November 2019 Committee on School Initiatives Item 4

Review of Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans

November 15, 2019

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

SUMMARY:  This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule actions that would propose revisions to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans. The proposed revisions would implement Senate Bill (SB) 1200, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019. The proposed revisions would allow military spouses licensed in other states, and in good standing, to teach in Texas with the credential issued by another state. Additional revisions would streamline the credentials review and certificate issuance process for all members of the military community (military service members, military spouses, and military veterans).

STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  The statutory authority for 19 TAC Chapter 234 is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.041(b)(2) and (4); 21.044(a); 21.052(b-1), (c), and (d-1); and Texas Occupations Code (TOC), §§55.001; 55.002; 55.003; 55.004; 55.0041, as added by SB 1200, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019; 55.005; 55.006; 55.007; 55.008; and 55.009.

The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The proposed effective date of the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 234 would be December 22, 2019.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION:  None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION:  Chapter 234 consolidates all military-related provisions into one chapter and streamlines future military-related rulemaking opportunities. The Texas Legislature has added statutory provisions regarding teaching credentials for the military community (military service members, military spouses, and military veterans) during the last three legislative sessions:

•    The 84th Texas Legislature, 2015 waived the certification fees paid by military service members, military spouses, and military veterans; established alternative methods for military groups to meet requirements for licensure; granted the commissioner authority to review applicant credentials and waive requirements for licensure; and incorporated the use of verified military service to satisfy apprenticeship requirements for licensure. 
•    The 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017 provided military spouses with a three-year temporary certificate to teach in Texas.
•    SB 1200, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, allows military spouses to teach in Texas a maximum of three years with a license in good standing in another state. SB 1200 requires adoption of rules by the SBEC by December 1, 2019.

In addition to the requirements in SB 1200, which provides for increased flexibility for military spouses to teach in Texas, the SBEC would change certification processes to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a review of credentials and issue a Texas certificate for military service members, military spouses, and military veterans licensed to teach in other states. Following is a description of the proposed revisions.

§234.5. Certification of Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans.

The proposed amendment to current §234.5(e) would move that provision to new §234.7(d), regarding renewal requirements for military service members, military spouses, and military veterans. 

Proposed new §234.5(e) would establish the process for military spouses to notify TEA of their intent to teach in Texas with a license issued by another state department of education for a maximum of three years. The credentials review process already in place requires individuals certified in other states to complete the online application and request the credentials review, the Texas temporary certificate, and/or the Texas standard certificate. Individuals applying for the credentials review, a required first step for all individuals certified outside of Texas, must also submit copies of all standard certificates issued by departments of education to teach in other states and official transcripts that show degree(s) conferred and date(s). Continued use of this established process would support the timely and successful implementation of this legislation. 

The proposed amendment to §234.5(h) would reference the commissioner’s rules concerning examination requirements in 19 TAC §152.1001 as an option for clarity and ease of reference that could be utilized by members of the military community that qualify for an exemption from required Texas tests. 

§234.6. Review of Credentials and Issuance of Licensure to Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans.

Proposed new 19 TAC §234.6 would implement provisions specific to military spouses in SB 1200, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, and would meet the legislative mandate for SBEC to adopt rules by December 1, 2019. The proposed new rule would allow military spouses licensed in other states, and in good standing, to teach in Texas with credentials issued by another state department of education. SB 1200 specifies that prior to employment, military spouses must notify the licensing agency of their intent to teach in Texas with credentials from another state and must wait for confirmation from the licensing agency that their credentials have been cleared for employment in Texas. The proposed new rule would provide for military spouses to have three options to teach in the state of Texas after successful credentials review by TEA:

•    Utilization of their current licensure from another state;
•    Issuance of the Texas temporary three-year certificate already prescribed in §234.5(d) of this section; or
•    Issuance of a Texas standard certificate following successful completion of a criminal background check.

Proposed new §234.6 would establish provisions for alternative licensing of all members of the military community referenced in the TOC, §55.004, Alternative Licensing for Military Service Members, Military Veterans, and Military Spouses. TOC, §55.004 provides for the issuance of a license to an applicant who is a military service member, military veteran, and military spouse. The proposed new rule would allow for the issuance of the Texas standard certificate upon completion of a successful review of credentials and the required criminal background check. Current provisions in the TOC, §55.004 allow for the SBEC to grant this opportunity to military service members and military veterans, in addition to military spouses.

§234.7. Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements for Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans.

The proposed amendment to current §234.5(e) would move the provision to new §234.7(d), regarding renewal requirements for military service members, military spouses, and military veterans, to align all rule text specific to renewal and continuing education requirements in the same section.

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: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state or local governments and that there are no additional costs to entities required to comply with the proposal.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code (TGC), §2001.002.

SMALL BUSINESS, MICROBUSINESS, AND RURAL COMMUNITY IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, or rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in TGC, §2006.002, is required.

COST INCREASE TO REGULATED PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does not impose a cost on regulated persons, another state agency, a special district, or a local government and, therefore, is not subject to TGC, §2001.0045.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does not impose a burden on private real property and, therefore, does not constitute a taking under TGC, §2007.043.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff prepared a Government Growth Impact Statement assessment for this proposed rulemaking. The proposed rulemaking would create a new regulation that allows military service members, military spouses, and military veterans to obtain and renew a Texas educator certificate following a credentials review and would limit the existing regulation that requires military service members, military spouses, and military veterans to meet the examination requirements for certificate issuance by exempting those individuals whom are already certified to teach in another state. The proposed rulemaking would not create or eliminate a government program; would not require the creation of new employee positions or elimination of existing employee positions; would not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; would not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency; would not expand or repeal an existing regulation; would not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to its applicability; and would not positively or adversely affect the state’s economy.

PUBLIC BENEFIT AND COST TO PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The public benefit anticipated as a result of the proposed revisions would be continued support to members of the military community, with special provisions to allow military spouses of active duty members a maximum of three years to utilize a credential issued in another state and in good standing to maintain employment in Texas. There is no anticipated cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposal.

DATA AND REPORTING IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal would have no data and reporting impact.

PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that the proposal would not require a written report or other paperwork to be completed by a principal or classroom teacher.

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.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the proposed revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans.

Staff Members Responsible:
Ryan Franklin, Associate Commissioner, Educator Leadership and Quality
Marilyn Cook, Director, Educator Certification    

Attachment:           Text of Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members,   Military Spouses, and Military Veterans