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ACTION REQUIRED
BY MAY 10, 2001
 


March 6, 2001

TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:

The purpose of this letter is to provide information related to the procedures for student transfers as required by Court Order/Civil Action (CA) 5281. This information includes:

(1) requirements as stated in Civil Action 5281;
(2) Student Transfer Analysis Report information; and
(3) new procedures for completion of Student Transfer Form ACC-041BR01 for the 2001-2002 school year.

Enclosed is your student transfer list for the 2000-2001 school year as of February 23, 2001. This list should prove useful as you complete Student Transfer Form ACC-041BR01. You may access Student Transfer Form ACC-041BR01 on the Texas Education Agency web page. This form may be accessed as an MS Word document or as an Adobe Acrobat file. The web pathway is: www.tea.state.tx.us Accountability and Accreditation, Equal Education Opportunity (EEO) Unit, Form ACC-041BR01.

Thank you for your cooperation in addressing this equity issue and reporting the required information. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sylvia Gonzales or Ms. Pam Williams at (512) 463-9519.

Sincerely,
Donald F. Enos, Director 
Equal Educational Opportunity

Ronald Rowell, Senior Director
School Governance, EEO, and Complaints Management

Enclosures


Requirements of Civil Action 5281

Section A(1) of the statewide federal Court Order/Civil Action 5281 requires the Texas Education Agency to review all student transfers between school districts to determine whether:

"the cumulative effect, in either the sending or receiving school or school district, will be to reduce or impede desegregation, or to reinforce, renew, or encourage the continuation of acts and practices resulting in discriminatory treatment of students on the grounds of race, color, or national origin."

The order further states in Section A(3)(b) that:

"the defendants shall not approve transfers where the effect of such transfers will change the majority or minority percentage of the school population, based on average daily attendance in such districts, by more than one percent in either the home or the receiving district . . . ."

The Agency has determined that for school districts with student enrollment (ADA) of 300 or less, minor changes in student numbers result in major changes in percentages, often to the detriment of districts of that size. Therefore, as of this school year, such small districts may approve transfers where the effect of such transfers will change the ethnic percentage of the school population up to three (3) percent in either the sending or the receiving district. All other districts must adhere to the one (1) percent rule. All charter schools must adhere to the one percent rule. For all Chapter 41 districts, the Agency will not recognize the ADA count for new transfer students who place the district in violation of the court order.

Student Transfer Analysis Report Information

Upon receipt of the Student Transfer Form ACC-041BR01, the Equal Educational Opportunity Unit will analyze the data and inform all districts/charter schools of the results by July of 2001. In the past, if your district was in non-compliance with the federal court order, your district may have received a letter to the effect that, in fairness to individual students already enrolled, your district could retain all student transfers enrolled in your district at that time but could not accept additional transfers until the district had complied with the federal court order. If you do not have on file a clearance letter from the EEO Unit indicating that you are currently in compliance with CA 5281, do not accept any new students (coded J) for 2001-2002. The district will not receive state funds for those students.



Procedures for completion of Student Transfer Form ACC-041BR01 for the 2001-2002 school year

The Transfers Beginning May 1, 2001 Form (ACC-041BR01) must be received by the Agency no later than May 10, 2001. All students, except those from out of state, who have applied by May 1 as transfers for the 2001-2002 school year must be included on this form. If your district or charter school has not accepted transfers, return the form with the notation, "NO TRANSFERS." Please note all students attending charter schools are transfer students with the exception of those attending correctional institutions or residential placement facilities. Specific directions for the completion of form ACC-041BR01 are found on the back of the form (note changes to the form in shaded areas).

Please note that the May 10, 2001 deadline is an initial reporting deadline only; districts and charter schools may accept student transfers after May 10. Using the same form on an ongoing basis during the 2001-2002 academic year, school districts/charter schools must continue to report all student transfer applicants including those who meet an exemption or hardship established by the court in CA 5281. The Agency will calculate the additional transfers to determine ethnic ratio changes.

The appropriate exemption/hardship code must be applied, and the district/charter school should retain documentation on each case. School districts/charter schools are required to report exemptions/hardships to the Agency during the school year, and Agency staff is available to assist in clarifying eligibility of transfers. Approval of student transfers coded "J" is contingent upon compliance with CA 5281.

The form requires the superintendent's signature and the name of the district's/charter school's student transfer contact person with telephone numbers. In addition, place the date of the transmission in the date box on the bottom of the form. The form may be mailed to the Equal Educational Opportunity Unit of the Agency, faxed to (512) 463-1511, or e-mailed to PWilliam@tea.state.tx.us (keep a copy for your records).

Students requesting a transfer under the Public Education Grant (PEG) Program, TEC 29.201, must be reviewed in accordance with CA 5281 A(3)(b), and transfers may not be granted when they cause either the sending or the receiving district to be in non-compliance with the court order. Questions concerning the list and the methodology used to identify schools should be directed to the Division of Performance Reporting at (512) 463-9704. Questions regarding the implementation of the program should be directed to the Division of State Funding at (512) 463-9238.

Failure to return this form will result in incomplete transfer records for your district or charter school and will place the district/charter school in violation of the federal court order, State Board of Education rules, and accreditation standards. School districts and charter schools are encouraged to establish and maintain documentation and a records filing system for purposes of verification should an audit be conducted or in the event of an inquiry or complaint.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sylvia Gonzales or Ms. Pam Williams at (512) 463-9519.

A MS Word Version of this letter is available for download.  A MS Word and Adobe Acrobat version of the form is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/eeo.

For further information on this topic, contact Dr. Sylvia Gonzales or Ms. Pam Williams at (512) 463-9519

 

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