphs (1) - (6) of this section before that break in enrollment.

§13.105.Limitation on Formula Funding for Repeated Hours for Attempted Courses.

Institutions shall not submit for formula funding any hours for a course that is the same or substantially similar to a course that the student previously attempted for two or more times at the same institution unless the student meets the following conditions for a third attempt:[.]

(1) has reenrolled at the institution following a break in enrollment from the institution or another institution of higher education covering at least the 24-month period preceding the first class day of the initial semester or other academic term of the student's reenrollment; and

(2) has successfully completed at least 50 semester credit hours of course work at an institution of higher education that are not exempt from the limitation on formula funding set out in §13.104(1) - (6) of this title (relating to Exemptions for Excess Hours) before that break in enrollment.

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 13, 2017.

TRD-201704117

Bill Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 26, 2017

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


PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 101. ASSESSMENT

SUBCHAPTER CC. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACADEMIC CONTENT AREAS TESTING PROGRAM

DIVISION 3. SECURITY OF ASSESSMENTS, REQUIRED TEST ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES AND TRAINING ACTIVITIES

19 TAC §101.3031

(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 §101.3031(b)(2) is not included in the print version of the Texas Register. The figure is available in the on-line version of the October 27, 2017, issue of the Texas Register.)

The Texas Education Agency proposes an amendment to §101.3031, concerning required test administration procedures and training activities to ensure validity, reliability, and security of assessments. The proposed amendment would adopt the 2018 Test Security Supplement as part of the Texas Administrative Code.

Through the adoption of 19 TAC §101.3031, effective March 26, 2012, the commissioner exercised rulemaking authority relating to the administration of assessment instruments adopted or developed under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023, including procedures designed to ensure the security of the assessment instruments. The rule addresses purpose, administrative procedures, training activities, and records retention. As part of the administrative procedures, school districts and charter schools are required to comply with test security and confidentiality requirements delineated annually in test administration materials.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §101.3031, Required Test Administration Procedures and Training Activities to Ensure Validity, Reliability, and Security of Assessments, would update the rule by adopting the 2018 Test Security Supplement as Figure: 19 TAC §101.3031(b)(2). The 2018 Test Security Supplement describes the security procedures and guidelines that school districts and charter schools shall be required to follow to ensure the security and validity of the Texas assessment system.

Proposed within the 2018 Test Security Supplement are five substantive changes for the administration of the 2018 assessments.

The first policy change applies to Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS). TELPAS listening and speaking domains for Grades 2-12 will be assessed online instead of holistically rated. Districts will be required to issue headphones for the listening and speaking tests due to the new online format. The listening and speaking domains are transitioning from being holistically rated to being assessed online to standardize and improve the validity and reliability of these assessments and lessen the burden on districts to train and task staff to administer these assessments holistically. This policy change can be found in the 2018 Test Security Supplement under Policy and Procedure Highlights.

The second policy change also applies to TELPAS. A new security oath was introduced for use by individuals proctoring the TELPAS Rater Training Calibration Activity. The security oath will ensure proctors are appropriately trained, understand their responsibilities, and are aware of any penalties that may result from violating test security. This policy change can be found in the 2018 Test Security Supplement under Policy and Procedure Highlights.

The third change pertains to the dictionary and calculator requirement for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) program. The STAAR® dictionary policy will be extended to Grades 3-5 to include the Grades 3-5 reading and Grade 4 writing assessments. Districts will now be required to provide students access to a calculator with four-function, scientific, or graphing capability for the STAAR® Grade 8 science assessment. These changes are based on educator input to increase accessibility to these tools. This policy change can be found in the 2018 Test Security Supplement under Policy and Procedure Highlights.

Fourth, in response to requests from district personnel for additional flexibility and based on changes to technology, the Texas assessment program has updated its technology guidelines. The new guidelines are provided for districts to determine whether software or a device is appropriate for use on a state assessment. Districts are required to review any allowed or approved technology, including technology-based accommodations (i.e., accessibility features, designated supports) prior to its use during state testing to ensure it does not jeopardize the security or validity of an assessment. This policy change can be found in the 2018 Test Security Supplement under Policy and Procedure Highlights.

Last, references to testing "accommodations" have been updated to use the term "designated supports." As a result of increased accessibility, the term "designated supports" has been incorporated to cover a larger group of affected individuals versus certain populations of students with disabilities. This policy change can be found throughout the 2018 Test Security Supplement where appropriate.

The earlier versions of the security supplement will remain in effect with respect to the year for which they were developed.

The proposed amendment would also include a change in subsection (d) that would clarify the time frame for retaining records related to the security of assessment instruments. Records are required to be retained for five years rather than a minimum of five years.

The proposed amendment would establish in rule the test security procedures outlined in the 2018 Test Security Supplement. Applicable procedures would be adopted each year as annual versions of the test security supplement are published.

The proposed amendment would have no additional effect on the paperwork required and maintained by school districts and charter schools.

