TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 1. TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING BOARD

CHAPTER 4. RULES APPLYING TO ALL PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN TEXAS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §4.2

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopts amended Chapter 4, Subchapter A, §4.2 to include reference authority provided by Texas Education Code (TEC) §51.9364, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 18, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5989). The rule will not be republished.

This revision provides instruction to institutions of higher education and private or independent institutions of higher education regarding transcript notations for students ineligible to reenroll for a reason other than academic or financial.

No comments were received.

The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code, §51.9364, which provides for certain notations required on student transcripts.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904936

William Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: January 8, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 18, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6523


19 TAC §4.7

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board adopts the amendment to Chapter 4, Subchapter A, §4.7, concerning Student Transcripts, is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 18, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5990). The rule will not be republished.

No comments were received.

The amendments are adopted under the Texas Education Code, § 51.9364, which provides for certain notations required on student transcripts.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904937

William Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: January 8, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 18, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6523


SUBCHAPTER T. REQUIRED DEGREE PLANNING

19 TAC §§4.340 - 4.347

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) adopts new rules for inclusion in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter T, §§4.340, 4.341, 4.343 - 4.347, concerning required degree plans for students at public institutions of higher education in Texas, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 18, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5991). The rules will not be republished. Section 4.342 is being adopted with non-substantive changes, and the rule will be republished.

Senate Bill 25 and House Bill 3808 enacted by the 86th Texas Legislature and signed by the Governor, required the THECB to adopt rules through the negotiated rulemaking process for the administration of required filing of degree plans by students. The new subchapter provides timelines for students to file degree plans and responsibilities of institutions and students in the process of filing degree plans.

The following comments were received:

Comment: The institutional representative for The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) offered comments after review with multiple stakeholders. Specifically:

"1. Dual credit students are currently classified as non-degree seeking students at UTA, and thus they do not have a specific major. Requiring these students to declare a major after the completion of 15 hours may create data reporting challenges and potentially impact retention and graduate rates.

2. Regarding 4.345 item 2, preventing a student from obtaining their official transcript if they do not have a degree plan filed (major) is antithetical to the goal of degree completion and presents a real-world situation of students selecting a major just to get their transcript, which impacts reporting (this rule currently exist for students who have a 45-hour on their account).

Staff response: Staff recommends no action as a result of the first comment, because the proposed rules largely mirror the statutory language. Texas Education Code (TEC) §51.9685 (c-2) (1)-(2) requires students enrolled in dual credit courses with a cumulative 15 semester credit hours (SCH) to file a degree plan. The Negotiated Rulemaking Committee discussed and recognized the challenges and provided clarification in rules to stipulate that the 15 SCH of accumulated credit be at a single institution.

Staff recommends no action as a result of the second comment because the proposed rules also align with statute concerning withholding transcripts from students failing to file a degree plan. TEC §51.9685 (f) states, "The student may not obtain an official transcript from the institution until the student has filed a degree plan with the institution. Institutions are obligated to withhold the transcript of students not filing the required degree plan.

Comments and staff responses were sent to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for consensus. The committee agreed with the staff assessments and responses to the comments.

Comment: Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) commented to suggest that the requirement of filing a degree plan include students enrolled in dual credit courses with the intent to earn a certificate. DCCCD also suggested a definition of certificate programs be added.

Staff response: Staff recommends no action as a result of the DCCCD comment. The statute references associate and bachelor's degree programs only, and rules mirror the statutory language. Rules and statute do not prohibit institutions from requiring students in certificate programs to file a degree plan.

Comment and staff response were sent to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for consensus. The committee agreed with the staff assessment and response to the comment.

The new subchapter is adopted under TEC Chapter 51 Provisions Generally Applicable to Higher Education, Subchapter Z, Miscellaneous Provisions, §51.9685 Required Filing of Degree Plan, which authorizes the THECB to adopt rules through the negotiated rulemaking process for the administration and to ensure compliance of required filing of degree plans by students.

§4.342.Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Degree plan - defined in TEC Section 51.9685 (a) (1) A statement of the course of study requirements that an undergraduate student at an institution of higher education must complete in order to be awarded an associate or bachelor's degree from the institution.

(2) Institution of higher education - has the meaning assigned by TEC Section 61.003 (8).

(3) Board or Coordinating Board - The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

(4) Dual credit courses - College courses in which an eligible high school student enrolls and receives credit for the course(s) from both the college and the high school.

(5) Associate degree program - A grouping of subject matter courses which, when satisfactorily completed by a student, will entitle the student to an associate degree from an institution of higher education.

