Chapter 61. School Districts
Subchapter A. Board of Trustees Relationship


§61.1. Continuing Education for School Board Members.

(a)  Under the Texas Education Code (TEC), 11.159, the State Board of Education (SBOE) shall adopt a framework for governance leadership to be used in structuring continuing education for school board members. The framework shall be posted to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website and shall be distributed annually by the president of each board of trustees to all current board members and the superintendent.

(b)  The continuing education required under the TEC, 11.159, applies to each member of an independent school district board of trustees. The continuing education requirement consists of orientation sessions, an annual team-building session with the local board and the superintendent, and specified hours of continuing education based on identified needs. The superintendent's participation in team-building sessions as part of the continuing education for board members shall represent one component of the superintendent's ongoing professional development.

(1)  Each school board member of an independent school district shall receive a local district orientation and an orientation to the TEC.

(A)  Each new board member shall participate in a local district orientation session within 60 days before or after the board member's election or appointment. The purpose of the local orientation is to familiarize new board members with local board policies and procedures and district goals and priorities. The local district orientation shall be at least three hours in length for each new board member. Any sitting board member may attend or participate in the local district orientation. The local district orientation shall address local district practices in the following, in addition to topics chosen by the local district:

(i)  curriculum and instruction;

(ii)  business and finance operations;

(iii)  district operations;

(iv)  superintendent evaluation; and

(v)  board member roles and responsibilities.

(B)  A sitting board member shall receive a basic orientation to the TEC and relevant legal obligations. The orientation shall have special but not exclusive emphasis on statutory provisions related to governing Texas school districts. The orientation shall be delivered by regional education service centers (ESCs) and shall be no less than three hours in length. Topics shall include, but not be limited to, the TEC, Chapter 26 (Parental Rights and Responsibilities), and the TEC, 28.004 (Local School Health Advisory Council and Health Education Instruction). A newly elected or appointed board member of an independent school district shall receive the orientation to the TEC within the first 120 days of service. The orientation to the TEC shall be open to any sitting board member who chooses to attend.

(C)  After each session of the Texas Legislature, including each regular session and called session related to education, each school board member shall receive an update from an ESC or any registered provider to the basic orientation to the TEC. The update session shall be of sufficient length to familiarize board members with major changes in the code and other relevant legal developments related to school governance. A board member who has attended an ESC basic orientation session that incorporates the most recent legislative changes is not required to attend an update.

(2)  The entire board, including all board members, shall annually participate with their superintendent in a team-building session facilitated by the ESC or any registered provider. The team-building session shall be of a length deemed appropriate by the board, but generally at least three hours. The purpose of the team-building session is to enhance the effectiveness of the board-superintendent team and to assess the continuing education needs of the board-superintendent team. The session shall include a review of the roles, rights, and responsibilities of a local board as outlined in the framework for governance leadership. The assessment of needs shall be based on the framework for governance leadership and shall be used to plan continuing education activities for the year for the governance leadership team.

(3)  In addition to the continuing education requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, each board member shall receive additional continuing education on an annual basis in fulfillment of assessed needs and based on the framework for governance leadership. The continuing education sessions may be provided by ESCs or other registered providers.

(A)  In a board member's first year of service, he or she shall receive at least ten hours of continuing education in fulfillment of assessed needs. Up to five of the required ten hours may be fulfilled through online instruction, provided that the training is designed and offered by a registered provider, incorporates interactive activities that assess learning and provide feedback to the learner, and offers an opportunity for interaction with the instructor. The registered provider shall determine the clock hours of training credit to be awarded for successful completion of an online course and shall provide verification of completion as required in subsection (g) of this section.

(B)  Following a board member's first year of service, he or she shall receive at least five hours of continuing education annually in fulfillment of assessed needs. A board member may fulfill the five hours of continuing education through online instruction, provided that the training is designed and offered by a registered provider, incorporates interactive activities that assess learning and provide feedback to the learner, and offers an opportunity for interaction with the instructor. The registered provider shall determine the clock hours of training credit to be awarded for successful completion of an online course and shall provide verification of completion as required in subsection (g) of this section.

(C)  A board president shall receive continuing education related to leadership duties of a board president as some portion of the annual requirement.

(c)  No continuing education shall take place during a school board meeting unless that meeting is called expressly for the delivery of board member continuing education. However, continuing education may take place prior to or after a legally called board meeting in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Government Code, 551.001(4).

(d)  An ESC board member continuing education program shall be open to any interested person, including a current or prospective board member.

(e)  A registration fee shall be determined by ESCs to cover the costs of providing continuing education programs offered by ESCs.

(f)  A private or professional organization, school district, government agency, college/university, or private consultant shall register with the TEA to provide the board member continuing education required in subsection (b)(1)(C), (2), and (3) of this section.

(1)  The registration process shall include documentation of the provider's training and/or expertise in the activities and areas covered in the framework for governance leadership.

(2)  An updated registration shall be required of a provider of continuing education every three years.

