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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 2TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
CHAPTER 61SCHOOL DISTRICTS
SUBCHAPTER CCCOMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SCHOOL FACILITIES
RULE §61.1038School District Bond Enhancement Program

(a) Statutory provision. The commissioner of education must administer the intercept credit enhancement program for school district bonds according to the provisions of the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 45, Subchapter I.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to the intercept credit enhancement program for school district bonds.

  (1) Application deadline--The last business day of the month in which an application for a credit enhancement is filed. Applications must be received by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) division responsible for state funding by 5:00 p.m. on the last business day of the month to be considered in that month's application processing.

  (2) Average daily attendance (ADA)--Total refined average daily attendance as defined by the TEC, §48.005.

  (3) Bond order--The order adopted by the governing body of a school district that authorizes the issuance of bonds.

  (4) Combination issue--An issuance of bonds for which an application is filed for a credit enhancement that includes both a new money portion and a refunding portion, as permitted by the Texas Government Code, Chapter 1207. The eligibility of combination issues for the credit enhancement is limited by the eligibility of the new money and refunding portions as defined in this subsection.

  (5) Enrollment growth--Growth in student enrollment, as defined by §129.1025 of this title (relating to Adoption by Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook), that has occurred over the previous five school years.

  (6) Financial exigency--A determination by a school district board of trustees that the financial condition of the district requires a reduction in personnel, as authorized by the TEC, §21.211.

  (7) Foundation School Program (FSP)--The program established under the TEC, Chapters 46, 48, and 49, or any successor program of state-appropriated funding for school districts in this state.

  (8) New money issue--An issuance of bonds for the purposes of constructing, renovating, acquiring, and equipping school buildings; the purchase of property; or the purchase of school buses. Eligibility for the credit enhancement for new money issues is limited to the issuance of bonds authorized under the TEC, §45.003. A new money issue does not include the issuance of bonds to purchase a facility from a public facility corporation created by the school district or to purchase any property that is currently under a lease-purchase contract under the Local Government Code, Chapter 271, Subchapter A. A new money issue does not include an issuance of bonds to refinance any type of maintenance tax-supported debt. Maintenance tax-supported debt includes, but is not limited to:

    (A) time warrants or loans entered under the TEC, Chapter 45, Subchapter E; or

    (B) any other type of loan or warrant that is not supported by bond taxes as defined by the TEC, §45.003.

  (9) Notes issued to provide interim financing--An issuance of notes, including commercial paper notes, designed to provide short-term financing for the purposes of constructing, renovating, acquiring, and equipping school buildings; the purchase of property; or the purchase of school buses. For notes to be eligible for the credit enhancement under this section, the notes must be:

    (A) issued to pay costs for which bonds have been authorized at an election occurring before the issuance of the notes;

    (B) approved by the Office of the Attorney General or issued in accordance with proceedings that have been approved the Office of the Attorney General; and

    (C) refunded by bonds issued to provide long-term financing no more than three years from the date of issuance of such notes, provided that the date of issuance of notes will be determined by reference to the date on which the notes were issued for capital expenditures and the intervening date or dates of issuance of any notes issued to refinance outstanding notes will be disregarded.

  (10) Proposed annual debt service--Payments of principal and interest on the outstanding bonded debt for which the enhancement is sought scheduled to occur between September 1 and August 31 during the fiscal year in which the credit enhancement is sought and each fiscal year for which the credit enhancement is or would be in effect as described in the amortization schedule for the bonded debt for which the enhancement is sought.

  (11) Refunding issue--An issuance of bonds for the purpose of refunding bonds, including notes issued to provide interim financing, that are supported by bond taxes as defined by the TEC, §45.003. Eligibility for the credit enhancement for refunding issues is limited to refunding issues that refund bonds, including notes issued to provide interim financing, that were authorized by a bond election under the TEC, §45.003.

  (12) School District Bond Enhancement Program (SDBEP)--The intercept program to provide credit enhancement for school district bonds that is described by this section and established under the TEC, Chapter 45, Subchapter I.

  (13) Total debt service--Total outstanding principal and interest on bonded debt.

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

    (B) The total debt service does not include:

      (i) the amount of debt service to be paid on the bonds for which the credit enhancement is sought; or

      (ii) the amount of debt service attributable to any debt that is no longer outstanding at the application deadline, provided that the TEA has sufficient evidence of the discharge or defeasance of such debt.

    (C) The debt service amounts used in this calculation for variable rate bonds will be those that are published in the final official statement or final maturity schedule.

(c) Data sources.

  (1) The following data sources will be used for purposes of prioritization:

    (A) projected ADA for the current school year as adopted by the legislature for appropriations purposes;

    (B) final property values certified by the comptroller of public accounts, as described in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 403, Subchapter M, for the tax year preceding the year in which the bonds will be issued. If final property values are unavailable, the most recent projection of property values by the comptroller, as described in the Texas Government Code, Chapter 403, Subchapter M, will be used;

    (C) debt service information reported by the MAC of Texas or its successor as of the date of the application deadline; and

    (D) enrollment information reported to the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System ( TSDS PEIMS) for the five-year time period ending in the year before the application date.

