Adopted Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules, §129.1025, Adoption by Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Adopted Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules, §129.1025, Adoption By Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (PDF)
The rule action presented in this item will be filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules, §129.1025, Adoption by Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook, adopts by reference the 2007-2008 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook. The handbook provides student attendance accounting rules for school districts and charter schools. No changes were made to the rule or handbook since published as proposed.
Texas Education Code, §42.004, and 19 Texas Administrative Code §129.21.
April 27, 2008.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
Legal counsel with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has recommended that the procedures contained in each annual student attendance accounting handbook be adopted as part of the Texas Administrative Code. This decision was made in 2000 as a result of a court decision challenging state agency decision making via administrative letters/publications. Given the statewide application of the attendance accounting rules and the existence of sufficient statutory authority for the commissioner of education to adopt by reference the student attendance accounting handbook, staff proceeded with formal adoption of rules in this area. The intention is to annually update the rule to refer to the most recently published student attendance accounting handbook.
Each annual student attendance accounting handbook provides school districts and charter schools with the Foundation School Program (FSP) eligibility requirements of all students, prescribes the minimum requirements of all student attendance accounting systems, lists the documentation requirements for attendance audit purposes, specifies the minimum standards for systems that are entirely functional without the use of paper, and details the responsibilities of all district personnel involved in student attendance accounting. The TEA distributes FSP resources under the procedures specified in each current student attendance accounting handbook. The final version of the student attendance accounting handbook is published on the TEA website each June/July. A supplement, if necessary, is also published on the TEA website.
The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §129.1025 adopts by reference the student attendance accounting handbook for the 2007-2008 school year. Data from previous school years will continue to be subject to the student attendance accounting handbook as the handbook existed in those years.
Significant changes to the 2007-2008 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook include the addition of information relating to the following sections.
In section 3, on general attendance requirements, information relating to the following has been added: (1) students ages 21 to 25 are eligible for state funding if they are attempting to complete requirements for a high school diploma; (2) absences for court appearances are excused absences; (3) absences for students playing taps at a veteran's funeral are excused absences; and (4) the board of trustees of a school district may adopt a policy requiring a student who voluntarily enrolls or attends school after his or her 18th birthday to attend until the end of the school year.
In section 5, on career and technical education, information relating to the following has been added: school districts must offer three or more programs of study in at least three different clusters to be eligible for career and technology funding.
In section 6, on bilingual/English as a second language (ESL) education, information relating to the following has been added: (1) limited English proficient students will be provided instruction in mathematics, science, health, and social studies both in their home language and in English; (2) students may be served in an approved program under an exception to the Spanish bilingual program for six consecutive years and under an exception to the ESL program for one year; (3) students may be served in an approved bilingual program in a language other than Spanish for as long the State Board for Educator Certification does not have a certificate for that language; (4) bilingual education or ESL program eligible days present may not be claimed when students in these programs are placed in disciplinary settings for more then five consecutive days if the same type of bilingual or ESL program services are not provided; and (5) students may earn state credit for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
In section 7, on prekindergarten, information relating to the following has been added: children who are or ever have been in foster care are eligible for prekindergarten attendance.
In section 9, on pregnancy related services (PRS), information relating to the following has been added: (1) students receiving PRS and returning to campus on a temporary, limited basis to take the TAKS test can be credited with receiving a maximum of one hour of PRS compensatory education home instruction (CEHI) for each day they are on campus and involved in TAKS testing; (2) students receiving PRS and provided the TAKS test in the home can be credited with receiving a maximum of one hour of PRS CEHI for each day they test at home; (3) students receiving PRS and receiving TAKS tutoring, taking practice tests, etc., cannot be credited for CEHI; and (4) students receiving PRS must have a doctor's approval to be involved in TAKS testing on campus.
In section 10, on nontraditional schools, information relating to the following has been added: (1) students who are 21 years of age or older and are admitted for the purpose of completing the requirements of a high school diploma are not eligible for placement in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) or juvenile justice alternative education program (JJAEP), but will have their admission revoked for conduct that would require or authorize placement in a DAEP or JJAEP for a student under the age of 21; (2) the commissioner of education can waive certain requirements established by state law or the State Board of Education if it directly benefits the students' education, except as provided in the provisions of TEC, §7.056(e) and (f), regarding criminal misconduct or restrictions imposed by state or federal law; (3) an alternative campus for at-risk students must serve pre- and postadjudicated students, homeless students, or students who previously resided or currently reside in a residential placement facility in the district; (4) school districts must adopt consistent procedures for determining serious or persistent misbehavior violating the student code of conduct for students in an alternative education program; (5) each school district that is in a county with a population greater than 125,000 and the county's juvenile board shall annually enter into a joint memorandum of understanding (MOU); and (6) academically, the mission of a JJAEP shall be to enable students to perform at grade level.
In addition to changes related to these requirements and allowances, a new section on nontraditional programs has been included in the handbook to provide student attendance guidelines for the High School Equivalency Program (HSEP) and the Optional Flexible School Day Program (OFSDP).
No changes were made to the rule or handbook since published as proposed.
The TEA has determined that there are no fiscal implications to persons or entities required to comply with the adopted rule action, including local school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. In addition, there is no 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 adopted amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules, §129.1025, Adoption By Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook, will provide public notice of the existence of the current publications specifying attendance accounting procedures for school districts and charter schools.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The rule places the specific procedures contained in the 2007-2008 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook in the Texas Administrative Code. The TEA distributes FSP funds in accordance with the procedures specified in each annual student attendance accounting handbook. Data reporting requirements are addressed through the Public Education Information Management System.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The public comment period on the proposal began February 8, 2008, and ended March 9, 2008. No public comments were received.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Shirley Beaulieu, Associate Commissioner, Finance / CFO
Lisa Dawn-Fisher, Deputy Associate Commissioner, School Finance
Belinda Dyer, Director, Forecasting and Fiscal Analysis
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