Texas Administrative Code Title 19

Education: As effective August 6, 2010

Chapter 97

Subchapter A

§97.1: Accountability

(a) Each school district must be assigned an accountability rating by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

(b) The accountability rating of a school district is based primarily on its overall performance by all student populations, on the district's current special education compliance status with the TEA, and on the performance of each of its campuses as demonstrated on state-adopted academic excellence indicators.

(c) Additional criteria used for accountability standards may include consideration of compliance with statutory requirements, State Board of Education (SBOE) rules, applicable court orders, data reported through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), high school graduation requirements under the Texas Education Code, §28.025, an item specified in the Texas Education Code, §7.056(e)(3)(C) - (I), the effectiveness of the district's programs for special populations, and the effectiveness of the district's career and technology programs.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1 adopted to be effective December 7, 2003, 28 TexReg 10939; amended to be effective December 25, 2007, 32 TexReg 9626

§97.2: Accountability Ratings

(a) The specific procedures for determining district accountability ratings based on performance measures will be established by the commissioner of education. In accordance with the established procedures, districts may receive the following accountability ratings.

(1) Exemplary. A district may be classified as exemplary if it meets or exceeds the state exemplary standards.

(2) Recognized. A district may be classified as recognized if it meets or exceeds the state recognized standards or meets required improvement.

(3) Academically Acceptable. A district shall be classified as academically acceptable when it meets or exceeds the academically acceptable standards or meets required improvement but does not meet the exemplary or recognized standards.

(4) Academically Unacceptable. A district shall be classified as academically unacceptable when it fails to meet or exceed the standard of academically acceptable performance or fails to meet required improvement.

(b) The specific procedures for determining district and campus accountability ratings based on performance measures will be established by the commissioner of education.

(c) The specific procedures for determining district and campus accountability ratings based on performance measures will be adopted in commissioner's rules.

(d) The commissioner of education may lower district and campus accountability ratings based on the findings of an on-site investigation conducted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.074, or a special accreditation investigation conducted under TEC, §39.075.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.2 adopted to be effective December 7, 2003, 28 TexReg 10939; amended to be effective December 25, 2007, 32 TexReg 9626

§97.3: Accountability Criteria

The academic excellence indicators stipulated in law and the district's current special education compliance with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall be the main consideration of the TEA in the annual rating of districts and campuses. Performance on the academic excellence indicators required by this section shall be used for the purposes of evaluation and accountability. The indicators must be based on information that is disaggregated with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Use of the academic excellence indicators in the rating process shall include consideration of district and campus performance in relation to the following:

(1) standards established for each indicator;

(2) required improvement necessary to meet the state standards and for students to meet exit requirements as defined by the commissioner of education; and

(3) comparable improvement of the district and campus relative to a profile developed from the total state student performance database that exhibits substantial equivalence to the characteristics of students served by the campus or district, including past academic performance, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and limited English proficiency.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.3 adopted to be effective December 7, 2003, 28 TexReg 10939

§97.4: Accountability Sanctions Authorized under Federal Law

(a) The commissioner of education will take any necessary action to comply with all requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and other federal statutes and regulations.

(b) The commissioner of education may impose sanctions as authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act and other federal statutes and regulations in addition to those imposed under Texas Education Code, Chapter 39, Subchapter G.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.4 adopted to be effective December 7, 2003, 28 TexReg 10939

Subchapter AA

§97.1001: Accountability Rating System

(a) The rating standards established by the commissioner of education under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.051(c) and (d) (as that section existed before amendment by House Bill 3, 81st Texas Legislature, 2009), shall be used to evaluate the performance of districts, campuses, and charter schools. The indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine ratings under both standard and alternative education accountability (AEA) procedures will be annually published in official Texas Education Agency publications. These publications will be widely disseminated and cover the following procedures:

(1) indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine district ratings;

(2) indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine campus ratings;

(3) indicators, standards, and procedures used to determine acknowledgment on Additional Indicators; and

(4) procedures for submitting a rating appeal.

(b) The standard and alternative procedures by which districts, campuses, and charter schools are rated and acknowledged for 2010 are based upon specific criteria and calculations, which are described in excerpted sections of the 2010 Accountability Manual provided in this subsection.

Attached Graphic

(c) Ratings may be revised as a result of investigative activities by the commissioner as authorized under TEC, §39.074 and §39.075 (as those sections existed before amendment by House Bill 3, 81st Texas Legislature, 2009).

(d) The specific criteria and calculations used in the accountability manual are established annually by the commissioner of education and communicated to all school districts and charter schools.

(e) The specific criteria and calculations used in the annual accountability manual adopted for school years prior to 2010-2011 remain in effect for all purposes, including accountability, data standards, and audits, with respect to those school years.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1001 adopted to be effective June 13, 2000, 25 TexReg 5625; amended to be effective October 3, 2005, 30 TexReg 6265; amended to be effective July 30, 2006, 31 TexReg 5800; amended to be effective July 26, 2007, 32 TexReg 4549; amended to be effective July 31, 2008, 33 TexReg 5923; amended to be effective July 22, 2009, 34 TexReg 4734; amended to be effective July 26, 2010, 35 TexReg 6522

§97.1004: Adequate Yearly Progress

(a) In accordance with the federal No Child Left Behind Act and Texas Education Code, §§7.055(b)(32), 39.073, and 39.075, as these sections existed before amendment by House Bill 3, 81st Texas Legislature, 2009, all public school campuses, school districts, and the state are evaluated for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Districts, campuses, and the state are required to meet AYP criteria on three measures: reading/English language arts, mathematics, and either graduation rate (for high schools and districts) or attendance rate (for elementary and middle/junior high schools). The performance of a school district, campus, or the state is reported through indicators of AYP status established by the commissioner of education.

(b) The determination of AYP for school districts and charter schools in 2009 is based on specific criteria and calculations, which are described in excerpted sections of the 2009 AYP Guide provided in this subsection.

Attached Graphic

(c) The specific criteria and calculations used in AYP are established annually by the commissioner of education and communicated to all school districts and charter schools.

(d) The specific criteria and calculations used in the AYP guide adopted for the school years prior to 2009-2010 remain in effect for all purposes, including accountability, data standards, and audits, with respect to those school years.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1004 adopted to be effective July 14, 2005, 30 TexReg 3995; amended to be effective November 3, 2005, 30 TexReg 7036; amended to be effective September 20, 2006, 31 TexReg 7988; amended to be effective August 8, 2007, 32 TexReg 4753; amended to be effective September 30, 2008, 33 TexReg 8167; amended to be effective September 1, 2009, 34 TexReg 5912

§97.1005: Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System

(a) In accordance with Texas Education Code, §7.028(a), the purpose of the Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) is to report annually on the performance of school districts and charter schools in selected program areas: bilingual education/English as a Second Language, career and technical education, special education, and certain Title programs under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The performance of a school district or charter school is reported through indicators of student performance and program effectiveness and corresponding performance levels established by the commissioner of education.

(b) The assignment of performance levels for school districts and charter schools in the 2010 PBMAS is based on specific criteria and calculations, which are described in excerpted sections of the PBMAS 2010 Manual provided in this subsection.

Attached Graphic

(c) The specific criteria and calculations used in the PBMAS are established annually by the commissioner of education and communicated to all school districts and charter schools.

(d) The specific criteria and calculations used in the annual PBMAS manual adopted for the school years prior to 2010-2011 remain in effect for all purposes, including accountability and performance monitoring, data standards, and audits, with respect to those school years.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1005 adopted to be effective June 5, 2005, 30 TexReg 3098; amended to be effective November 24, 2005, 30 TexReg 7737; amended to be effective September 20, 2006, 31 TexReg 7989; amended to be effective August 8, 2007, 32 TexReg 4754; amended to be effective July 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 5525; amended to be effective August 25, 2009, 34 TexReg 5690; amended to be effective August 4, 2010, 35 TexReg 6651

Subchapter BB

§97.1011: Memorandum of Understanding between the Texas Education Agency and the Texas School for the Deaf

(a) Purpose. This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a non-financial, mutual agreement between the Texas School for the Deaf, hereafter referred to as "the School," and the Texas Education Agency, hereafter referred to as "the Agency," established pursuant to the Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.315. This MOU will establish:

(1) the method for developing and reevaluating a set of indicators of the quality of learning at the School;

(2) the process for the Agency to conduct and report on an annual evaluation of the School's performance on the indicators;

(3) the requirements for the School's Board to publish, discuss, and disseminate an annual report describing the educational performance of the School;

(4) the process for the Agency to assign an accreditation status to the School, to reevaluate the status on an annual basis, and, if necessary, to make on-site accreditation investigations; and

(5) the type of information the School shall be required to provide through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS).

(b) Accountability compliance reviews.

(1) The Agency shall monitor the School's compliance with federal and state laws and regulations related to services for special populations by conducting a periodic on-site review. The Agency shall determine the schedule for the review.

(2) The Agency, with input from the School, shall develop a compliance monitoring instrument that itemizes compliance indicators that are the responsibility of the School. The instrument will be disseminated to the School and updated jointly as appropriate.

(c) Indicators of quality of learning for the School.

(1) No later than August 31, 1999, the Agency and the School shall jointly develop and agree upon a set of quality indicators that are appropriate to the characteristics of students served by the School.

(2) Annually, the commissioner of education shall approve indicators of performance that measure the quality of student learning at the School.

(3) The indicators shall include measures of academic and/or developmental performance as well as other measures appropriate to the characteristics of the student populations served.

(4) To the extent appropriate, the indicators shall incorporate academic excellence indicators and alternative assessment measures required under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B.

(d) Annual performance evaluation.

(1) The School's annual performance evaluation shall be based on quality indicators selected annually from among the set of quality indicators developed and jointly agreed upon by the School and the Agency to address the characteristics of the student groups served.

(2) The selected quality indicators used for the annual performance evaluation shall measure, as appropriate, academic and/or non-academic performance on norm- or criterion-referenced instruments; progress in the attainment of student individualized education program goals and objectives; statewide criterion-referenced assessments; completion of courses or credits; or completion of graduation requirements. Additional non-academic indicators may be selected that measure dropout rates, attendance, or other appropriate measures of student success.

(3) The method for evaluating the School's annual performance shall be as follows.

(A) Annually, by September 1, the School shall submit to the commissioner an accountability proposal. The proposal shall be developed with input from the School's planning and decision-making committee and shall include the following information to be used to determine the current year accountability rating:

(i) quality indicators;

(ii) performance objectives within each indicator; and

(iii) minimum standards for determining achievement of performance objectives.

(B) By September 15, the commissioner shall review the proposal and notify the School superintendent of approval, or needed modifications to obtain approval, of the proposed indicators and performance objectives to be used for determining an accountability rating.

(C) By November 1, the commissioner shall provide notification of final approval of the proposal indicators and performance objectives.

(D) By July 1 following the year for which the School's performance is being evaluated, the School shall submit to the Agency all complete and accurate data necessary to document performance with respect to the approved indicators and performance objectives selected for rating purposes under the accountability system.

