Chapter 97. Planning and Accountability
Subchapter DD. Investigative Reports, Sanctions, and Record Reviews


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter DD issued under the Texas Education Code, 12.104, 12.1162, 39.058, 39.102, 39.103, 39.104, and 39.152, unless otherwise noted.


97.1031. Preliminary Investigative Report.

(a)  Findings resulting from an investigation under Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, Subchapter C, must be presented in a preliminary investigative report.

(1)  The following are not findings resulting from an investigation under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter C, and need not be presented in a preliminary investigative report:

(A)  an academic accountability rating assigned under 97.1001 of this title (relating to Accountability Rating System);

(B)  a financial accountability rating assigned under 109.1002 of this title (relating to Financial Accountability Ratings); or

(C)  a determination of adequate yearly progress under 97.1004 of this title (relating to Adequate Yearly Progress).

(2)  A rating or determination initially issued under paragraph (1) of this subsection may be lowered or changed as a result of an investigation under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter C. In this event, the new rating or determination is a finding resulting from an investigation and must be presented in a preliminary investigative report.

(b)  Before issuing a final investigative report, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must notify the person whom the TEA proposes to find has violated a law, rule, or policy. The notice must be in writing and must:

(1)  include a copy of a preliminary investigative report finding that the person has violated a law, rule, or policy;

(2)  state the procedures for obtaining an informal review of the findings in the preliminary investigative report under TEC, 39.058(b), including the name and department of the person to whom the request may be addressed; and

(3)  set a deadline for requesting an informal review of such findings.

Source: The provisions of this 97.1031 adopted to be effective November 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 8821; amended to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143; amended to be effective December 22, 2010, 35 TexReg 11228.


97.1033. Informal Review of Preliminary Investigative Report; Final Investigative Report.

(a)  A person who is found in a preliminary investigative report to have violated a law, rule, or policy may request, in writing, an informal review under this section.

(b)  A written request for informal review of the preliminary investigative report must be addressed to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) representative identified in the notice under 97.1031(b)(2) of this title (relating to Preliminary Investigative Report). The written request must be received by the TEA representative on or before the deadline set under 97.1031(b)(3) of this title.

(c)  The person requesting the informal review of the preliminary investigative report may submit written information to the TEA representative identified in the notice under 97.1031(b)(2) of this title. In addition, the TEA representative may meet with the person at TEA headquarters in Austin, Texas, to discuss the findings and/or accept additional written information for review.

(d)  Following the informal review of the preliminary investigative report by the TEA representative identified in the notice under 97.1031(b)(2) of this title, a final investigative report will be issued. The final report may include changes or additions to the preliminary investigative report and such modifications are not subject to another informal review procedure.

(e)  If no informal review of the preliminary investigative report is requested by the deadline specified in 97.1031 of this title, or if no violation of law, rule, or policy is found in the report, a final investigative report may be issued without informal review.

(f)  An informal review of the preliminary investigative report is not governed by Texas Education Code, 7.057, or by Government Code, Chapter 2001.

Source: The provisions of this 97.1033 adopted to be effective November 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 8821; amended to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143; amended to be effective December 22, 2010, 35 TexReg 11228.


97.1035. Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions.

(a)  The commissioner of education shall notify the school district or open-enrollment charter school in writing of a sanction imposed under Subchapter EE of this chapter (relating to Accreditation Status, Standards, and Sanctions), 100.1023 of this title (relating to Intervention Based on Charter Violations), or this section. The notice must state the basis for finding that the district or open-enrollment charter school does not satisfy the applicable criteria as indicated in Subchapter EE of this chapter or 100.1023 of this title. The finding(s) may be made in the notice or in a final investigative report, or based on a final investigative report.

(b)  If a finding is made for the first time in the notice required by subsection (a) of this section, the Texas Education Agency shall comply with 97.1031(b) of this title (relating to Preliminary Investigative Report) and 97.1033 of this title (relating to Informal Review of Preliminary Investigative Report; Final Investigative Report) with respect to the new finding.