FISCAL NOTE. Penny Schwinn, deputy commissioner for academics, has determined that for the first five-year period the amendment is in effect, there will be no fiscal implications for state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the amendment. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years that the proposed amendment is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed amendment does not impose a cost on regulated persons and, therefore, is 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 amendment is in effect the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the amendment will be informing the public of the security procedures for the 2018 test administrations. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposed amendment.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STATEMENT AND REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, 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 27, 2017, and ends November 27, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on October 27, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §26.010, which prohibits a student from being removed from a class or school by a parent in order to avoid a test and prohibits a student from being exempted from satisfying grade-level or graduation requirements in a manner acceptable to both the school district and the agency; TEC, §39.023(a), which requires school districts to administer the Grades 3-8 state-developed assessments to all eligible students; TEC, §39.025(a), which requires a student to pass each end-of-course assessment listed in TEC, §39.023(c), only for a course in which the student is enrolled and for which an end-of-course assessment is administered in order to receive a Texas diploma; TEC, §39.030(a), which requires school districts to ensure the security of the state's assessment instruments and student answer documents in their preparation and administration; TEC, §39.0301, which requires the commissioner to establish procedures for the administration of the state's assessment instruments, including procedures designed to ensure the security of those assessments, specifies that the procedures the commissioner is required to establish must, to the extent possible, minimize disruptions to school operations and classroom environment, and stipulates that school districts must also minimize disruptions to school operations and the classroom environment when implementing the required assessment administration procedures; and TEC, §39.0304, which authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules to require training for school district employees involved in the administration of the state's assessments. This training may include qualifying components to ensure the school district personnel involved in an administration of the state's assessments possess the necessary knowledge and skills required to securely and reliably administer those assessments.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements the Texas Education Code, §26.010, 39.023(a), 39.025(a), 39.030(a), 39.0301, and 39.0304.

§101.3031.Required Test Administration Procedures and Training Activities to Ensure Validity, Reliability, and Security of Assessments.

(a) Purpose. To ensure that each assessment instrument is reliable and valid and meets applicable federal requirements for measurement of student progress, the commissioner of education shall establish test administration procedures and required training activities that support the standardization and security of the test administration process.

(b) Test administration procedures. These test administration procedures shall be delineated in the test administration materials provided to school districts and charter schools annually. Districts and charter schools must comply with all of the applicable requirements specified in the test administration materials. Test administration materials shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) general testing program information;

(2) requirements for ensuring test security and confidentiality described in the 2018 [2017] Test Security Supplement provided in this paragraph;

Figure: 19 TAC §101.3031(b)(2) (.pdf)

[Figure: 19 TAC §101.3031(b)(2)]

(3) procedures for test administration;

(4) responsibilities of personnel involved in test administration; and

(5) procedures for materials control.

(c) Training activities. As part of the test administration procedures, the commissioner shall require training activities to ensure that testing personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge required to administer assessment instruments in a valid, standardized, and secure manner. The commissioner may require evidence of successful completion of training activities. Test coordinators and administrators must receive all applicable training as required in the test administration materials.

(d) Records retention. As part of test administration procedures, the commissioner shall require school districts and charter schools to maintain records related to the security of assessment instruments for [a minimum of] five years.

(e) Applicability. The test administration procedures and required training activities established in the annual test security supplements for prior years remain in effect for all purposes with respect to the prior year to which it applies.

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 16, 2017.

TRD-201704140

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 26, 2017

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


CHAPTER 102. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER JJ. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING INNOVATION DISTRICT

19 TAC §102.1307, §102.1309

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) proposes amendments to §102.1307 and §102.1309, concerning innovation districts. The proposed amendments would reflect changes made by Senate Bill (SB) 1566 and SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

Through 19 TAC Chapter 102, Subchapter JJ, adopted effective September 13, 2016, the commissioner exercised rulemaking authority relating to the applicable processes and procedures for innovation districts.

Section 102.1307, Adoption of Local Innovation Plan, addresses the requirements and procedures for a district's initial adoption of a local innovation plan. SB 1566, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, added the TEC, §12A.0071, to require that a district of innovation post a copy of the innovation plan prominently on the district website and, within 15 days of adoption, amendment, or renewal, provide the TEA with a copy of the plan for posting on the agency website. The proposed amendment to §102.1307 would add new subsections (f) and (g) to address these requirements.

Section 102.1309, Prohibited Exemptions, specifies the statutory provisions from which districts of innovation may not exempt themselves. SB 463, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, added the TEC, §28.02541, to provide alternative graduation requirements for certain students. Since the TEC, §12A.004, prohibits exemptions from graduation requirements, the proposed amendment to §102.1309 would add the TEC, §28.02541, to the list of prohibited exemptions in subsection (a)(1)(C).