  (2) The commissioner may consider adjustments to data values determined to be erroneous or not reflective of current conditions before the deadline for receipt of applications for that application cycle.

(d) Application for the credit enhancement.

  (1) Application process. Districts must apply to the commissioner of education for the guarantee or the credit enhancement of eligible bonds. The district must submit, in a form specified by the commissioner, the information required under the TEC, §45.055(b), and this section and any additional information the commissioner may require. The application and all additional information required by the commissioner must be received before the application will be processed. The application will first be considered for guarantee of eligible bonds under §33.65 of this title (relating to Bond Guarantee Program). If Permanent School Fund (PSF) capacity has been exhausted, the application will then be considered for credit enhancement of eligible bonds. The application must be accompanied by a fee in the amount specified as the application fee amount in §33.65 of this title.

    (A) The fee is due at the time the application for the guarantee or the credit enhancement is submitted. An application will not be processed until the fee has been received in accordance with the process prescribed by the commissioner for remitting the fee on the application form.

    (B) The fee will not be refunded to a district that:

      (i) is not approved for the guarantee or the credit enhancement; or

      (ii) does not sell its bonds before the expiration of its approval for the guarantee or the credit enhancement.

    (C) The fee may be transferred to a subsequent application for the guarantee or the credit enhancement by the district if the district withdraws its application and submits the subsequent application before the expiration of its approval for the guarantee or the credit enhancement.

  (2) Approval.

    (A) Under the TEC, §45.056, the commissioner will investigate the applicant school district's accreditation status and financial status. A district must be accredited and financially sound to be eligible for approval by the commissioner. The commissioner's review will include the following:

      (i) the purpose of the bond issue;

      (ii) the district's accreditation status as defined by §97.1055 of this title (relating to Accreditation Status) in accordance with the following:

        (I) if the district's accreditation status is Accredited, the district will be eligible for consideration for the credit enhancement;

        (II) if the district's accreditation status is Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation, the commissioner will investigate the underlying reason for the accreditation rating to determine whether the accreditation rating is related to the district's financial soundness. If the accreditation rating is related to the district's financial soundness, the district will not be eligible for consideration for the credit enhancement; or

        (III) if the district's accreditation status is Not Accredited-Revoked, the district will not be eligible for consideration for the credit enhancement;

      (iii) the district's compliance with statutes and rules of the TEA; and

      (iv) the district's financial status and stability, regardless of the district's accreditation rating, including approval of the bonds by the Office of the Attorney General under the provisions of the TEC, §45.0031 and §45.005.

    (B) The commissioner will grant or deny approval for the credit enhancement based on the review described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and will provide an applicant district whose application has received or been denied approval for the credit enhancement written notice of approval or denial. Notice of denial will include the reasons for denial.

(e) Application processing. To facilitate prioritization of applications for the guarantee authorized under §33.65 of this title, or for the credit enhancement authorized under this section, if the PSF capacity has been exhausted, all applications received during a calendar month will be held until the fifteenth business day of the subsequent month. On the fifteenth business day of each month, the commissioner of education will announce the results of the prioritization described in paragraph (5) of this subsection. If the PSF capacity has been exhausted, the commissioner will process the application for approval for the credit enhancement up to the available capacity of money appropriated for the FSP for credit enhancement under this section as of the application deadline, subject to the requirements of this subsection.

  (1) The school district may not submit an application for a guarantee or credit enhancement before the successful passage of an authorizing proposition.

  (2) The actual credit enhancement of the bonds is subject to the approval process prescribed in subsection (d) of this section.

  (3) During those periods in which the PSF capacity has been exhausted, the commissioner in each month of each fiscal year will estimate the amount of funds available to make payments under the SDBEP from the FSP through the end of the fiscal year for purposes of providing approval for the credit enhancement of school district bonds under this section. The commissioner will confirm that a sufficient amount of these funds exists to enhance the credit of the bonds before the issuance of the approval for the credit enhancement in accordance with subsection (d)(2) of this section. The amount of funds available to make payments under the SDBEP from the FSP is limited as described in paragraph (4) of this subsection and does not include:

    (A) Available School Fund (ASF) funds;

    (B) any FSP funds designated for the facilities programs provided for under the TEC, Chapter 46;

    (C) any funds designated for the charter school credit enhancement program provided for under the TEC, Chapter 45, Subchapter J; or

    (D) any federal funds, including federal funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

  (4) Before approving school district bonds for credit enhancement under the SDBEP, the commissioner must:

    (A) make the determination described in paragraph (3) of this subsection;

Cont'd...

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