(c)  A determination under 97.1057 of this title (relating to Accreditation Sanctions) must be made in writing and may be included in a written notice under subsection (a) of this section. The determination may be made in the notice or in a final investigative report, or based on a final investigative report. A determination under 97.1057 of this title may be based on a report on the progress of a prior action under Subchapter EE of this chapter.

(d)  The commissioner shall annually review a sanction imposed under subsection (a) of this section and shall increase the sanction, as required by TEC, 39.108. The commissioner shall quarterly review the need for a conservator or a management team imposed under Subchapter EE of this chapter, as required by TEC, 39.111. If reviews are required under both TEC, 39.108 and 39.111, a quarterly review under TEC, 39.111, may satisfy the annual review under TEC, 39.108. An annual or quarterly review is not subject to the requirements of this section or 97.1057 of this title.

Source: The provisions of this 97.1035 adopted to be effective November 6, 2001, 26 TexReg 8821; amended to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143; amended to be effective December 22, 2010, 35 TexReg 11228.


97.1037. Record Review of Certain Decisions.

(a)  Applicability. This section applies only to:

(1)  a notice under 97.1035 of this title (relating to Procedures for Accreditation Sanctions) proposing to order:

(A)  alternative management of a school district campus or a charter school campus under Texas Education Code (TEC), 39.107;

(B)  closure of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school under TEC, 39.052, 39.102, or 39.104; or

(C)  closure of a school district campus or charter school campus under TEC, 39.107;

(2)  assignment under 97.1055 of this title (relating to Accreditation Status) of an accreditation status of Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation;

(3)  assignment of a board of managers under TEC, 39.112 and 39.102, or TEC, 39.107; or

(4)  request for review of an over-allocation from an open-enrollment charter school granted by the commissioner of education under 100.1041(e) of this title (relating to State Funding).

(b)  Notice. Notice of a proposed order subject to this section shall be made as provided by 97.1035 of this title and this section.

(1)  The notice shall attach or make reference to any Texas Education Agency (TEA) reports, final investigative reports, or other information on which the proposed order is based.

(A)  Information maintained on the TEA website may be referenced by providing a general citation to the information.

(B)  TEA reports previously sent to the district, charter, or campus may be referenced by providing the title and date of the report.

(C)  On request, the TEA shall provide copies of, or reasonable access to, information referenced in the notice.

(2)  The notice shall state the procedures for requesting a record review of the proposed order under this section, including the name and department of the TEA representative to whom a request for record review may be addressed.

(3)  The notice shall set a deadline for requesting a record review, which shall not be less than ten calendar days from the date of mailing of the notice.

(c)  Request. The superintendent of the district or chief operating officer of the open-enrollment charter school may request, in writing, a record review under this section.

(1)  The request must be properly addressed to the TEA representative identified in the notice under subsection (b)(2) of this section, and must be received by the TEA representative on or before the deadline specified in subsection (b)(3) of this section.

(2)  A timely and sufficient request for record review is a prerequisite for an appeal of the proposed order under Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title (relating to Review by State Office of Administrative Hearings: Certain Accreditation Sanctions).

(d)  Preliminary matters.

(1)  In response to a request under subsection (c) of this section, the TEA representative shall provide written notice to the district or charter of the date, time, and place for the record review.

(A)  In this written notice, the TEA representative may:

(i)  set time limits for presentations on the record;

(ii)  set deadlines for exchanging documents prior to the record review;

(iii)  set deadlines for identifying participants who may present information or ask questions during the review; and

(iv)  provide any other instructions on the conduct of the record review.

(B)  The TEA representative may consider reasonable requests to reschedule the record review and associated deadlines, but shall give primary importance to the need for a speedy resolution of the matter under review.

(C)  The record review should in all instances be completed on or before the expiration of 30 calendar days following receipt of the request under subsection (c) of this section.

(D)  Timely completion of the record review under subsection (c) of this section is a prerequisite for an appeal of the proposed order under Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title.

