November 2017 Committee on School Initiatives Item 5

Review of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans

November 10, 2017

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY:
This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule actions that would amend 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans. The proposed amendments to 19 TAC §234.5, Certification of Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans, and §234.7, Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements for Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans, would implement the requirement from the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, to extend a temporary certificate for military spouses to three years and also provide clarification of renewal requirements for military service members, military spouses, and military veterans.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for 19 TAC Chapter 234 is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.041(b)(2) and (4); 21.044(a); and 21.052(b-1), (c), and (d-1), as amended by House Bill (HB) 1934, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017; and Texas Occupations Code (TOC), §§55.001, 55.002, 55.003, 55.004, 55.005, 55.006, 55.007, 55.008, and 55.009.

TEC, §21.041(b)(2), requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates.

TEC, §21.041(b)(4), requires the SBEC to propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate.

TEC, §21.044(a), 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, §21.052(b-1), as amended by HB 1934, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, requires the SBEC to establish procedures to accurately identify military spouses and expedite processing of certification applications that they submit.

TEC, §21.052(c), as amended by HB 1934, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, states that the SBEC can specify the term of a temporary certificate issued under this subsection.

TEC, §21.052(d-1), as amended by HB 1934, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, requires the SBEC to issue a three-year temporary certificate to eligible military spouses of active duty service members.

TOC, §55.001, defines key terms and identifies the individuals relevant to the processing and support of members of the military community.

TOC, §55.002, provides clarification and guidelines for implementing fee exemptions for members of the military community.

TOC, §55.003, states military service members are eligible to receive a two-year extension of time to complete requirements for license renewal.

TOC, §55.004, requires state agencies to adopt rules for issuance of licensure to members of the military community and also provides alternatives to become eligible for licensure.

TOC, §55.005, requires state agencies to establish a process to expedite applications for licensure submitted by members of the military community.

TOC, §55.006, requires state agencies to determine renewal requirements for expedited licenses issued to members of the military community.

TOC, §55.007, provides state agencies authority to credit verified military service, training, or education toward licensing requirements.

TOC, §55.008, authorizes state agencies to credit verified relevant military service, training, or education relevant to the occupation toward the apprenticeship requirements for licensure.

TOC, §55.009, confirms state agencies that issue licensure shall waive license application and examination fees paid to the state for applicable members of the military community.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The proposed effective date of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234 would be December 17, 2017.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: Chapter 234 consolidates all military-related provisions into one chapter and streamlines future military-related rulemaking opportunities. This chapter contains rules implementing three core pieces of legislation related to licensure of military members, spouses of military members, and veterans. The 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015, passed Senate Bill (SB) 807, requiring all state licensing agencies to adopt rules that implement the requirements of the TOC, Chapter 55, regarding the licensing of military service members, military spouses, and military veterans and the waiving of licensing and application fees paid to the state. The 84th Texas Legislature also passed SB 1307, providing clarification to definitions of military spouses and military veterans in key sections of the TOC, allowing for the adoption of rules to establish alternative methods for military groups to meet requirements for licensure, granting the executive director of a state agency authority to review applicant credentials and waive requirements for licensure, and incorporating the use of verified military service to satisfy apprenticeship requirements for licensure. Most recently, the 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, passed HB 1934, which requires the SBEC to establish procedures for identifying and expediting processing of applications from spouses of active duty military service members of the armed forces of the United States. This provision is already in current 19 TAC §234.5(a) and (b), therefore, no rule changes are required to implement this legislative mandate. Effective September 1, 2017, the legislation also requires issuance of a three-year temporary certificate to all eligible military spouses. This provision of HB 1934 would be implemented via the following proposed amendments to the rules in 19 TAC Chapter 234 shown in Attachment II.

§234.5. Certification of Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans

In subsection (b), the limitation on terms of extensions of one-year certificates issued to military spouses would be removed to comply with HB 1934, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.

Proposed new subsection (c) would include language to support the extension of one-year certificates of military spouses whose certification applications were processed prior to the September 1, 2017 effective date of HB 1934 and clarify that military spouses are eligible for a maximum of two additional years from the date of issuance to allow them the same opportunity to have three years on a temporary certificate in Texas.

Proposed new subsection (d) would include language to support issuance of a three-year certificate to military spouses who meet requirements for a credentials review. This new subsection would align with the September 1, 2017 effective date specified in HB 1934.

