|(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when
used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Institution of higher education--An institution
of higher education has the meaning assigned by the Texas Education
Code (TEC), §61.003.
(2) Optional Flexible School Day Program (OFSDP)--A
program approved by the commissioner of education to provide flexible
hours and days of attendance for eligible students in Grades 9-12,
as defined in §129.1027 of this title (relating to Optional Flexible
School Day Program).
(3) Pathways in Technology Early College High School
(P-TECH)--A public school established under the TEC, §29.553,
that enables a student in Grade 9, 10, 11, or 12 who is at risk of
dropping out, as defined by the TEC, §29.081, or who wishes to
accelerate completion of high school to combine high school courses
and college-level courses. A P-TECH program must provide for a course
of study that, on or before the sixth anniversary of a student's first
day of high school, enables a participating student to receive both
a high school diploma and a credential and/or an associate degree
and must include work-based education programs.
(4) P-TECH Blueprint--The document that outlines the
P-TECH requirements, including design elements and outcomes-based
(5) P-TECH program--The program established under the
(6) School district--For the purposes of this section,
the definition of school district includes an open-enrollment charter
(7) Work-based education program--An instructional
strategy that provides students with real-life work experiences to
apply academic and technical skills and develop employability. A work-based
education program is also known as work-based learning.
(b) Grants. Provisions of this subsection expire December
(1) The P-TECH grant program encourages school districts
and open-enrollment charter schools to open campuses implementing
the P-TECH model.
(2) Funds shall be distributed by the commissioner
on a competitive grant basis to be used by school districts on behalf
of campuses for the implementation of the P-TECH requirements designed
to increase the numbers of students graduating high school with postsecondary
credentials and work-based education.
(3) Each applicant seeking funding through the P-TECH
grant program under the TEC, §29.556, must submit an application
in a format prescribed by the commissioner through a request for applications.
(c) Application for designation of a P-TECH school.
(1) Applicant eligibility. A school district must submit
a separate application on behalf of each campus it requests to designate
as a P-TECH.
(2) Application process. A school district must submit
each application in accordance with the procedures determined by the
(d) Notification. The Texas Education Agency (TEA)
will notify each applicant of its selection or non-selection for designation.
(e) Conditions of P-TECH program operation.
(1) A school district operating a P-TECH program must
comply with all assurances and requirements in the grant and/or designation
(2) P-TECH designation is valid for a maximum of one
(3) A student enrolled in a P-TECH program on a granted
or designated P-TECH campus may not be required to pay for tuition,
fees, or required textbooks for any coursework or work-based education
experience. The school district or charter school in which the student
is enrolled shall pay for tuition, fees, and required textbooks, to
the extent those charges are not waived by the institution of higher
(4) The P-TECH program must be provided at no cost
to students enrolled on a granted or designated P-TECH campus.
(f) Incentives available to an approved P-TECH.
(1) Designation as a P-TECH will allow a campus to
access programs available to the college and career readiness models
(2) A designated P-TECH campus is eligible to apply
to participate in the OFSDP defined in §129.1027 of this title.
Each designated P-TECH campus must apply separately in accordance
with the TEC, §29.0822, and procedures established by the commissioner.
(3) A student enrolled at a P-TECH campus and participating
in the P-TECH program is not considered for accountability purposes
to have dropped out of high school or failed to complete the curriculum
requirements for high school graduation until after the sixth anniversary
of the date of the student's first day in high school.
(g) Evaluation of a designated P-TECH campus.
(1) The commissioner will establish specific evaluation
procedures prior to the beginning of each school year.
(2) Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, the commissioner
shall adopt measures, performance standards, and an appeals process.
Failure to meet the standards may result in sanctions under the TEC,
Chapter 39, including closure of the P-TECH program.
(3) Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, each designated
P-TECH may be required to submit information and required data to
the TEA each year in a manner and by a deadline specified by the commissioner.
This information must comply with the P-TECH measures and performance
standards set by the commissioner.
(h) Renewal or revocation of authority.
(1) In order to renew a P-TECH designation, a school
district must submit a separate renewal application on behalf of each
of its designated campuses each year.
(2) The commissioner may deny renewal or revoke the
authorization of a designated P-TECH program based on the following
(A) noncompliance with application assurances and/or
the provisions of this section;
(B) lack of program success as evidenced by progress
reports and program data;
(C) failure to meet performance standards specified
in the application and/or P-TECH Blueprint; or
(D) failure to provide accurate, timely, and complete
information as required by the TEA to evaluate the effectiveness of
the P-TECH program.
(3) A decision by the commissioner to deny renewal
as or revoke authorization of a P-TECH is final and may not be appealed.
(4) The commissioner may impose sanctions on a school
district as authorized by the TEC, Chapters 39 and 39A, for failure
to comply with the requirements of this section.