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

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

PUBLIC BENEFIT/COST NOTE. Mr. Crabill 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 ensuring the public is informed of a district's local innovation plan and providing school districts with clarification on which statutes are not allowed to be exempted from their local innovation plan. 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 27, 2017, and ends November 27, 2017. Comments on the proposal may be submitted to Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez, Rulemaking, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Comments may also be submitted electronically to rules@tea.texas.gov. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on October 27, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §12A.0071, as added by Senate Bill 1566, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires a district of innovation to post a copy of the innovation plan prominently on the district website and, within 15 days of adoption, amendment, or renewal, provide the Texas Education Agency with a copy of the plan for posting on the agency website; and TEC, §12A.009, which authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules to implement the TEC, Chapter 12A, Districts of Innovation.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendments implement the Texas Education Code, §12A.0071, as added by Senate Bill 1566, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, and §12A.009.

§102.1307.Adoption of Local Innovation Plan.

(a) The board of trustees may not vote on adoption of a proposed local innovation plan unless:

(1) the final version of the proposed plan has been available on the district's website for at least 30 days;

(2) the board of trustees has notified the commissioner of education of the board's intention to vote on adoption of the proposed plan; and

(3) the district-level committee established under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §11.251, has held a public meeting to consider the final version of the proposed plan and has approved the plan by a majority vote of the committee members. This public meeting may occur at any time, including up to or on the same date at which the board intends to vote on final adoption of the proposed plan.

(b) A board of trustees may adopt a proposed local innovation plan by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership of the board.

(c) On adoption of a local innovation plan, the district:

(1) is designated as a district of innovation under this subchapter for the term specified in the plan but no longer than five calendar years, subject to the TEC, §12A.006;

(2) shall begin operation in accordance with the plan; and

(3) is exempt from state requirements identified under the TEC, §12A.003(b)(2).

(d) The district shall notify the commissioner of approval of the plan along with a list of approved TEC exemptions by completing the agency form provided in the figure in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC §102.1307(d) (No change.)

(e) A district's exemption described by subsection (c)(3) of this section includes any subsequent amendment or redesignation of an identified state requirement, unless the subsequent amendment or redesignation specifically applies to an innovation district.

(f) The district shall ensure that a copy of the local innovation plan is posted on the district's website in accordance with the TEC, §12A.0071, for the term of the designation as an innovation district.

(g) Not later than the 15th day after the date on which the board of trustees finalizes a local innovation plan either through adoption, amendment, or renewal, the district shall provide a copy of the current local innovation plan to the Texas Education Agency for posting on the agency website.

§102.1309.Prohibited Exemptions.

(a) An innovation district may not be exempted from the following sections of the Texas Education Code (TEC) and the rules adopted thereunder:

(1) a state or federal requirement, imposed by statute or rule, applicable to an open-enrollment charter school operating under the TEC, Chapter 12, Subchapter D, including, but not limited to, the requirements listed in the TEC, §12.104(b), and:

(A) TEC, Chapter 22, Subchapter B;

(B) TEC, Chapter 25, Subchapter A, §§25.001, 25.002, 25.0021, 25.0031, and 25.004;

(C) TEC, Chapter 28, §§28.002, 28.0021, 28.0023, 28.005, 28.0051, 28.006, 28.016, 28.0211, 28.0213, 28.0217, 28.025, 28.0254, 28.02541, 28.0255, 28.0258, 28.0259, and 28.026;

(D) TEC, Chapter 29, Subchapter G;

(E) TEC, Chapter 30, Subchapter A;

(F) TEC, §30.104;

(G) TEC, Chapter 34;

(H) TEC, Chapter 37, §§37.006(l), 37.007(e), 37.011, 37.012, 37.013, and 37.020; and

(I) TEC, Chapter 39;

(2) TEC, Chapter 11, Subchapters A, C, D, and E, except that a district may be exempt from the TEC, §11.1511(b)(5) and (14) and §11.162;

(3) TEC, Chapter 13;

(4) TEC, Chapter 41;

(5) TEC, Chapter 42;

(6) TEC, Chapter 44, §§44.0011, 44.002, 44.003, 44.004, 44.0041, 44.005, 44.0051, 44.006, 44.007, 44.0071, 44.008, 44.009, 44.011, 44.0312, 44.032, 44.051, 44.052, 44.053, and 44.054;

(7) TEC, Chapter 45, §§45.003, 45.0031, 45.005, 45.105, 45.106, 45.202, 45.203; and

(8) TEC, Chapter 46.

(b) In addition to the prohibited exemptions specified in subsection (a) of this section, an innovation district may not be exempted from:

(1) a requirement of a grant or other state program in which the district voluntarily participates;

(2) duties that the statute applies to the execution of that power if a district chooses to implement an authorized power that is optional under the terms of the statute; and

(3) requirements imposed by provisions outside the TEC, including requirements under the Texas Government Code, Chapter 822.

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 16, 2017.

TRD-201704139

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Earliest possible date of adoption: November 26, 2017

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