Texas Register Preamble

On November 17, 2000, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) proposed amendments to §§228.1, 228.10, and 228.30, repeal of §§228.2, 228.20, 228.40, and 228.60 and new §228.2, relating to requirements for Educator Preparation Programs.

The purpose of the proposed new rules, conforming amendments, and repeals is to establish the Transitional Permit, which collapses the various types of permits and nonstandard certificates into a single temporary permit. The proposed new rule and accompanying changes to existing rules include the following major provisions: The proposed Transitional Permit rules are results oriented. Permit holders must pass a test demonstrating proficiency in the subject they are assigned to teach within one year to continue teaching. They also must pass tests demonstrating teaching skills and knowledge of students by the end of the third year. The proposed measure enhances local control by allowing school superintendents more flexibility to target the district's specific needs in hiring people who need only to be trained to teach subjects they already know. This will attract a new group of people into teaching, particularly mid-career changers. The proposed rules and amendments also simply the permit structure by consolidating emergency permits, one-year and probationary certificates into one credential. This consolidation ensures that all permit holders meet the same standards.

The new Transitional Permit rules strengthen and expand the mentoring requirement for permit holders. The new rule requires that all teachers on transitional permits receive mentoring from an experienced teacher who has demonstrated excellence in teaching. Current rules require mentoring only for emergency permit holders. The proposed rule also requires school districts to provide time for mentoring. This provision ensures that all permit holders have a solid mentoring and support system. Transitional Permit holders would be required to enter an educator preparation program within 180 calendar days of the effective date of the permit (in most cases, the start of the school year).

The current statutory requirements relating to parental notification of uncertified or inappropriately certified teachers serving in the classroom would not be affected by the proposed new rules and amendments. The new permit will require parental notification in the same circumstances as now exist for current temporary credentials.

The first new Transitional Permit would be issued beginning June 1, 2001. The proposed rules include transition language that would phase out existing provisions regarding the issuance of emergency permits and other types of temporary credentials. Holders of previously issued emergency permits and other temporary credentials, however, would be allowed to continue under them until they expire in accordance with current rules, as if they had not been repealed.

The proposed conforming amendments would delete current emergency permit provisions for classroom teachers and amend rules governing the certification of educators from other states and countries to conform with the new Transitional Permit rules.

Barry Alaimo, Director of Accounting and Financial Operations, has determined that the for the first five-year period the sections are in effect the fee for the Transitional Permit would remain the same, $75, as it is for the emergency permit. The $75 fee would be a $25 increase for the other temporary credentials the Transitional Permit is intended to replace-the probationary certificate for persons in alternative certification programs and the one-year certificate for educators from out of state. Unlike the emergency permit, the Transitional Permit would not be renewable, but SBEC does not now charge a fee to renew an emergency permit. SBEC charges a renewal fee for the probationary certificate and the one-year certificate, but the $75 fee should cover any revenue lost as a result of not charging renewal fees on these temporary credentials. To the extent any related fiscal impact can be assessed at this time, implementation of the transitional permit should not significantly affect the revenues or expenditures of SBEC.

Dan Junell, General Counsel, State Board for Educator Certification, has determined that for the first five years the sections are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcing the sections will be that the Transitional Permit would achieve the following goals: focusing teacher training on the immediate needs of public school students; ensuring that the transitional permit holder has a positive beginning teaching experience through a quality mentoring and support system, thereby increasing the likelihood the teacher will stay in the profession and provide public school students the benefit of having an experienced teacher; and providing school districts with the flexibility to hire quality individuals with subject matter knowledge and life experiences relevant to the needs of the students and the teaching assignment.

The public should incur no additional costs as a result of the implementation of the proposed rules. There will be no effect on small businesses.

Interested persons wishing to comment on the proposed rules must submit their comments in writing to Dan Junell, General Counsel, State Board for Educator Certification, 1001 Trinity, Austin, Texas 78701-2603, within the 30-day comment period, which begins on the date of publication of this issue of the Texas Register. The comments should contain the following title or reference: "Comments on Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 233 and Conforming Amendments related to the new Transitional Permit."

The amendments and new section are proposed under the Texas Education Code (TEC) §21.044, which requires the Board to establish training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate; TEC §21.045, which requires the Board to propose rules establishing standards to govern the approval and continuing accountability of all educator preparation programs; TEC §21.047, which requires the Board to provide Centers for the Professional Development of Teachers; and TEC §21.049, which directs the Board to provide alternative routes to certification.

No other statute, article, or code is affected by this proposal.

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