April 2018 Committee on School Initiatives Item 7

Review of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, Subchapter A, Certificate Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Requirements, §232.11, Number and Content of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours

April 13, 2018

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review a State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule action that would propose an amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, Subchapter A, Certificate Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Requirements, §232.11, Number and Content of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours. The proposed amendment would implement changes resulting from the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which include adding new continuing professional education (CPE) topics for all educators. The proposed amendment would also add minimum requirements for several CPE topics for individuals holding standard classroom teacher, principal, and school counselor certificates.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for 19 TAC Chapter 232, Subchapter A, is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.003(a); 21.0031(f); 21.031; 21.041(b)(1), (4), and (9); 21.0543, as added by Senate Bill (SB) 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and 21.054, as amended by SB 7, SB 179, and SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

TEC, §21.003(a), states that a person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or school counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.

TEC, §21.0031(f), clarifies and places certain limits on provisions authorizing termination of an educator's contract for failure to maintain a valid certificate.

TEC, §21.031, authorizes the SBEC to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators.

TEC, §21.041(b)(1), requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.

TEC, §21.041(b)(4), requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate.

TEC, §21.041(b)(9), requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for continuing education requirements.

TEC, §21.0543, as added by SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for CPE credit related to digital technology instruction.

TEC, §21.054, as amended by SB 7, SB 179, and SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing a process for identifying continuing education courses and programs that fulfill educators' continuing education requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The proposed effective date of the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §232.11 would be May 17, 2018.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, establishes the renewal requirements relating to types and classes of certificates issued, CPE hours to be completed, and the national criminal history record information review. Classroom teachers are required to participate in 150 hours of CPE activities every five years to maintain their standard certificates. Principals, school counselors, and other non-teacher educators are required to participate in 200 hours of CPE activities every five years to maintain their standard certificates. Educators are required to maintain evidence of their CPE activities. When an educator applies to renew his or her certificate, he or she must verify through an affidavit whether he or she is in compliance with renewal requirements, including CPE activities. When an educator is selected for a CPE audit, the educator must provide Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff with documentation that supports certificate renewal.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §232.11, shown in Attachment II, would add several CPE topics for classroom teachers and principals and add minimum requirements for several CPE topics for classroom teachers, principals, and school counselors. The proposed changes are designed to fulfill the new statutory requirements and provide consistency across certification classes.

Proposed changes to subsection (c)(4) would add several required CPE topics for individuals who hold a standard classroom teacher certificate. These topics were added by the TEC, §21.054, as amended by SB 1839 and SB 7, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. SB 1839 requires an individual who holds a standard classroom teacher certificate to participate in CPE activities regarding digital learning, digital teaching, and integrating technology into classroom instruction. SB 7 requires an individual who holds a standard classroom teacher certificate to participate in CPE activities regarding understanding appropriate relationships, boundaries, and communications between educators and students. Additional changes to subsection (c)(4) would require an individual who holds a standard classroom teacher certificate that is renewed on or after June 1, 2019, to complete CPE activities every five years that are directly related to each of the CPE topics included in this subsection. These topics include:

• collecting and analyzing information that will improve effectiveness in the classroom;
• recognizing early warning indicators that a student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
• digital learning, digital teaching, and integrating technology into classroom instruction;
• educating students with disabilities, including mental health disorders;
• educating students who are educationally disadvantaged;
• educating English language learners;
• educating students at risk of dropping out of school; and
• understanding appropriate relationships, boundaries, and communications between educators and students.

This change in renewal requirements is a result of the clear legislative intent of SB 7 to require training on understanding appropriate relationships, boundaries, and communications between educators and students. The remaining topics were first added to statute under HB 642, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. While the legislative intent for these topics was less clear in HB 642, requiring training in each of the topics in subsection (c)(4) would provide a consistent implementation of the statutory requirements. The implementation date of June 1, 2019, would give educators one year from the effective date of the proposed amendment to participate in the required CPE activities. The current requirement that prohibits an individual who holds a standard classroom teacher certificate from applying more than 37.5 hours of CPE activities (25% of 150 hours) in the topics listed in subsection (c)(4)(A)-(H) toward certification renewal requirements is not changed by this proposed amendment.

Proposed changes to subsection (c)(5) would add several required CPE topics for individuals who hold a standard principal certificate. These topics were added by the TEC, §21.054, as amended by SB 1839 and SB 7, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. SB 1839 requires an individual who holds a standard principal certificate to participate in CPE activities regarding digital learning, digital teaching, and integrating technology into campus curriculum and instruction. SB 7 requires an individual who holds a standard principal certificate to participate in CPE activities regarding preventing, recognizing, and reporting sexual conduct between an educator and student. With the implementation of SB 7, both principals and superintendents are subject to sanctions for failure to report inappropriate educator student relationships. Mandating this professional development, consistent with SB 7, will ensure that each principal is aware of the reporting requirement and is prepared to protect students and avoid sanctions. Additional changes to subsection (c)(5) would require an individual who holds a standard principal certificate that is renewed on or after June 1, 2019, to complete CPE activities every five years that are directly related to each of the CPE topics included in subsection (c)(5)(A)-(J). These topics include:

• collecting and analyzing information;
• making decisions and managing time;
• supervising student discipline and managing behavior;
• recognizing early warning indicators that a student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
• digital learning, digital teaching, and integrating technology into campus curriculum and instruction;
• educating students with disabilities, including mental health disorders;
• educating students who are educationally disadvantaged;
• educating English language learners;
• educating students at risk of dropping out of school; and
• preventing, recognizing, and reporting any sexual conduct between an educator and student.

