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Public Education Grant (PEG)
Frequently Asked Questions

Updated January 9, 2014


Q: What is the PEG program?

A: In 1995, the Texas Legislature created the Public Education Grant (PEG) program [TEC §§29.201 - 29.205]. The PEG program permits parents whose children attend schools on the PEG list to request that their children transfer to schools in other districts. A list of PEG-designated schools is provided to districts annually. By February 1, districts must notify each parent of a student in the district assigned to attend a school on the PEG list. Based on the February list, parents may request a transfer for the following school year. (For example, the list provided to parents by February 1, 2014 allows for transfer requests for the 2014-15 school year.)

Through the PEG program, districts receive a slightly higher allocation of funding from the state for each PEG-transferred student. (The additional funding is equal to 10% of the adjusted basic allotment, which varies by school.)

Q: What schools are on the current PEG List?

A: See the most current PEG List (a PDF download).

Identification

Q: Why does a school appear on the PEG list?

A: A school at which 50 percent or more of the students did not pass any of the state assessment* subjects in any two of the preceding three years (2013, 2012, or 2011), or a school that was rated Improvement Required in 2013 or Academically Unacceptable in 2011, is included on the PEG List.

Examples where schools would appear on the current PEG list:

  • A school that was Academically Unacceptable in 2011;
  • A school with fewer than 50% of its students passing reading in 2011 and 2012;
  • A school with fewer than 50% of its students passing ELA in 2012 and fewer than 50% passing science in 2011.

For more details on how schools are identified, please see the Methodology and Explanation (a PDF download).

Q: No accountability ratings were assigned to schools in 2012. How does that affect the PEG list for this year?

A: The Public Education Grant program was not affected by the changes made by the Texas Legislature in House Bill 3 in 2009; the program remains unchanged in statute. The following table shows the anticipated transition to the new assessment and the new accountability system:

Released by end of Applies to School Year Identifying Criteria for a School to be Placed on Public Education Grant List
2012 2013–2014 TAKS/STAAR* passing rate ≤ 50% in two of the three preceding years (TAKS: 2010, 2011, TAKS/STAAR*: 2012) OR rated Academically Unacceptable in 2010 or 2011.
2013 2014–2015 TAKS/STAAR passing rate ≤ 50% in two of the three preceding years (TAKS: 2011, STAAR: 2012, 2013) OR rated Academically Unacceptable in 2011 or Improvement Required in 2013.
2014 2015–2016 STAAR passing rate ≤ 50% in two of the three preceding years (STAAR: 2012, 2013, 2014) OR rated Improvement Required in 2013 or 2014.
2015 2016–2017 STAAR passing rate ≤ 50% in two of the three preceding years (STAAR: 2013, 2014, 2015) OR rated Improvement Required in 2013, 2014, or 2015.

Q: How can a school that was rated Met Standard for 2013 be on the PEG list?

A: A school can remain on the PEG list for up to three years, even if their subsequent rating is Met Standard.

Q: Why aren't charters on the PEG list?

A: Charter school campuses are not included on the PEG list (even if their performance meets the eligibility criteria) because charters are schools of choice and students at a charter school are eligible to “transfer” back to their home school district whenever they desire.

Q: Do PEG calculations use the same accountability subset as is used for state accountability ratings?

A: Yes.

Q: Are student groups evaluated for PEG or “all students” only?

A: PEG identification due to the state assessment* criteria is based on the performance of “all students” only. However, schools that are PEG-listed due to having an Academically Unacceptable (or Improvement Required) rating may have been rated Academically Unacceptable (or Improvement Required) due to the performance of a student group on any of the three base indicators (for 2011) or within one of the 4 indexes (for 2013).

Q: Why can't the standard state accountability ratings and the PEG list be aligned?

A: The PEG statute has been in place since 1995. The standards for the last accountability system (re-designed for 2013) increase in rigor each year, and do not correlate with the PEG statute.

Transfers

Q: How does a parent obtain a transfer?

A: The parent obtains a transfer by contacting the district the student wants to transfer to, in writing. Either the PEG notification letter from the home district or the PEG List provide adequate justification for the transfer request.

