Adopted Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 100, Charters, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Open-Enrollment Charter Schools
I. Statutory Citations (PDF)
II. Text of Adopted Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 100, Charters, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Open-Enrollment Charter Schools (PDF)
III. Summary of Public Comments and Agency Responses
The rule action presented in this item was filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 100, Charters, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Open-Enrollment Charter Schools. The adopted amendments improve the application process for charters authorized by the State Board of Education (SBOE); specifically define the mitigating factors to be considered when the commissioner considers adverse action for an open-enrollment charter school; allow the commissioner the latitude to enforce sanctions other than charter revocation for student health, safety, and welfare issues; require that a charter holder notify the parents and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) any time that operations are suspended at a campus or site for a period of more than three days; clarify that a charter holder that is a nonprofit entity must maintain its nonprofit status at all times; and update references to statute.
Texas Education Code (TEC), §§12.101, 12.104, 12.1051, 12.107, 12.115, 12.1162, 39.051-39.054, 39.102, and 39.104.
September 12, 2012.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES:
In accordance with House Bill 6, 77th Texas Legislature, 2001, the commissioner exercised rulemaking authority to adopt 19 TAC Chapter 100, Charters, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Open-Enrollment Charter Schools, covering a wide range of issues related to open-enrollment charter schools. The rules in 19 TAC Chapter 100, Subchapter AA, are organized in divisions addressing related subject matter, as follows: Division 1, General Provisions; Division 2, Commissioner Action and Intervention; Division 3, Charter School Funding and Financial Operations; Division 4, Property of Open-Enrollment Charter Schools; Division 5, Charter School Governance; and Division 6, Charter School Operations. The adopted amendments affect rules in Divisions 1-6, as follows.
Division 1, General Provisions
Section 100.1011, Definitions, is amended to update statutory citations.
Section 100.1015, Applicants for an Open-Enrollment Charter, Public Senior College or University Charter, or Public Junior College Charter, is amended to improve the application process for charters authorized by the SBOE. The amendment implements the commissioner's authority, as authorized in the TEC, §12.101(b), to adopt financial, governing, and operational standards with which an applicant for an open-enrollment charter must comply before the SBOE can award a charter.
Section 100.1017, Application to Public Senior College or University Charters and Public Junior College Charters, is amended to update a cross-reference to a rule in 19 TAC Chapter 100.
In response to public comment, changes were made to §100.1015 to clarify that the provisions of §100.1015 apply to charter applicants and successful charter awardees authorized by the SBOE under requests for applications adopted after November 1, 2012; to §100.1015(2) to clarify that certain exceptions to conflict of interest and nepotism provisions may apply to a charter awardee after the charter begins operation and meets statutory requirements; to §100.1015(4)(A)(ii)(I) to allow a charter applicant who is notified that the application has been removed from consideration five business days to respond in writing to TEA staff; and to §100.1015(4)(B) to clarify that representatives of charter applicants are not allowed to initiate contact with TEA employees regarding the content of an application from the time the application is submitted until the SBOE makes final charter awards for that application cycle.
Division 2, Commissioner Action and Intervention
Section 100.1022, Standards for Adverse Action on an Open-Enrollment Charter, is amended to clarify that the commissioner will revoke an open-enrollment charter for serious health, safety, and welfare issues that impact students while on school property, while at school-related events, or at any time while students are under the supervision of school personnel. In addition, the list of mitigating factors permitted when the commissioner considers adverse action for an open-enrollment charter school is specifically defined. The amendment also includes an updated statutory citation.
Section 100.1023, Intervention Based on Charter Violations, is amended to update a statutory citation and clarify that the commissioner may impose any sanction as provided in TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter E.
Section 100.1025, Intervention Based on Health, Safety, or Welfare of Students, is amended to allow the commissioner the latitude to suspend operations and withhold funding for one or more campuses or sites, rather than suspending all charter operations, based on evidence that conditions at the campuses or sites present a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the students. In addition, the amendment adds new subsection (c) to clarify that the commissioner will suspend operations when there are circumstances that present an imminent danger of material harm to the health, safety, or welfare of students. The remaining subsections are re-lettered accordingly.
No changes to Division 2 were made since published as proposed.
Division 3, Charter School Funding and Financial Operations
Section 100.1041, State Funding, is amended to update a cross-reference to a rule in 19 TAC Chapter 100.
No changes to Division 3 were made since published as proposed.
Division 4, Property of Open-Enrollment Charter Schools
Section 100.1063, Use of Public Property by a Charter Holder, is amended to update statutory citations.
No changes to Division 4 were made since published as proposed.
Division 5, Charter School Governance
Section 100.1131, Conflicts of Interest and Board Member Compensation; Exception, is amended to update the section title of §100.1047.
Section 100.1153, Substantial Interest in Management Company; Restrictions on Serving, is amended to update the section title of §100.1047.
No changes to Division 5 were made since published as proposed.
Division 6, Charter School Operations
Section 100.1201, Voluntary Participation in State Programs, is amended by deleting paragraph (5) to align with the repeal of TEC, §29.909. Subsequent paragraphs are renumbered accordingly.
Section 100.1213, Failure to Operate, is amended to clarify that a charter must officially notify parents and the TEA whenever the charter suspends operation at any campus or site for more than three days.
Section 100.1217, Eligible Entity; Change in Status, is amended by adding new subsection (b) to specify that a charter holder that is a nonprofit entity must maintain its nonprofit status at all times or void the charter contract. If the nonprofit status is not maintained, the charter returns to the SBOE without any further action necessary on the part of the commissioner or the SBOE. The section title is also changed to more accurately reflect the content of the rule.
No changes to Division 6 were made since published as proposed.
The TEA has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the rule action. 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 amendments specifically define the mitigating factors to be considered when the commissioner considers adverse action for an open-enrollment charter school and improve the charter application process. In addition, the amendments ensure that references to statutory authority and cross-references to other administrative rules are accurate.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §100.1015 requires charter applicants and successful charter awardees to demonstrate evidence of meeting and maintaining certain financial, governing, and operational standards as specified in the request for applications.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The adopted amendments have no new locally maintained paperwork requirements.
The public comment period began on June 8, 2012, and ended July 9, 2012. A public hearing on the proposed amendments was held on June 20, 2012. Attachment III reflects a summary of public comments received and corresponding agency responses regarding proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 100, Charters, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Open-Enrollment Charter Schools.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Lizzette Reynolds, Deputy Commissioner, Policy and Programs
Laura Taylor, Associate Commissioner, Accreditation and School Improvement
Sally Partridge, Director, School Improvement and Support
Mary Perry, Director, Charter School Administration
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.