Certification Exam Reimbursement for School Year 2015-2016

Word Version

February 12, 2016

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

SUBJECT: Certification Exam Reimbursement for School Year 2015-2016

The Texas Education Code §29.190 authorizes the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to pay school districts an amount equal to the cost paid by the district for a certification exam taken and passed by a student to qualify for a license or certificate. TEA received a limited amount of funding for this purpose for the 2016-2017 biennium.

Districts may apply for reimbursement of certification exams taken by students during the 2015-2016 school year. The agency will reimburse the cost of each exam up to $350 per exam under the following conditions:

•    Students who take multiple certification exams are only eligible for one reimbursement.
•    The district must have paid the fee for the examination with state or local funds only.
•    Certification exams paid for with Perkins federal funds are not eligible for reimbursement.
•    Each student must successfully complete a career and technical education (CTE) program offered by the school district in which the student receives training and instruction for employment or be enrolled in a special education program and complete a CTE program in which the student receives training and instruction for employment.
•    Each student must have taken and passed the certification exam to qualify for a license or certificate prior to July 31, 2016.

Applications for reimbursement may be submitted beginning Tuesday, February 16, 2016, and ending Friday, August 5, 2016. Applications will be reviewed and reimbursements granted on a first-come, first-served basis until the allocated funding has been expended.

District Coordinator Instructions
1.    Carefully verify the accuracy and eligibility of all students based on the criteria listed above. When you submit the information to TEA, you are taking responsibility for its accuracy, including the eligibility status for each student.
2.    Download the 2016 Certification Exam Reimbursement Application template attached to this correspondence.
3.    Compile information for all eligible students into the 2016 Certification Exam Reimbursement Application. Please note that lists that contain duplicate students will be returned for corrections.
4.    Save your completed 2016 Certification Exam Reimbursement Application with a new name using the following format: [district name] 2016 CTE (i.e., Alphabet ISD 2016 CTE). (This is a very important step as TEA will receive hundreds of versions of this table from districts all over the state.)
5.    Carefully organize and keep all documentation, including proof of payment by the district and verification that each student successfully completed a CTE program and took and passed the certification exam, in case it is requested by TEA. Should TEA have questions concerning your application, you may be asked to submit this documentation. The documentation will then be required for approval.
6.    Email the completed 2016 Certification Exam Reimbursement Application (saved with the new name) to career@tea.texas.gov. Some additional requirements for this email include the following:
•    Spreadsheets must be submitted through Accellion, a secure file transfer protocol. Please see http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Contact_Us/Sending_Files_Securely_to_TEA/ for more information.
•    The email must come from the email address of the superintendent-appointed district coordinator who will be the responsible party. This is the person taking responsibility for all information in the application.
•    The email must have the following as the subject line: [district name] 2016 CTE.
•    The body of the email must contain the following statement of certification:

I, _________[name]____________, __[title]___ for _____[district name]____, have verified the information submitted to the Texas Education Agency via this email and attached document and certify its truth and accuracy.

•    Do not mail or fax the information to TEA. Mailed or faxed applications are not secure and will be returned to the sender.

7.    Watch for emailed verification of the submission within five working days. Should such verification not arrive within five business days, please contact the CTE Unit in the Curriculum Division by email at career@tea.texas.gov or by phone at (512) 463-9581(512) 463-9581.

Questions regarding certification exam reimbursements should be directed to John Ellis, CTE statewide coordinator, by phone at (512) 463-9581skype(512) 463-9581 or by email at john.ellis@tea.texas.gov.

Sincerely,

Monica Martinez
Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs


Attachment: 2016 Certification Exam Reimbursement Application template