(6) Bachelor's degree program - Any grouping of subject matter courses which, when satisfactorily completed by a student, will entitle the student to a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904939

William Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: January 8, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 18, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6523


CHAPTER 9. PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT IN PUBLIC TWO-YEAR COLLEGES

SUBCHAPTER L. MULTIDISCIPLINARY STUDIES ASSOCIATE DEGREES

19 TAC §9.555

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) adopts amendments to Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Chapter 9, Program Development in Public Two-Year Colleges, Subchapter L, Multidisciplinary Studies Associate Degrees §9.555, Student Advising, to include reference to the degree plan requirements of new Chapter 4, Subchapter T, Required Degree Planning, without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 18, 2019, issue of the Texas Register (Volume 44, Page 5993). The rule will not be republished.

Senate Bill 25 and House Bill 3808 enacted by the 86th Texas Legislature and signed by the Governor, required the THECB to adopt rules through the negotiated rulemaking process for the administration of required filing of degree plans by students.

The amendment to §9.555, Student Advising, provides that a student enrolled in a multidisciplinary studies associate degree program file a degree plan according to the new Chapter 4 Subchapter T.

There were no comments received specifically concerning students enrolled in a multidisciplinary studies associate degree program and the requirement of degree plans.

The amendment to §9.555, Student Advising is adopted under the Texas Education Code, §51.9685 which provides the THECB, in consultation with institutions of higher education, with the authority to adopt rules using negotiated rulemaking procedures for the administration of the statute for required filing of degree plans.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904940

William Franz

General Counsel

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Effective date: February 9, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 18, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 427-6523


PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 61. SCHOOL DISTRICTS

SUBCHAPTER AA. COMMISSIONER'S RULES ON SCHOOL FINANCE

19 TAC §61.1009

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) adopts new §61.1009, concerning the fast growth allotment. The new section is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 4, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5698). The rules will not be republished. The adopted new section reflects changes made by House Bill (HB) 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: Texas Education Code (TEC), §48.004, directs the commissioner to adopt rules and take action as necessary to implement and administer the Foundation School Program. TEC, §48.111, enacted by HB 3, is part of the Foundation School Program and provides additional funding for a school district in which the growth in student enrollment in the district over the preceding three school years is in the top quartile of student enrollment growth in school districts in the state. The new statute establishes that such a school district is entitled to receive an amount equal to the basic allotment multiplied by 0.04 for each student in average daily attendance. Adopted new 19 TAC §61.1009, Fast Growth Allotment, implements the requirements of TEC, §48.111, as follows.

Subsection (a) defines what a fast growth district is, explains which enrollment figures will be used to calculate enrollment growth, describes the method for calculating enrollment growth, specifies what is considered as the basic allotment, and defines applicable year in the context of the proposed rule.

Subsection (b) explains the eligibility criteria. Charter schools are specifically excluded from eligibility for the fast growth allotment in TEC, §12.106(a), as amended by HB 3.

Subsection (c) explains how the allotment will be calculated mathematically.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSES: The public comment period on the proposal began October 4, 2019, and ended November 4, 2019. Following is a summary of public comments received and corresponding agency responses.

Comment: Klein Independent School District (ISD) commented that the fast growth allotment should be based on absolute student growth and not be percentage based. The district suggested that the rule as proposed does not appear to meet the legislative intent of the fast growth allotment. The district explained that 237 of the 316 districts that would receive the allotment based on the proposed rule had enrollment growth of less than 200 students from 2017-2019; 195 of the districts had actual enrollment of 100 students or less. The district stated that the associated costs of educating that number of additional students is provided in the regular funding formula because those districts are not incurring costs associated with operating and equipping new schools. The district suggested that the allotment be calculated in both ways for districts affected by Hurricane Harvey. In addition, the district recommended using a five-year period to calculate enrollment growth but acknowledged the limitation in the law of looking back over only three years. The district suggested that alternatively, TEA could begin with 2016 enrollment in order to capture three years of enrollment growth.

In addition, more than 2,500 school district employees, parents, and citizens of Klein ISD stated that enrollment growth should follow the students and be based on absolute enrollment growth, not percentage based. More than 2,500 school district employees, parents, and citizens of Klein ISD also stated that the measurement period for the calculation should be increased to five years instead of two so that the district was not impacted for an atypical growth year after Hurricane Harvey.

One individual suggested a measurement period of seven years instead of two and one individual suggested using a three-year moving average.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees that the calculation of enrollment growth should be based on absolute student growth instead of on percentage of growth. Calculating enrollment growth using only absolute numbers would disproportionately negatively impact small and mid-sized districts and would not recognize the growth experienced by small and mid-sized districts. Those districts also have an increased need for funding to alleviate the costs of growing quickly. As proposed, because the formula delivers an allotment based on the total average daily attendance (ADA) of the district, those smaller districts receive a much smaller allotment than the larger districts.

The fast growth allotment is intended to assist with costs associated with rapid growth regardless of the need to build new facilities, which are funded through the Foundation School Program under the New Instructional Facility Allotment.

