This page outlines information on the various general waivers available through TEA. A link is also provided that leads to information regarding the automated waiver system.
The waiver allows districts and charter schools to request a waiver to substitute a particular course or courses for state credit within the curriculum. The commissioner of education is prohibited from exempting essential knowledge and skills under §28.002 or minimum graduation requirements under §28.025 of the Texas Education Code.
- District and charter school requesting this type of waiver should check with the Division of Curriculum at (512)463-463-9581 to determine if the course substitution is allowable.
- District and charter schools requesting approval or information on innovative courses are to submit their waiver application to the State Waiver Unit.
- This waiver request may be approved for up to three years.
Foreign Exchange Student (Less than 5)
This expedited waiver allows the district or charter schools to limit the number of foreign exchanges students to a number that is 5 or more per high school. A request to limit the number to less than five per high school must be submitted as a general waiver application.
- Districts and charter schools may request a waiver to limit the number of foreign exchange students admitted into the district under Texas Education Code §25.001(e).
- The approval of this waiver is not retroactive and takes effect on the date that the agency approves the application.
- The districts and charter schools are required to enroll foreign exchange student who arrive in the district or who have requested enrollment in the district prior to the waiver approval date.
- This waiver request may be approved for up to three years.
Pregnancy Related Services On-Campus (CEHI)
- Districts and charter schools may request a waiver to offer Pregnancy-Related Services Compensatory Education Home Instruction (CEHI) on a district's campus.
- Transportation must be provided as needed.
- Students must be served at home if medically indicated.
- Student-teacher ratio must not exceed 4 students to one teacher.
- Self-paced computer based instruction may not be used to fulfill the four hours of CEHI.
Other As Specified Certification
Listed below are certification description types:
- Allows an individual to teach without the necessary certification requirements.
- Allows qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in Career and Technical Education (CTE).
- Allows qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in a subject or course for which no state assessment has been developed.
- Allows qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in Alternative Education.
- Allows qualified individuals to teach ROTC classes outside their areas of certification.
Certification for Superintendent
Allows an individual to serve as superintendent without the necessary certification requirements.
Course Requirement - Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Districts and Charter Schools may request a waiver of the Texas Administrative Code to offer a Career and Technical Education course for a credit length other than that specified in the code.
Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN Course Review)
Texas Education Code (TEC), §30A.102(2), states that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) shall: "...using the criteria required by Section 30A. 103, evaluate electronic courses submitted by a provider school district or school to be offered through the network". Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §70.1005(a), states that "all electronic courses to be made available through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) shall be reviewed and approved prior to being offered."
Per 19 TAC, §70.1005(b), eligible school districts and open-enrollment charter schools may apply to the commissioner of education for a waiver from the TxVSN course review process administered by the TEA. To submit their waiver request, districts and charter schools must follow the agency's waiver submission process and must certify that each course meets the definition of an electronic course and meets all standards established for TxVSN courses.
Districts and charter schools seeking a waiver must complete a general waiver request ghrough the Automated Waiver Application. Waiver applicants are required to attach responses to additional TxVSN-related questions, per the instructions below. To qualify for a waiver, each course must:
- meet the definition of an electronic course in (TEC) §30A.001(4);
- be in a specific subject that is part of the required curriculum identified in TEC, §28.002;
- be aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) approved for implementation in a given school year for a grade level at or above Grade 3;
- be the equivalent in instructional rigor and scope to a course that is provided in a traditional classroom setting during a semester of 90 instructional days and a school day that meets the minimum length of a school day;
- be led by a qualified teacher and designed specifically for an online learning environment, including instructional tools, assessment features, and collaborative communication tools as appropriate; (see 19 TAC §70.1027 for educator qualification requirements)
- be aligned with the current International Association for K-12 Learning (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Courses; and
- meet accessibility requirements established by the U.S. Rehabilitation Act §508, and TxVSN accessibility guidelines.
To submit a request for a waiver of the requirement that an electronic course offered through the TxVSN be reviewed and approved by the TEA, the authorized official of the school district and open-enrollment charter school that serves as a course provider in the TxVSN must:
- complete and sign a general waiver application;
- enter information regarding each course to be included in the waiver request into the TxVSN electronic course submission system (ECSS);
- attach directly to the general waiver application a list of each course included in the waiver request; and
- attach directly to the general waiver application responses to each of the additional TxVSN-related questions and verifications (see TxVSN-Specific Questions and Verifications below).
Waiver requests that do not include all the required information fully addressing each TxVSN-specific question and verification as attachments directly to the general waiver application will not be considered complete and ready for consideration by the commissioner. Attachments may not be sent as a separate communication. Completed waiver requests will be processed according to established TEA waiver procedures. A course(s) approved through tis waiver process may then be offered through the TxVSN with designation as a district-certified course.
TxVSN-Specific Questions and Verifications
- As part of your answer to general waiver question #1, include the following information as a direct attachment to the general waiver form:
a. the PEIMS name and identification number of each course for which a
waiver is requested; and
b. verify each of the following points:
i. each course for which a waiver is requested:
1. meets the definition for an electronic course in TEC, §30A.001(4),
2. is part of the required curriculum (TEC, §28.002), and
3. is of equivalent instructional rigor and scope to a course provided in
a traditional classroom setting;
ii. at the time of submission of this waiver, each course for which a waiver
is requested is 100% complete and is fully functional; and
c. describe the course review methodology/process used to ensure that each course
for which a waiver is requested meets the following requirements and is in
alignment with 100% of
i. the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) approved for implementation
in a given school year for the course;
ii. all current International Association for K-12 Online Learning National
Standards of Quality for Online Courses (iNACOL); and
iii. accessibility requirements established by the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, §508,
and TxVSN accessibility guidelines.
- In your answer to general waiver question #3, specify TEC, §30A.104 and TAC, §70.1005(a).
- In your answer to general waiver question #7, indicate the request is for a maximum of three years.
Dual Credit Limitation - Course for Joint High School and Junior College Credit (TEC§130.008(f))
The Texas Education Code (TEC), §130.008(f), generally limits a student from enrolling in more than three courses for dual credit at a junior college if the junior college does not have a service area that includes the student's high school. However, students may enroll in more than three courses despite the junior college not otherwise serving the location of the student's high school under two circumstances:
- An early college high school program may enroll students in more than three courses to the extent consistent with the early college program approval.
- A school district or charter may apply for a waiver of the prohibition in TEC 130.008(f) as described below.
Districts and charter schools seeking a commissioner's waiver to this limitation must complete a general waiver (other) application using the Automated Waiver Application. Waiver applicants are required to attach documentation of each affected institution's agreement to the exception. That documentation should take the form of a letter on official letterhead signed by an authorized official from the junior college in the school's service area and any junior colleges outside of the school's service area that are offering dual credit opportunity courses to the school's students. The letters must clearly indicate agreement to the requested exception to the dual credit course limitation. All waiver requests must be approved by the district or charter school's board. Waivers may not be granted for more than three years and must be renewed.
The Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §4.85(c)(1), authorizes junior colleges to enroll students in an early college program as allowed under TEC 130.008(f) or as authorized by commissioner of education waiver.