Chapter 61. School Districts
Subchapter FF. Commissioner's Rules Concerning Veterans and Military Dependents
Division 1. High School Diplomas for Military Veterans
§61.1061. Application Form for Diploma and Evidence of Eligibility.
(a) In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.0251, a school district may issue a high school diploma to a person who:
(1) is an honorably discharged member of the armed forces of the United States;
(2) was scheduled to graduate from high school:
(A) after 1940 and before 1975; or
(B) after 1989; and
(3) left school after completing Grade 6 or higher, but before graduating from high school, to serve in:
(A) World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, the Iraq War, or the war in Afghanistan; or
(B) any other war formally declared by the United States, military engagement authorized by the United States Congress, military engagement authorized by a United Nations Security Council resolution and funded by the United States Congress, or conflict authorized by the president of the United States under the War Powers Resolution of 1973 (50 United States Code §1541 et seq.).
(b) A school district may issue a diploma to an eligible veteran notwithstanding the fact that the person holds a high school equivalency certificate or is deceased.
(c) The Texas Education Agency will develop and make available an application form to be used by a veteran or a person acting on behalf of a deceased veteran. The application form is provided in this subsection entitled "Application for a High School Diploma for Certain Veterans."
Figure: 19 TAC §61.1061(c)
(d) Acceptable evidence of eligibility for a diploma under TEC, §28.0251, is:
(1) a completed, signed, and dated application form; and
(2) a copy of the discharge notification (DD form 214, enlisted record and report of separation, or discharge certificate) from the appropriate branch of the United States armed forces indicating dates of military service.
(e) The acceptable evidence of eligibility described in subsection (d) of this section must be submitted to the school district where the veteran was enrolled in high school. If the veteran's school district no longer exists (e.g., the district was consolidated into another district), the acceptable evidence must be submitted to the consolidated district, which will be responsible for issuing the high school diploma. In the case of high schools that have experienced consolidation or for some other reason no longer exist, the local school district that assumed the records of the previously existing school will make the determination as to which existing high school will issue the veteran's diploma.
Statutory Authority: The provisions of this §61.1061 issued under the Texas Education Code, §28.0251.
Source: The provisions of this §61.1061 adopted to be effective August 12, 2001, 26 TexReg 5806; amended to be effective June 11, 2006, 31 TexReg 4611; amended to be effective July 12, 2012, 37 TexReg 5132.
Division 2. Military-Connected Students
§61.1063. Purple Star Campus Designation.
(a) Purpose. In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §33.909, a campus may qualify to earn the Purple Star Designation if the campus meets criteria demonstrating supports and resources for its military-connected student population.
(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Military-connected student--A student enrolled in a school district or an open-enrollment charter school who is a dependent of a current or former member of the United States military, Texas National Guard, or reserve force in the United States military or who was a dependent of a member of the United States military, Texas National Guard, or reserve force in the United States military who was killed in the line of duty.
(2) School liaison officer--An individual who works for the federal or state government and serves as the primary point of contact for school related matters on military installations. School liaison officers represent, inform, and assist commanding officers and military families with school issues; coordinate with local school systems; and create collaborative partnerships between the military and schools.
(c) Criteria. To qualify to apply for designation as a Purple Star Campus, a campus must meet the following requirements.
(1) Campus-based military liaison. A campus must designate an assigned staff member as a military liaison.
(A) The campus-based military liaison may be:
(i) a campus counselor;
(ii) a teacher;
(iii) a campus administrator such as a principal or an assistant principal; or
(iv) another campus staff member who supports highly mobile students.
(B) The campus-based military liaison must support military-connected students and their families by:
(i) serving as the point of contact and working collaboratively between military-connected students and their families and the campus;
(ii) maintaining familiarity with enrollment processes, records transfer, existing community resources, and student supports;
(iii) ensuring military-connected students are identified and properly coded through the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS);
(iv) determining campus-based supports and services available to military-connected students based on their unique needs, including their high mobility;
(v) assisting in coordinating campus-based programs relevant to military-connected students; and
(vi) attending professional development or training annually to learn and understand topics related to the transition of military-connected students and their families.