(4) The schedule of activities related to the annual performance evaluation shall include the following activities.

(A) During the 1998-1999 school year, the School and the Agency shall determine methods of evaluating student performance for determining achievement of performance objectives.

(B) During the 1999-2000 school year, the School shall evaluate student performance in areas addressed by the quality indicators.

(C) Beginning with the 2000-2001 school year, the Agency shall perform an annual performance evaluation for the School.

(e) Accreditation status.

(1) By September 1, the commissioner shall assign the School a rating of "acceptable" or "needing on-site review."

(2) To attain a rating of "acceptable," the School shall attain all approved performance objectives established for each selected indicator.

(3) If the School receives a rating of "needing on-site review," the School may appeal the rating to the commissioner of education by October 1. The rating will be final by November 1.

(4) The determination of the performance rating may include consideration of the effectiveness of the special education program based on the Agency's most recent compliance review of the school and program for special populations.

(f) On-site investigation and sanctions. If the School does not receive an accreditation rating of "acceptable," the commissioner may take any of the following actions, listed in order of severity, to the extent the commissioner determines necessary:

(1) direct the Agency to conduct an on-site investigation, in accordance with the provisions of TEC, §39.074(c)-(e), and raise or maintain the performance rating as a result of the investigation;

(2) order the preparation of a student achievement improvement plan that addresses each quality indicator for which the School's performance is unacceptable, the submission of the plan to the commissioner for approval, and implementation of the plan; or

(3) appoint a special campus intervention team, the criteria for membership of which shall be mutually agreed upon by the Agency and the School, the costs for which shall be paid for by the School, to:

(A) conduct a comprehensive on-site evaluation of the School to determine the cause for the School's low performance and lack of progress;

(B) recommend actions, including reallocation of resources and technical assistance; changes in school procedures or operations; staff development for instructional and administrative staff; intervention for individual administrators or teachers; waivers from state statute or rule; or other actions the team considers appropriate;

(C) assist in the development of a school plan for student achievement; and

(D) assist the commissioner in monitoring the progress of the School in implementing the School plan for improvement of student achievement.

(g) Annual performance report.

(1) The Governing Board of the School shall publish an annual report describing the educational performance of the School. The report shall include the School's performance objectives, progress toward these objectives, and the School's performance rating assigned by the Agency. Supplemental information to be included in the report shall be determined by the School's Governing Board.

(2) The Governing Board of the School will disseminate the annual performance report to parents of enrolled students, districts that have placed students at the School, and regional education service centers (RESCs). Additionally, the Governing Board will notify the parents of enrolled students, districts that have placed students at the School, and RESCs of an opportunity for public discussion of the annual performance report at a regularly scheduled board meeting. The School's planning and decision-making committee will hold at least one public meeting annually for the purpose of discussing the School's performance report.

(3) By December 1, the School shall disseminate the annual performance report.

(h) Reporting of data.

(1) The School will report PEIMS data according to the following schedule.

(A) The Agency and the School shall jointly develop separate action plans for the possible collection of organization, student, staff, and financial data. The action plan for organization and student data shall be completed by June 1998; for staff data by June 1999; and for financial data by June 2000.

(B) The Agency and the School shall conduct studies to determine the feasibility of collecting data for each information category according to the following schedule: organization and student data during the 1998-1999 school year; staff data during the 1999-2000 school year; and financial data during the 2000-2001 school year.

(C) In each information category for which it is determined that data collection is feasible, the Agency and the School shall pilot the collection as follows: organization and student data during the 1999-2000 school year; staff data during the 2000-2001 school year; and financial data during the 2001-2002 school year.

(D) Initial PEIMS collection shall be contingent on resolution of feasibility issues and modifications indicated by the pilot process.

(2) To the extent possible, the Agency shall assist the School in accessing available resources to implement this section of the MOU.

(i) Dispute resolution. Disputes between the School and the Agency concerning implementation of this MOU shall be resolved as follows.

(1) Staff of the School and the Agency shall identify and attempt to resolve the specific issues involved in the dispute.

(2) If staff of the School and the Agency are unable to resolve the dispute after a reasonable time period, the executive officers of the School and the Agency shall assist the staff in identifying a mutually agreeable resolution to the dispute.

(3) If the executive officers (or either of them) are unable to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, the School and the Agency shall pursue resolution through the use of mediation pursuant to the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, Government Code, Chapter 2008. The mediator shall make such arrangements and decisions respecting the conduct of the proceedings as needed in the sole discretion of the mediator. The costs of mediation shall be borne equally by the School and the Agency.

(4) If the School and the Agency fail to reach agreement through mediation pursuant to the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, Government Code, Chapter 2008, the following procedure shall be followed.

(A) The School and the Agency shall each select one impartial third party pursuant to Government Code, §2008.053.

(B) The impartial third parties selected by the School and the Agency shall jointly select another impartial third party, who must be a person eligible to serve as impartial third party pursuant to Government Code, §2008.053. The person selected shall be the arbitrator of the dispute.

(C) The arbitrator selected by the impartial third parties selected by the School and the Agency shall arbitrate the dispute pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, §154.027. The arbitrator shall make such arrangements and decisions respecting the conduct of the proceedings as needed in the sole discretion of the arbitrator. The costs of arbitration shall be borne equally by the School and the Agency. The parties hereby stipulate in advance that the decision of the arbitrator shall be binding and enforceable against both parties pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, §154.027(b).

(j) Other terms.

(1) This MOU shall be signed by the executive officers of the School and the Agency and shall be effective September 1, 1998.

(2) This MOU may be considered for expansion, modification, or amendment upon mutual agreement of the executive officers of the School and the Agency.

(3) In the event that federal and/or state laws should be amended, federally interpreted, or judicially interpreted so as to render continued implementation of this MOU unreasonable or impossible, the School and the Agency may agree to amend or terminate this MOU.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1011 adopted to be effective September 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 7781.

§97.1012: Memorandum of Understanding between the Texas Education Agency and the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired

(a) Purpose. This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is a non-financial, mutual agreement between the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, hereafter referred to as "the School," and the Texas Education Agency, hereafter referred to as "the Agency," established pursuant to the Texas Education Code (TEC), §30.005. This MOU will establish:

(1) the method for developing and reevaluating a set of indicators of the quality of learning at the School;

(2) the process for the Agency to conduct and report on an annual evaluation of the School's performance on the indicators;

(3) the requirements for the School's Board to publish, discuss, and disseminate an annual report describing the educational performance of the School; and

(4) the type of information the School shall be required to provide through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS).

(b) Accountability compliance reviews.

(1) The Agency shall monitor the School's compliance with federal and state laws and regulations related to services for special populations by conducting a periodic on-site review. The Agency shall determine the schedule for the review.

(2) The Agency, with input from the School, shall develop a compliance monitoring instrument that itemizes compliance indicators that are the responsibility of the School. The instrument will be disseminated to the School and updated jointly as appropriate.

(c) Indicators of quality of learning for the School.

(1) No later than August 31, 1999, the Agency and the School shall jointly develop and agree upon a set of quality indicators that are appropriate to the characteristics of students served by the School.

(2) Annually, the commissioner of education shall approve indicators of performance that measure the quality of student learning at the School.

(3) The indicators shall include measures of academic and/or developmental performance as well as other measures appropriate to the characteristics of the student populations served.

(4) To the extent appropriate, the indicators shall incorporate academic excellence indicators and alternative assessment measures required under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B.

(d) Annual performance evaluation.

(1) The School's annual performance evaluation shall be based on quality indicators selected annually from among the set of quality indicators developed and jointly agreed upon by the School and the Agency to address the characteristics of the student groups served.

(2) The selected quality indicators used for the annual performance evaluation shall measure, as appropriate, academic and/or non-academic performance on norm- or criterion-referenced instruments; progress in the attainment of student individualized education program goals and objectives; statewide criterion-referenced assessments; completion of courses or credits; or completion of graduation requirements. Additional non-academic indicators may be selected that measure dropout rates, attendance, or other appropriate measures of student success.

(3) The method for evaluating the School's annual performance shall be as follows.

(A) Annually, by September 1, the School shall submit to the commissioner an accountability proposal. The proposal shall be developed with input from the School's planning and decision-making committee and shall include the following information:

(i) quality indicators;

(ii) performance objectives within each indicator; and

(iii) minimum standards for determining achievement of performance objectives.

(B) By September 15, the commissioner shall review the proposal and notify the School superintendent of approval, or needed modifications to obtain approval, of the proposed indicators and performance objectives.

(C) By November 1, the commissioner shall provide notification of final approval of the proposal indicators and performance objectives.

(D) By July 1 following the year for which the School's performance is being evaluated, the School shall submit to the Agency all complete and accurate data necessary to document performance with respect to the approved indicators and performance objectives.

(4) The schedule of activities related to the annual performance evaluation shall include the following activities.

(A) During the 1998-1999 school year, the School and the Agency shall determine methods of evaluating student performance for determining achievement of performance objectives.

(B) During the 1999-2000 school year, the School shall evaluate student performance in areas addressed by the quality indicators.

(C) Beginning with the 2000-2001 school year, the Agency shall perform an annual performance evaluation for the School.

(e) Annual performance report.

(1) The Governing Board of the School shall publish an annual report describing the educational performance of the School. The report shall include the School's performance objectives and progress toward these objectives. Supplemental information to be included in the report shall be determined by the School's Governing Board.

(2) The Governing Board of the School will disseminate the annual performance report to parents of enrolled students, districts that have placed students at the School, and regional education service centers (RESCs). Additionally, the Governing Board will notify the parents of enrolled students, districts that have placed students at the School, and RESCs of an opportunity for public discussion of the annual performance report at a regularly scheduled board meeting. The School's planning and decision-making committee will hold at least one public meeting annually for the purpose of discussing the School's performance report.

(3) By December 1, the School shall disseminate the annual performance report.

(f) Reporting of data.

(1) The School will report PEIMS data according to the following schedule.

(A) The Agency and the School shall jointly develop separate action plans for the possible collection of organization, student, staff, and financial data. The action plan for organization and student data shall be completed by June 1998; for staff data by June 1999; and for financial data by June 2000.

(B) The Agency and the School shall conduct studies to determine the feasibility of collecting data for each information category according to the following schedule: organization and student data during the 1998-1999 school year; staff data during the 1999-2000 school year; and financial data during the 2000-2001 school year.

(C) In each information category for which it is determined that data collection is feasible, the Agency and the School shall pilot the collection as follows: organization and student data during the 1999-2000 school year; staff data during the 2000-2001 school year; and financial data during the 2001-2002 school year.

(D) Initial PEIMS collection shall be contingent on resolution of feasibility issues and modifications indicated by the pilot process.

(2) To the extent possible, the Agency shall assist the School in accessing available resources to implement this section of the MOU.

(g) Dispute resolution. Disputes between the School and the Agency concerning implementation of this MOU shall be resolved as follows.

(1) Staff of the School and the Agency shall identify and attempt to resolve the specific issues involved in the dispute.

