January 2021 Committee on Instruction Item 2

Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter A, Required Curriculum, §74.5, Academic Achievement Record (Transcript)
(First Reading and Filing Authorization)

January 29, 2021

COMMITTEE ON INSTRUCTION: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY: This item presents for first reading and filing authorization a proposed amendment to
19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter A, Required Curriculum, §74.5, Academic Achievement Record (Transcript), to update the rule to require documentation of the new graduation requirement that a student complete and submit a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA).

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §§7.102(c)(13); 28.025(e); and 28.0256(a), as added by House Bill (HB) 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019.

TEC, §7.102(c)(13), requires the SBOE to adopt transcript forms and standards for differentiating high school performance for purposes of reporting academic achievement under TEC, §28.025.

TEC, §28.025(e), requires each school district to report the academic achievement record of students who have completed the foundation high school program on transcript forms adopted by the State Board of Education.

TEC, §28.0256(a), as added by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, requires each student to complete and submit a FAFSA or a TASFA before graduating from high school.

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 August 1, 2021. 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 allow districts of innovation that begin school prior to the statutorily required start date to implement the proposed rulemaking when they begin their school year.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The SBOE adopted 19 TAC §74.5 effective June 18, 2014, to align with legislation passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013. In April 2016, the SBOE gave final approval to a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §74.5 to align with legislation passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, 2015. In April 2018, the SBOE gave final approval to a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §74.5 to align with legislation passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2013, and 85th Texas Legislature, 2017.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, passed HB 3, amending the TEC, §28.025(c), and adding new TEC, §28.0256, to require a student to complete a financial aid application, FAFSA or TAFSA, in order to graduate. In accordance with TEC, §28.0256(b), a student is not required to comply with the requirement to complete and submit a financial aid application if the student's parent or guardian submits a signed opt-out form authorizing the student to decline. The student may submit the opt-out form on the student's own behalf if the student is 18 years of age or older or is an emancipated youth under Texas Family Code, Chapter 31. A school counselor may also authorize the student to decline to complete and submit a financial aid application for good cause, as determined by the school counselor. The opt-out form must be approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Each school district must report to the agency the number of students who meet the financial aid application requirement by either completing and submitting a financial aid application or opting out.

At the November 2020 SBOE meeting, the SBOE approved for first reading and filing authorization a proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter B, Graduation Requirements, §74.11, High School Graduation Requirements, to update the rule with the new financial aid application graduation requirement. The proposed amendment to the graduation requirements is presented for second reading and final adoption as a separate item in this agenda.

The attachment to this item reflects the text of the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §74.5 for consideration by the SBOE for first reading and filing authorization. The proposed amendment would update the rule for the academic achievement record to document the completion of the new financial aid application graduation requirement.

The proposed amendment was not presented as a separate discussion item. However, the topic was addressed during the discussion of the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §74.11 at the November 2020 SBOE meeting. The SBOE may wish to consider this item for first reading and filing authorization as authorized under its operating procedures. Therefore, this item is presented for consideration for first reading and filing authorization at this meeting. It is recommended the SBOE consider this item for first reading and filing authorization to ensure sufficient time is provided to update student information systems used to transmit the academic achievement record between school districts and Texas colleges and universities, the Texas Records Exchange (TREx) system, and local student information systems.

FISCAL IMPACT: TEA has determined that the proposal would have no additional costs to state or local government beyond what is required by the authorizing statute. HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, required school districts and charter schools to monitor and report the completion of the financial aid application requirement, which will have a cost to the state. However, the 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, appropriated $1.5 million to TEA for the creation of a database to track TASFA completion electronically.

In addition, there may be costs to school districts and charter schools associated with required updates to local student information systems in order to implement the requirements of statute. These may include the need for professional development and amendments to district-developed databases. Since the design and format of and data collection for the academic achievement record (high school transcript) are made at the local district level, it is difficult to estimate the fiscal impact on any given district.

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. During the first five years the proposed rulemaking would be in effect, it would expand an existing regulation by requiring school districts and charter schools to report the completion of the financial aid application requirement on the academic achievement record.

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 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 improve documentation of requirements on the academic achievement record and the ability to more effectively transmit that information between school districts. There is no anticipated economic cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposal.

DATA AND REPORTING IMPACT: The proposal would have data and reporting implications. The proposed amendment would require school districts and charters schools to report the completion of the financial aid application requirement on the academic achievement record.

PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: 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 5, 2021, and ends April 9, 2021. 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. 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 5, 2021.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Suspend the board operating procedures in accordance with §5.2(a) to allow consideration at first reading and filing authorization; and

Approve for first reading and filing authorization the proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter A, Required Curriculum, §74.5, Academic Achievement Record (Transcript).

Staff Members Responsible:
Monica Martinez, Associate Commissioner, Standards and Support Services
Shelly Ramos, Senior Director, Curriculum Standards and Student Support

Attachment:
Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 74, Curriculum Requirements, Subchapter A, Required Curriculum, §74.5, Academic Achievement Record (Transcript)