TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 100. CHARTERS

SUBCHAPTER AA. COMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING OPEN-ENROLLMENT CHARTER SCHOOLS

DIVISION 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

19 TAC §100.1010

(Editor's note: In accordance with Texas Government Code, §2002.014, which permits the omission of material which is "cumbersome, expensive, or otherwise inexpedient," the figure in 19 TAC §100.1010 is not included in the print version of the Texas Register. The figure is available in the on-line version of the March 4, 2022, issue of the Texas Register.)

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) adopts an amendment to §100.1010, concerning performance frameworks. The amendment is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the September 3, 2021 issue of the Texas Register (46 TexReg 5523) and will be republished. The amendment adopts in rule the 2020 Charter School Performance Framework (CSPF) Manual, which is updated to comply with statutory provisions and clarify the operation of the CSPF to rate the performance of open-enrollment charter schools in Texas.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: Section 100.1010 was adopted to be effective on September 18, 2014, and was last amended to be effective June 11, 2020. The rule is issued under Texas Education Code (TEC), §12.1181, which requires the commissioner to develop and adopt frameworks by which the performance of open-enrollment charter schools is measured. The performance frameworks (charter schools measured under standard accountability and charter schools measured under alternative education accountability) consist of several indices within academic, financial, and operational categories with data drawn from various sources, as reflected in the CSPF Manual adopted as a figure in the rule and updated every year.

The adopted amendment replaces the 2019 CSPF Manual with the 2020 CSPF Manual. The 2020 version of the manual presents no significant changes from 2019 except the following.

TEA received approval from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability all Texas districts and campuses will receive a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster.

Throughout the manual, language has been revised with technical edits, including changing the naming conventions from framework to standard for consistency with statute.

Changes were made to the rule and manual since published as proposed. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND AGENCY RESPONSES: The public comment period on the proposal began September 3, 2021, and ended October 4, 2021. Following is a summary of the public comments received and agency responses.

Comment: A school district employee recommended the indicator for Teacher Qualifications should receive more points on the CSPF and that the CSPF should not be used in the consideration of charter school expansion and amendments. The recommendation also included the expansion of stakeholder groups for the development of the CSPF, an update to the definition of 'high-quality' to ensure charter schools serve special populations for a full academic year, and the addition of indicators for class size, teacher turnover, student attrition, closed campuses, and student expenditures.

Response: The agency disagrees and provides the following clarification. The agency reviews and evaluates indicators annually, including feedback from various stakeholder groups. In the current CSPF, the indicators remain consistent with previous years and effectively measure charter school performance. Regarding expansion and amendments, this comment is not relevant to the proposed rule. Regarding the definition 'high-quality,' this comment is not relevant to the proposed rule proposal.

Comment: An individual commented that public schools should not be held accountable for the performance of special population students because charter schools are not held similarly accountable.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The CSPF maintains indicators that measure program requirements for special populations, and all public schools will be held to the same standards. TEA received approval from the USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable.

Comment: An individual commented that the proposal is unfair and detrimental to students in the public education system.

Response: The agency disagrees and provides the following clarification. The CSPF, which is required by TEC, §12.1181, is designed to provide parents, the public, charter operators, and the authorizer with information about each charter school's performance. The CSPF is aligned to academic, financial, operational, and governance standards set forth in the TEC. These standards for charter school performance are clear, rigorous, and quantifiable and provide a comprehensive body of data reflective of the charter school's performance. The CSPF is aligned with the Texas A-F accountability rating system, the Charter Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, and best practices that have been identified by the National Association of Charter School Authorizers.

Comment: An individual questioned why special population students are being singled out and whether the purpose of these changes is to increase charter school scores.

Response: The agency disagrees and provides the following clarification. The CSPF is not singling out special populations. All charter schools and public schools will be scored as Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster for 2020 state academic accountability. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: Four hundred and seventeen individuals from various organizations voiced opposition to the proposed rule, stating the rule would change the requirements for charter schools, permitting them to not be held accountable for the performance of special population students. These commenters recommended that charter schools should be monitored and held accountable for these standards just as public schools in independent school districts are.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The agency will continue to measure charter school special populations. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: An individual voiced opposition to the rule change, stating charter schools would no longer be held accountable for being out of compliance with educational, operational, governance, and reporting requirements for special population students.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The agency will continue to measure charter school special populations. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: A former school district employee commented that charter schools would not be held accountable for the performance of special population students and the proposal is unfair and detrimental to students in the public education system.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The agency will continue to measure charter school special populations. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: A school district employee commented that if charter schools are not held accountable for the performance of the special population students, they will not prioritize special population students.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The agency will continue to measure charter school special populations. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from the on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: A former educator commented that the proposal to delete the performance program requirements for special populations in charter schools is not acceptable. The educator stated that this proposal provides the potential for charter schools to not invest in the hiring or training of teachers with those certifications. Additionally, the educator stated that the proposal protects charters from punitive consequences, may impact the reporting and identification of special population students, and is misleading to the public.