(2) If staff of the School and the Agency are unable to resolve the dispute after a reasonable time period, the executive officers of the School and the Agency shall assist the staff in identifying a mutually agreeable resolution to the dispute.

(3) If the executive officers (or either of them) are unable to reach a mutually agreeable resolution, the School and the Agency shall pursue resolution through the use of mediation pursuant to the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, Government Code, Chapter 2008. The mediator shall make such arrangements and decisions respecting the conduct of the proceedings as needed in the sole discretion of the mediator. The costs of mediation shall be borne equally by the School and the Agency.

(4) If the School and the Agency fail to reach agreement through mediation pursuant to the Governmental Dispute Resolution Act, Government Code, Chapter 2008, the following procedure shall be followed.

(A) The School and the Agency shall each select one impartial third party pursuant to Government Code, §2008.053.

(B) The impartial third parties selected by the School and the Agency shall jointly select another impartial third party, who must be a person eligible to serve as impartial third party pursuant to Government Code, §2008.053. The person selected shall be the arbitrator of the dispute.

(C) The arbitrator selected by the impartial third parties selected by the School and the Agency shall arbitrate the dispute pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, §154.027. The arbitrator shall make such arrangements and decisions respecting the conduct of the proceedings as needed in the sole discretion of the arbitrator. The costs of arbitration shall be borne equally by the School and the Agency. The parties hereby stipulate in advance that the decision of the arbitrator shall be binding and enforceable against both parties pursuant to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, §154.027(b).

(h) Other terms.

(1) This MOU shall be signed by the executive officers of the School and the Agency and shall be effective September 1, 1998.

(2) This MOU may be considered for expansion, modification, or amendment upon mutual agreement of the executive officers of the School and the Agency.

(3) In the event that federal and/or state laws should be amended, federally interpreted, or judicially interpreted so as to render continued implementation of this MOU unreasonable or impossible, the School and the Agency may agree to amend or terminate this MOU.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1012 adopted to be effective September 1, 1998, 23 TexReg 7781.

Subchapter DD

§97.1031: Preliminary Investigative Report

(a) Findings resulting from an investigation under Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, Subchapter D, must be presented in a preliminary investigative report.

(1) The following are not findings resulting from an investigation under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter D, and need not be presented in a preliminary investigative report:

(A) an academic accountability rating assigned under §97.1001 of this title (relating to Accountability Rating System);

(B) a financial accountability rating assigned under §109.1002 of this title (relating to Financial Accountability Ratings); or

(C) a determination of adequate yearly progress under §97.1004 of this title (relating to Adequate Yearly Progress).

(2) A rating or determination initially issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection may be lowered or changed as a result of an investigation under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter D. In this event, the new rating or determination is a finding resulting from an investigation and must be presented in a preliminary investigative report.

(b) Before issuing a final investigative report, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must notify the person whom the TEA proposes to find has violated a law, rule, or policy. The notice must be in writing and must:

(1) include a copy of a preliminary investigative report finding that the person has violated a law, rule, or policy;

(2) state the procedures for obtaining an informal review of the findings in the preliminary investigative report under TEC, §39.076(b), including the name and department of the person to whom the request may be addressed; and

(3) set a deadline, which shall not be less than ten calendar days from the date of mailing of the preliminary investigative report, for requesting an informal review of such findings.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1031 adopted to be effective November 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 8820; amended to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143

§97.1033: Informal Review of Preliminary Investigative Report; Final Investigative Report

(a) A person who is found in a preliminary investigative report to have violated a law, rule, or policy may request, in writing, an informal review under this section.

(b) A written request for informal review of the preliminary investigative report must be addressed to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) representative identified in the notice under §97.1031(b)(2) of this title (relating to Preliminary Investigative Report). The written request must be received by the TEA representative on or before the deadline specified in §97.1031(b)(3) of this title.

(c) The person requesting the informal review of the preliminary investigative report may submit written information to the TEA representative identified in the notice under §97.1031(b)(2) of this title. In addition, the TEA representative may meet with the person at TEA headquarters in Austin, Texas, to discuss the findings and/or accept additional written information for review.

(d) Following the informal review of the preliminary investigative report by the TEA representative identified in the notice under §97.1031(b)(2) of this title, a final investigative report will be issued. The final report may include changes or additions to the preliminary investigative report and such modifications are not subject to another informal review procedure.

(e) If no informal review of the preliminary investigative report is requested by the deadline specified in §97.1031 of this title, or if no violation of law, rule, or policy is found in the report, a final investigative report may be issued without informal review.

(f) An informal review of the preliminary investigative report is not governed by Texas Education Code, §7.057, or by Government Code, Chapter 2001.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1033 adopted to be effective November 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 8820; amended to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143

§97.1035: Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions

(a) The commissioner of education shall notify the school district or open-enrollment charter school in writing of a sanction imposed under Subchapter EE of this chapter (relating to Accreditation Status, Standards, and Sanctions) and this section. The notice must state the basis for finding that the district or open-enrollment charter school does not satisfy the applicable accreditation criteria as indicated in Subchapter EE of this chapter. The finding(s) may be made in the notice or in a final investigative report, or based on a final investigative report.

(b) If a finding is made for the first time in the notice required by subsection (a) of this section, the Texas Education Agency shall comply with §97.1031(b) of this title (relating to Preliminary Investigative Report) and §97.1033 of this title (relating to Informal Review of Preliminary Investigative Report; Final Investigative Report) with respect to the new finding.

(c) A determination under §97.1057 of this title (relating to Accreditation Sanctions) must be made in writing and may be included in a written notice under subsection (a) of this section. The determination may be made in the notice or in a final investigative report, or based on a final investigative report. A determination under §97.1057 of this title may be based on a report on the progress of a prior action under Subchapter EE of this chapter.

(d) The commissioner shall annually review a sanction imposed under subsection (a) of this section and shall increase the sanction, as required by TEC, §39.133. The commissioner shall quarterly review the need for a conservator or a management team imposed under Subchapter EE of this chapter, as required by TEC, §39.135. If reviews are required under both TEC, §39.133 and §39.135, a quarterly review under TEC, §39.135, may satisfy the annual review under TEC, §39.133. An annual or quarterly review is not subject to the requirements of this section or §97.1057 of this title.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1035 adopted to be effective November 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 8820; amended to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143

§97.1037: Record Review of Certain Decisions

(a) Applicability. This section applies only to:

(1) a notice under §97.1035 of this title (relating to Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions) proposing to order:

(A) alternative management of a school district campus or a charter school campus under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.1327;

(B) closure of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school under TEC, §§39.071(c), 39.131(a), or 39.1321(c); or

(C) closure of a school district campus or charter school campus under TEC, §39.1324 or §39.1327;

(2) assignment under §97.1055 of this title (relating to Accreditation Status) of an accreditation status of Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation;

(3) assignment of a board of managers under TEC, §39.136 and §39.131(a)(9), or TEC, §39.1324(c);

(4) request for review of an over-allocation from an open-enrollment charter school granted by the commissioner of education under §100.1041(e) of this title (relating to State Funding); or

(5) request for record review of a charter school accreditation finding under §97.1055(g) of this title from an open-enrollment charter school.

(b) Notice. Notice of a proposed order subject to this section shall be made as provided by §97.1035(d) of this title and this section.

(1) The notice shall attach or make reference to any Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports, final investigative reports, or other information on which the proposed order is based.

(A) Information maintained on the TEA website may be referenced by providing a general citation to the information.

(B) TEA reports previously sent to the district, charter, or campus may be referenced by providing the title and date of the report.

(C) On request, the TEA shall provide copies of, or reasonable access to, information referenced in the notice.

(2) The notice shall state the procedures for requesting a record review of the proposed order under this section, including the name and department of the TEA representative to whom a request for record review may be addressed.

(3) The notice shall set a deadline for requesting a record review, which shall not be less than ten calendar days from the date of mailing of the notice.

(c) Request. The superintendent of the district or chief operating officer of the open-enrollment charter school may request, in writing, a record review under this section.

(1) The request must be properly addressed to the TEA representative identified in the notice under subsection (b)(2) of this section, and must be received by the TEA representative on or before the deadline specified in subsection (b)(3) of this section.

(2) A timely and sufficient request for record review is a prerequisite for an appeal of the proposed order under Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title (relating to Review by State Office of Administrative Hearings: Certain Accreditation Sanctions).

(d) Preliminary matters.

(1) In response to a request under subsection (c) of this section, the TEA representative shall provide written notice to the district or charter of the date, time, and place for the record review.

(A) In this written notice, the TEA representative may:

(i) set time limits for presentations on the record;

(ii) set deadlines for exchanging documents prior to the record review;

(iii) set deadlines for identifying participants who may present information or ask questions during the review; and

(iv) provide any other instructions on the conduct of the record review.

(B) The TEA representative may consider reasonable requests to reschedule the record review and associated deadlines, but shall give primary importance to the need for a speedy resolution of the matter under review.

(C) The record review should in all instances be completed on or before the expiration of 30 calendar days following receipt of the request under subsection (c) of this section.

(D) Timely completion of the record review under subsection (c) of this section is a prerequisite for an appeal of the proposed order under Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title.

(2) The district or charter shall submit any written information to the TEA representative in advance of the record review. To be considered part of the record, such information must also be presented during the review.

(3) In its request for record review, or within a reasonable time thereafter, the district or charter may request that specific TEA staff members attend the record review to assist the TEA representative in reviewing the information presented.

(A) Such request shall be limited to staff directly involved in the development of the information identified in the notice under subsection (b) of this section.

(B) If reasonable and practicable, the TEA representative shall schedule the record review so as to allow the requested staff to attend.

(4) At all times prior to the record review, the district or charter is encouraged to contact the office of the TEA representative to discuss the process and to facilitate preliminary matters. However, such communications will not be recorded and will not be considered part of the record.

(5) The county-district or campus identification number of the affected entity must be included in all written correspondence on the record review, as well as the date the notice was issued under subsection (b) of this section. Correspondence relating to the review may be made part of the record.

(6) All deadlines under this section shall be calculated from the date of actual receipt. No mailbox rule applies.

(e) Record review.

(1) The TEA representative shall meet with the superintendent and/or representatives of the district or charter at the TEA headquarters in Austin, Texas, to receive oral and written information on the proposed order.

(2) The proceedings shall be recorded by audiotape or similar means. The audiotape and all written information presented during the review shall comprise the official record of the proceedings.

(3) The district or charter may have legal counsel present during the proceedings.

(4) The district or charter may present information verbally and in writing, and may rebut information presented by the TEA staff.

(5) The rules of evidence do not apply. Presentations need not follow question-and-answer format.

(6) The district or charter may ask questions of the TEA staff. The TEA representative may designate a specific portion of the meeting for this purpose.

(7) The TEA representative may ask questions of any participant directly or through the TEA staff.

(8) The TEA representative shall strictly confine presentations and questions to the matters set forth in the notice, and shall exclude information that is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious.

(9) On request, the TEA representative shall include in the record a brief written proffer describing any information excluded under paragraph (8) of this subsection. In lieu of a written proffer, an oral statement may be recorded on a separate audiotape. If the excluded information is in writing, the document shall be identified as excluded and preserved with the record.

