November 2017 Committee on School Finance Permanent School Fund Item 3

Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter B, Student Attendance Accounting, §129.21, Requirements for Student Attendance Accounting for State Funding Purposes
(First Reading and Filing Authorization)

November 10, 2017

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

SUMMARY:
This item presents for first reading and filing authorization a proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter B, Student Attendance Accounting, §129.21, Requirements for Student Attendance Accounting for State Funding Purposes. The proposed amendment would update the rule to reflect changes made by Senate Bill (SB) 1152, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Texas Education Code (TEC), §§12.106; 25.087, as amended by SB 1152, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and 42.004.

TEC, §12.106, provides for charter schools to receive funding under certain conditions through the TEC, Chapter 42.

TEC, §25.087, as amended by SB 1152, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, lists the excused absences under which a student shall be counted as if the student attended school for purposes of calculating the average daily attendance of students in the school district.

TEC, §42.004, requires the commissioner, in accordance with rules adopted by the State Board of Education, to take such action and require such reports as are necessary to implement and administer the Foundation School Program (FSP) under the TEC, Chapter 42.

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 2018-2019 school year. The earlier effective date will allow school districts and charters to code those students who are pursuing enlistment in the military as present and not count the student absent. In addition, the earlier effective date will expedite the alignment of the rule with SB 1152, which became effective September 1, 2017.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: The SBOE adopted §129.21 effective September 1, 1996, and last amended it effective August 21, 2016. The proposed amendment was presented to the Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund for discussion at the September 2017 SBOE meeting.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: Section 129.21 provides the student attendance accounting requirements school districts must follow and describes the manner in which student attendance is earned. The rule also provides a list of conditions under which a student who is not actually on campus at the time attendance is taken may be considered in attendance for FSP funding purposes.

SB 1152, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, amended the TEC, §25.087, to allow a student who is pursuing enlistment in the military or the Texas National Guard to be counted as present for funding purposes for up to four days as long as the district verifies the student's activities related to the pursuit of the enlistment.

The proposed amendment to §129.21, shown in Attachment II, would implement SB 1152 by updating subsection (j)(3) to add the TEC, §25.087(b-5), to the list of conditions for which an absent student may be counted present for funding purposes.

FISCAL IMPACT:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has determined that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposed amendment. In addition, there is 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. There is no effect on local economy for the first five years the proposed amendment is in effect; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed amendment does not impose a cost on regulated persons and, therefore, are not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT:
TEA staff has determined that the proposed amendment does not have a government growth impact pursuant to Texas Government Code, §2001.0221.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The proposed amendment would align the rule with statute and allow students to be counted present for state funding purposes if they are absent to pursue enlistment in the military or the Texas National Guard.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: The TEC, §25.087, as amended by SB 1152, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, requires a school district to adopt procedures to verify a student's activities related to pursuing enlistment in the military or the Texas National Guard.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: Any locally maintained paperwork requirements resulting from the proposed amendment would correspond with and support the stated procedural and reporting implications.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: The public comment period will begin when proposal, approved for first reading and filing authorization, is published in the Texas Register.

ALTERNATIVES: None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: 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.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED:
The State Board of Education:

Approve for first reading and filing authorization proposed amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter B, Student Attendance Accounting, §129.21, Requirements for Student Attendance Accounting for State Funding Purposes.

Staff Members Responsible:

Leo Lopez, Associate Commissioner
School Finance / Chief School Finance Officer

David Marx, Director
Financial Compliance

Attachments:

I. Statutory Citations (PDF, 21KB)
II. Text of Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 129, Student Attendance, Subchapter B, Student Attendance Accounting, §129.21, Requirements for Student Attendance Accounting for State Funding Purposes (PDF, 25KB)