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RULE §33.7Bond Guarantee Program for Charter Schools

(a) Statutory provision. The commissioner of education must administer the guarantee program for open-enrollment charter school bonds according to the provisions of Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 45, Subchapter C.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to the guarantee program for open-enrollment charter school bonds.

  (1) Amortization expense--the annual expense of any debt and/or loan obligations.

  (2) Annual debt service--payments of principal and noncapitalized interest on outstanding bonded debt scheduled to occur during a charter district's fiscal year as reported by the Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) of Texas or its successor, if the charter district is responsible for outstanding bonded indebtedness.

    (A) The annual debt service will be determined by the current report of the bonded indebtedness of the charter district as reported by the MAC of Texas or its successor as of the date of the application deadline.

    (B) Solely for the purpose of this calculation, the debt service amounts for variable rate bonds will be those that are published in the final official statement or, if there is no official statement, debt service amounts based on the maximum rate permitted by the bond resolution or other bond proceeding that establishes a maximum interest rate for the bonds.

    (C) Annual debt service includes required payments into a sinking fund as authorized under 26 United States Code (USC) §54A(d)(4)(C), provided that the sinking fund is maintained by a trustee or other entity approved by the commissioner that is not under the control or common control of the charter district.

  (3) Application deadline--the last business day of the month in which an application for a guarantee is filed. Applications must be submitted electronically through the website of the MAC of Texas or its successor by 5:00 p.m. on the last business day of the month to be considered in that month's application processing. This application deadline does not apply to applications for issues to refund bonds previously guaranteed by the Bond Guarantee Program.

  (4) Board resolution--the resolution adopted by the governing body of an open-enrollment charter holder that:

    (A) requests guarantee of bonds through the Bond Guarantee Program; and

    (B) authorizes the charter holder's administration to pursue bond financing.

  (5) Bond--a debt security issuance approved by the attorney general, issued under TEC, Chapter 53, to provide long-term financing with a maturity schedule of at least three years.

  (6) Bond Guarantee Program (BGP)--the guarantee program that is described by this section and established under TEC, Chapter 45, Subchapter C.

  (7) Bond resolution--the resolution, indenture, or other instrument adopted by the governing body of an issuer of bonds authorizing the issuance of bonds for the benefit of a charter district.

  (8) Charter district--an open-enrollment charter holder designated as a charter district under subsection (e) of this section, as authorized by TEC, §12.135.

  (9) Combination issue--an issuance of bonds for which an application for a guarantee is filed that includes both a new money portion and a refunding portion, as permitted by TEC, Chapter 53. The eligibility of combination issues for the guarantee is limited by the eligibility of the new money and refunding portions as defined in this subsection.

  (10) Debt service coverage ratio--a measure of a charter district's ability to pay interest and principal with cash generated from current operations. The debt service coverage ratio (total debt service coverage on all long-term capital debt) equals the excess of revenues over expenses plus interest expense plus depreciation expense plus amortization expense, all divided by annual debt service. The calculation can be expressed as: (Excess of revenues over expenses + interest expense + depreciation expense + amortization expense)/ annual debt service.

  (11) Depreciation expense--the audited amount of depreciation that was expensed during the fiscal period.

  (12) Educational facility--a classroom building, laboratory, science building, faculty or administrative office building, or other facility used exclusively for the conduct of the educational and administrative functions of a charter school.

  (13) Foundation School Program (FSP)--the program established under TEC, Chapters 41, 42, and 46, or any successor program of state appropriated funding for school districts in the state of Texas.

  (14) Long-term debt--any debt of the charter district that has a term of greater than three years and is secured on a parity basis with the bonds to be guaranteed.

  (15) Maximum annual debt service--as of any date of calculation, the highest annual debt service requirements with respect to all outstanding long-term debt for any succeeding fiscal year.

  (16) Nationally recognized investment rating firm--an investment rating firm that is designated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as a nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO) and is demonstrating that it has:

    (A) had its current NRSRO designation for at least three consecutive years;

    (B) provided credit ratings to each of the following:

      (i) fifteen or more fixed income securities denominated in United States dollars and issued during the immediately preceding three years;

      (ii) ten or more school districts in the United States;

      (iii) one or more charter schools in the United States; and

    (C) a documented separation of duties between employees involved in credit analysis and employees involved in business relationships with clients.

  (17) New money issue--an issuance of revenue bonds under TEC, Chapter 53, for the purposes of:

    (A) the acquisition, construction, repair, or renovation of an educational facility of an open-enrollment charter school and equipping real property of an open-enrollment charter school, provided that any bonds for student or teacher housing must meet the following criteria:

      (i) the proposed housing is contemplated in the charter or charter application; and

      (ii) the proposed housing is an essential and integral part of the educational program included in the charter contract; or

    (B) the refinancing of one or more promissory notes executed by an open-enrollment charter school, each in an amount in excess of $500,000, that evidence one or more loans from a national or regional bank, nonprofit corporation, or foundation that customarily makes loans to charter schools, the proceeds of which loans were used for a purpose described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; or

    (C) both.

  (18) Open-enrollment charter--this term has the meaning assigned in §100.1001 of this title (relating to Definitions).

  (19) Open-enrollment charter holder--this term has the meaning assigned to the term "charter holder" in TEC, §12.1012.

  (20) Open-enrollment charter school--this term has the meaning assigned to the term "charter school" in §100.1001 of this title.

  (21) Open-enrollment charter school campus--this term has the meaning assigned to the term "charter school campus" in §100.1001 of this title.

  (22) Refunding issue--an issuance of bonds under TEC, Chapter 53, for the purpose of refunding:

    (A) bonds that have previously been issued under that chapter and have previously been approved by the attorney general; or

    (B) bonds that have previously been issued for the benefit of an open-enrollment charter school under Vernon's Civil Statutes, Article 1528m, and have previously been approved by the attorney general.

(c) Bond eligibility.

  (1) Only those combination, new money, and refunding issues as defined in subsection (b)(9), (17), and (22), respectively, of this section are eligible to receive the guarantee. The bonds must, without the guarantee, be rated as investment grade by a nationally recognized investment rating firm and must be issued on or after September 28, 2011.

  (2) Refunding issues must comply with the following requirements to retain eligibility for the guarantee for the refunding bonds.

    (A) As with any open-enrollment charter holder applying for approval for the guarantee, the charter holder for which the refunding bonds are being issued must meet the requirements for charter district designation specified in subsection (e)(2) of this section and the requirements for initial approval specified in subsection (f)(3)(A) of this section.


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