(10) The TEA representative may take official notice of generally recognized information within the TEA's area of specialized knowledge.

(A) Each party shall be notified either before or during the record review, or by reference in a preliminary report or otherwise, of the material officially noticed, including staff memoranda or information.

(B) Any participant may present information to rebut information that is officially noticed.

(11) The special skills and knowledge of the TEA representative and staff shall be used in evaluating all information presented during the record review.

(12) At the request of the district or charter, a record review may be conducted by telephone or similar means.

(13) A participant may present information via telephone or similar means during any record review.

(f) Final order. Following the record review, a final order will be issued. The final order may include changes or additions to the proposed order and such modifications are not subject to another record review procedure. This order may be appealed only as provided by Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title.

(g) No request. If no record review is requested by the deadline specified in subsection (b)(3) of this section, a final order may be issued without record review. An order issued without record review may not be appealed under Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title, or otherwise.

(1) The charter of an open-enrollment charter school is automatically:

(A) revoked, void, and of no further force or effect on the effective date of a final decision by the commissioner of education ordering the school district or charter school closed under this subsection; and

(B) modified to remove authorization for an individual campus on the effective date of a final decision by the commissioner ordering the campus closed under this subsection.

(2) If sanctions are imposed on an open-enrollment charter school under the procedures provided by this subsection, a charter school is not entitled to an additional hearing relating to the modification, placement on probation, revocation, or denial of renewal of a charter as provided by TEC, Chapter 12, Subchapter D.

(h) Other law. Government Code, Chapter 2001, and TEC, §7.057, do not apply to a record review under this section.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1037 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143; amended to be effective November 23, 2008, 33 TexReg 9462

Subchapter EE

§97.1051: Definitions

For purposes under Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39; Subchapter DD of this chapter (relating to Investigative Reports, Sanctions, and Record Reviews); and this subchapter, the following words and terms shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Board of trustees--The definition of this term includes a governing body of a charter holder as defined by TEC, §12.1012.

(2) Campus--An organizational unit operated by the school district that is eligible to receive a campus performance rating in the state accountability rating system under §97.1001 of this title (relating to Accountability Rating System), including a rating of Not Rated--Other or Not Rated--Data Integrity Issues. The definition of this term includes a charter school campus as defined by §100.1011(3)(C) of this title (relating to Definitions).

(3) Campus closure--Cessation of all instructional activity on the campus in each grade level served in the school year immediately preceding the closure of the campus. An order of closure does not preclude the district from reusing the facility for another purpose such as administration, storage, or instruction in other grades not served during the school year immediately preceding the closure of the campus.

(4) Charter school--This term has the meaning assigned by §100.1011(3) of this title. References to a charter school in TEC, Chapter 39, and rules adopted under it, shall mean either the board of trustees or the school district, as appropriate.

(5) Charter school site--This term has the meaning assigned by §100.1011(3)(D) of this title.

(6) Person--This term has the meaning assigned by the Code Construction Act, Government Code, §311.005(2), and includes a school district.

(7) Reconstitution--

(A) The removal or reassignment of some or all campus administrative and/or instructional personnel in accordance with at least the minimum requirements of TEC, §39.107, taking into consideration proactive measures the district or campus has taken regarding campus personnel; and

(B) the implementation of a campus redesign, approved by the commissioner of education, that:

(i) provides a rigorous and relevant academic program;

(ii) provides personal attention and guidance;

(iii) promotes high expectations for all students; and

(iv) addresses comprehensive school-wide improvements that cover all aspects of a school's operations, including, but not limited to, curriculum and instruction changes, structural and managerial innovations, sustained professional development, financial commitment, and enhanced involvement of parents and the community.

(8) School district and district--The definition of these terms includes a charter operator, which is the same as a charter holder as defined by TEC, §12.1012.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1051 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective November 23, 2008, 33 TexReg 9462; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1053: Purpose

(a) The provisions of Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, and this subchapter shall be construed and applied to achieve the purposes of accreditation statuses assigned under TEC, §39.051 and §39.052, and the purposes of accreditation sanctions, which are to:

(1) inform the parents of students enrolled in the district, property owners in the district, general public, and policymakers of the academic, fiscal, and compliance performance of each district or campus on the standards adopted by the commissioner of education under TEC, §39.052(b) and (c), and/or listed in §97.1059 of this title (relating to Standards for All Accreditation Sanction Determinations);

(2) encourage the district or campus to improve its academic, fiscal, and/or compliance performance by addressing each area of deficiency identified by the commissioner of education;

(3) enable the parents of students enrolled in the district, property owners in the district, general public, and policymakers to assist the district or campus in improving the district or campus performance by addressing each area of deficiency identified by the commissioner;

(4) encourage other districts or campuses to improve their performance so as to avoid similar action and to retain their accreditation; and

(5) improve the Texas public school system by eliminating poor academic, fiscal, and compliance performance by districts and campuses on the standards listed in §97.1059 of this title.

(b) The accreditation status assigned a district under §97.1055 of this title (relating to Accreditation Status) generally reflects performance under the state academic accountability rating system and financial accountability rating system beginning with the district's 2006 ratings. However, performance under these systems for earlier years shall be considered for purposes of accreditation statuses and sanctions under this subchapter. Accordingly:

(1) consideration of or failure to consider any rating of the district under §97.1055 of this title does not preclude consideration of that rating when determining accreditation sanctions under this subchapter; and

(2) when determining accreditation sanctions under this subchapter, the commissioner shall consider the entire ratings history of the district and its campuses to the extent it is material.

(c) Except as provided by §97.1055(g) of this title, the provisions of TEC, Chapter 39, and this subchapter apply in the same manner to an open-enrollment charter school as to a district.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1053 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective November 23, 2008, 33 TexReg 9462; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1055: Accreditation Status

(a) General provisions.

(1) Each year, the commissioner of education shall assign to each school district an accreditation status under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.052(b) and (c). Each district shall be assigned a status defined as follows.

(A) Accredited. Accredited means the Texas Education Agency (TEA) recognizes the district as a public school of this state that:

(i) meets the standards determined by the commissioner under TEC, §39.052(b) and (c), and specified in §97.1059 of this title (relating to Standards for All Accreditation Sanction Determinations); and

(ii) is not currently assigned an accreditation status of Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation.

(B) Accredited-Warned. Accredited-Warned means the district exhibits deficiencies in performance, as specified in subsection (b) of this section, that, if not addressed, will lead to probation or revocation of its accreditation status.

(C) Accredited-Probation. Accredited-Probation means the district exhibits deficiencies in performance, as specified in subsection (c) of this section, that must be addressed to avoid revocation of its accreditation status.

(D) Not Accredited-Revoked. Not Accredited-Revoked means the TEA does not recognize the district as a Texas public school because the district's performance has failed to meet standards adopted by the commissioner under TEC, §39.052(b) and (c), and specified in subsection (d) of this section.

(2) The commissioner shall assign the accreditation status, as defined by this section, based on the performance of each school district. This section shall be construed and applied to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052, which are specified in §97.1053(a) of this title (relating to Purpose).

(3) The commissioner shall revoke the accreditation status of a district that fails to meet the standards specified in this section. In the event of revocation, the purposes of the TEC, §39.051 and §39.052, are to:

(A) inform the parents of students enrolled in the district, property owners in the district, general public, and policymakers that the TEA does not recognize the district as a Texas public school because the district's performance has failed to meet standards adopted by the commissioner under TEC, §39.052(b) and (c), and specified in subsection (d) of this section; and

(B) encourage other districts to improve their performance so as to retain their accreditation.

(4) Unless revised as a result of investigative activities by the commissioner as authorized under TEC, Chapter 39, or other law, an accreditation status remains in effect until replaced by an accreditation status assigned for the next school year. An accreditation status shall be revised within the school year when circumstances require such revision in order to achieve the purposes specified in §97.1053(a) of this title.

(5) An accreditation status will be withheld pending completion of any appeal or review of an academic accountability rating, a financial accountability rating, or other determination by the commissioner, but only if such appeal or review is:

(A) specifically authorized by commissioner rule;

(B) timely requested under and in compliance with such rule; and

(C) applicable to the accreditation status under review.

(6) An accreditation status may be withheld pending completion of on-site or other investigative activities in order to achieve the purposes specified in §97.1053(a) of this title.

(7) An accreditation status may be raised or lowered based on the district's performance or may be lowered based on the performance of one or more campuses in the district that is below a standard required under this chapter or other applicable law.

(8) For purposes of determining multiple years of academically unacceptable or insufficient performance, the academic accountability ratings issued for the 2010-2011 school year and for the 2012-2013 school year are consecutive. An accreditation status assigned for the 2012-2013 school year shall be based on assigned academic accountability ratings for the applicable prior school years, as determined under subsections (b)-(d) of this section.

(9) Accreditation statuses are consecutive if they are not separated by an accreditation period in which the TEA assigned accreditation statuses to districts and charter schools generally. For example, if TEA does not assign accreditation statuses to districts and charter schools generally for the 2012-2013 school year, then the accreditation statuses issued for the 2011-2012 school year and for the 2013-2014 school year are consecutive.

(b) Determination of Accredited-Warned status.

(1) A district shall be assigned Accredited-Warned status if, beginning with its 2006 rating, the district is assigned:

(A) for two consecutive school years, an academic accountability rating of Academically Unacceptable or insufficient performance under §97.1001 of this title (relating to Accountability Rating System);

(B) for two consecutive school years, a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement or Suspended--Data Quality under §109.1002 of this title (relating to Financial Accountability Ratings);

(C) for two consecutive school years, any one of the ratings referenced in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph; or

(D) for one school year, a combination of ratings referenced in both subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph.

(2) Notwithstanding the district's performance under paragraph (1) of this subsection, a district shall be assigned Accredited-Warned status if the commissioner determines this action is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052. Such action is generally required by the following circumstances:

(A) to an extent established under subsection (e) of this section, the district has failed to comply with requirements related to:

(i) the integrity of assessment or financial data used to measure performance under TEC, Chapter 39 or 42, and rules implementing those chapters;

(ii) the reporting of data under TEC, §42.006, and §61.1025 of this title (relating to Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) Data and Reporting Standards);

(iii) other reports required by state or federal law or court order;

(iv) awarding high school graduation under TEC, §28.025; or

(v) any applicable requirement under TEC, §7.056(e)(3)(C)-(I); or

(B) after investigation under TEC, §39.056 or §39.057, the commissioner finds:

(i) the district's programs monitored under §97.1005 of this title (relating to Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System) exhibit serious or persistent deficiencies that, if not addressed, may lead to probation or revocation of the district's accreditation; or

(ii) the district otherwise exhibits serious or persistent deficiencies that, if not addressed, may lead to probation or revocation of the district's accreditation.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, a district shall be assigned Accredited-Warned status if the commissioner determines this action is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052.

