Adopted Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 102, Educational Programs, Subchapter FF, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Educator Award Programs, §102.1073, District Awards for Teacher Excellence
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 102, Educational Programs, Subchapter FF, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Educator Award Programs, §102.1073, District Awards for Teacher Excellence (PDF)
III. Summary of Public Comments and Agency Responses
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 amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 102, Educational Programs, Subchapter FF, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Educator Award Programs, §102.1073, District Awards for Teacher Excellence. The adopted amendment updates the rule and incorporates statutory changes resulting from House Bill (HB) 3646, 81st Texas Legislature, 2009.
Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.702 and §21.707.
June 24, 2010.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
HB 1, 79th Texas Legislature, Third Called Session, 2006, added the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter O, establishing a teacher incentive program that provides funding to districts interested in developing local incentive programs. Accordingly, through 19 TAC §102.1073, District Awards for Teacher Excellence, adopted to be effective May 28, 2008, the commissioner exercised rulemaking authority to establish and administer the grant award program.
HB 3646, 81st Texas Legislature, 2009, amended the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter O, removing provisions related to the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter N; adding specifications relating to local awards plans; and modifying requirements relating to award payments.
To implement the modifications to the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter O, the adopted amendment to 19 TAC §102.1073 includes: updated and additional definitions; references to principals where references are made to individuals impacted by awards; modified district eligibility criteria; revised specifications for the local awards plan and conditions of operation; removal of the school district in-kind match requirement; and clarified language related to annual award amounts.
In response to public comment, the following changes were made since published as proposed. Subsection (b) was modified in paragraphs (1) and (10) to clarify the definitions for awards and principal, respectively. Subsection (e) was modified in paragraph (2)(B) and (D) to restore the language requiring a campus vote in selected campuses and in paragraph (2)(F) to specify that award amount methodology must be made available to staff before the beginning of the period on which the awards will be based. Subsection (e) was also modified to restore language in paragraphs (3) and (4) to clarify that local awards plans and grant applications must be submitted in compliance with local policies. Additionally, subsections (e)(2)(E) and (h)(2) were modified to avoid duplication and ensure the eligibility of teachers who retire at the end of the school year.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the rule action. The adopted amendment allows the TEA to award grants from funds appropriated for the program for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. The grant amount appropriated to the TEA for fiscal year 2009 for the program was $147.5 million. The grant amount appropriated to the TEA for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 is $196.5 million each year. Funding for future years is contingent on appropriations made by the legislature for this purpose.
The adopted amendment results in an economic benefit to local government due to the elimination of the requirement for local school districts to provide 15% matching funds to supplement or support program activities. The estimated savings to school districts and charter schools is $29,475,000 each year in fiscal years 2010 and 2011.
The TEA has determined that there is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses and microbusinesses; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.
PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The student benefit would be the positive impact of the program on classroom teaching by rewarding classroom teachers and other school personnel for success in improving student performance. The public would benefit from increasingly improved education for the school children of Texas, which thereby prepares them for success and creates an improved and more highly educated and prepared workforce.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The adopted amendment updates guidelines and procedures for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to follow in order to apply for and participate in the District Awards for Teacher Excellence grant program.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The proposed amendment would have eliminated the need for local school districts to maintain documentation of approval by a majority of classroom teachers assigned to a campus selected to participate if the program is not implemented districtwide. However, in response to public comment, language requiring a campus vote in selected campuses was restored; therefore, the adopted amendment does not substantially change local paperwork requirements.
The public comment period on the proposal began February 19, 2010, and ended March 22, 2010. A summary of public comments received and corresponding agency responses regarding the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 102, Educational Programs, Subchapter FF, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Educator Award Programs, §102.1073, District Awards for Teacher Excellence, is provided in Attachment III.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Julie Harris-Lawrence, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Student Services and GED
Carla Valadez, Director, Educator and Student Initiatives
Michael Vriesenga, Program Manager, Educator and Student Initiatives
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