January 29, 2020 Committee of the Full Board Item 3

Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter B, Special Purpose School Districts, §61.101, Applicability of State Law for Special Purpose School Districts
(First Reading and Filing Authorization)

January 31, 2020

COMMITTEE OF THE FULL BOARD: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY: This item presents for first reading and filing authorization proposed new 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter B, Special Purpose School Districts, §61.101, Applicability of State Law for Special Purpose School Districts, to identify provisions of the Texas Education Code (TEC) that are not applicable to the special-purpose school districts operated by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §11.351.

TEC, §11.351, permits the State Board of Education (SBOE) to establish a special-purpose school district for the education of students in special situations whose educational needs are not adequately met by regular school districts. The board is also permitted to impose duties or limitations on the school district as necessary for the special purpose of the district. 

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 new section is 20 days after filing as adopted with the Texas Register. Under TEC, §7.102(f), the SBOE must approve the rule action at second reading and final adoption by a vote of two-thirds of its members to specify an effective date earlier than the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The earlier effective date would allow the special purpose districts to begin planning for implementation before the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The SBOE approved the Texas Tech University Independent Study by Correspondence High School Program in September 1993. The SBOE approved The University of Texas High School program in November 1998. For both special purpose districts, the SBOE established the following conditions: no state funds shall be used to support the program; transcripts awarded to students enrolled in the program shall be consistent with the Academic Achievement Record required by the TAC; courses offered shall be consistent with courses required by the TAC; requirements for a high school diploma shall be consistent with the state graduation requirements and with exit-level assessment requirements in the TAC; state required testing will be implemented in accordance with existing rules and schedules; and other SBOE rules for curriculum shall be applicable as appropriate. A discussion item regarding the special-purpose districts was presented to the committee at its November 2019 meeting.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, passed House Bill 3, which entitled a special-purpose school district operated by Texas Tech University or The University of Texas at Austin to funding under TEC, Chapter 48. If Texas Tech University or The University of Texas at Austin receives state funding for a school year, the special-purpose district may not charge tuition or fees to students enrolled in the district who are residents of Texas for that school year, other than fees authorized under the TEC.

The proposed new section would specify duties or limitations to be imposed on the special-purpose school districts if they opt to receive state funding. 

The attachment to this item reflects the text of proposed new §61.101 for consideration by the SBOE for first reading and filing authorization.

FISCAL IMPACT: The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has determined that there are no additional costs to state or local government required to comply with the proposal.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT: The proposal has no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022.

SMALL BUSINESS, MICROBUSINESS, AND RURAL COMMUNITY IMPACT: The proposal has no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, or rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required.

COST INCREASE TO REGULATED PERSONS: 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 Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT: The proposal does not impose a burden on private real property and, therefore, does not constitute a taking under Texas Government Code, §2007.043.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: TEA staff prepared a Government Growth Impact Statement assessment for this proposed rulemaking. The proposed rulemaking would create a new regulation. The new rule would identify provisions of the TEC that are not applicable to the special-purpose school districts operated by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin.

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, limit, 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: The proposal would clarify which provisions of the TEC are not applicable to the special-purpose school districts operated by Texas Tech University and The University of Texas at Austin. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposal.

DATA AND REPORTING IMPACT: The proposal would have no data and reporting impact.

PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: The TEA 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: The public comment period on the proposal begins March 6, 2020, and ends April 10, 2020. The SBOE will take registered oral and written comments on the proposal at the appropriate committee meeting in April 2020 in accordance with the SBOE board operating policies and procedures. A request for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the commissioner of education not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on March 6, 2020.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Approve for first reading and filing authorization proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter B, Special Purpose School Districts, §61.101, Applicability of State Law for Special Purpose School Districts.

Staff Members Responsible:
Monica Martinez, Associate Commissioner, Standards and Support Services

Attachment:     Text of Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter B, Special Purpose School Districts, §61.101, Applicability of State Law for Special Purpose School Districts