(4) Notwithstanding any provisions in this subsection, a district shall be assigned Accredited-Warned status if it has otherwise earned the Accredited status, but the commissioner determines:

(A) the district failed to submit a plan as provided by TEC, §39.0823(b);

(B) the district failed to obtain approval from the TEA for a plan as provided by TEC, §39.0823(b);

(C) the district failed to comply with a plan approved by the TEA under TEC, §39.0823(b); or

(D) in a subsequent school year, based on financial data submitted by the district, the approved plan for the district is insufficient or inappropriately implemented under TEC, §39.0823.

(c) Determination of Accredited-Probation status.

(1) A district shall be assigned Accredited-Probation status if, beginning with its 2006 rating, the district is assigned:

(A) for three consecutive school years, an academic accountability rating of Academically Unacceptable or insufficient performance under §97.1001 of this title;

(B) for three consecutive school years, a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement or Suspended--Data Quality under §109.1002 of this title;

(C) for three consecutive school years, any one of the ratings referenced in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph; or

(D) for two consecutive school years, a combination of ratings referenced in both subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph.

(2) Notwithstanding the district's performance under paragraph (1) of this subsection, a district shall be assigned Accredited-Probation status if the commissioner determines this action is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052. Such action is generally required by the following circumstances:

(A) to an extent established under subsection (e) of this section, the district has failed to comply with requirements related to:

(i) the integrity of assessment or financial data used to measure performance under TEC, Chapter 39 or 42, and rules implementing those chapters;

(ii) the reporting of data under TEC, §42.006, and §61.1025 of this title;

(iii) other reports required by state or federal law or court order;

(iv) awarding high school graduation under TEC, §28.025; or

(v) any applicable requirement under TEC, §7.056(e)(3)(C)-(I); or

(B) after investigation under TEC, §39.056 or §39.057, the commissioner finds:

(i) the district's programs monitored under §97.1005 of this title exhibit serious or persistent deficiencies that, if not addressed, may lead to revocation of the district's accreditation; or

(ii) the district otherwise exhibits serious or persistent deficiencies that, if not addressed, may lead to revocation of the district's accreditation.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, a district shall be assigned Accredited-Probation status if the commissioner determines this action is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision in this subsection, a district shall be assigned Accredited-Probation status if it has otherwise earned the Accredited-Warned status, but the commissioner determines:

(A) the district failed to submit a plan as provided by TEC, §39.0823(b);

(B) the district failed to obtain approval from the TEA for a plan as provided by TEC, §39.0823(b);

(C) the district failed to comply with a plan approved by the TEA under TEC, §39.0823(b); or

(D) in a subsequent school year, based on financial data submitted by the district, the approved plan for the district is insufficient or inappropriately implemented under TEC, §39.0823.

(d) Determination of Not Accredited-Revoked status; Revocation of accreditation.

(1) The accreditation of a district shall be revoked if, beginning with its 2006 rating, the district is assigned:

(A) for four consecutive school years, an academic accountability rating of Academically Unacceptable or insufficient performance under §97.1001 of this title;

(B) for four consecutive school years, a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement or Suspended--Data Quality under §109.1002 of this title;

(C) for four consecutive school years, any one of the ratings referenced in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph; or

(D) for three consecutive school years, a combination of ratings referenced in both subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph.

(2) A district shall have its accreditation revoked if, notwithstanding its performance under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the commissioner determines this action is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052. Such action is generally required by the following circumstances:

(A) to an extent established under subsection (e) of this section, the district has failed to comply with requirements related to:

(i) the integrity of assessment or financial data used to measure performance under TEC, Chapter 39 or 42, and rules implementing those chapters;

(ii) the reporting of data under TEC, §42.006, and §61.1025 of this title;

(iii) other reports required by state or federal law or court order;

(iv) awarding high school graduation under TEC, §28.025; or

(v) any applicable requirement under TEC, §7.056(e)(3)(C)-(I); or

(B) after investigation under TEC, §39.056 or §39.057, the commissioner finds:

(i) the district's programs monitored under §97.1005 of this title exhibit serious or persistent deficiencies that require revocation of the district's accreditation; or

(ii) the district otherwise exhibits serious or persistent deficiencies that require revocation of the district's accreditation.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of this subsection, a district's accreditation shall be revoked if the commissioner determines this action is reasonably necessary to achieve the purposes of TEC, §39.051 and §39.052.

(4) Notwithstanding any provision in this subsection, a district shall be assigned Not Accredited-Revoked status if it has otherwise earned the Accredited-Probation status, but the commissioner determines:

(A) the district failed to submit a plan as provided by TEC, §39.0823(b);

(B) the district failed to obtain approval from the TEA for a plan as provided by TEC, §39.0823(b);

(C) the district failed to comply with a plan approved by the TEA under TEC, §39.0823(b); or

(D) in a subsequent school year, based on financial data submitted by the district, the approved plan for the district is insufficient or inappropriately implemented under TEC, §39.0823.

(5) The commissioner's decision to revoke a district's accreditation may be appealed under §97.1037 of this title (relating to Record Review of Certain Decisions). If the decision is sustained on appeal, the commissioner shall appoint a management team or board of managers to bring to closure the district's operation of the public school.

(e) Legal compliance. In addition to the district's performance as measured by ratings under §97.1001 and §109.1002 of this title, the accreditation status of a district is determined by its compliance with the statutes and rules specified in TEC, §39.052(b)(2). Notwithstanding satisfactory or above satisfactory performance on other measures, a district's accreditation status may be assigned based on its legal compliance alone, to the extent the commissioner determines necessary. In making this determination, the commissioner:

(1) shall assign the accreditation status that is reasonably calculated to accomplish the applicable provisions specified in §97.1053(a) of this title;

(2) may impose, but is not required to impose, an accreditation sanction under this subchapter in addition to assigning a status under paragraph (1) of this subsection; and

(3) shall lower the status assigned and/or impose additional accreditation sanctions as necessary to achieve compliance with the statutes and rules specified in TEC, §39.052(b)(2).

(f) Required notification of Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation status.

(1) A district assigned an accreditation status of Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation shall notify the parents of students enrolled in the district and property owners in the district as specified by this subsection.

(2) The district's notice must contain information about the accreditation status, the implications of such status, and the steps the district is taking to address the areas of deficiency identified by the commissioner. The district's notice shall use the format and language determined by the commissioner.

(3) Notice under this subsection must:

(A) not later than 30 calendar days after the accreditation status is assigned, appear on the home page of the district's website, with a link to the notification required by paragraph (2) of this subsection, and remain until the district is assigned the Accredited status; and

(B) appear in the newspaper with the greatest circulation in the district for three consecutive days as follows:

(i) from Sunday through Tuesday of the second week following assignment of the status; or

(ii) if the newspaper is not published from Sunday through Tuesday, then for three consecutive issues of the newspaper beginning the second week following assignment of the status; or

(C) not later than 30 calendar days after the status is assigned, be sent by first class mail addressed individually to each parent of a student enrolled in the district and each property owner in the district; or

(D) not later than 30 calendar days after the status is assigned, be presented as a discussion item in a public meeting of the board of trustees conducted at a time and location that allows parents of students enrolled in the district and property owners in the district to attend and provide public comment.

(4) A district required to act under this subsection shall send the following to the TEA via certified mail, return receipt requested:

(A) the universal resource locator (URL) for the link required by paragraph (3)(A) of this subsection; and

(B) copies of the notice required by paragraph (3)(B) of this subsection showing dates of publication, or a paid invoice showing the notice content and its dates of publication; or

(C) copies of the notice required by paragraph (3)(C) of this subsection and copies of all mailing lists and postage receipts; or

(D) copies of the notice required by paragraph (3)(D) of this subsection and copies of the board of trustees meeting notice and minutes for the board meeting in which the notice was presented and publicly discussed.

(g) Substitute criteria if no charter school financial accountability rating. In considering the financial performance of a charter operator during a fiscal year for which no financial accountability ratings were assigned to charter operators under §109.1002 of this title, the commissioner shall apply the following substitute criteria.

(1) Finding in lieu of rating. Any of the following findings, made after an opportunity for a record review under paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection, shall be deemed the equivalent of a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement or Suspended--Data Quality under §109.1002 of this title:

(A) the Annual Audit Report required for that fiscal year by TEC, §44.008, and §100.1047 of this title (relating to Accounting for State Funds) was received more than 180 days after the close of the entity's fiscal year;

(B) the Annual Audit Report required for that fiscal year by TEC, §44.008, and §100.1047 of this title disclosed total assets of less than 80% of total liabilities; or

(C) the Annual Audit Report required for that fiscal year by TEC, §44.008, and §100.1047 of this title contained:

(i) an adverse opinion, including a going concern disclosure, or a disclaimer of opinion; and

(ii) the adverse or disclaimed opinion pertained to:

(I) financial resources or expenditures that were not properly documented; or

(II) a material weakness in internal controls that led to the misallocation of financial resources.

(2) Provisions concerning finding. Whenever a provision of this section calls for consideration of the financial accountability rating of a charter operator for a fiscal year, a finding described by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be deemed the financial accountability rating and applied as if such finding were issued under §109.1002 of this title.

(A) If a provision of this section calls for consideration of the financial accountability rating of a charter operator for more than one fiscal year, and financial accountability ratings were assigned to charter operators under §109.1002 of this title for at least one but fewer than all of the relevant fiscal years, a finding described by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be deemed the financial accountability rating only for the fiscal year(s) for which no financial accountability ratings were assigned to charter operators.

(B) A finding described by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be issued using the process provided by §97.1035 of this title (relating to Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions) and shall be subject to a record review under §97.1037 of this title (relating to Record Review of Certain Decisions).

(C) A finding described by paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be issued pertaining to each fiscal year beginning with the 2007-2008 fiscal year. For the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the TEA shall report the performance of each open-enrollment charter operator for informational purposes only.

(h) Third-party accreditation. The commissioner may recognize a supplemental accreditation issued by a rating agency approved by the commissioner to a charter operator that meets the standards determined by the commissioner under subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section. A charter operator that fails to meet the standards for accreditation under subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section may not receive such recognition until the charter operator meets the standards for the Accredited status as determined by the commissioner.

§97.1057: Accreditation Interventions and Sanctions; Lowered Accreditation Status or Rating

(a) The provisions of Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, and this subchapter shall be construed and applied to achieve the purposes of accreditation sanctions, which are specified in §97.1053 of this title (relating to Purpose).

(b) If the commissioner of education finds that a district or campus does not satisfy the accreditation criteria under TEC, §39.051 and §39.052, the academic performance standards under TEC, §39.054, or any financial accountability standard as determined by the commissioner, the commissioner may lower the district's accreditation status, academic accountability rating, or financial accountability rating, as applicable, and take appropriate action under this subchapter.

(c) Regardless of whether the commissioner lowers a district's status or rating under subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may take action under TEC, Chapter 39, or this section if the commissioner determines that the action is necessary to improve any area of performance by the district or campus.

