April 2021 Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund Item 1

Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter C, Adoptions By Reference, §109.41, Financial Accountability System Resource Guide
(Second Reading and Final Adoption)

April 16, 2021

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL FINANCE/PERMANENT SCHOOL FUND: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY: This item presents for second reading and final adoption a proposed amendment to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter C, Adoptions By Reference, §109.41, Financial Accountability System Resource Guide. The proposed amendment would adopt by reference the updated Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG).

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §§7.055(b)(32), 7.102(c)(32), 44.001(a) and (b), 44.007(a)-(d), and 44.008(b).

TEC, §7.055(b)(32), requires the commissioner to perform duties in connection with the public school accountability system as prescribed by TEC, Chapters 39 and 39A.

TEC, §7.102(c)(32), requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to adopt rules concerning school district budgets and audits of school district fiscal accounts as required under TEC, Chapter 44, Subchapter A.

TEC, §44.001(a), requires the commissioner to establish advisory guidelines relating to the fiscal management of a school district. TEC, §44.001(b), requires the commissioner to report annually to the SBOE the status of school district fiscal management as reflected by the advisory guidelines and by statutory requirements.

TEC, §44.007(a), requires the board of trustees of each school district to adopt and install a standard school fiscal accounting system that conforms with generally accepted accounting principles. TEC, §44.007(b), requires the accounting system to meet at least the minimum requirements prescribed by the commissioner, subject to review and comment by the state auditor. TEC, §44.007(c), requires a record to be kept of all revenues realized and of all expenditures made during the fiscal year for which a budget is adopted. A report of the revenues and expenditures for the preceding fiscal year is required to be filed with the agency on or before the date set by the SBOE. TEC, §44.007(d), requires each district, as part of the report required by TEC, §44.007, to include management, cost accounting, and financial information in a format prescribed by the SBOE in a manner sufficient to enable the board to monitor the funding process and determine educational system costs by district, campus, and program.

TEC, §44.008(b), requires the independent audit to meet at least the minimum requirements and be in the format prescribed by the SBOE, subject to review and comment by the state auditor. The audit must include an audit of the accuracy of the fiscal information provided by the district through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS).

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 amendment 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 2021-2022 school year. The earlier effective date will ensure the provisions of the FASRG align with current governmental accounting and auditing standards for school districts and charter schools as soon as possible.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The current FASRG, dated June 2019, was adopted by reference in §109.41 effective August 19, 2019. At the November 2020 SBOE meeting, the committee discussed the proposed amendment to §109.41 and the proposed updates to the FASRG modules to be adopted by reference in the rule. At the January 2021 meeting, the board approved the proposed amendment to §109.41 for first reading and filing authorization.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The FASRG describes the rules of financial accounting for school districts, charter schools, and education service centers and is adopted by reference under §109.41. Revisions to the FASRG would align the content with current governmental accounting and auditing standards, remove obsolete requirements, and remove descriptions and discussions of best practices and other non-mandatory elements.

Requirements for financial accounting and reporting are derived from generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). School districts and charter schools are required to adhere to GAAP. Legal and contractual considerations typical of the government environment are reflected in the fund structure basis of accounting.

An important function of governmental accounting systems is to enable administrators to assure and report on compliance with finance-related legal provisions. This assurance and reporting means that the accounting system and its terminology, fund structure, and procedures must be adapted to satisfy finance-related legal requirements. However, the basic financial statements of school districts and charter schools should be prepared in conformity with GAAP.

School district and charter school accounting systems shall use the accounting code structure presented in the Account Code section of the FASRG (Module 1). Funds shall be classified and identified on required financial statements by the same code number and terminology provided in the Account Code section of the FASRG (Module 1).

The following changes would be made to Modules 1-6 of the FASRG.

Module 1, Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and FAR Appendices

Module 1 would align with current governmental accounting standards. Proposed Module 1 would include the following significant changes. School districts and charter schools would be required to maintain proper budgeting and financial accounting and reporting systems. In addition, school districts would be required to establish principles and policies to ensure uniformity in accounting in conformity with GAAP established by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

Module 2, Special Supplement - Charter Schools

Module 2 would align with current financial and accounting reporting standards. Proposed Module 2 would include the following significant changes. The proposed module would establish financial and accounting requirements for Texas public charter schools to ensure uniformity in accounting in conformity with GAAP. The proposed module would also include current guidance that complements the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Audit and Accounting Guide, State and Local Governments and supplements the Government Auditing Standards of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). These requirements facilitate preparation of financial statements that conform to GAAP established by the FASB.