(C) The campus-based military liaison must offer professional development opportunities for staff members on issues related to military-connected students. Such issues include, but are not limited to:
(i) military culture;
(ii) deployments and family separations;
(iii) the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children;
(iv) the TSDS PEIMS military student identifier;
(v) mitigating the effects of high mobility;
(vi) issues that address the physical and mental effects of military service, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other physical injuries;
(vii) supporting students connected to veterans;
(viii) supporting students with a parent or guardian in the national guard or reserve; and
(ix) supporting students with a parent or guardian who has fallen in the line of duty.
(2) Webpage. A campus must create and maintain an easily accessible webpage that includes the following information for military-connected students and their families.
(A) Relocation. The military-connected student and family support webpage must include information regarding relocation to the campus such as introductions to school environment and processes, enrollment information in extracurricular activities and clubs, tutoring opportunities, student code of conduct, and contact information of pertinent school staff.
(B) Enrollment and registration. The military-connected student and family support webpage must provide information regarding the process and requirements for enrollment, including:
(i) a checklist of required documentation needed to enroll at the campus, which may include information such as copies of student records, transcripts, and residence documentation; and
(ii) eligibility requirements for free public school prekindergarten, as required by TEC, §29.153, for a child of an active duty member of the armed forces, national guard, or reserve component of the armed forces, who is ordered to active duty by proper authority.
(C) Academic planning. The military-connected student and family support webpage must provide a link to information on course sequences, advanced classes available on campus, and information on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, as specified in TEC, Chapter 162.
(D) Counseling and support services. The military-connected student and family support webpage must provide eligibility, application, and referral information offered specifically to military-connected families for counseling and support services on or off a military installation.
(E) Campus-based military liaison. The military-connected student and family support webpage must provide the contact information and duties of the campus's designated military liaison.
(3) Campus transition program.
(A) Introductions to the school environment and school processes by the campus-based military liaison or by campus-based student leaders or ambassadors, if determined appropriate by the campus-based military liaison, must be provided to new military-connected students.
(B) Any student leaders or ambassadors should be supported or sponsored by a campus-based staff member such as:
(i) the campus-based military liaison;
(ii) a campus counselor;
(iii) a teacher;
(iv) a campus administrator such as a principal or an assistant principal; or
(v) another staff member who supports highly mobile students.
(C) Any student leaders or ambassadors should participate in the following activities:
(i) organizing and hosting newcomer social events throughout the school year that give military-connected students and families an opportunity to learn about campus culture, processes, and the community;
(ii) facilitating guided tours of the campus, including the library, nurse's office, counseling office, gym, and cafeteria; and
(iii) accompanying the new student to lunch the first week of school.
(4) Initiatives. A campus must offer at least one of the following initiatives:
(A) a resolution showing support for military-connected students and families;
(B) participation in the Month of the Military Child or Military Family Month; or
(C) partnership with a school liaison officer to encourage and provide opportunities for active duty military members to volunteer in the local schools, speak at a school assembly, or host a school field trip.
(d) Application and renewal.
(1) The campus-based military liaison must complete the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Purple Star Campus Designation application available on the TEA website.
(2) Campus designation criteria must be met and submitted in the application.
(3) The Purple Star Campus Designation will be awarded every school year beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.
(4) Campuses that satisfy the criteria and are awarded the Purple Star Campus Designation are eligible to recertify the designation every two school years.
(5) Campuses not selected for award of the Purple Star Campus Designation will be given an opportunity to appeal the decision of non-selection through an appeal process explained in the non-selection notification.
Statutory Authority: The provisions of this §61.1063 issued under the Texas Education Code, §33.909.
Source: The provisions of this §61.1063 adopted to be effective April 9, 2020, 45 TexReg 2313.
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