Q: Can a PEG-listed school deny a student the right to request a transfer to another district's school?

A: No. The purpose of the letter the PEG-listed school sends every parent is to alert them that they can request a transfer under the PEG program.

Q: I can't find the parent notification letter from our home school, I'm not even sure the school sent me one. Can I still request a transfer?

A: Yes. Simply show the district you want to transfer to the PEG List and point out that your home school is listed.

Q: Must a district accept all students who request to transfer into it under the PEG program?

A: No, but districts must follow the same protocols they follow for evaluating non-PEG requests for transfers from other districts. For example, they may restrict transfers by using a first-come-first-served system, and deny further requests for lack of space.

Q: My daughter attends a very low-performing school that is now on the PEG list. I would like to transfer her to a high-performing school in another district. They have refused her transfer even though other students have been allowed to transfer under PEG. They tell me their district has a policy of only accepting PEG transfers of students who perform well on the STAAR. Is this legal?

A: No, districts may not discriminate based on a student's academic performance. According to TEC §29.203 (d):

A school district chosen by a student's parent under Section 29.201 is entitled to accept or reject the application for the student to attend school in that district but may not use criteria that discriminate on the basis of a student's race, ethnicity, academic achievement, athletic abilities, language proficiency, sex, or socioeconomic status.

Q: Can a district refuse to accept a transfer because they do not wish to incur the additional special education expenses for that student?

A: A district cannot discriminate based on special education needs.

Q: Can a district accept PEG transfers only for the children of staff but not any others?

A: No.

Q: Are 5th graders eligible to request a transfer if the middle school they will attend as 6th graders is on the PEG list?

A: Yes.

Q: My child attends school in a district that is rated Improvement Required. Her school is rated Met Standard, but can I still request a PEG transfer?

A: No. PEG transfers are specifically for schools with the Improvement Required rating. District ratings are not a consideration.

Q: Does the ability to transfer last the duration of the 2014-15 school year?

A: Yes. Parents may request a transfer under the PEG program any time during the 2014-15 school year.

Q: Can students transfer before the beginning of the upcoming school year, once the PEG list is published in February?

A: No. Because the list refers to the upcoming school year, PEG-funded transfers are not allowed until the designated school year begins.

Q: Can a student transfer from one PEG-listed campus to another PEG-listed campus under the PEG program?

A: No. Under the PEG program criteria, a student may not transfer from a PEG-identified campus to another PEG-identified campus under the PEG program. However, district-to-district transfers exist outside of the PEG program, and can begin, end, or continue regardless of the PEG status of the schools.

Q: What happens to students who transferred to a district under the PEG program, if in a subsequent year the campus they attend becomes a PEG-listed campus? Do they remain eligible to stay at the school?

A: The conditions of their original transfer are no longer in effect. They may still request to transfer during 2014-15, but only as a non-PEG transfer.

Q: In the situation above, is funding sustained?

A: The receiving district can no longer receive PEG funding for transfers to a school that has become a PEG-listed campus.

Q: In the situation above, do the PEG-transferred students get the same notification as all other enrolled students?

A: Yes, all students attending the school that is PEG-identified must be notified that the school they are attending is on the PEG List.

Q: Please explain continued student eligibility in cases where a school is no longer PEG-listed, or the student's attendance zone changes.

A: Student eligibility for PEG transfers is based on assignment to attend a PEG-listed campus in their district of residence. Student eligibility expires upon any of the following conditions:

  • Completion of all grades on the campus upon which eligibility was originally based (the PEG-listed campus);
  • Removal of the campus from the PEG List; or
  • Assignment of the student to a campus that is not on the PEG List as a result of redrawn attendance boundaries or the student moves into a different attendance area.

However, even if any of the above conditions are true, a receiving district is permitted to continue to treat a student as PEG eligible if the student has not yet completed all grades on the campus to which the student transferred during the eligibility period. This means the receiving district can continue to receive PEG funding for this student, if the student chooses to continue attending his/her new school.

Q: In the case of larger districts with multiple schools that are not on the PEG List, can students request a transfer to another school that is within the district?