(2)  The district or charter shall submit any written information to the TEA representative in advance of the record review. To be considered part of the record, such information must also be presented during the review.

(3)  In its request for record review, or within a reasonable time thereafter, the district or charter may request that specific TEA staff members attend the record review to assist the TEA representative in reviewing the information presented.

(A)  Such request shall be limited to staff directly involved in the development of the information identified in the notice under subsection (b) of this section.

(B)  If reasonable and practicable, the TEA representative shall schedule the record review so as to allow the requested staff to attend.

(4)  At all times prior to the record review, the district or charter is encouraged to contact the office of the TEA representative to discuss the process and to facilitate preliminary matters. However, such communications will not be recorded and will not be considered part of the record.

(5)  The county-district or campus identification number of the affected entity must be included in all written correspondence on the record review, as well as the date the notice was issued under subsection (b) of this section. Correspondence relating to the review may be made part of the record.

(6)  All deadlines under this section shall be calculated from the date of actual receipt. No mailbox rule applies.

(e)  Record review.

(1)  The TEA representative shall meet with the superintendent and/or representatives of the district or charter at the TEA headquarters in Austin, Texas, to receive oral and written information on the proposed order.

(2)  The proceedings shall be recorded by audiotape or similar means. The audiotape and all written information presented during the review shall comprise the official record of the proceedings.

(3)  The district or charter may have legal counsel present during the proceedings.

(4)  The district or charter may present information verbally and in writing, and may rebut information presented by the TEA staff.

(5)  The rules of evidence do not apply. Presentations need not follow question-and-answer format.

(6)  The district or charter is allowed to ask questions of the TEA staff. The TEA representative may designate a specific portion of the meeting for this purpose.

(7)  The TEA representative may ask questions of any participant directly or through the TEA staff.

(8)  The TEA representative shall strictly confine presentations and questions to the matters set forth in the notice, and shall exclude information that is irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious.

(9)  On request, the TEA representative shall include in the record a brief written proffer describing any information excluded under paragraph (8) of this subsection. In lieu of a written proffer, an oral statement may be recorded on a separate audiotape. If the excluded information is in writing, the document shall be identified as excluded and preserved with the record.

(10)  The TEA representative may take official notice of generally recognized information within the TEA's area of specialized knowledge.

(A)  Each party shall be notified either before or during the record review, or by reference in a preliminary report or otherwise, of the material officially noticed, including staff memoranda or information.

(B)  Any participant may present information to rebut information that is officially noticed.

(11)  The special skills and knowledge of the TEA representative and staff shall be used in evaluating all information presented during the record review.

(12)  At the request of the district or charter, a record review may be conducted by telephone or similar means.

(13)  A participant may present information via telephone or similar means during any record review.

(f)  Final order. Following the record review, a final order will be issued. The final order may include changes or additions to the proposed order and such modifications are not subject to another record review procedure. This order may be appealed only as provided by Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title.

(g)  No request. If no record review is requested by the deadline specified in subsection (b)(3) of this section, a final order may be issued without record review. An order issued without record review may not be appealed under Chapter 157, Subchapter EE, of this title, or otherwise.

(1)  The charter of an open-enrollment charter school is automatically:

(A)  revoked, void, and of no further force or effect on the effective date of a final decision by the commissioner of education ordering the charter school closed under this subsection; and

(B)  modified to remove authorization for an individual campus on the effective date of a final decision by the commissioner ordering the campus closed under this subsection.

(2)  If sanctions are imposed on an open-enrollment charter school under the procedures provided by this subsection, a charter school is not entitled to an additional hearing relating to the modification, placement on probation, revocation, or denial of renewal of a charter as provided by TEC, Chapter 12, Subchapter D.

(h)  Other law. Government Code, Chapter 2001, and TEC, 7.057, do not apply to a record review under this section.

Source: The provisions of this 97.1037 adopted to be effective January 6, 2008, 33 TexReg 143; amended to be effective November 23, 2008, 33 TexReg 9462; amended to be effective December 22, 2010, 35 TexReg 11228.


Last updated: December 22, 2010

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