Frequently Asked Questions on Public Comment Process for Proposed Rulemaking
What is a public comment?
A public comment is an opportunity for any interested person to submit data, views, or arguments on a proposed rule. The opportunity for public comment is required by state law, Texas Government Code, §2001.029.
When can I submit a public comment on a proposed rule?
The public comment period on a rule begins when the rule is published as proposed in the Texas Register.
- For commissioner of education rules, the comment period lasts 31 days unless another date is specified.
- For State Board of Education (SBOE) rules, the comment period is at least 31 days and lasts through the next regular SBOE meeting where the SBOE will take second reading action and the public can also provide testimony.
- For State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rules, the comment period lasts 31 days, but the public also has an opportunity to provide input at the next regular SBEC meeting where the SBEC will take action to adopt the proposed rule.
How do I submit a public comment on a proposed rule?
Forms for submitting public comments are available on the TEA website. The forms are available on the proposed commissioner rules web page, proposed SBOE rules web page, and proposed SBEC rules web page. Comments on a proposal may also be submitted to Rulemaking Unit, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701.
Where can I view a proposed rule to decide if I want to submit a public comment?
All proposed rules of the commissioner, SBOE, and SBEC are posted on the TEA website after filed as proposed with the Texas Register. Proposed rules are available on the proposed commissioner rules web page, proposed SBOE rules web page, and proposed SBEC rules web page.
What happens with my public comment once I have submitted it?
The TEA compiles the public comments received during a proposed rule's public comment period and provides those summaries of and responses to the public comments to the appropriate rulemaking body--commissioner, SBOE, or SBEC--for consideration. Texas Government Code, §2001.033, requires the summary of a comment to include the name of the group or association that commented and whether it was for or against the adoption of the rule. Comments from individuals will also be included in the summary of public comments, but individuals will not be named. Texas Government Code, §2001.033, also requires that if the rulemaking body disagrees with the comment, the response to the comment must include the reasons why the rulemaking body disagreed. If the rulemaking body agrees with the comment, it could result in a change to the proposed rule. The summaries of and responses to public comments are included with the adopted rule published in the Texas Register.
Can a rule be adopted without a public comment period?
An emergency rule is not required to have a public comment period and may be effective as soon as it is filed with the Texas Register. Texas Government Code, §2001.034, allows a state agency to adopt an emergency rule if it finds that an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare, or a requirement of state or federal law, requires adoption of a rule on fewer than 30 days' notice. An emergency rule may be effective up to 180 days.