|(a) Definitions. The following definitions apply to
the new instructional facility allotment (NIFA) in accordance with
the Texas Education Code (TEC), §48.152.
(1) Instructional campus--A campus that:
(A) has its own unique campus ID number registered
with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), an assigned administrator,
enrolled students who are counted for average daily attendance, and
assigned instructional staff;
(B) receives federal and/or state and/or local funds
as its primary support;
(C) provides instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge
and Skills (TEKS);
(D) has one or more grade groups in the range from
early education through Grade 12; and
(E) is not a program for students enrolled in another
(2) Instructional facility--A real property, an improvement
to real property, or a necessary fixture of an improvement to real
property that is used predominantly for teaching the curriculum required
by the TEC, §28.002.
(3) New instructional facility--A facility that includes:
(A) a newly constructed instructional facility, which
is a new instructional campus built from the ground up;
(B) a repurposed instructional facility, which is a
facility that has been renovated to become an instructional facility
for the first time for the applying school district or charter school;
(C) a leased facility operating for the first time
as an instructional facility for the applying school district or charter
school with a minimum lease term of not less than 10 years. The lease
must not be a continuation of or renegotiation of an existing lease
for an instructional facility.
(b) Eligibility. The following eligibility criteria
apply to the NIFA in accordance with the TEC, §48.152.
(1) Both school districts and open-enrollment charter
schools are eligible to apply for the NIFA for eligible facilities.
(2) The facility for which NIFA funds are requested
must meet the following requirements.
(A) The facility must qualify as an instructional campus
and a new instructional facility used for teaching the curriculum
required by the TEC, Chapter 28.
(B) To qualify for first-year funding, a new facility
must not have been occupied in the prior school year. To qualify for
follow-up funding, the facility must have been occupied for the first
time in the prior school year and funded for the NIFA for that first
year. If an instructional facility qualifies as a new instructional
facility but did not receive the allotment in the first year of eligibility
due to a failure to apply, the school district or open-enrollment
charter school may still apply for and receive funding for the average
daily attendance (ADA) earned only during the second year of occupation
in the new instructional facility.
(C) With the exception of a covered walkway connecting
the new facility to another building, the new facility must be physically
separate from other existing school structures.
(D) If the applicant is an open-enrollment charter
school, the facility must be a charter school site approved for instructional
use in the original open-enrollment charter as granted by either the
State Board of Education or the commissioner of education or in an
amendment granted under §100.1033(b)(9)-(11) of this title (relating
to Charter Amendment), as described in §100.1001(3)(D) of this
title (relating to Definitions).
(3) Expansion or renovation of existing instructional
facilities, as well as portable and temporary structures, are not
eligible for the NIFA.
(c) Application process. To apply for the NIFA, school
districts and open-enrollment charter schools must complete the TEA's
online application process requesting funding pursuant to the NIFA.
(1) The initial (first-year) application, or an application
for one-year funding only, must be submitted electronically no later
than July 15. The application must include the following:
(A) the electronic submission of the TEA's online application
for initial funding; and
(B) the electronic submission of the following materials:
(i) a brief description and photograph of the newly
constructed, repurposed, or leased instructional facility;
(ii) a copy of a legal document that clearly describes
the nature and dates of the new or repurposed construction or a copy
of the applicable lease;
(iii) a site plan;
(iv) a floor plan; and
(v) if applicable, a demolition plan.
(2) Second-year applications require only the electronic
submission of the TEA's online application for follow-up funding no
later than July 15 of the year preceding the applicable school year.
(d) Survey on days of instruction. In the fall of the
school year after a school year for which an applicant received NIFA
funds, the school district or open-enrollment charter school that
received the funds must complete an online survey on the number of
instructional days held in the new facility and submit the completed
survey electronically. The TEA will use submitted survey information
in determining the final (settle-up) amount earned by each eligible
school district and open-enrollment charter school, as described in
subsection (e)(6) of this section.
(e) Costs and payments. The costs and payments for
the NIFA are determined by the commissioner.
(1) The allotment for the NIFA is a part of the cost
of the first tier of the Foundation School Program (FSP). This allotment
is not counted in the calculation of weighted average daily attendance
for the second tier of the FSP.
(2) If, for all eligible applicants combined, the total
cost of the NIFA exceeds the amount appropriated, each allotment is
reduced so that the total amount to be distributed equals the amount
appropriated. Reductions to allotments are made by applying the same
percentage adjustment to each school district and charter school.
(3) Allocations will be made in conjunction with allotments
for the FSP in accordance with the school district's or open-enrollment
charter school's payment class. For school districts that are subject
to the excess local revenue provisions under TEC, §48.257, and
do not receive payments from the Foundation School Fund, NIFA distributions
will be reflected as reduced recapture payments.
(4) For school districts that are subject to the excess
local revenue provisions under TEC, §48.257, NIFA distributions
increase the amount of the FSP entitlement and so will automatically
reduce any excess local revenue and reduce the requirement to send
recapture to the state in the amount of the NIFA allocation.
(5) For all school districts and open-enrollment charter
schools receiving the NIFA, a final (settle-up) amount earned is determined
by the commissioner when information reported through the survey described
in subsection (d) of this section is available in the fall of the
school year after the school year for which NIFA funds were received.
The final amount earned is determined using the submitted survey information
and final counts of ADA for the school year for which NIFA funds were
received, as reported through the Texas Student Data System Public
Education Information Management System.
(6) The amount of funds to be distributed for the NIFA
to a school district or open-enrollment charter school is in addition
to any other state aid entitlements.
(f) Ownership of property purchased with NIFA funds.
Property purchased with NIFA funds by an open-enrollment charter school
is presumed to be public property under the TEC, §12.128, and
remains public property in accordance with that section.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §61.1034 adopted to be effective January 3, 2000, 24 TexReg 12065; amended to be effective September 23, 2004, 29 TexReg 9184; amended to be effective January 2, 2012, 36 TexReg 9325; amended to be effective September 11, 2018, 43 TexReg 5773; amended to be effective March 23, 2020, 45 TexReg 1988