A: Yes.

Q: Are districts required to allow those transfers?

A: Districts must follow the same protocols they follow in allowing any requests for transfer. For example, they may deny a request because of lack of space.

Q: Does the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) include a provision that allows students the right to transfer to another school?

A: That was the case through the 2012-13 school year. This past September the federal government granted a conditional waiver to the state of Texas from the requirements of the NCLB. Districts are no longer required to grant transfers from schools on a list of Schools in Need of Improvement. For additional information see TEA seeks waiver of NCLB provisions.

Athletic Eligibility

Q: If a student transfers under the PEG program, does that affect their athletic eligibility?

A: Possibly. Rules regarding UIL eligibility are governed by the University Interscholastic League, not by TEA or by the school district. Please see the downloadable UIL-TEA Side by Side. Pages 8 and 9 address PEG transfers.

Transportation

Q: Are districts responsible for providing transportation to the school the student transfers to, if the school is in another district?

A: No, districts are not required to provide transportation for students who transfer to another district under the PEG program.

According to TEC 29.203 (f):

The school district in which a student resides shall provide each student attending a school in another district under this subchapter transportation free of charge to and from the school the student would otherwise attend.

The phrase, “to and from the school the student would otherwise attend” means that the district is not required to provide transportation beyond what it would normally provide—to and from the students' homes and their regularly assigned schools.

District Responsibilities

Q: Is there an overview of district responsibilities?

A: Correspondence To Superintendents was sent via email to superintendents of districts with at least one campus on the PEG List. The letter addresses district responsibilities.

Q: Districts are instructed to provide a clear, concise explanation of PEG when they notify parents. Can TEA provide such an explanation or provide a sample letter that could be used to send to parents?

A: Because each school's situation for being on the PEG List is unique, the school needs to write its own letter, addressing its specific situation. In writing this letter, it is recommended that local administrators:

  • state the basic situation (that the school is on the PEG list for the 2014-15 school year);
  • describe what the PEG program is (see the answer to the first question in this FAQ);
  • explain how the school came to be on the list;
  • address how the school plans to remedy any problems; and,
  • state the district's policy regarding in-district transfers, if that is an option for parents.

Q: The TEA letter instructs districts to inform parents how to obtain a transfer. What should be said?

A: The letter should clearly state that parents may request a transfer by contacting the district the student desires to transfer to, in writing. The letter they have received from the home district, as well as the PEG List, provide adequate justification for the transfer request.

Q: Must districts document all requests they get for transfers, especially if the district denies them?

A: While there is no requirement for such documentation, it is sensible for a district to document the disposition of all requests, including reasons and/or justifications for denial.

Q: Do we need to send letters to parents of 5th graders? Our school is K-5, and these kids will be gone next year.

A: Yes, according to statute, you are required to send the notice to all students. There is a possibility that some 5th graders will be retained in the following year, and attend the school again. Such retained students are eligible to be transferred under PEG guidelines. However, only students who would otherwise attend the K-5 campus in 2014-15 are eligible for PEG transfers from that school.

Q: Must we notify the parents of incoming freshman for a high school that is identified on the list? Or, similarly, must we notify the parents of incoming kindergarten students for an elementary school that is identified on the list?

A: No. While those students also have the right to request a transfer, statute specifies that notification by February 1 of each year to parents of students currently assigned to the PEG-listed campus is sufficient.

Q: The school that appears on the PEG List has closed and will not be in operation for the 2014-15 school year. Does the district still need to notify any parents?

A: No.

Q: If a student moves into a PEG-listed school after the notification has been sent out, must the school provide them notification?

A: Notification is not required beyond the February 1, 2014 deadline specified in statute; however, all students who would be attending a PEG-listed campus during the 2014-15 school year must be given the opportunity to transfer if they wish.

Q: Do districts need to contact other districts to let them know they have a PEG-listed school?

A: No.

Q: Do districts need to make the application for a transfer for the parent?

A: No, the student's parent or guardian needs to apply for the transfer.

Q: Is there an appeals process?