Response: The agency disagrees and provides the following clarification. The agency will continue to measure performance of charter school special populations. The indicators for program requirements related to special populations remain in the CSPF. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: The Texas Public Charter School Association voiced strong support for holding charter schools accountable for the academic outcomes for all student groups, including special populations, and stated that Texas public charter schools are subject to more rigorous accountability requirements than traditional independent school districts for these student groups. The group commented that, due to the pandemic, certain data are not available to make these determinations.

Response: The agency agrees and provides the following clarification. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under the ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF. CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable.

Comment: Texas Association of School Boards, commenting on behalf of the association and 20 other education stakeholder groups, requested a revision of the CSPF to better reflect TEA's stated intent for the CSPF to inform parents, the public, charter schools, and the authorizer about charter school performance. The group agreed the 2020 CSPF should be informational only and that the CSPF should not inform decisions for expansion and renewal. The group also recommended the expansion of stakeholder groups' formal involvement in the revision of the CSPF. Finally, the group recommended the inclusion of additional indicators including class size, teacher turnover, student attrition, closed charter campuses, and student expenditures.

Response: The agency disagrees in part and provides the following clarification. The development of the CSPF includes stakeholder-group-provided input, and the indicators adequately inform the public and agency about charter school performance. The agency will continue to address the effectiveness of the CSPF annually through stakeholder group feedback, review, and revision. Regarding expansion and renewal, these comments are not relevant to the proposed rule.

Comment: The Texas American Federation of Teachers recommended the group's involvement with the development of the CSPF and disagreed with the elimination of indicators related to special population student groups.

Response: The agency disagrees and provides the following clarification. The agency continues to collect data and to monitor the program requirements for special populations. Indicators concerning special population student groups remain in the CSPF. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comment: A representative of the Texas School Alliance agreed that the CSPF should be informational only and recommended a pause on all expansions. The commenter disagreed with the removal of performance requirements and handling of secure assessment material indicators. The commenter recommended keeping the indicators and scoring them as not applicable. The commenter requested clarification on page 25, indicator 1a, regarding the inclusion of end-of-course exams.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. Regarding expansion, the recommended pause on expansion is not relevant to the proposed rule. Regarding performance requirements and indicators, the agency did not remove performance requirements or the handling of secure assessment material indicators. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF. Regarding page 25, indicator 1a, the 2020 Adult High School Diploma and Industry Certification Public CSPF Academic Standard includes indicator 1a, student achievement on exit-level assessment, which is calculated using the student results on any taken end-of-course exams.

Comment: A member of the State Board of Education (SBOE) commented that the agency should solicit input from the SBOE prior to posting charter school rules and that expansion decisions should be under SBOE rule.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The agency reviews and revises the CSPF annually and solicits input from stakeholder groups. Relating to expansion decisions, TEC, §12.101(b-0), requires the commissioner of education to notify the SBOE of any new charters the commissioner proposes to grant, and the SBOE has authority to vote against the grant of any new charter; however, TEC, §12.114(a), states that a revision of an open-enrollment charter school's charter may be made at the approval of the commissioner.

Comment: A representative of Disability Rights of Texas requested the return of indicators for special education.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The indicators measuring performance for special education remain in the CSPF. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

Comments: An individual commented that charter schools have proven they can serve special population students without the indicators in the manual.

Response: The agency provides the following clarification. The indicators measuring performance for special populations remain in the CSPF. The CSPF Manual has been modified at adoption to reflect the continued inclusion of the Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l with a score of not applicable. TEA received approval from USDE on March 30, 2020, to waive statewide assessment and accountability requirements under ESEA, as amended by ESSA, for the 2019-2020 school year. Consequently, for 2020 state academic accountability, all Texas districts and campuses received a label of Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. For the 2020 Academic Standard, therefore, the CSPF will not utilize state academic accountability data; Academic Framework Indicators 1a, 1b, and 1c are marked "not rated: declared state of disaster" for the 2020 CSPF due to the unavailability of data; and Operational Framework Indicators 3b, 3c, and 3l are marked "not applicable" for the 2020 CSPF.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §12.1181, which directs the commissioner of education to develop and adopt open-enrollment charter school performance frameworks, and TEC, §29.259, which directs the commissioner of education to establish an adult high school diploma and industry certification charter school program, including adoption of frameworks to measure the performance of such a school.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements Texas Education Code, §12.1181 and §29.259.

§100.1010.Performance Frameworks.

(a) The performance of an open-enrollment charter school will be measured annually against a set of criteria set forth in the Charter School Performance Framework (CSPF) Manual established under Texas Education Code (TEC), §12.1181. The CSPF Manual will include measures for charters registered under the standard accountability system and measures for charters registered under the alternative education accountability system as adopted under §97.1001 of this title (relating to Accountability Rating System).

(b) The performance of an adult high school diploma and industry certification charter school will be measured annually in the CSPF against a set of criteria established under TEC, §29.259.

(c) The assignment of performance levels for charter schools on the 2020 CSPF report is based on specific criteria, which are described in the 2020 Charter School Performance Framework Manual provided in this subsection.

Figure: 19 TAC §100.1010(c) (.pdf)

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 February 16, 2022.

TRD-202200563

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: March 8, 2022

Proposal publication date: September 3, 2021

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