(d) Subject to §97.1035 of this title (relating to Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions), once the commissioner takes action under this subchapter, the commissioner may impose on the district or campus any other sanction under TEC, Chapter 39, or this subchapter, singly or in combination, to the extent the commissioner determines is reasonably required to achieve the purposes specified in §97.1053 of this title.

(e) In determining whether to impose a particular sanction under TEC, Chapter 39, or this subchapter, the commissioner may consider the costs and logistical concerns of the district, but shall give primary consideration to the best interest of the district's students. The sanction selected shall be reasonably calculated to address the district's or campus' deficiencies immediately or within a reasonable time, in the best interest of its present and future students. The following shall be considered as being contrary to the best interests of the district's students:

(1) inefficient or ineffectual use of district funds or property;

(2) failure to adequately account for funds; and

(3) receipt of a substantial over-allocation of funds for which the district has failed to plan prudently in light of its obligation to repay the funds under TEC, §42.258.

(f) In determining whether to impose a particular sanction under TEC, Chapter 39, or this subchapter based on resource allocation practices as authorized by TEC, §39.0821 and §39.057(a)(12), (d) and (e), the commissioner shall consider the factors specified in §97.1053 of this title.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1057 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1059: Standards for All Accreditation Sanction Determinations

(a) The commissioner of education shall impose district and campus accreditation sanctions under this subchapter individually or in combination as the commissioner determines necessary to achieve the purposes identified in §97.1053 of this title (relating to Purpose).

(b) In making a determination under subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall consider the seriousness, number, extent, and duration of deficiencies identified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and shall impose one or more accreditation sanctions on a district and its campuses as needed to address:

(1) each material deficiency identified by the TEA through its systems for district and campus accountability, including:

(A) an accreditation status under §97.1055 of this title (relating to Accreditation Status);

(B) an academic accountability rating under §97.1001 of this title (relating to Accountability Rating System);

(C) a financial accountability rating under §109.1002 of this title (relating to Financial Accountability Ratings) or a financial audit or investigation;

(D) program effectiveness under §97.1071 of this title (relating to Special Program Performance; Intervention Stages) or other law;

(E) the results of a special accreditation investigation under Texas Education Code, §39.057;

(F) the results of an investigative report under §97.1033 of this title (relating to Informal Review of Preliminary Investigative Report; Final Investigative Report); complaint investigation; special education due process hearing; or data integrity investigation, including an investigation of assessment or financial data; or

(G) other information related to subparagraphs (A)-(F) of this paragraph.

(2) any ongoing failures to address deficiencies previously identified or patterns of recurring deficiencies;

(3) any lack of district responsiveness to, or compliance with, current or prior interventions or sanctions; and

(4) any substantial or imminent harm presented by the deficiencies of the district or campus to the welfare of its students or to the public interest.

(c) If the commissioner identifies a district and one or more of its campuses for accreditation sanction under subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may elect to combine activities to be undertaken at the district and campus levels as needed to achieve the purposes of each sanction.

(d) When making any campus-level determination under this subchapter, the commissioner shall also consider the district-level performance of the district on applicable academic, fiscal, and compliance standards.

(e) The commissioner must review at least annually the performance of a district for which the accreditation status or academic accountability rating has been lowered due to insufficient student performance and may not raise the accreditation status or rating until the district has demonstrated improved student performance. If the review reveals a lack of improvement, the commissioner shall increase the level of state intervention and sanction unless the commissioner finds good cause for maintaining the current status.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1059 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1061: Interventions and Sanctions for Campuses

(a) If a campus' performance is below any standard under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.054(e), the commissioner of education shall take any action provided by TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter E, to the extent the commissioner determines necessary. In addition, the commissioner may take either or both of the following actions, to the extent the commissioner determines necessary:

(1) order a hearing before the commissioner at which the president of the board of trustees, the superintendent, and the campus principal shall appear and explain the campus' low performance, lack of improvement, and plans for improvement; or

(2) establish a school community partnership team (SCPT) composed of members of the campus-level planning and decision-making committee established under TEC, §11.251, or this section and additional community representatives as determined appropriate by the commissioner.

(b) If a campus performance satisfies academic accountability standards under TEC, §39.054(e), for the current school year but would not satisfy standards under TEC, §39.054(e), if the standards to be used for the following school year were applied to the current school year, the commissioner may require the campus-level planning and decision-making committee established under TEC, §11.251, to revise and submit to the commissioner in an electronic format the portions of the campus improvement plan (CIP) developed under TEC, §11.253, that are relevant to those areas for which the campus would not satisfy performance standards.

(c) If the campus to which subsection (b) of this section applies is an open-enrollment charter school, the school shall establish a campus-level planning and decision-making committee using the same procedures, as much as practicable, as those provided by TEC, §11.251(b)-(e), and develop a CIP as provided by TEC, §11.253. The school shall submit its proposed procedures for approval by the commissioner prior to establishing the committee.

(d) On request of the commissioner, the campus to which subsection (c) of this section applies shall submit to the commissioner in an electronic format the portions of the CIP that are relevant to those areas for which the campus would not satisfy academic accountability standards.

(e) A SCPT established under this section shall continue from year to year until the commissioner determines that it may be discontinued.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter E, and this subchapter, if the commissioner determines that a campus subject to interventions or sanctions under this subchapter has implemented substantially similar intervention measures under federal accountability requirements, the commissioner may accept the substantially similar intervention measures as measures in compliance with this subchapter.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1061 adopted to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1063: Campus Intervention Team

(a) If the performance of a campus is below any standard under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.054(e), for the current school year, the commissioner of education shall assign a campus intervention team (CIT) under TEC, §39.106, and this section. The duties and responsibilities of the CIT will be based on the reasons for the campus' academic accountability rating.

(1) In assigning a CIT to a campus below a standard under TEC, §39.054(e), for the first year, the commissioner will offer the school district an opportunity to recommend CIT members under procedures established by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

(A) If the district does not recommend CIT members under TEA procedures, the commissioner will assign a CIT without such input.

(B) If the commissioner does not approve the CIT membership recommendation by the district, the commissioner will assign the CIT members.

(2) In assigning a CIT to a campus below a standard under TEC, §39.054(e), for the second or more consecutive year, the commissioner will approve CIT members only as provided by procedures established by the TEA.

(3) If the campus does not implement the school improvement plan (SIP) or the recommendations of the CIT, the commissioner shall order the reconstitution of the campus in accordance with TEC, §39.107, and §97.1064 of this title (relating to Reconstitution).

(b) A CIT shall:

(1) conduct a targeted on-site needs assessment relevant to the areas of insufficient performance of the campus as provided by subsection (c) of this section, or if the commissioner determines necessary, a comprehensive on-site needs assessment using the procedures provided by subsection (c) of this section;

(2) recommend appropriate actions as provided by subsection (d) of this section;

(3) assist the campus in developing a SIP targeted to address the needs of the campus relating to the areas of insufficient performance;

(4) assist the campus in submitting its SIP to its board of trustees for approval and in presenting the board of trustees' SIP in a public hearing as provided by subsection (j) of this section; and

(5) assist the commissioner in monitoring the progress of the campus in implementing the SIP.

(c) An on-site needs assessment of the campus under subsection (a) of this section must determine the contributing education-related and other factors resulting in the campus' low performance and lack of progress. The CIT shall use the guidelines and procedures provided by TEC, §39.106(b), in conducting the targeted or comprehensive on-site needs assessment.

(d) On completing the on-site needs assessment under this section, the CIT shall recommend actions relating to any area of insufficient performance, including those specified by TEC, §39.106(c).

(e) The CIT shall assist the campus in submitting the SIP or updated SIP to the commissioner for approval. The board of trustees shall ensure that the campus submits its SIP by a date prescribed by the TEA.

(f) A school community partnership team (SCPT) shall supersede the authority of and satisfy the requirements of establishing and maintaining a campus-level planning and decision-making committee under TEC, Chapter 11, Subchapter F, or §97.1061(c) of this title (relating to Interventions and Sanctions for Campuses), if this is provided by the commissioner in establishing the SCPT under §97.1061(a)(2) of this title. In that event, the CIT shall involve and be advised by the SCPT in carrying out the duties set forth in subsections (b)(1) and (d) of this section.

(g) The commissioner may authorize a SIP or updated SIP developed under this subchapter to supersede the provisions of and satisfy the requirements of developing, reviewing, and revising a campus improvement plan (CIP) under TEC, Chapter 11, Subchapter F, or §97.1061(c) of this title.

(h) In assisting the district/campus to execute its approved SIP, the CIT will, as appropriate:

(1) assist the campus in implementing research-based practices for curriculum development and classroom instruction, including bilingual education and special education programs and financial management;

(2) provide research-based technical assistance, including data analysis, academic deficiency identification, intervention implementation support, and budget analysis, in order to help the campus strengthen and improve its instructional programs; and

(3) request the district to develop a teacher recruitment and retention plan to address the qualifications and retention of the teachers at the campus. At the recommendation of the CIT, the commissioner may require the district to develop such a plan.

(i) For each year a campus is assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system, a CIT shall:

(1) continue to work with the campus until:

(A) the campus satisfies all performance standards under TEC, §39.054(e), for a two-year period; or

(B) the campus satisfies all performance standards under TEC, §39.054(e), for a one-year period and the commissioner determines that the campus is operating and will continue to operate in a manner that improves student achievement;

(2) assist in updating the SIP to identify and analyze areas of growth and areas that require improvement; and

(3) assist the campus in submitting its updated SIP to its board of trustees.

(j) After a SIP or updated SIP is submitted to the board of trustees of the school district, the board:

(1) shall conduct a hearing for the purpose of:

(A) notifying the public of the insufficient performance, the improvements in performance expected by the TEA, and the intervention measures or sanctions that may be imposed under this subchapter if the performance does not improve within a designated period; and

(B) soliciting public comment on the SIP or any updated SIP;

(2) must post the SIP on the district's Internet website at least 72 hours before the hearing;

(3) may conduct one hearing relating to one or more campuses subject to a SIP or an updated SIP; and

(4) after modifying the SIP in response to public comment, as appropriate, shall submit the SIP or any updated SIP to the commissioner for approval. The SIP submitted to the commissioner for approval may include procedures for submitting certain changes or adjustments to the commissioner for approval without the necessity of further board hearing and action under this subsection.

(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, if the commissioner determines that a campus for which an intervention is ordered under subsection (a) of this section is not fully implementing the CIT's recommendations or SIP or updated SIP, the commissioner may order the reconstitution of the campus as provided by TEC, §39.107, and §97.1064 of this title.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1063 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1064: Reconstitution

(a) When a campus is assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system for two consecutive school years, the commissioner of education shall order the campus reconstituted under procedures developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and the campus intervention team (CIT) will continue to be assigned under §97.1063 of this title (relating to Campus Intervention Team).

(1) A campus ordered to reconstitute shall use the school year in which its second identification occurs to plan the reconstitution, with the assistance of the district and CIT, and shall open the subsequent school year as a reconstituted campus regardless of the state academic accountability rating assigned to the campus in that school year. For example: A district campus is rated Academically Unacceptable for the second consecutive year on August 1, 2009. In September 2009, the commissioner orders reconstitution, and the district uses the 2009-2010 school year to plan the reconstitution. The district must open the reconstituted campus in the fall of 2010.

