April 2018 Committee on School Initiatives Item 4

Review of 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter A, Board of Trustees Relationship

April 12, 2018

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: DISCUSSION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: NO ACTION


SUMMARY: Texas Government Code, §2001.039, establishes a four-year rule review cycle for all state agency rules, including State Board of Education (SBOE) rules. This item presents the review of 19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter A, Board of Trustees Relationship. The rules being reviewed specify requirements for continuing education for school board trustees and nominating trustees for military reservation school districts and Boys Ranch Independent School District (ISD).

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for the rule review is Texas Government Code, §2001.039. The statutory authority for 19 TAC Chapter 61, Subchapter A, is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §11.159 and §11.352.

Texas Government Code, §2001.039, requires all state agencies to review their rules at least once every four years.

TEC, §11.159, requires the SBOE to provide a training course for school board trustees, including three hours of training every two years on evaluating student academic performance.

TEC, §11.352, authorizes the SBOE to appoint a board of three, five, or seven trustees, as determined by the SBOE, for each district established under the TEC, §11.351. Additionally, it authorizes the SBOE to appoint a board of three or five trustees for each military reservation school district.

BOARD RESPONSE: This item is presented for review and comment.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION:
The SBOE last adopted the review of 19 TAC Chapter 61, Subchapter A, in July 2014, finding that the reasons for initially adopting the rules continued to exist. Following the review, §61.1 was amended effective August 25, 2014 to require coverage of specific topics during local school district orientation and continuing education and clarify the requirements of certain trainings. In addition, a proposed amendment to §61.1 was approved by the SBOE for first reading and filing authorization at the January-February 2018 meeting.

FUTURE ACTION EXPECTED:
The review of 19 TAC Chapter 61, Subchapter A, will be presented to the SBOE for adoption at the June 2018 meeting.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SIGNIFICANT ISSUES: The TEC, §11.159, Member Training and Orientation, requires the SBOE to provide a training course for school board trustees. Section 61.1, Continuing Education for School Board Members, addresses this statutory requirement. School board trustee training under current SBOE rule includes a local school district orientation session, a basic orientation to the TEC, an annual team-building session with the local school board and the superintendent, and specified hours of continuing education based on identified needs.

The TEC, §11.352, Governance of Special-Purpose District, authorizes the SBOE to appoint a board of three, five, or seven trustees, as determined by the SBOE, for each district established under the TEC, §11.351. Additionally, it authorizes the SBOE to appoint a board of three or five trustees for each military reservation school district. Section 61.2, Nomination of Trustees for Military Reservation School Districts and Boys Ranch Independent School District, addresses this statutory requirement. Trustees of the boards of the Fort Sam Houston ISD, Lackland ISD, Randolph Field ISD, and Boys Ranch ISD are appointed by the SBOE in accordance with this rule and statute.

ANTICIPATED REVISIONS TO RULES: As a separate item in this agenda, a proposed amendment to 19 TAC §61.1 is presented for second reading and final adoption. The amendment would amend the rule to reflect changes made by Senate Bill (SB) 1566, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, to the SBOE's duty to provide training on student academic performance for ISD trustees.

Changes are anticipated to 19 TAC §61.2 related to the nominations process for military reservation school districts. At a future meeting, staff anticipates presenting a proposed amendment that would reduce the number of nominees required for submission when the commanding officer recommends either the appointment of new or reappointment of existing board members for vacancies that occur.

RULE REVIEW:
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) plans to file the notice of proposed review of 19 TAC Chapter 61, Subchapter A, with the Texas Register following the April 2018 SBOE meeting. The TEA will accept comments as to whether reasons for adopting 19 TAC Chapter 61, Subchapter A, continue to exist. The official comment period will begin with publication of the proposed review in the Texas Register.

The filing of the notice of proposed review soliciting comments as to whether the reasons for adoption continue to exist would not preclude any amendments that may be proposed at different dates through a separate rulemaking process.

FISCAL IMPACT: None.

PUBLIC AND STUDENT BENEFIT : These rules ensure the continued provision of professional development by requiring continuing education activities for school board trustees based on local needs. The rules also ensure the continued provision of a means for nomination of trustees for military reservation school districts and Boys Ranch ISD. The review of 19 TAC Chapter 61, Subchapter A, ensures the rules' necessity and alignment with statute.

PROCEDURAL AND REPORTING IMPLICATIONS: None.

LOCALLY MAINTAINED PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: None.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: None.

ALTERNATIVES: None.

OTHER COMMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES: A separate item in this agenda presents a proposed amendment to §61.1 for second reading and final adoption.


Staff Members Responsible:
A.J. Crabill, Deputy Commissioner
Governance

Jeff Cottrill, Director
School Governance

Attachments:
I.  Statutory Citations (PDF, 20KB)
II. Text of 19 TAC Chapter 61, School Districts, Subchapter A, Board of Trustees Relationship (PDF, 59KB)