In re-lettered subsection (j), the term military spouses would be removed and included in new subsection (k) to create a new provision to comply with HB 1934 that would issue a three-year temporary certificate to military spouses. Provisions for certification and test fee exemptions authorized by the 84th Texas Legislature in 2015 remain in rule.

All remaining subsections, originally lettered as subsections (c)-(h), would be re-lettered to subsections (e)-(j).

§234.7. Renewal and Continuing Education Requirements for Military Service Members

The title of 19 TAC §234.7 would be updated to add military spouses and military veterans to reflect that this section applies to all of the military community.

Proposed new subsection (a) would provide a clarifying reference to the renewal requirements in 19 TAC Chapter 232, General Certification Provisions, for military service members, military spouses, and military veterans who hold a standard certificate.

The remaining subsections, originally lettered as subsections (a) and (b), would be re-lettered to subsections (b) and (c).

SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules


Under the TEC, §21.042, the SBEC must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the SBOE for review. The SBOE may reject the proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the SBOE present and voting, but may not modify a rule.

FISCAL IMPACT: Estimated costs to the state (Texas Education Agency (TEA)) and anticipated economic savings to regulated persons (military service members, military spouses, and military veterans) will be ongoing as a result of waiving licensing and application fees paid to the state mandated in SB 807 during the 84th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2015. As part of the original rulemaking process for 19 TAC Chapter 234, TEA staff provided estimated costs to the state for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 through FY 2020 and also provided anticipated economic savings to persons required to comply with the new chapter. Those cost estimates and anticipated economic savings included all three eligible members of the military community: military service members, military spouses, and military veterans.

The TEA staff has determined that fiscal implications for state government remain in place as a result of administering the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234 that will align with provisions established specifically for military spouses in HB 1934, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017. While military spouses were included in the original cost estimates and anticipated savings associated with the original rulemaking process for 19 TAC Chapter 234, the following are updated estimates specific to military spouses.

The TEA estimates the number of military spouses that would apply for certification at 210 for FY 2018, 231 for FY 2019, 254 for FY 2020, 280 for FY 2021, and 308 for FY 2022.

For the TEA, the total estimated cost, due to revenue loss, would be $64,501 for FY 2018, $70,951 for FY 2019, $78,046 for FY 2020, $85,850 for FY 2021, and $94,556 for FY 2022. This estimate is based on the fees that the TEA would not be collecting. The total estimated cost for each year of FY 2018-FY 2022 is based on fees for the out-of-state route to certification (test fees of $22, credential review fee of $160, and certificate issuance fees of $50 and $75, for an overall total base fee of $307 per military spouse).

The TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on local government as a result of enforcing or administered the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234.

There is an anticipated economic savings to military spouses who are required to comply with the proposed amendments. For military spouses not required to pay licensing and application fees to the state under the provision already established through SB 807, the total estimated savings would be $64,501 for FY 2018, $70,951 for FY 2019, $78,046 for FY 2020, $85,850 for FY 2021, and $94,556 for FY 2022. Based on current fees, a military spouse would save $307 utilizing the out-of-state route to Texas certification.

There is no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, and rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in Texas Government Code, §2006.002, is required. There is no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code, §2001.022. The proposed amendments do not impose a cost on regulated persons and, therefore, are not subject to Texas Government Code, §2001.0045.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT:
The public and student benefit anticipated as a result of the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234 would be continued support to military spouses of active duty members by issuing a three-year temporary credential to maintain employment in Texas. In addition, military spouses who were issued the one-year temporary certificate through provisions from the 2015 legislative session would now be eligible for a two-year extension of their certificate for employment purposes. There are no anticipated additional costs to licensees or other regulated persons.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS:
The proposed amendments would have no additional procedural and reporting implications.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: The proposed amendments would have no additional locally maintained paperwork requirements.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: In accordance with the SBEC rulemaking process, a summary of comments received by the SBEC on its proposed rules is shared with the SBOE under separate cover prior to this SBOE meeting.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: None.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED:
The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans.

Staff Members Responsible:
Ryan Franklin, Associate Commissioner
Educator Leadership and Quality

Marilyn Cook, Director
Educator Certification and Testing

Tim Miller, Director
Educator Preparation

Linda Arriaga, Program Specialist
Educator Certification and Testing

Geronima Brady, Program Specialist
Educator Certification and Testing

Maria Brunetti, Program Specialist
Educator Certification and Testing

Attachments:
I. Statutory Citations (PDF, 31KB)
II. Text of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 234, Military Service Members, Military Spouses, and Military Veterans (PDF, 23KB)