This change in renewal requirements is a result of the clear legislative intent of SB 7 to require training on preventing, recognizing, and reporting any sexual conduct between an educator and student. The remaining topics were first added to statute under HB 642, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. While the legislative intent for these topics was less clear in HB 642, requiring training in each of the topics in subsection (c)(5) would provide a consistent implementation of the statutory requirements. The implementation date of June 1, 2019, would give educators one year from the effective date of the proposed amendment to participate in the required CPE activities. The current requirement that prohibits an individual who holds a standard principal certificate from applying more than 50 hours of CPE activities (25% of 200 hours) in the topics listed in subsection (c)(5)(A)-(J) toward certification renewal requirements is not changed by this proposed amendment.

Proposed changes to subsection (c)(6) would require an individual who holds a standard school counselor certificate that is renewed on or after June 1, 2019, to complete CPE activities every five years that are directly related to each of the CPE topics included in subsection (c)(6)(A)-(D). These topics include:

• assisting students in developing high school graduation plans;
• implementing dropout prevention strategies;
• informing students concerning college admissions, including college financial aid resources and application procedures; and
• informing students concerning career opportunities.

While there were no recent legislative changes that required an amendment to subsection (c)(6), the amendment would provide for consistency between the classroom teacher, principal, and school counselor certificate renewal rules. The implementation date of June 1, 2019, would give educators one year from the effective date of the proposed amendment to participate in the required CPE activities. The current requirement that prohibits an individual who holds a standard school counselor certificate from applying more than 50 hours of CPE activities (25% of 200 hours) in the topics listed in subsection (c)(6)(A)-(D) toward certification renewal requirements is not changed by this proposed amendment.

Proposed new subsection (j) would include CPE requirements for classroom teachers and principals that were added by the TEC, §21.054, as amended by SB 179, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. This new subsection would allow CPE requirements for classroom teachers and principals to include instruction regarding how grief and trauma affect student learning and behavior and how evidence-based, grief-informed, and trauma-informed strategies support the academic success of students affected by grief and trauma.

Proposed new subsection (k)(1) would include CPE requirements for all certificate classes that were added by the TEC, §21.0543, as amended by SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. This new subsection would allow an educator to receive credit toward CPE requirements for completion of education courses that use technology to increase the educator's digital literacy.

Proposed new subsection (k)(2) would include CPE requirements for all certificate classes that were added by the TEC, §21.0543, as amended by SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. This new subsection would allow an educator to receive credit toward CPE requirements for completion of education courses that assist the educator in the use of digital technology in learning activities that improve teaching, assessment, and instructional practices.

The proposed amendment to 19 TAC §232.11 would also include technical edits to conform with Texas Register style and formatting requirements.

SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules

Under the TEC, §21.042, the SBEC must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the SBOE for review. The SBOE may reject the proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the SBOE present and voting, but may not modify a rule.

FISCAL IMPACT : The TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state and local governments and there are no additional costs to entities required to comply with the proposed amendment. While the amendment would create minimum requirements for several CPE topics for individuals holding standard classroom teacher, principal, and school counselor certificates, many of the CPE activity options are provided at no or low cost. In addition, there is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, and rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required. There is no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed amendment does not impose a cost on regulated persons, another state agency, a special district, or a local government and, therefore, are not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT :
The TEA staff has determined that the proposed amendment does have a government growth impact pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.0221.

The proposed amendment in 19 TAC §232.11(c)(4), (5), and (6) would expand existing regulation to require individuals who hold standard classroom teacher, principal, and/or school counselor certificates to complete CPE activities in certain topics. The expansion of the existing regulation is a result of a consistent interpretation of changes to the TEC, §21.054, as amended by SB 1839 and SB 7, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, and HB 642, 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT : The public and student benefit will be clarified certificate renewal requirements relating to the content of the required CPE hours. The proposed amendment will ensure that each teacher and principal receives education in preventing inappropriate educator student relationships and other critical areas. This benefits the educator by helping the educator create proper boundaries and avoid complaints or discipline. The proposed amendment benefits students by helping ensure that teachers do not engage students in inappropriate relationships. The proposed amendment does not impose a cost on persons required to comply with the rule.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: The proposed amendment would have no additional procedural and reporting implications.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: The proposed amendment would have no additional locally maintained paperwork requirements.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: In accordance with the SBEC rulemaking process, a summary of comments received by the SBEC on its proposed rules is shared with the SBOE under separate cover prior to this SBOE meeting.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES:
None.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, Subchapter A, Certificate Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Requirements, §232.11, Number and Content of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours, with an effective date of 20 days after filing the adoption notice with the Texas Register.

Staff Members Responsible:
Ryan Franklin, Associate Commissioner
Educator Leadership and Quality

Tim Miller, Director
Educator Preparation and Program Accountability

Attachments:
I.  Statutory Citations (PDF, 25KB)
II. Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, Subchapter A, Certificate Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Requirements, §232.11, Number and Content of Required Continuing Professional Education Hours (PDF, 30KB)