(A) The CIT shall decide which educators may be retained at the campus when it opens as a reconstituted campus for the subsequent school year.

(B) A principal who has been employed by the campus in that capacity during the full period of campus performance resulting in the ratings triggering action under this subsection may not be retained at the campus when it opens as a reconstituted campus for the subsequent school year unless the CIT determines that retention of the principal would be more beneficial to the student achievement and campus stability than removal.

(C) A teacher of a subject assessed by an assessment instrument under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023, may be retained at the reconstituted campus only if the CIT determines that a pattern exists of significant academic improvement by students taught by the teacher.

(D) If an educator is not retained at the reconstituted campus, the educator may be assigned to another position in the district.

(2) A campus subject to this subsection shall implement the requirements of §97.1063 of this title and shall implement the updated school improvement plan (SIP), including the plan for campus reconstitution, as approved by the commissioner. The TEA may assign a monitor, conservator, management team, or board of managers to a district with a campus assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system for two or more consecutive school years in order to ensure and oversee district-level support to low-performing campuses and the implementation of the updated SIP and the reconstitution plan. In making appointments under this subsection, the commissioner shall consider individuals who have demonstrated success in managing campuses with student populations similar to the campus at which the individual appointed will serve.

(3) The commissioner shall order repurposing, alternative management, or campus closure under §97.1065 of this title (relating to Repurposing, Alternative Management, or Campus Closure) when a campus assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system for two or more consecutive school years has failed to fully implement recommendations of the CIT or terms of the updated SIP and the reconstitution plan or if the students enrolled at the campus fail to demonstrate substantial improvement in the areas targeted by the updated SIP and such order is needed to achieve the purposes listed in §97.1053 of this title (relating to Purpose).

(b) The district is responsible for the successful reconstitution and subsequent performance of its campus. The CIT shall assist the reconstituting campus in:

(1) developing an updated SIP;

(2) submitting the updated SIP to the board of trustees of the school district for approval and presenting the plan in a public hearing as provided by §97.1063(j) of this title;

(3) seeking approval of the updated SIP from the commissioner; and

(4) executing the plan on approval by the commissioner.

(c) For each year that a campus is considered to have an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system, a CIT shall:

(1) assist in updating the SIP to identify and analyze areas of growth and areas that require improvement; and

(2) support and assist the campus in submitting its updated SIP to the board of trustees of the school district, to the parents of campus students, and to the TEA for approval.

(d) In combination with action under this section, the commissioner may impose on the district or campus any other sanction under TEC, Chapter 39, or this subchapter, singly or in combination, to the extent the commissioner determines is reasonably required to achieve the purposes specified in §97.1053 of this title. In particular, the commissioner may:

(1) impose a campus accreditation sanction under §97.1061 of this title (relating to Interventions and Sanctions for Campuses);

(2) take action under any provision of TEC, Chapters 12 or 39; and/or

(3) require the district to purchase professional services under TEC, §39.109.

(A) The commissioner's order may require the district or campus to:

(i) select or be assigned an external auditor, data quality expert, professional authorized to monitor district assessment instrument administration, or curriculum or program expert; or

(ii) provide for or participate in the appropriate training of district staff or board of trustee's members in the case of a district or campus staff in the case of a campus.

(B) If the commissioner's order requires the district or campus to select a specific professional service provider, the district is exempt from following competitive bidding procedures before executing the contract.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1064 adopted to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1065: Repurposing, Alternative Management, or Campus Closure

(a) Action required. The commissioner of education shall order repurposing, alternative management, or closure of a campus as provided in this section, if the campus is assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system for the third consecutive school year after reconstitution is required to be implemented under §97.1064 of this title (relating to Reconstitution).

(b) Other actions permitted. In combination with action under this section, the commissioner may impose on the district or campus any other sanction under Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, or this subchapter, singly or in combination, to the extent the commissioner determines is reasonably required to achieve the purposes specified in §97.1053 of this title (relating to Purpose). In particular, the commissioner may impose sanctions as specified in §97.1064(d) of this title and/or may assign a monitor, conservator, management team, or board of managers in order to ensure and oversee district-level support to low-performing campuses and the implementation of the updated school improvement plan (SIP) and the reconstitution plan.

(c) Campus repurposing.

(1) If the commissioner orders repurposing of a campus under this section, the school district shall develop a comprehensive plan for repurposing the campus and submit the plan to the board of trustees for approval and to the commissioner for approval, using the procedures described by §97.1063 of this title (relating to Campus Intervention Team) for SIP approvals. The plan must include a description of a rigorous and relevant academic program for the campus. The plan may include various instructional models.

(2) The commissioner may not approve the repurposing of a campus unless:

(A) all students in the assigned attendance zone of the campus in the school year immediately preceding the repurposing of the campus are provided with the opportunity to enroll in and are provided transportation on request to a campus approved by the commissioner, unless the commissioner grants an exception because there is no other campus in the district in which the students may enroll;

(B) the principal is not retained at the campus, unless the commissioner determines that students enrolled at the campus have demonstrated significant academic improvement; and

(C) teachers employed at the campus in the school year immediately preceding the repurposing of the campus are not retained at the campus, unless the commissioner or the commissioner's designee grants an exception, at the request of a school district, for:

(i) a teacher who provides instruction in a subject other than a subject for which an assessment instrument is administered under TEC, §39.023(a) or (c), who demonstrates to the commissioner satisfactory performance; or

(ii) a teacher who provides instruction in a subject for which an assessment instrument is administered under TEC, §39.023(a) or (c), if the district demonstrates that the students of the teacher demonstrated satisfactory performance or improved academic growth on that assessment instrument.

(3) If an educator is not retained under paragraph (2)(C) of this subsection, the educator may be assigned to another position in the district.

(d) Alternative management. The commissioner may order alternative management of a campus under this section and may require the campus to remain open, when:

(1) the commissioner does not approve repurposing of the campus under subsection (c) of this section and does not order the closure of the campus under §97.1051(3) of this title (relating to Definitions);

(2) the commissioner determines that alternative management has a reasonable expectation of producing an acceptable or higher campus performance rating in the state academic accountability system within three rating cycles of assignment of the alternative management service provider under §97.1067 of this title (relating to Alternative Management of Campuses);

(3) an alternative management service provider with the necessary skills and required expertise is available under §97.1069 of this title (relating to Providers of Alternative Campus Management); and

(4) such action is determined warranted under §97.1059 of this title (relating to Standards for All Accreditation Sanction Determinations) and other standards for accreditation sanction determinations.

(e) Closure. The commissioner may order closure of the campus when action is required under this section and:

(1) the commissioner approves neither repurposing of the campus under subsection (c) of this section nor alternative management under subsection (d) of this section;

(2) the district fails to enter into a contract for alternative management under §97.1067 of this title as required by §97.1067 of this title; or

(3) the commissioner does not approve the contract for alternative management under §97.1067 of this title; and

(4) such action is determined warranted under §97.1059 of this title and other standards for accreditation sanction determinations.

(f) Alternative management unsuccessful. The commissioner shall order closure of a campus when alternative management of the campus was ordered under this section and:

(1) the district resumed operation of the campus under TEC, §39.107(n); and

(2) for the school year immediately following resumption of operations, the campus is assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system.

(g) Appeal. An order proposing action under this section may be appealed only as provided by §97.1037 of this title (relating to Record Review of Certain Decisions).

(h) Waiver. The commissioner may waive the requirement to enter an order under subsection (a) of this section for not more than one school year if the commissioner determines that, on the basis of significant improvement in student performance over the preceding two school years, the campus is likely to be assigned an acceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system for the following school year.

(i) Targeted technical assistance. In addition to the grounds specified in TEC, §39.109, if the commissioner determines that the basis for the unsatisfactory performance of a campus for more than two consecutive school years is limited to a specific condition that may be remedied with targeted technical assistance, the commissioner may require the district to contract for the appropriate technical assistance.

(j) Lack of improvement. The commissioner shall order repurposing, alternative management, or campus closure under this section if the students enrolled at a campus assigned an unacceptable performance rating under the state academic accountability system for two or more consecutive school years fail to demonstrate substantial improvement in the areas targeted by the campus' updated SIP and such order is needed to achieve the purposes listed in §97.1053 of this title.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1065 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1067: Alternative Management of Campuses

(a) By January 1 of the school year in which alternative management of a campus is ordered under §97.1065 of this title (relating to Repurposing, Alternative Management, or Campus Closure), the school district shall:

(1) execute a contract in compliance with this section; and

(2) relinquish control over the campus to a service provider approved under §97.1069 of this title (relating to Providers of Alternative Campus Management).

(b) A contract under this section must be executed by the district and the service provider and must:

(1) relinquish all authority to perform the duties and responsibilities of a principal under Texas Education Code (TEC), §11.202(b)(1)-(6), with respect to the campus;

(2) comply with TEC, §39.107(m)-(o); this section; and the requirements and performance measures established by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) under §97.1069 of this title;

(3) provide for the creation, maintenance, retention, and transfer of all public records concerning the campus;

(4) include provisions governing liability for damages, costs, and other penalties for acts or omissions by the service provider, including failure to comply with federal or state laws;

(5) provide for termination of the contract if:

(A) the campus is assigned an acceptable or higher performance rating under the state academic accountability system for two consecutive school years; or

(B) the commissioner of education orders campus closure under §97.1065(e) or (f) of this title;

(6) specify additional roles or responsibilities assumed by the service provider, if any;

(7) be approved by written resolution of the district's board of trustees; and

(8) be approved in writing by the commissioner.

(c) The service provider may perform the duties and responsibilities of a principal, and in addition may make requests and recommendations to the district concerning all aspects of campus administration, including personnel and budget decisions.

(1) If a request is denied or a recommendation is not implemented by the district, the service provider shall report to the TEA both its request or recommendation and the district's action in response.

(2) The commissioner may implement additional sanctions under this subchapter and consider such reports under TEC, §39.108 and §39.107(n), as well as §97.1065(b) of this title.

(d) The funding for the campus must be not less than the funding of the other campuses operated by the district on a per-student basis so that the service provider receives at least as much funding as the campus would otherwise have received. The district must continue to support:

(1) campus maintenance and operations;

(2) transportation;

(3) food services;

(4) extracurricular activities;

(5) central office support services;

(6) state assessment administration; and

(7) similar operational expenses of the campus.

(e) A campus operated by a service provider under this section remains a campus of the district. Educators and staff assigned to work at the campus are district employees for all purposes. The campus is not subject to TEC, §11.253.

(f) A district subject to this section shall comply fully with TEA requests for information for the purpose of evaluating implementation of the contract, student performance, and management of the campus.

(g) A district that violates the terms of its contract under this section is subject to further sanctions under this subchapter.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1067 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1069: Providers of Alternative Campus Management

(a) Each school year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) to solicit proposals from qualified non-profit management entities to assume the management of campuses identified for sanction under §97.1067 of this title (relating to Alternative Management of Campuses). The commissioner of education may solicit proposals from qualified for-profit entities to assume management of a campus subject to this section if a non-profit entity has not responded to the RFQ.