A: No. However, if a district feels extenuating circumstances exist that invalidate the listing of one of its campuses on the list, the district may write a letter to TEA addressing the concerns and requesting exceptions to the PEG requirements.

Q: If a district is engaged in correspondence with the agency to remove a school from the list, does the notification letter to parents still need to be sent by February 1?

A: Yes. Because the outcome of the correspondence is unknown, districts must comply with statute by notifying parents of the school's status as of February 1. However, the notification can include a statement that communication with the agency is in progress, and that the school's PEG status may change.

Q: If a school is on the PEG list but will be closed for 2014-15, is there still a requirement to send PEG notification letters to the current students?

A: No. If a school listed on the 2014-15 PEG list will be closed for the 2014-15 school year, districts are not required to send notification letters to the students currently attending the school. However, students reassigned to an existing school that is on the 2014-15 PEG list should receive notification letters.

Q: We changed our grade configuration completely, from middle school to elementary school, but kept the same campus number. We will send the required PEG notification to the parents of this new elementary, but can they request a transfer from this elementary to another elementary, even though it was performance at the middle school that put us on the PEG list?

A: Yes. If the campus identification number remains the same, the "new" school will still be on the PEG list, regardless of changed grade span. The district must treat transfer requests within the district in the manner mentioned above. Parents can request to transfer to a school with the same grade as the grade their child is in, in the PEG-Listed school. Parents can also request to transfer to a similar school outside the district.

Q: Do PEG schools have other special requirements they must meet to get off the list, such as more highly trained teachers, or a smaller teacher-student ratio?

A: No. PEG-listed schools must work to improve their accountability rating or increase the percentage of students passing the state assessments to get off the PEG List. Information on how the 2013 accountability ratings were determined is available in the 2013 Accountability Manual.

Financial Questions

Q: Can a district charge tuition for a student who transfers under the PEG program?

A: No.

Q: Can a district accept paid-tuition transfers, but decline to accept any PEG transfers?

A: Yes, a district may accept paid-tuition transfers, but decline PEG transfers.  Specifically, a district may do any of the following: accept “regular” transfers under Chapter 25; accept PEG transfers; accept both, or accept neither. The district's policy must be consistent on this. That is, the district cannot charge tuition from some students from a PEG-listed school, while not charging other students from a PEG-listed school.

Q: Can they accept a student from a PEG school but not call it a PEG transfer and charge them?

A: Yes, if district policy is to accept transfers under Chapter 25, but not PEG, a student from a PEG school would be treated the same as any other transfer student under Chapter 25, including charging any tuition permitted under Sec. 25.038.

Q: What if they have a paid-tuition transfer student from a school that later becomes a PEG school, can they continue to charge tuition?

A: Yes, if they do not take PEG transfers. However, if they do take PEG transfers, they must treat the student as a PEG transfer the school year that the student becomes PEG eligible.

Q: If a parent is paying tuition for a student to attend a non-PEG campus under a tuition transfer agreement and the student's home campus becomes a PEG-listed campus, can the parent stop paying tuition and still have the student attend the campus of choice?

A: Yes, as long as the receiving district agrees to accept the student under the PEG program.

Q: Can a district charge an additional "transfer fee" for accepting a student who transferred under the PEG program?

A: No. The school district cannot charge a transfer fee for a PEG transfer. They can only charge fees where they have been granted statutory authority to charge fees.

Q: If a charter school accepts a student previously served in a PEG-listed campus, is the charter eligible to receive additional state funding?

A: No.

PEG Archives

Q: Where can I find a PEG list from a prior year?

A: The PEG letters with attached lists and methodology are available back to 1999 from the TEA Correspondence site. Most PEG letters were sent in December of each year.

*   State assessments: For 2011, the assessment results were from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for grades 3-11 (on all subjects). For 2012, the assessment results included the 2012 performance on TAKS for grades 10 and 11 (ELA and mathematics only) and performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) for grades 3-8 (reading and mathematics only) based on the TAKS-equivalency standard that was developed using the STAAR Bridge Study. For 2013, the assessments were the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for grade 11 (all subjects), and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) for grades 3-10 ( all subjects).

 

 
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