The agency also disagrees that the rule should be changed to utilize a different measurement period than proposed. The enacting legislation specifies growth over the preceding three years.

Comment: Seventy-nine commenters made general comments about Klein ISD being a growing district and in need of additional funding and urged TEA to include the district as a fast growth district but did not specifically comment on the rule language.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. The rule as proposed utilizes specific criteria to determine eligibility and cannot include provisions to consider specific districts that fall outside those criteria.

Comment: A community member commented that Klein ISD should not get the fast growth allotment. The commenter suggested that there needed to be a better and more accurate accounting for monies used currently before any more money was given.

Agency Response: The agency agrees that Klein ISD is not eligible for the fast growth allotment for the 2019-2020 school year.

Comment: Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD asked that TEA consider a variance in regard to the sole use of "Preceding Three Years" for unique situations. The district explained that the district's growth over the preceding three years was 1.42% but their five-year growth was 20.28% and ten-year growth was 34.59%. They stated that the wealth per student in Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD was relatively low compared to other fast-growth districts. The district also commented that the district is projected to continue growing for the next 20-25 years. In addition, the district stated that TEA needs to consider using enrollment numbers, not percentages, along with a longer analysis timeline.

Eighteen individuals commented regarding Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD that enrollment growth should not be percentage-based and that the three-year measurement period did not adequately capture the needs of a growing district.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees that the calculation of enrollment growth should be based on absolute student growth instead of on percentage of growth. Calculating enrollment growth using only absolute numbers would disproportionately negatively impact small and mid-sized districts and would not recognize the growth experienced by small and mid-sized districts. Those districts also have an increased need for funding to alleviate the costs of growing quickly. As proposed, because the formula delivers an allotment based on the total ADA of the district, those smaller districts receive a much smaller allotment than the larger districts.

The agency also disagrees that the rule should be changed to utilize a different measurement period. The enacting legislation specifies growth over the preceding three years.

Comment: Eighteen individuals made general comments about the growth in Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD and the need for additional funding without specifically commenting on the rule.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. The rule as proposed utilizes specific criteria to determine eligibility and cannot include provisions to consider specific districts that fall outside those criteria. Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD is not eligible for the fast growth allotment for the 2019-2020 school year.

Comment: Troy ISD commented that the methodology that TEA was proposing was fair to small and mid-size districts.

Agency Response: The agency agrees that the proposed methodology is fair to small and mid-size districts as well as large districts.

Comment: A school district administrator commented that TEA was doing exactly right with the calculations but commented that the law should be amended to offer a tiered approach to identifying fast-growth districts.

Agency Response: The agency agrees that the calculations are in line with requirements of the statute. The agency disagrees with a tiered approach to identifying fast-growth districts because the enabling legislation does not allow that approach.

Comment: New Caney ISD, Montgomery ISD, and Frisco ISD as well as State Senator Donna Campbell and State Representative Matt Shaheen suggested that TEA include an enrollment standard of 2,500 students and enrollment growth of 10% over the last five years or a net increase of more than 3,500 students in order to designate a district as a fast-growth district.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees that the calculation of enrollment growth should include an enrollment standard of 2,500. This excludes small and mid-size districts experiencing fast growth. The agency also disagrees with the requirement of a 10% enrollment growth or net increase of more than 3,500 students. The enabling legislation specifies that districts in the top quartile of student enrollment growth over the preceding three years are entitled to the allotment.

Comment: The Fast Growth School Coalition as well as State Representatives Jon E. Rosenthal and Matt Krause suggested that TEA expand the definition of top quartile to include both percentage growth and growth in number of students.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. Including both methods of calculating enrollment growth is not in line with estimates provided to the legislature during the legislative session. This type of change in eligibility calculations would need to be at the direction of the legislature during the next legislative session.

Comment: Cypress Fairbanks ISD, Fort Bend ISD, and Klein ISD commented that TEA could consider using both absolute enrollment growth and the percentage growth in the 2019-2020 school year and then modifying the proposed methodology to absolute enrollment growth for future years. Alternatively, they suggested that TEA could administer the allotment as proposed for the 2019-2020 school year and move to absolute enrollment growth for future years.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. Including both methods of calculating enrollment growth is not in line with cost estimates provided to the legislature during the legislative session. This type of change in eligibility calculations would need to be at the direction of the legislature during the next legislative session.

Comment: The Texas School Alliance suggested using a factor based on the numeric increase in student enrollment in addition to or instead of relying only on percentage increase. They also suggested adopting the rule as proposed and revisiting it for the next school year.