(1) To be approved as a provider of alternative campus management services, a non-profit entity must meet the requirements of Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.107, and any additional qualifications and procedural requirements specified by the TEA in the RFQ.

(2) The commissioner may appoint a school district in the same education service center region as the campus to provide alternative management services under this section. A district appointed under this subsection shall assume management of the campus in the same manner as a non-profit entity.

(b) Contact information for each approved provider of alternative campus management services will be posted to the TEA website. The TEA will notify approved providers before posting the providers' information to the website.

(c) In addition to any action by the district on the contract, a service provider failing to comply with the terms of a contract under this section, or to perform services as specified in the RFQ, shall be removed from the TEA list of approved service providers.

(d) A service provider shall comply fully and promptly with TEA requests for information for the purpose of evaluating implementation of the contract, student performance, and management of the campus.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1069 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1071: Special Program Performance; Intervention Stages

(a) The commissioner of education shall assign a school district to an intervention stage based on performance levels under §97.1005 of this title (relating to Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System) according to the following general criteria:

(1) the degree to which the district's performance reflects a need for intervention, as indicated by the seriousness, number, extent, and duration of the student performance, program effectiveness, and/or program compliance deficiencies identified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA);

(2) a comparison of the district's performance to aggregated state performance and to the performance of other districts;

(3) the availability of state and regional resources to intervene in all districts exhibiting a comparable need for intervention; and

(4) the length of time the performance standard has been in place and the length of time the district has exhibited deficiencies under the standard.

(b) In addition to performance levels determined under §97.1005 of this title, the commissioner may consider any other applicable information, such as:

(1) complaints investigation results;

(2) special education due process hearing decisions;

(3) data validation activities;

(4) integrity of assessment or financial data; and

(5) longitudinal intervention history.

(c) The standards used to assign districts to specific intervention stages under this section are established annually by the commissioner and communicated to all school districts.

(d) The commissioner may use graduated stages of intervention to address student performance, program effectiveness, and/or data quality deficiencies referenced in §97.1005 of this title. In addition to any sanction authorized by Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, such intervention may require a district to implement and/or participate in:

(1) focused analysis of district data;

(2) required district review of program effectiveness;

(3) required public meetings;

(4) focused compliance reviews conducted by review teams established by the TEA;

(5) on-site reviews; and/or

(6) continuous improvement planning.

(e) The commissioner shall notify each district selected for intervention under this section via the Intervention Stage and Activity Manager (ISAM) on the TEA secure website.

(1) The TEA shall notify districts that intervention stages have been posted to ISAM by:

(A) posting a "To the Administrator Addressed" letter on the TEA web page for correspondence; or

(B) sending a "To the Administrator Addressed" letter via electronic mail or first-class mail.

(2) It is the district's obligation to access the correspondence by:

(A) subscribing to the listserv for "To the Administrator Addressed Correspondence;" and

(B) accessing the ISAM system as directed to retrieve intervention instructions and information.

(f) Intervention actions taken under this section are intended to assist the district in raising its performance and/or achieving compliance under §97.1005 of this title and do not preclude or substitute for a sanction under another provision of this subchapter.

(1) The level of intervention selected under this section does not reflect any decision on, or consideration of, the need for other sanctions.

(2) A decision to impose other sanctions shall be based on the accreditation and compliance performance of the district, as determined under §97.1035 of this title (relating to Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions) and this subchapter, and not on the level of intervention chosen under this section.

(g) Intervention actions taken under this section do not preclude or substitute for other responses to or consequences of program ineffectiveness or noncompliance identified by the TEA, such as:

(1) required fiscal audit of specific program(s) and/or of the district, paid for by the district;

(2) required submission of improvement and/or corrective action plan(s), including the provision of compensatory services as appropriate, paid for by the district;

(3) expanded oversight including, but not limited to, frequent follow-up contacts with the district, submission of documentation verifying implementation of intervention activities and/or an improvement plan; and submission of district/program data;

(4) public release of monitoring review findings;

(5) denial of requests under TEC, §7.056 and/or §12.114;

(6) reduction, suspension, redirection, or withholding of program funds;

(7) lowering of the special education monitoring status of the district; and/or

(8) lowering of the district's accreditation status, academic accountability rating, and/or financial accountability rating.

(h) As a system safeguard, the TEA will conduct desk review or on-site data verification activities through a random or other means of selection to verify system effectiveness and/or district implementation of monitoring requirements, including, but not limited to, accuracy of data reporting, implementation of intervention activities, implementation of plans for improvement or correction, and accuracy of findings made through the performance-based monitoring system process.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1071 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

§97.1073: Appointment of Monitor, Conservator, or Board of Managers

(a) The commissioner of education shall appoint a monitor, conservator, management team, or board of managers whenever such action is required, as determined by this section. Action under any other section of this subchapter is not a prerequisite to acting under this section.

(b) The commissioner shall appoint a monitor under Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.102(a)(6), when:

(1) the deficiencies identified under §97.1059 of this title (relating to Standards for All Accreditation Sanction Determinations) require a monitor to participate in and report to the commissioner on the activities of the district's board of trustees and superintendent;

(2) the deficiencies identified under §97.1059 of this title are not of such severity or duration as to require direct Texas Education Agency (TEA) oversight of district operations;

(3) the district has been responsive to and generally compliant with previous commissioner sanctions and TEA interventions; and

(4) stronger intervention is not required to prevent substantial or imminent harm to the welfare of the district's students or to the public interest.

(c) The commissioner shall appoint a conservator under TEC, §39.102(a)(7) and §39.111, or a management team under TEC, §39.102(a)(8) and §39.111, when:

(1) the nature or duration of the deficiencies require that the TEA directly oversee the operations of the district in the area(s) of deficiency;

(2) the district has not been responsive to or compliant with TEA intervention requirements; or

(3) such intervention is needed to prevent substantial or imminent harm to the welfare of the district's students or to the public interest.

(d) The decision whether to appoint a conservator or management team under subsection (c) of this section shall be based solely on logistical concerns, including the competencies required and the volume of work involved. Selecting a management team rather than a conservator does not reflect on the severity of the deficiencies to be addressed.

(e) The commissioner shall appoint a board of managers under TEC, §39.112 and §39.102(a)(9) or (b), as applicable, when:

(1) sanctions under subsection (b) or (c) of this section have been ineffective to achieve the purposes identified in §97.1035 of this title (relating to Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions);

(2) the commissioner has initiated proceedings under §97.1037 of this title (relating to Record Review of Certain Decisions) to close or annex the district;

(3) the commissioner has initiated proceedings under §97.1037 of this title to close a campus, and such intervention is needed to cease operations of the campus; or

(4) such intervention is needed to prevent substantial or imminent harm to the welfare of the district's students or to the public interest.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.1073 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 150; amended to be effective July 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 6523

Subchapter FF

§97.2001: Job Corps Diploma Program Accountability Procedures

(a) Intent and purpose. The Job Corps diploma program develops and implements educational programs specifically designed for persons eligible for enrollment in a Job Corps training program established by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Job Corps diploma program was established in order for eligible students to satisfy the requirements necessary to receive a high school diploma.

(b) Student eligibility. A person is eligible to participate in the Job Corps diploma program if the person is enrolled in an established Job Corps training program and has not satisfied the state requirements to receive a high school diploma. Any person enrolled in good standing in the Job Corps diploma program is eligible for programs or services under the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 18. A person's eligibility for programs and services under the TEC, Chapter 18, does not make a person ineligible for an education program or service under any other chapter of the TEC.

(c) Program requirements. The TEC, §1.001, applies to a Job Corps diploma program operated by or under contract with the U.S. Department of Labor.

(1) The Job Corps diploma program shall provide a course of instruction that includes the required curriculum under the TEC, §28.002, §74.1 of this title (relating to Essential Knowledge and Skills), and §74.3 of this title (relating to Description of a Required Secondary Curriculum).

(2) The Job Corps diploma program shall offer, annually, at least all the courses required for an eligible student to graduate under the applicable minimum high school program described in Chapter 74 of this title (relating to Curriculum Requirements).

(3) A student enrolled in the Job Corps diploma program must satisfy the appropriate Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills assessments required for graduation before receiving a high school diploma.

(d) Accountability procedures. Job Corps diploma program evaluations and ratings issued in 2009 are based upon specific procedures, standards, and performance indicators, which are described in the Job Corps Diploma Program Accountability Procedures Manual, dated August 2008, provided in this subsection. The specific procedures, standards, and performance indicators used in the Job Corps Diploma Program Accountability Procedures Manual adopted for use prior to 2009 remain in effect for all purposes, including accountability, data standards, and audits, with respect to the applicable school year.

Attached Graphic

(e) Annual review. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall conduct an annual review to evaluate Job Corps diploma program performance based on indicators provided in the Job Corps Diploma Program Accountability Procedures Manual described in subsection (d) of this section. The diploma program shall comply with all applicable requirements of state laws and rules.

(f) Performance indicators. Annually, the commissioner of education shall review and determine the student performance indicators appropriate to the characteristics of the students served by the Job Corps diploma program. The performance of the Job Corps diploma program shall be evaluated on the basis of the specific indicators as determined by the commissioner of education.

(1) The annual evaluation shall be based on, at a minimum, the following performance indicators:

(A) student performance on appropriate grade levels and subject areas assessed by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills;

(B) dropout rate for the grade levels served; and

(C) diploma program completion rate.

(2) To the extent appropriate, the annual performance review shall incorporate other indicators from the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) under the TEC, Chapter 39.

(g) Accountability ratings and criteria. The procedures for determining the Job Corps diploma program accountability ratings are established in the Job Corps Diploma Program Accountability Procedures Manual described in subsection (d) of this section.

(1) The Job Corps diploma program performance on selected AEIS indicators shall be used by the TEA in determining the annual performance rating of the Job Corps diploma program.

(2) A performance rating assigned to the Job Corps diploma program may be appealed to the commissioner of education in accordance with the procedures established in the Job Corps Diploma Program Accountability Procedures Manual described in subsection (d) of this section.

(3) The commissioner of education may lower the Job Corps diploma program accountability rating based on the findings of an on-site investigation conducted under the TEC, Chapter 39.

(4) If a Job Corps diploma program is below a standard set under the TEC, Chapter 39, for an accountability indicator used for performance ratings, the program is considered a low-performing program. If the Job Corps diploma program is low performing for a period of two consecutive years or more, the commissioner of education may close the program.

(h) Reporting of data. The Job Corps diploma program shall report to the TEA accountability data on a submission schedule determined by the TEA. Performance data shall be disaggregated with respect to student attributes as determined by the commissioner of education.

Comments

Source Note: The provisions of this §97.2001 adopted to be effective December 10, 2006, 31 TexReg 9827; amended to be effective November 28, 2007, 32 TexReg 8502; amended to be effective November 15, 2009, 34 TexReg 8034