Adopted Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter EE, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Communities In Schools Program
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Adopted Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter EE, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Communities In Schools Program (PDF)
III. Summary of Public Comments and Agency Responses
The rule action presented in this item has been filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter EE, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Communities In Schools Program. The adopted revisions clarify the requirements of the Texas Education Code (TEC), §33.154, which requires the commissioner of education by rule to develop and implement policies concerning the program. In addition, the adopted revisions clarify requirements under the TEC, §33.155 and §33.156, relating to the effectiveness and funding of the program. No changes were made to the rules since published as proposed.
TEC, §33.154 and §33.156.
December 27, 2011.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
The Communities In Schools (CIS) program is a statewide dropout prevention program that uses a case management model to serve students who are at risk of dropping out of school or engaging in delinquent conduct, including students who are in family conflict or emotional crisis. Through 19 TAC Chapter 89, Subchapter EE, the commissioner exercised rulemaking authority to establish definitions and an equitable funding formula for local CIS programs, in accordance with the TEC, §33.156.
Additionally, in accordance with the TEC, §33.154, the rules in 19 TAC Chapter 89, Subchapter EE, implement policies concerning the responsibility of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in encouraging local businesses to participate in local CIS programs, the responsibility of the TEA in obtaining information from participating school districts, and the use of federal or state funds available to the TEA for programs of this nature. The rules also address provisions such as the establishment of state performance goals, objectives, and measures; withholding of funding from programs that consistently fail to achieve performance goals, objectives, and measures; and requirement that the TEA and CIS, Inc., work together to maximize the effectiveness of the CIS program.
The adopted revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Subchapter EE, incorporate program changes identified during the statutorily required review of rules conducted in 2010, including updates to provisions relating to performance standards and revocation of grant awards. In addition, the adopted revisions reflect updates to the funding formula. Specifically, the adopted revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Subchapter EE, update the CIS rules as follows.
Section 89.1501, Definitions, was amended to clarify the definition for case-managed student in paragraph (1) and add the definition for Total Quality Systems (TQS) as new paragraph (10) to coincide with new policy in §89.1511.
Section 89.1502, Funding Prior to School Year 2009-2010, was repealed since there are no CIS programs funded under the process in place prior to school year 2009-2010.
Section 89.1503, Funding Beginning with School Year 2009-2010, was amended by revising subsection (a) and adding new subsection (c)(1) to clarify that federal and state funds for the CIS program may be retained for administrative purposes as authorized by statute. In addition, up to 10% may be set aside by the TEA in accordance with the TEC, §33.154, for state-level activities, including database development and maintenance, competitive grant opportunities for special initiatives, and state leadership activities benefitting local CIS programs. A performance criterion was added to the local CIS program allocation description as new subsection (c)(2)(C). Language was added as new subsection (c)(5) and (6) to include an option that takes into consideration a potential decrease in CIS funding and outline a funding redistribution plan in the event that a CIS program declines grant funds. A statement was added as new subsection (c)(7) to clarify that the TEA has authority to use unexpended CIS funds from the first year of the biennium during the second year of the biennium. Subsections (e)-(g) were reorganized to address availability of additional funding opportunities. Language was added in proposed subsection (e)(2) to clarify that the TEA may designate no more than 10% for competitive grant opportunities for special initiatives in accordance with language adopted in new subsection (c)(1)(B). Information regarding the funding plan in subsection (f), former subsection (h), was modified for clarification. Minor corresponding technical changes were made throughout the section, including corrections to formatting. In addition, the section name was changed from "Funding Beginning with School Year 2009-2010" to "Funding."
New §89.1504, Demonstration of Community Participation, was added to establish a requirement that each local CIS program must provide cash or in-kind contributions to operate the CIS program in an amount of at least 25% of its total funding allocated by the TEA to demonstrate evidence of community participation. The TEC, §33.156, requires the TEA to develop and implement an equitable formula, authorizes the TEA to reduce state funds annually contributed by the state to a local program, requires the TEA to consider the financial resources of individual communities, provides for the TEA to use savings to extend services to communities not currently served, and requires local programs to develop a funding plan. Adopted new §89.1504 reinforces the intent of the legislature that local communities develop a funding plan and contribute to the cost of operating CIS in local communities. In addition, the adopted rule specifies that the TEA may choose not to award funding to a local CIS program if it determines that the program does not have sufficient funds to adequately serve the required number of case-managed students.
Section 89.1507, Case-Managed Students, was amended to add new subsection (d) addressing the case management student allocation if there is a decrease in CIS funding. This policy is in alignment with Legislative Budget Board performance measures.
Section 89.1509, Other Provisions, was amended to clarify the requirement in subsection (a) that the TEA develop a resource development plan in accordance with the TEC, §33.154, to be in alignment with TQS standards instituted through the CIS national office. Language in subsection (b) regarding the data that school districts provide to CIS programs was clarified to coincide with language on the CIS Parent Consent/Release of Information form (approved annually by TEA legal counsel). In addition, language was added as new subsection (c) to indicate that the TEA may contract with entities to assist in performing state leadership activities in accordance with adopted new §89.1503(c)(1)(C).
Section 89.1511, Performance Standards and Revocation of Grant Award, was amended to clarify the stages of the performance standards in subsection (b) and revocation of grant award process in subsection (e), former subsection (d). Language was added as new subsection (d) to include the TQS accreditation requirements from CIS, Inc., in accordance with the TEC, §33.155.
No changes were made to the rules since published as proposed.
The TEA has determined that there are no additional costs to the state or persons required to comply with the rule actions. There may be minor fiscal implications for school districts; however, the amount of potential costs or savings is unknown.
CIS is a dropout prevention program funded through state General Revenue and federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding. Funding is provided directly to local CIS programs, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, that partner with local school districts to provide services to students at risk of dropping out of school. The adopted rule actions regarding the means by which funding is allocated to local CIS programs were based on an overall decrease in funding for the CIS program statewide and may cause increases or decreases to individual CIS program funding. In addition, a requirement was added that each local CIS program must provide for at least 25% of the program costs through local resources to demonstrate evidence of community participation.
Although funds are not provided to school districts directly, school districts benefit from the services provided by CIS programs. School districts that partner with CIS programs that lose a portion of funding may choose to provide additional funding to the program by either raising funds locally or redirecting school district budget funds. Alternatively, school districts that partner with CIS programs that gain additional funding may not have to provide as much supplemental funding to the program.
In addition, 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 adopted revisions clarify specific performance goals that will support student improvement in academics, attendance, behavior, and graduation to prepare students for post-secondary life in an effort to reduce the dropout rate. In addition, the adopted revisions address accountability in program performance and support actions that may be necessary to withhold funding from non-performing programs, which ensures the effective use of state funds.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §89.1503 specifies the information that CIS programs must include in the funding plan. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §89.1509 clarifies the information and data that school districts with CIS programs must provide for students whose parents or legal guardians have authorized education records to be shared with CIS programs and the TEA. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §89.1511 clarifies specific requirements for a program that fails to meet performance standards in accordance with the grant application. The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §89.1511 also incorporates the requirement for TQS accreditation.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The adopted revisions have no new locally maintained paperwork requirements.
The public comment period on the proposal began on June 10, 2011, and ended on July 11, 2011. Attachment III reflects a summary of the public comments received and corresponding agency responses regarding the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for Special Populations, Subchapter EE, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Communities In Schools Program.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Jan Lindsey, Senior Director, Federal and State Education Policy
Julie Wayman, CIS State Director, Federal and State Education Policy
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