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 was filed as adopted with the Texas Register under the commissioner's rulemaking authority. This item adopts an amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules, §129.1025, Adoption by Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook. The adopted amendment adopts by reference the 2012-2013 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 (TEC), §30A.153; TEC, §42.004; and 19 TAC §129.21.
December 26, 2012.
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 and 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. Data from previous school years will continue to be subject to the student attendance accounting handbook as the handbook existed in those years.
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 July or August. A supplement, if necessary, is also published on the TEA website.
The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §129.1025 adds new subsection (a) to specify that the student attendance accounting guidelines and procedures established by the commissioner of education under 19 TAC §129.21, Requirements for Student Attendance Accounting for State Funding Purposes, and the TEC, §42.004, will be published annually. The adopted amendment also adopts by reference the student attendance accounting handbook for the 2012-2013 school year.
Significant changes to the 2012-2013 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook from the 2011-2012 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook Version 2 include the following.
Text describing the handbook and its purpose has been moved from the middle of Section 1 to the introduction to Section 1.
Requirements related to original documentation of attendance have been clarified.
Information on how to navigate within the electronic version of the handbook has been added.
Throughout Section 2, the term "electronic attendance accounting system" has been changed to "automated attendance accounting system."
The statement that failure to provide attendance records during an audit could result in the agency's retaining 100 percent of a district's FSP allotment for the undocumented attendance has been changed to state that this failure will result in the agency's retaining 100 percent of the allotment. Also, a clarification of the term "undocumented attendance" has been added.
Requirements related to period absence reports have been clarified.
The example for average daily attendance (ADA) eligibility code 0 that referenced parentally placed private school students aged 5 through 25 years has been corrected to reference parentally placed private school students aged 5 through 21 years.
A subsection on the funding eligibility of time spent in an on-campus online course that is not provided through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) has been added.
Information on the enrollment eligibility of students who have received a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or have been court-ordered to obtain one has been added.
A brief statement about the offense of parent contributing to nonattendance has been added.
General attendance-taking rules have been clarified.
Information on "excused" absences for participation in certain short-term classes provided by the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired or Texas School for the Deaf has been added. The statement that a student may be considered in attendance for funding purposes if the student is a Medicaid-eligible child participating in the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment programs implemented by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission has been deleted because it impermissibly required the solicitation of confidential information. Information on "excused" absences for participation in naturalization oath ceremonies has been clarified. Information about adopting a policy regarding parental consent for student departures from school has been clarified.
A statement that an exemption from taking a final exam is not an exemption from the "2-through-4-hour" requirement has been added.
Because the term "other health impairment" does not apply to regular education students or to the General Education Homebound (GEH) program, the definition of this term has been removed from the GEH program subsection.
A clarification that time spent on campus taking required state assessments cannot count as any part of the number of hours of GEH service for eligible days present has been added.
Information on state funding of summer school has been revised to clarify that, as with any other student, a student participating in the Optional Flexible School Day Program is not eligible to generate more than 180 days' worth of attendance per year. A statement has been added explaining that, for 2012–2013, the only funded program allowing for state funding of instructional days beyond the 180 days making up the state funding year is a program for providing extended school year services to eligible students.
The section on special education has been heavily revised and reorganized. Hyperlinked cross-references and links to applicable TEA web pages have been added throughout the section.
Information and coding charts that appeared in the subsection on special education eligibility but were not specifically related to special education eligibility have been moved to more appropriate subsections. Eligibility information has been expanded and revised.
Special education enrollment procedures have been clarified.
Special education withdrawal procedures have been revised to address required notification and revocation of parental consent for receipt of special education services.
Information on services for private or home school students who are eligible for and in need of special education has been clarified and moved out of the subsection on general special education enrollment procedures and into two separate subsections.
The subsection on instructional arrangement/setting codes has been reorganized so that coding information appears in the numerical order of the codes.
Information on instructional arrangement/setting code 00 has been clarified and revised.
The eligibility criteria for the homebound instructional arrangement/setting have been clarified. Also, the subsection on homebound service eligibility criteria for students with chronic illnesses and/or acute health problems has been deleted, as the eligibility criteria for these students are the same as those for any other student who has been determined to be eligible for special education and related services. Information specific to homebound services and students younger than six years of age has been added. Documentation requirements for special education homebound services have been clarified and revised. A clarification that time spent on campus taking required state assessments cannot count as any part of the number of hours of homebound service for eligible days present has been added.
Information on the mainstream instructional arrangement/setting has been reorganized and revised. The paragraph related to community-based preschools has been moved to the subsection on off home campus instructional arrangements/settings.
Information on the resource room/services instructional arrangements/settings has been clarified.
Information on the self-contained, mild/moderate/severe, regular campus instructional arrangements/settings has been clarified.
A clarification regarding foster homes has been added to the subsection on the residential care and treatment facility instructional arrangements/settings.
Information on reporting of students in the off home campus instructional arrangements/settings has been added.
Information on speech therapy indicator codes has been clarified and revised.