Agency Response: The agency disagrees. The enabling legislation requires the allotment be based on the total ADA of each district. This type of change in the allotment calculation would need to be at the direction of the legislature during the next legislative session.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The new section is adopted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §48.111, as added by House Bill (HB) 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which authorizes the fast growth allotment; TEC, §48.004, as redesignated and amended by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which authorizes the commissioner of education to adopt rules as necessary to implement and administer the Foundation School Program; and TEC, §12.106(a), as amended by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which excludes charters from receiving the fast growth allotment.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The new section implements Texas Education Code, §48.111, as added by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019; §48.004, as redesignated and amended by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019; and §12.106(a), as amended by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 20, 2019.

TRD-201904956

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: January 9, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 4, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


CHAPTER 62. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING THE EQUALIZED WEALTH LEVEL

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) adopts amendments to §§62.1001, 62.1011, 62.1031, and 62.1051 and the repeal of §62.1041, concerning equalized wealth level. The amendments and repeal are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 25, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 6201) and will not be republished. The adopted rule actions implement House Bill (HB) 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, by removing an outdated provision and updating references to statute.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: In 1993, the 73rd Texas Legislature created the current wealth equalization system in Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 36. Subsequently in 1995, the 74th Texas Legislature moved the wealth equalization provisions in the TEC from Chapter 36 to Chapter 41. At that same time, TEC, Chapter 16, pertaining to the Foundation School Program, was recodifed as Chapter 42. In 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature moved the wealth equalization provisions in the TEC from Chapter 41 to Chapter 49, Options for Local Revenue Levels in Excess of Entitlement.

The adopted revisions amend 19 TAC §62.1001, Authority of Trustees; Duration of Agreements; §62.1011, Election Duties of Board of Trustees; §62.1031, Date of Agreement for Purposes of Determining Election Date; and §62.1051, Definition of Parcel Detached and Annexed by Commissioner, to modify statutory references to correspond to current codification. The adopted revisions also repeal 19 TAC §62.1041, Weighted Students in Average Daily Attendance for Purposes of Tax Rate Rollback, to remove an outdated provision. The tax rollback calculation in TEC, Chapter 49, does not use weighted average attendance.

Additionally, the subchapter title is updated to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Options for Local Revenue Levels in Excess of Entitlement.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSES: The public comment period on the proposal began October 25, 2019, and ended November 25, 2019. No public comments were received.

19 TAC §§62.1001, 62.1011, 62.1031, 62.1051

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §49.006, as transferred, redesignated, and amended by House Bill 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which authorizes the commissioner of education to adopt rules necessary for the implementation of TEC, Chapter 49, Options for Local Revenue Levels in Excess of Entitlement.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendments implement Texas Education Code, §49.006, as transferred, redesignated, and amended by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904932

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: January 8, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 25, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


19 TAC §62.1041

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The repeal is adopted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §49.006, as transferred, redesignated, and amended by House Bill 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which authorizes the commissioner of education to adopt rules necessary for the implementation of TEC, Chapter 49, Options for Local Revenue Levels in Excess of Entitlement.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The repeal implements Texas Education Code, §49.006, as transferred, redesignated, and amended by HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904933

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: January 8, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 25, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


CHAPTER 102. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER JJ. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING INNOVATION DISTRICT

19 TAC §102.1309, §102.1315

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) adopts amendments to §102.1309 and §102.1315, concerning innovation districts. The amendments are adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 25, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 6203). The rules will not be republished. The adopted amendments implement changes made by House Bill (HB) 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, by reflecting the recodification of Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapters 41 and 42, and specifying additional reasons the commissioner may terminate a district's designation as a district of innovation.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: Chapter 102, Subchapter JJ, establishes provisions relating to the applicable processes and procedures for innovation districts.

The adopted amendment to §102.1309 updates statutory references to align with HB 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which recodified sections of TEC, Chapter 41, into TEC, Chapter 49, and recodified sections of TEC, Chapter 42, into TEC, Chapter 48.

The adopted amendment to §102.1315 also reflects changes in statute made by HB 3. TEC, §12A.008(b-1), was amended by HB 3 to extend the commissioner's authority to terminate a district's designation as a district of innovation for failure to comply with the duty to discharge or refuse to hire certain employees or applicants (1) for employment under TEC, §12.1059; (2) convicted of certain offenses under TEC, §22.085; or (3) not eligible for employment in public schools under TEC, §22.092, as added by HB 3. The adopted amendment to §102.1315(a)(3) adds these provisions to the rule.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSES: The public comment period on the proposal began October 25, 2019, and ended November 25, 2019. No public comments were received.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendments are adopted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §12A.008(b-1), as added by House Bill 3, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which allows the commissioner of education to terminate a district's designation as a district of innovation if it fails to comply with the duty to discharge or refuse to hire certain employees or applicants for employment; and TEC, §12A.009, which authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules to implement districts of innovation.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendments implement Texas Education Code, §12A.008(b-1) and §12A.009.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 19, 2019.

TRD-201904934

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: January 8, 2020

Proposal publication date: October 25, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497