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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 2TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
CHAPTER 100CHARTERS
SUBCHAPTER AACOMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING OPEN-ENROLLMENT CHARTER SCHOOLS
DIVISION 2COMMISSIONER ACTION AND INTERVENTION
RULE §100.1033Charter Amendment

(a) Amendments in writing. Subject to the requirements of this section, the terms of an open-enrollment charter may be revised with the consent of the charter holder by written amendment approved by the commissioner of education in writing.

(b) Types of amendments. An amendment includes any change to the terms of an open-enrollment charter, including the following: maximum enrollment, grade levels, geographic boundaries, approved campus(es), approved sites, relocation of campus, charter holder name, charter school (district) name, charter campus name, charter holder governance, articles of incorporation, corporate bylaws, management company, admission policy, or the educational program of the school. An amendment must be approved by the commissioner under this subsection. Expanding prior to receiving the commissioner's approval will have financial consequences as outlined in §100.1041(d)(1) of this title (relating to State Funding).

  (1) Charter amendment request. Prior to implementation, the charter holder shall file a request, in the form prescribed, with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) division responsible for charter schools. As applicable, the request shall set forth the text and page references, or a photocopy, of the current open-enrollment charter language to be changed, and the text proposed as the new open-enrollment charter language. The request must be attached to a written resolution adopted by the governing body of the charter holder and signed by a majority of the members indicating approval of the requested amendment.

  (2) Timeline. All non-expansion amendments may be filed with the commissioner at any time throughout the year. Expansion amendment requests must be received no earlier than the first day of January and no later than the first day of March, not to exceed 18 months preceding the effective date of the expansion.

  (3) Relevant information considered. As directed by the commissioner, a charter holder requesting an amendment shall submit current information required by the prescribed amendment form, as well as any other information requested by the commissioner. In considering the amendment request, the commissioner may consider any relevant information concerning the charter holder, including its performance on the Charter School Performance Frameworks (CSPF) adopted by rule in §100.1010 of this title (relating to Performance Frameworks); student and other performance; compliance, staff, financial, and organizational data; and other information.

  (4) Best interest of students. The commissioner may approve an amendment only if the charter holder meets all applicable requirements, and only if the commissioner determines that the amendment is in the best interest of students. The commissioner may consider the performance of all charters operated by the same charter holder in the decision to finally grant or deny an amendment.

  (5) Conditional approval. The commissioner may grant the amendment without condition, or may require compliance with such conditions and/or requirements as may be in the best interest of students.

  (6) Relocation amendment. An amendment to relocate an existing campus or site is not an expansion amendment subject to paragraphs (9)(A) and (10)(D) of this subsection. An amendment to relocate solely permits a charter holder to relocate an existing campus or site to an alternate address while serving the same students and grade levels without a significant disruption to the delivery of the educational services. The alternate address of the relocation shall not be in excess of 25 miles from the existing campus address.

  (7) Ineligibility. The commissioner will not consider any amendment that is submitted by a charter holder that has been notified by the commissioner of the commissioner's intent to allow the expiration of the charter or intent to revoke the charter. This subsection does not limit the commissioner's authority to accept the surrender of a charter.

  (8) Amendment determination. The commissioner's decision on an amendment request shall be final and may not be appealed. The same amendment request may not be submitted prior to the first anniversary of the submission of the original amendment request.

  (9) Expansion amendment standards. An expansion amendment is an amendment that permits a charter school to increase its maximum allowable enrollment, extend the grade levels it serves, change its geographic boundaries, or add a campus or site.

    (A) In addition to the requirements of this subsection, the commissioner may approve an expansion amendment only if:

      (i) the expansion will be effective no earlier than the start of the fourth full school year at the affected charter school. This restriction does not apply if the affected charter school has a rating of "academically acceptable" as defined by §100.1001(26) of this title (relating to Definitions) as its most recent rating and is operated by a charter holder that operates multiple charter campuses and all of that charter holder's most recent campus ratings are "academically acceptable" as defined by §100.1001(26) of this title;

      (ii) the amendment request under paragraph (1) of this subsection is received no earlier than the first day of January and no later than the first day of March, not to exceed 18 months preceding the effective date of the expansion;

      (iii) the most recent district rating for the charter school is "academically acceptable" and the most recent campus rating for at least 90% of the campuses operated under the charter school is "academically acceptable" as defined by §100.1001(26) of this title;

      (iv) the most recent district financial accountability rating for the charter school in the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) for Charter Schools is "satisfactory" as defined by §100.1001(27) of this title;

      (v) the charter school has an accreditation status of Accredited;

      (vi) the most recent designation for the charter school under the CSPF is "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" as defined by §100.1010 of this title;

      (vii) before voting to request an expansion amendment, the charter holder governing board has considered a business plan, has determined by majority vote of the board that the growth proposed is financially prudent relative to the financial and operational strength of the charter school, and includes such a statement in the board resolution. Upon request by the TEA, the business plan must be filed within ten business days. The business plan must be comprised of the following components:

        (I) a statement discussing the need for the expansion;

        (II) a statement discussing the current and projected financial condition of the charter holder and charter school;

        (III) an unaudited statement of financial position for the current fiscal year;

        (IV) an unaudited statement of financial activities for the current fiscal year;

        (V) an unaudited statement of cash flows for the current fiscal year;

        (VI) a pro forma budget that includes the costs of operating the charter school, including the implementation of the expansion amendment;

        (VII) a statement or schedule that identifies the assumptions used to calculate the charter school's estimated Foundation School Program revenues;

        (VIII) a statement discussing the use of debt instruments to finance part or all of the charter school's incremental costs;

        (IX) a statement discussing the incremental cost of acquiring additional facilities, furniture, and equipment to accommodate the anticipated increase in student enrollment;

        (X) a statement discussing the incremental cost of additional on-site personnel and identifying the additional number of full-time equivalents that will be employed; and

        (XI) the required statement that the growth proposed is financially prudent relative to the financial and operational strength of the charter school;

      (viii) the charter holder submits a signed statement attesting that within the last three years there have been no instances of nepotism, conflicts of interest, or revelations in criminal history checks that deemed any board member or employee ineligible to serve or submits, for the last three years of operation, copies of documents required by §100.1035 of this title (relating to Compliance Records on Nepotism, Conflicts of Interest, and Restrictions on Serving), including documents such as affidavits identifying a board member's substantial interest in a business entity or in real property, documentation of a board member's abstention from voting in the case of potential conflicts of interest, affidavits or other documents identifying other family members within the third degree of affinity or consanguinity who serve as board members and/or employees, and affidavits or other documentation that board members or employees whose criminal history checks deemed them ineligible to serve were removed from service;

      (ix) the commissioner determines that the amendment is in the best interest of students; and

      (x) the charter holder meets all other requirements applicable to expansion amendment requests and other amendments.

    (B) Notice of the approval or disapproval of expansion amendments will be made by the commissioner within 60 days of the date the charter holder submits a completed expansion amendment request. The commissioner may provide notice electronically. The commissioner shall specify the earliest effective date for implementation of the expansion. In addition, the commissioner may require compliance with such conditions and/or requirements that may be in the best interest of students.

  (10) Expansion amendments.

    (A) Maximum enrollment. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (9)(A) of this subsection, the commissioner may approve an expansion amendment request seeking to increase maximum allowable enrollment not more than once each calendar year.

    (B) Grade span. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (9)(A) of this subsection, the commissioner may approve an expansion amendment request seeking to extend the grade levels it serves only if it is accompanied by appropriate educational plans for the additional grade levels in accordance with Chapter 74, Subchapter A, of this title (relating to Required Curriculum), and such plan has been reviewed and approved by the charter governing board.

    (C) Geographic boundary. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (9)(A) of this subsection, the commissioner may approve an expansion amendment request seeking to expand the geographic boundaries of the charter school only if it is accompanied by evidence of notification, electronic or otherwise, to the relevant district(s).

    (D) Additional campus. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (9)(A) of this subsection, the commissioner may approve an expansion amendment request seeking to add a new campus only if it meets the following criteria:

      (i) the charter holder has operated at least one charter school campus in Texas for a minimum of three consecutive years;

      (ii) the charter school under which the proposed new campus will be assigned currently has at least 50% of the student population in grades assessed under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B. For charter schools serving students in prekindergarten, the charter school may include the students in prekindergarten to count toward the 50% requirement if the charter school can demonstrate acceptable performance on a commissioner-approved prekindergarten assessment or monitoring tool as determined under §102.1003 of this title (relating to High-Quality Prekindergarten Program) and the addition of the prekindergarten students meets the 50% threshold; and

      (iii) the charter holder has provided evidence, via certified mail documented by return receipt, that each school district affected by the expansion was sent a notice to the district's central office of the proposed location and, if available, the address of any new campuses or sites, including proposed grade levels to be served and projected maximum enrollment.

    (E) Additional site. In addition to the requirements of paragraph (9)(A) of this subsection, the commissioner may approve an expansion amendment request seeking to add a new site under an existing campus only if it meets the following criteria:

      (i) the charter school campus under which the proposed new site will be assigned currently has at least 50% of the student population in grades assessed under TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B. For charter school campuses serving students in prekindergarten, the charter school may include the students in prekindergarten to count toward the 50% requirement if the charter school can demonstrate acceptable performance on a commissioner-approved prekindergarten assessment or monitoring tool as determined under §102.1003 of this title and the addition of the prekindergarten students meets the 50% threshold; and

      (ii) the site will be located within 25 miles of the campus with which it is associated.

  (11) Expedited expansion. An expedited expansion amendment allows for the establishment of a new charter campus under TEC, §12.101(b-4).

    (A) In order to submit an expedited expansion amendment, the charter school must meet the following requirements.

      (i) The charter school must have an accreditation status of Accredited and meet the following criteria:

Cont'd...

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