(3)  A school district that provides continuing education exclusively for its own board members is not required to register.

(g)  The provider of continuing education shall provide verification of completion of board member continuing education to the individual participant and to the participant's school district. The verification must include the provider's registration number.

(h)  At least 50% of the continuing education required in subsection (b)(3) of this section shall be designed and delivered by persons not employed or affiliated with the board member's local school district. No more than one hour of the required continuing education that is delivered by the local district may utilize self-instructional materials.

(i)  To the extent possible, the entire board shall participate in continuing education programs together.

(j)  Annually, at the last regular meeting of the board of trustees held during a calendar year, the current president of each local board of trustees shall announce the name of each board member who has completed the required continuing education, who has exceeded the required hours of continuing education, and who is deficient in the required continuing education as of the date of the meeting. The announcement shall state that completing the annual required continuing education is a basic obligation and expectation of any sitting board member under State Board of Education rule. The president shall cause the minutes of the local board to reflect the information and shall make this information available to the local media.

(k)  Annually, the SBOE shall commend those local board-superintendent teams that receive at least eight hours of the continuing education specified in subsection (b)(2) and (3) of this section as an entire board-superintendent team.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this 61.1 issued under the Texas Education Code, 11.159.

Source: The provisions of this 61.1 adopted to be effective March 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 875; amended to be effective May 7, 2003, 28 TexReg 3718; amended to be effective December 20, 2010, 35 TexReg 11223; amended to be effective August 25, 2014, 39 TexReg 6224.


61.2. Nomination of Trustees for Military Reservation School Districts and Boys Ranch Independent School District.

(a)  In nominating trustee candidates for military reservation school districts, the commanding officer of the military reservation shall do the following:

(1)  submit a list to the commissioner of education with at least three nominees for each vacancy. A majority of the trustees appointed to the school board must be civilian, and all may be civilian. When two or more vacancies occur simultaneously, a list of three different nominees for each vacancy shall be submitted. In cases when the commanding officer wishes to reappoint existing board members, a list of three nominees for each vacancy must still be submitted. Nominees not selected for existing vacancies may be resubmitted as candidates for subsequent vacancies. The commanding officer may rank in the order of preference the nominees submitted for each vacancy;

(2)  submit a statement that verifies that each of the nominees is qualified under the general school laws of Texas and lives or is employed on the military reservation;

(3)  submit a copy of a current biographical vita (resume) for each of the nominees, with a signature by the nominee attesting truth to the contents of the biographical vita;

(4)  submit a statement from each of the nominees which expresses the nominee's willingness to accept appointment and to serve in such a capacity with full adherence to the state-established standards on the duties and responsibilities of school board members;

(5)  submit a signed statement which expresses recognition of the powers of the board of trustees to govern and manage the operations of the military reservation school districts;

(6)  submit a signed statement regarding the governance and management operations of the district which expresses recognition that the role of the commanding officer of the military reservation is limited only to the duty defined by statute in the process for appointing members of the board of trustees; and

(7)  submit a statement that the membership composition of the entire board of trustees is in full compliance with the provisions of the Texas Education Code (TEC), 11.352.

(b)  In nominating trustee candidates for the Boys Ranch Independent School District (ISD), the president and chief executive officer of the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch shall do the following:

(1)  submit a name to the commissioner for each vacancy. When two or more vacancies occur simultaneously, a name for each vacancy shall be submitted. In cases when the president and chief executive officer wishes to reappoint existing board members, the name of the existing board member for each vacancy must still be submitted;

(2)  submit a statement that verifies that each of the nominees is qualified under the general school laws of Texas;

(3)  submit a copy of a current biographical vita (resume) for each of the nominees, with a signature by the nominee attesting truth to the contents of the biographical vita;

(4)  submit a statement from each of the nominees which expresses the nominee's willingness to accept appointment and to serve in such a capacity with full adherence to the state-established standards on the duties and responsibilities of school board members;

(5)  submit a signed statement which expresses recognition of the powers of the board of trustees to govern and manage the operations of the Boys Ranch ISD;

(6)  submit a signed statement regarding the governance and management operations of the district which expresses recognition that the role of the superintendent is in full compliance with the provisions of the TEC, 11.201; and

(7)  submit a statement that the membership composition of the entire board of trustees is in full compliance with the provisions of the TEC, 11.352.

(c)  A member of a board of trustees appointed under the TEC, 11.352, and this section will serve a term of two years. A member of the board of trustees, who during the period of the term of office resigns from office or experiences a change of status that disqualifies such member for appointment under the provisions of the TEC, shall become ineligible to serve at the time of the change of status. A board vacancy resulting from such resignation or disqualification shall be filled in accordance with the procedures established under the TEC, 11.352, and this section.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this 61.2 issued under the Texas Education Code, 11.352.

Source: The provisions of this 61.2 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 3705; amended to be effective December 20, 2010, 35 TexReg 11223; amended to be effective March 7, 2012, 37 TexReg 1510.


For additional information, email rules@tea.state.tx.us.