A new major subsection on preschool programs for children with disabilities has been added. The coding charts that appeared in the subsection on special education eligibility in general have been moved to this new subsection and revised.
Information on special education services for infants and toddlers appears in its own major subsection.
Information on special education shared services arrangements appears in its own major subsection. The subsection includes information on regional day school program for the deaf shared services arrangements.
The coding chart titled "Services for Students With Disabilities-Exceptions to the Norm" appears in its own major subsection. Erroneous instructional arrangement/setting coding information for students served in Head Start programs has been corrected in the chart.
Information on extended school year services has been clarified and appears in its own major subsection.
Information on eligible days present and contact hours has been clarified.
Special education documentation requirements have been clarified.
The subsection providing special education instructional arrangement/setting coding examples has been reorganized so that coding information appears in the numerical order of the codes. Examples that appeared in the wrong instructional arrangement/setting code subsection have been moved. Speech therapy indicator code examples have been clarified.
In the subsection on career and technical education (CTE) contact-hour funding eligibility, requirements related to teacher certification have been clarified. Also, requirements related to the teacher of record have been revised.
Information on auditing of CTE courses and Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) coding has been added.
Information on how to determine CTE "V" codes has been clarified.
Information on required documentation for CTE Problems and Solutions courses has been revised.
General CTE documentation requirements have been revised.
Information on the PEIMS 415 record and students who drop a CTE course has been clarified.
A statement that the terms "limited English proficient student," "English language learner," and "student of limited English proficiency" are interchangeable has been added to the section's introduction. The subsections making up this section have been reordered to place information on withdrawal and evaluation of exited students after information on program eligibility, eligible days present, and service requirements.
A subsection explaining that districts are required to implement the English language proficiency standards has been added.
The chart containing exit criteria for the bilingual and English as a second language (ESL) education programs has been updated.
A statement that all staff serving limited English proficient students must receive training in sheltered instruction has been added.
In the subsection on student record documentation, the word "permanent" has been removed from references to a student's record, as it implies that documentation must be kept indefinitely instead of for five years from cessation of services. Documentation requirements related to assessment participation have been updated. Information about forwarding of records has been updated.
Information on prekindergarten eligibility based on automatic eligibility for the National School Lunch Program has been revised, as has information on prekindergarten eligibility based on homelessness.
References to the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) or Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC) have been changed to be references to the Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD).
The subsection on compensatory and accelerated instruction for at-risk students has been removed, as the information in the subsection was unrelated to attendance accounting.
The subsection on Alternative Education Campuses of Choice and residential facilities evaluated under alternative education accountability (AEA) procedures has been removed, as the information in the subsection was unrelated to attendance accounting.
Information on residential alternative education programs for students in residential facilities has been clarified. Also, a statement about statutorily required notifications that residential facilities must make has been added.
Information specific to on-campus and off-campus disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs) has been removed, as it was not directly related to attendance accounting.
Information on evaluation of DAEPs and juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEPs) has been moved from the deleted subsection related to entities that are evaluated under AEA procedures, which do not apply to DAEPs and JJAEPs, to the subsection related to DAEPs and the subsection related to JJAEPs.
Information on expulsions has been revised to better reflect statute and to reflect statutory changes that are effective with the 2012-2013 school year.
Information on memorandums of understanding for JJAEPs has been revised to reflect statutory changes that are effective with the 2012-2013 school year.
The chart related to ADA eligibility coding for JJAEP students has been updated to include coding information for JJAEP placements under the TEC, §37.309(b).
A subsection related to dual credit course eligibility requirements specific to students enrolled in Early College High Schools has been added.
A subsection on dual credit documentation requirements has been added.
TxVSN student eligibility requirements have been clarified, as has information on TxVSN funding and attendance accounting.
A subsection containing guidance related to remote instruction that is not delivered through the TxVSN has been added.
Glossary definitions of obsolete terms have been deleted. The definition of "direct, regularly scheduled" has been revised. The entry for "early childhood intervention" has been changed to be an entry for "early childhood intervention services," and information in the entry has been revised. The entry for "nonpublic day school" has been changed to be an entry for "nonpublic school" that includes information on both nonpublic day schools and residential nonpublic schools.
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 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 amendment to 19 TAC §129.1025 continues to inform the public of the existence of annual publications specifying attendance accounting procedures for school districts and charter schools.
PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The adopted amendment places the specific procedures contained in the 2012-2013 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook in the Texas Administrative Code. The TEA distributes FSP funds according to the procedures specified in each annual student attendance accounting handbook. Data reporting requirements are addressed through the PEIMS.
LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS:
The handbook has long stated that school districts and open-enrollment charter schools must keep all student attendance documentation for five years from the end of the school year. Any new student attendance documentation required to be kept would correspond with the student attendance accounting requirement changes described previously.
The public comment period on the proposal began October 5, 2012, and ended November 5, 2012. No public comments were received.
OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
Staff Members Responsible:
Lisa Dawn-Fisher, Associate Commissioner, School Finance / Chief School Finance Officer
Belinda Dyer, Manager, Financial Reporting and Accountability
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.