January 2014 Committee on School Initiatives Item 3

Discussion of 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter A, Board of Trustees Relationship, §61.1, Continuing Education for School Board Members,
and the Framework for School Board Development

January 30, 2014

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: DISCUSSION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: NO ACTION

SUMMARY:
At the request of a board member, this item provides an opportunity for the Committee on School Initiatives to discuss 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter A, Board of Trustees Relationship, §61.1, Continuing Education for School Board Members. This item also provides the opportunity for the committee to discuss the current Framework for School Board Development and the annual required hours of continuing education for all boards of trustees in Texas public school districts.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §11.159.

BOARD RESPONSE: This item is presented for review and comment.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted 19 TAC §61.1 effective March 1, 1996. Section 61.1 was last amended effective December 20, 2010. The SBOE adopted the Framework for School Board Development in January 1996 and revised the framework in July 2012.

FUTURE ACTION EXPECTED: At the direction of the committee, a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §61.1 can be presented for first reading and filing authorization at a future meeting. The committee may also direct staff to present changes to the Framework for School Board Development at a future meeting.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: The TEC, §11.159, Member Training and Orientation, requires the SBOE to provide a training course for school board trustees. Section 61.1 addresses this statutory requirement. School board trustee training under current SBOE rule includes a local school district orientation session, a basic orientation to the TEC, an annual team-building session with the local school board and the superintendent, and specified hours of continuing education based on identified needs. The current text of 19 TAC §61.1 is shown in Attachment II.

The Framework for School Board Development, shown in Attachment III, establishes a structure for district leadership teams, as a corporate body and as individuals, to gain an understanding of the vision, structure, accountability, advocacy, and unity needed to provide educational programs and services that promote equity and excellence in performance of all students. The framework supports the training requirements adopted by the SBOE in 19 TAC §61.1.

The annual required hours of continuing education for school board member training are summarized in the chart shown in Attachment IV.

FISCAL IMPACT: Fiscal implications would be assessed if the committee directs staff to bring forward a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §61.1 for first reading and filing authorization.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT: The current rule and framework require continuing education activities for school board trustees based on local needs and establish clear expectations for collaboration and communication among local board members and between local boards of trustees and other educational entities and policymakers.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: As specified in current rule, the framework for governance leadership used in structuring continuing education for board members is posted to the Texas Education Agency website and each local school board president is required to share the information with other local school board members and the superintendent. Board training updates must be disseminated, noted in the minutes, and announced at the last regular meeting of the board of trustees held during the calendar year.

Procedural and reporting implications would be assessed if the committee directs staff to bring forward a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §61.1 for first reading and filing authorization.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: In accordance with current rule, verification of completion of board member continuing education must be maintained by the participant and participant's school district. Minutes of the board meeting in which continuing education hours obtained by each board member for the past calendar year are announced must also be maintained locally and made available to local media.

Implications for locally maintained paperwork requirements would be assessed if the committee directs staff to bring forward a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §61.1 for first reading and filing authorization.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: None.

ALTERNATIVES: None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

Staff Member Responsible:
Ronald Rowell, Director
School Governance

Attachments:
I. Statutory Citation (PDF, 9KB)
II. Text of Current 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter A, Board of Trustees Relationship, §61.1, Continuing Education for School Board Members (PDF, 21KB)
III. School Board Member Training - Framework for School Board Development (PDF, 49KB)
IV. School Board Member Training - Annual Required Hours of Continuing Education (PDF, 16KB)