Module 3, Special Supplement - Non-profit Charter Schools Chart of Accounts

Module 3 would align with current governmental accounting standards. Proposed Module 3 would include the following significant changes. Charter schools would be required to maintain proper budgeting and financial accounting and reporting systems that are in conformity with Texas Education Data Standards (TEDS) in the Texas Student Data Systems (TSDS) PEIMS. In addition, charter schools would be required to establish principles and policies to ensure uniformity in accounting in conformity with GAAP established by the FASB. The proposed module would also include current auditing guidance that complements the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, State and Local Governments and supplements the Government Auditing Standards of the United States GAO. These requirements facilitate preparation of financial statements that conform to GAAP established by the FASB.

Module 4, Auditing

Module 4 would align with current governmental auditing standards. Proposed Module 4 would include the following significant changes. The proposed module would establish auditing requirements for Texas public school districts and charter schools and include current requirements from TEC, §44.008, as well as Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200, Subpart F, Audit Requirements, that implement the federal Single Audit Act. The proposed module would also include current auditing guidance that complements the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, State and Local Governments and supplements the Government Auditing Standards of the United States GAO. These requirements facilitate preparation of financial statements that conform to GAAP established by the GASB.

Module 5, Purchasing

Module 5 would align with current purchasing laws and standards. Proposed Module 5 would include the following significant changes. School districts and charter schools would be required to establish procurement policies and procedures that align with their unique operating environment and ensure compliance with relevant statutes and policies.

Module 6, Compensatory Education, Guidelines, Financial Treatment, and an Auditing and Reporting System

Module 6 would align with current governmental accounting standards. Proposed Module 6 would include the following significant changes. School districts and charter schools would be required to maintain proper budgeting and financial accounting and reporting systems. The module would provide current information to assist local school officials' understanding of the numerous options for use of the state compensatory education allotment and provide current guidance for compliance.

A separate item in this agenda presents the adoption of the statutorily required rule review of 19 TAC Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter A, Budgeting, Accounting, Financial Reporting, and Auditing for School Districts; Subchapter B, Texas Education Agency Audit Functions; Subchapter C, Adoptions by Reference; and Subchapter D, Uniform Bank Bid or Request for Proposal and Depository Contract.

Since published as proposed, staff anticipates presenting changes related to fund codes and references to statute.

FISCAL IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed.

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: 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, §2001.022.

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 Texas Government Code, §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 Texas Government Code, §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 Texas Government Code, §2007.043.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed.

TEA staff prepared a Government Growth Impact Statement assessment for this proposed rulemaking. During the first five years the proposed rulemaking would be in effect, it would expand and limit an existing regulation. The proposal would amend requirements and provide updated governmental accounting and auditing standards. In some instances, the proposed changes would add information, and in some instances, information would be removed.

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 create a new regulation; would not 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 proposal would ensure that the provisions of the FASRG align with current governmental accounting and auditing standards for school districts and charter schools. There is no anticipated economic 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.

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: Following the January 2021 SBOE meeting, notice of proposed amendment to §109.41was filed with the Texas Register, initiating the public comment period. The public comment period on the proposal began March 5, 2021, and ended at 5:00 p.m. on April 9, 2021. A summary of public comments received regarding the proposal will be provided to the SBOE during the April 2021 meeting. The SBOE will take registered oral and written comments on the proposal at the appropriate committee meeting in April 2021 in accordance with the SBOE board operating policies and procedures.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Approve for second reading and final adoption the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter C, Adoptions By Reference, §109.41, Financial Accountability System Resource Guide; and

Make an affirmative finding that immediate adoption of the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter C, Adoptions By Reference, §109.41, Financial Accountability System Resource Guide, is necessary and shall have an effective date of 20 days after filing as adopted with the Texas Register. (Per TEC, §7.102(f), a vote of two-thirds of the members of the board is necessary for an earlier effective date.)

Staff Members Responsible:
Leo Lopez, Associate Commissioner, School Finance
David Marx, Senior Director, Financial Compliance

Attachment I:
Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 109, Budgeting, Accounting, and Auditing, Subchapter C, Adoptions By Reference, §109.41, Financial Accountability System Resource Guide

Attachment II:
Proposed FASRG Module 1, Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) and FAR Appendices

Attachment III:
Proposed FASRG Module 2, Special Supplement - Charter Schools

Attachment IV:
Proposed FASRG Module 3, Special Supplement - Non-profit Charter Schools Chart of Accounts

Attachment V:
Proposed FASRG Module 4, Auditing

Attachment VI:
Proposed FASRG Module 5, Purchasing

Attachment VII:
Proposed FASRG Module 6, Compensatory Education, Guidelines, Financial Treatment, and an Auditing and Reporting System

Due to the size of Attachments II-VII, the FASRG modules are available electronically on the TEA website at https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/financial-accountability/financial-accountability-system-resource-guide.