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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

Important Accreditation Information

January 7, 2008

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

Subject:     Dissemination of Adopted Commissioner’s Rules for Accreditation

During the 79th Texas Legislature, Third Called Session, 2006, House Bill 1 (HB 1) was passed, which amended the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 39, Public School System Accountability.  The HB 1 changes addressed, in part, the accreditation of school districts; sanctions and interventions for school districts, charter schools, and campuses; and the review by the State Office of Administrative Hearings of certain sanctions.  As a result, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) was required to adopt rules to implement the changes addressed. 
As such, 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter DD, Procedures for Investigative Reports and Sanctions has been amended, and
19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter EE, Accreditation Status, Standards, and Sanctions and 19 TAC Chapter 157, Hearings and Appeals, Subchapter EE, Review by State Office of Administrative Hearings: Certain Accreditation Sanctions have been adopted to establish new and revised rules in compliance with HB 1 and clarify and codify current TEA practice, as well as the commissioner of education’s intent, regarding accreditation issues.

These new and revised commissioner's rules related to accreditation were posted to the Texas Register on January 4, 2008, and were effective on January 6, 2008.  The final rule text may be viewed at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/home/ under the Texas Administrative Code—Currently in Effect link.  Background information regarding these rules, including a description of the rule action, statutory citations, the summary of public comments, and a marked rules version that identifies revisions made to the rules between the time of rule proposal and adoption, is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/commissioner/coesummary/2007/sum1207.html or through a link on the Program Monitoring and Interventions accreditation monitoring home page at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/pmi/accmon/.

One significant rule adoption contained in this package pertains to the new 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter EE, Accreditation Status, Standards, and Sanctions.  These adopted new rules define the accreditation statuses of Accredited, Accredited-Warned, Accredited-Probation, and Not Accredited-Revoked and state how accreditation statuses will be determined and assigned to school districts.  The adoption also establishes accreditation standards and sanctions, including definitions, purpose, technical assistance teams, campus intervention teams, reconstitution, campus closure, alternative management, intervention stages, and oversight appointments.

Other information of note relates to the new 19 TAC Chapter 157, Hearings and Appeals, Subchapter EE, Review by State Office of Administrative Hearings: Certain Accreditation Sanctions, which establishes provisions relating to the review of certain accreditation sanctions by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.  Additionally, the revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter DD, Procedures for Investigative Reports and Sanctions update and clarify procedures for on-site investigations and reports as required by TEC §39.076 and procedures for accreditation sanctions under TEC §39.131 resulting from such reports.  An adopted new rule establishes procedures for creating an administrative record for review by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

We appreciate the participation of all stakeholders in the rule revision and adoption process.  If you have questions regarding 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter EE, Accreditation Status, Standards, and Sanctions, please contact the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at (512) 463-9414.  If you have questions regarding the revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 97, Planning and Accountability, Subchapter DD, Procedures for Investigative Reports and Sanctions, or the new 19 TAC Chapter 157, Hearings and Appeals, Subchapter EE, Review by State Office of Administrative Hearings: Certain Accreditation Sanctions, please contact Jim Thompson in the Division of Legal Services at (512) 463-9037.

Sincerely,

Adrain Johnson
Associate Commissioner
Accreditation

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