Adopted New 19 TAC Chapter 153, School District Personnel, Subchapter DD, Criminal History Record Information Review
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Adopted New 19 TAC Chapter 153, School District Personnel, Subchapter DD, Criminal History Record Information Review (PDF)
The rule action presented in this item will be filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts new 19 TAC Chapter 153, School District Personnel, Subchapter DD, Criminal History Record Information Review. The adopted new subchapter implements the requirements of the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§22.0832, 22.0833, 22.0836, 22.0837, and 22.085, which provide for national criminal history record information reviews of certain open-enrollment charter school employees, noncertified employees, and substitute teachers and authorize the commissioner of education to adopt rules for these reviews. No changes have been made to the rules since published as proposed.
TEC, §§22.0832, 22.0833, 22.0836, 22.0837, and 22.085, as added and amended by Senate Bill (SB) 9, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, and TEC, §12.1162.
December 30, 2007.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
The TEC, §§22.0832, 22.0833, and 22.0836, added by SB 9, 80th Texas Legislature, 2007, require that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) conduct national criminal history record information reviews of certain open-enrollment charter school employees, noncertified employees hired after January 1, 2008, and substitute teachers. The adopted new rules in 19 TAC Chapter 153, School Districts, Subchapter DD, Criminal History Record Information Review, implement these requirements as follows.
In order to obtain the national criminal history record information, the adopted new rules require certain open-enrollment charter school employees, noncertified employees hired after January 1, 2008, and substitute teachers to submit fingerprint and other identification information to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in the form the DPS requires so that these persons' criminal history record information can be entered in the DPS Criminal History Clearinghouse.
The adopted new rules require school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and shared services arrangements to identify these persons and to assist in the collection of their fingerprint and identifying information in a way that ensures that their criminal history record information is submitted to the TEA and entered into the Clearinghouse. The adopted new rules also authorize fees for such reviews, set standards regarding the criminal convictions, and establish a process for notifying persons that their criminal history record information disqualifies them from school employment under the standards of the TEC, §§22.0832, 22.0833, 22.0836, and 22.085.
The adopted new rules also define applicable words and terms; establish the purpose of the subchapter; address required assistance by school entities, private schools, and regional education service centers; and provide for an appeal of a TEA determination that meets the standards of due process.
No changes have been made to the rules since published as proposed.
The estimated fiscal impact for the TEA of the adopted new rules for fiscal year 2008 is $580,520 in estimated additional costs, partially offset by an estimated increase in revenues of $429,000 (based on a $6 per person criminal history review fee). While it is estimated that $429,000 in revenues will continue to be generated over each year of fiscal years 2009-2012, it is estimated that costs in each of those years would be reduced to $391,020, so that total revenues over the next five fiscal years would be approximately equal to costs.
The total estimated cost of $580,520 for fiscal year 2008 includes estimated costs of $270,520 for personnel; $10,000 for travel; $40,000 for rent; $52,000 for other operating expenses; and $208,000 for initial software development. The total estimated cost of $391,020 for each year of fiscal years 2009-2012 includes the same estimated costs of $270,520 for personnel; $10,000 for travel; and $40,000 for rent. However, in each year of fiscal years 2009-2012, the estimated costs for other operating expenses and software would be reduced to $19,500 and $51,000, respectively.
The estimated total annual cost to the approximately 60,000 noncertified employee applicants, 10,000 substitute teachers, and 1,500 charter school staff who will be required to submit criminal history record information by these adopted rules is $429,000 per year in fees to the TEA. If local school districts elect to pay these costs for their employees and applicants, any or all of that estimated $429,000 could be a cost to the local district. Additional costs not reflected in these estimates are, for each criminal history record, $39 paid to the DPS and $2 paid to the Department of Information Resources as an online transfer fee.
PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The public and student benefit anticipated as a result of the adopted new rules derives from obtaining national criminal history records on specified school employees, resulting in a safer school environment for both students and educators.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
School districts are required to report to the TEA the names of all noncertified employees after January 1, 2008, and ensure that those employees have submitted the information necessary for a national criminal history record review prior to beginning employment. School districts and charter schools must submit the names of their substitute teachers and charter school employees to whom the TEC, §12.1059, applies; assist the TEA in notifying their employees of their obligations under these rules; and discharge any employees upon notice from the TEA that they have not submitted their national criminal history record information within 80 calendar days of notice from the TEA to do so. Each school year the superintendent or chief operating officer of a school entity is required to certify to the TEA that the school entity has complied with discharging or refusing to hire an employee or applicant for employment if certain information is obtained through a criminal history record information review, as specified in the TEC, §22.085.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
School districts and charter schools would only be required to maintain such documents as are necessary to establish their compliance with the adopted new rules.
The public comment period began October 26, 2007, and ended November 25, 2007. No public comments were received.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Raymond Glynn, Associate Commissioner, Educator Quality and Standards
Doug Phillips, Director, Investigations and Fingerprinting
Andrew Allen, Counsel, Educator Quality and Standards
For additional information, email email@example.com.