TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 7. STATE BOARD FOR EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION

CHAPTER 228. REQUIREMENTS FOR EDUCATOR PREPARATION PROGRAMS

19 TAC §228.1

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) proposes an amendment to §228.1, concerning general provisions for educator preparation programs. The proposed amendment would provide additional flexibility for educator preparation programs (EPPs) and candidates to fulfill educator preparation requirements related to clinical teaching, internships, and practicums when those assignments occur at least partially in virtual settings due to campus and district modifications in response to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 academic year.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The SBEC rules in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 228, Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs, establish the requirements for EPPs. The proposed amendment in new §228.1(e) would allow EPPs to provide internships, clinical teaching, practicum assignments, and related educator observations in a virtual setting for the 2020-2021 academic year to manage the impact of the public health crisis on educator candidates and EPPs. Current SBEC rules require these activities to be conducted in an actual school setting with face-to-face observations and do not permit virtual settings. If public health conditions in the upcoming academic year necessitate providing instruction through virtual platforms, educator candidates will be unable to complete the required experience in actual, face-to-face school settings. Allowing clinical assignments and observations to occur in virtual school settings will minimize disruptions to the educator production pipeline.

FISCAL IMPACT: Ryan Franklin, associate commissioner for educator leadership and quality, has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state and local governments and there are no additional costs to entities 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 (TGC), §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 TGC, §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 TGC, §2001.0045.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT: 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: The Texas Education Agency (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 limit an existing regulation by temporarily removing the requirements for educator preparation experiences to occur in actual, face-to-face school settings during the 2020-2021 academic year.

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 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: The public benefit anticipated as a result of the proposal would be clear guidance to EPPs on requirements for providing preparation to an individual seeking certification as an educator. The TEA staff has determined there is no anticipated cost to persons required to comply with the proposal.

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

PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: 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: The public comment period on the proposal begins June 26, 2020 and ends July 27, 2020. A form for submitting public comments is available on the TEA website at https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Laws_and_Rules/SBEC_Rules_(TAC)/Proposed_State_Board_for_Educator_Certification_Rules/. The SBEC will take registered oral and written comments on the proposal at the July 31, 2020 meeting in accordance with the SBEC board operating policies and procedures. All requests for a public hearing on the proposal submitted under the Administrative Procedure Act must be received by the Department of Educator Leadership and Quality, Texas Education Agency, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701, Attention: Mr. Ryan Franklin, associate commissioner for educator leadership and quality, not more than 14 calendar days after notice of the proposal has been published in the Texas Register on June 26, 2020.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is proposed under Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.031, which authorizes the SBEC to regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators, and states that in proposing rules under the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, the SBEC shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state; TEC, §21.041(b)(1), which requires the SBEC to propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B; TEC, §21.044, as amended by Senate Bills (SBs) 7, 1839, and 1963, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, and House Bill (HB) 18, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, which requires the SBEC to propose rules establishing training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program; TEC, §21.0442(c), as added by HB 3349, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires the SBEC to ensure that an EPP requires at least 80 hours of instruction for a candidate seeking a Trade and Industrial Workforce Training certificate; TEC, §21.0443, which requires the SBEC to establish rules for the approval and renewal of EPPs; TEC, §21.0453, which states that the SBEC may propose rules as necessary to ensure that all EPPs provide the SBEC with accurate information; TEC, §21.0454, which requires the SBEC to develop a set of risk factors to assess the overall risk level of each EPP and use the set of risk factors to guide the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in conducting monitoring, inspections, and evaluations of EPPs; TEC, §21.0455, which requires the SBEC to propose rules necessary to establish a process for complaints to be directed against an EPP; TEC, §21.046(b), which states that the qualifications for certification as a principal must be sufficiently flexible so that an outstanding teacher may qualify by substituting approved experience and professional training for part of the educational requirements; TEC, §21.0485, which states the issuance requirements for certification to teach students with visual impairments; TEC, §21.0487(c), which states that because an effective principal is essential to school improvement, the SBEC shall ensure that each candidate for certification as a principal is of the highest caliber and that multi-level screening processes, validated comprehensive assessment programs, and flexible internships with successful mentors exist to determine whether a candidate for certification as a principal possesses the essential knowledge, skills, and leadership capabilities necessary for success; TEC, §21.0489(c), as added by SB 1839 and HB 2039, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which states the eligibility for an Early Childhood: Prekindergarten-Grade 3 certificate; TEC, §21.049(a), which authorizes the SBEC to adopt rules providing for educator certification programs as an alternative to traditional EPPs; TEC, §21.0491, as added by HB 3349, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which requires the SBEC to create a probationary and standard trade and industrial workforce training certificate; TEC, §21.050(b), which states that the SBEC may not require more than 18 semester credit hours of education courses at the baccalaureate level for the granting of a teaching certificate; TEC, §21.050(c), which states that a person who receives a bachelor's degree required for a teaching certificate on the basis of higher education coursework completed while receiving an exemption from tuition and fees under the TEC, §54.363, may not be required to participate in any field experience or internship consisting of student teaching to receive a teaching certificate; TEC, §21.051, as amended by SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, which provides a requirement that before a school may employ a certification candidate as a teacher of record, the candidate must have completed at least 15 hours of field-based experience in which the candidate was actively engaged at an approved school in instructional or educational activities under supervision; and Texas Occupations Code, §55.007, which provides that verified military service, training, and education be credited toward licensing requirements.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements Texas Education Code, §§21.031; 21.041(b)(1); 21.044, as amended by Senate Bills (SBs) 7, 1839, and 1963, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, and House Bill (HB) 18, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019; 21.0442(c), as added by HB 3349, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 21.0443; 21.0453; 21.0454; 21.0455; 21.046(b); 21.0485; 21.0487(c); 21.0489(c), as added by SB 1839 and HB 2039, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 21.049(a); 21.0491, as added by HB 3349, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; 21.050(b) and (c); and 21.051, as amended by SB 1839, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and the Texas Occupations Code, §55.007.

§228.1.General Provisions.

(a) To ensure the highest level of educator preparation and practice, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) recognizes that the preparation of educators must be the joint responsibility of educator preparation programs (EPPs) and the Early Childhood-Grade 12 public and private schools of Texas. Collaboration in the development, delivery, and evaluation of educator preparation is required.

(b) Consistent with the Texas Education Code, §21.049, the SBEC's rules governing educator preparation are designed to promote flexibility and creativity in the design of EPPs to accommodate the unique characteristics and needs of different regions of the state as well as the diverse population of potential educators.

(c) All EPPs are subject to the same standards of accountability, as required under Chapter 229 of this title (relating to Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs).

(d) If the governor declares a state of disaster consistent with the Texas Government Code, §418.014, Texas Education Agency staff may extend deadlines in this chapter for up to 90 days and decrease clinical teaching, internship, and practicum assignment minimums by up to 20 percent as necessary to accommodate persons in the affected disaster areas.

(e) For purposes of educator preparation training under §228.35 of this title (relating to Preparation Program Coursework and/or Training) during the 2020-2021 academic year, actual school settings and authentic school settings may include campuses with a traditional, in-person setting that are temporarily functioning in a virtual setting, and face-to-face settings for observations may include synchronous virtual settings.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the proposal and found it to be within the state agency's legal authority to adopt.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on June 15, 2020.

TRD-202002387

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

State Board for Educator Certification

Earliest possible date of adoption: July 26, 2020

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