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    Correspondence for Charter Schools
  • October 31, 2017

    Posted by Business Center on 10/31/2017

    1. Upcoming LEA Deadline: Title I, Part A Comparability of Services Requirement for the 2017–2018 school year

    LEAs that receive Title I, Part A funding are required to document their compliance with the Title I, Part A comparability of services requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

    LEAs must complete and submit to TEA the Comparability Assurance Document (CAD).

    • LEAs that do not meet one of the defined exemption criteria must also complete and submit to TEA the Comparability Computation Form (CCF).

    The deadline for submitting the CAD, and CCF if applicable, is November 30, 2017

    The TEA correspondence can be found at:LEA Deadline

    2. Cyber Alert: DHS Issues Binding Operational Directive on Kaspersky Products

    On Sept. 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 17-01 directing federal agencies to remove/discontinue use of products, solutions, and services provided by AO Kaspersky Lab or related entities.

    TEA Recommendation:  Considering the high volume of sensitive student information collected, the Texas Education Agency is recommending ESCs and LEAs follow the guidance in the federal directive. FERPA generally requires that student data be kept in a secure environment.  See 20 U.S.C. §1232(g) and 34 C.F.R. part 99. 

    The TEA correspondence can be found at: Cyber Alert

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  • October 3, 2017

    Posted by Business Center on 10/3/2017

    Note: Omar has recently updated the SOF template and we have included the information regarding this release below from http://www4.esc13.net/finance/.

    The new release (Release 5 dated 9/29/17) incorporates the Additional State Aid for Property Value Decline and the Hardship Grant amounts recently calculated by TEA, as well as other minor adjustments (see Notes tab).  As always, please stay tuned for any new developments.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 27, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 9/27/2017

    TEA recently released the information on the Financial Hardship and Rapid Decline in Tax Value of Property grants under TEC 42.451 and 42.2521:

    All districts eligible for funding under this statute will receive a payment in the amount of the Hardship Grant in October 2017.

    • The calculation detail for the DPV Decline Adjustments can be found on the 2016–2017 Summary of Finances under the new detail report entitled Additional State Aid for Property Value Decline. All districts eligible for funding under this statute will receive a payment in the amount of the DPV Decline Adjustment in September 2017.
    • Because Sec. 42.451(d) provides that a district is not eligible to receive both a Hardship Grant and a DPV Decline Adjustment, in cases where districts would have been eligible to receive funding under both statutes, the TEA has calculated both amounts and selected the calculation that delivered the greatest amount of funds.
    • The Commissioner’s decision regarding the calculation of these amounts is final and may not be appealed (See TEC Sec. 42.2521(c) and TEC Sec. 42.459).

    A detailed list of awarded amounts and information can be found at the link to this TEA correspondence:

    Tax Value of Property

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  • September 19, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 9/19/2017
    1. Submitting Crisis Code Data through TSDS PEIMS and PEIMS School Start Window

    To better support those LEAs enrolling students that have relocated due to Hurricane Harvey, TEA is asking that LEAs submit data through the TSDS PEIMS Summer 1 collection by close of business every Friday starting Friday, September 22, 2017, when enrolling students with Crisis Code 05.

    Detailed instructions for this TEA correspondence can be found at:

    Crisis Code Data

    1. Adjustments for average daily attendance (ADA) and certain funding issues due to Hurricane Harvey

    Charters schools that are providing educational services to displaced students because of the disaster should consider the TEA guidance as follows:

    Charters with Potential Enrollment Losses

    During the 2017–2018 school year, many school districts and charter schools may experience losses in ADA due to Hurricane Harvey. For charter schools it is current practice for TEA to update LPE estimates throughout the year based on attendance submissions, therefore this could negatively impact cash flows for charter schools that are experiencing a loss in enrollment. Any affected charter schools should contact Dina Black at (512) 463-9531 or at Dina.Black@tea.texas.gov to seek alternate arrangements.

    Charters Enrolling Displaced Students

    Charters that experience an increase in enrollment of at least 10 percent displaced students or of at least 30 displaced students may report this increased enrollment and estimated average daily attendance (ADA) to the State Funding Division for purposes of increasing their 2017–2018 LPE payments. Charters may report only the increased enrollment and estimated ADA that is due to students who were displaced by Hurricane Harvey and were assigned a Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) Crisis Code of “05” upon enrollment.

    Charters must complete the form attached on the TEA Correspondence page, including the date and signature of the superintendent of the district, to be processed. The form includes instructions for submitting this information.

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    ADA Hurricane Harvey

    1. Travel and Mileage Reimbursement 

    The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has published the travel and mileage reimbursement rates to be effective September 1, 2017, through August 31, 2018, as summarized below:

    • The automobile mileage reimbursement rate is 53.5 cents per mile.
    • The meal reimbursement rate for overnight travel is listed by city on the federal per diem rate map. If the city you are traveling to is not listed, use the daily rate for the county. If the county to which you are traveling is not listed, use the current maximum daily reimbursement rate of $51.
    • The meal reimbursement rate for non-overnight travel is up to $36.
    • Lodging reimbursement rates for in-state and out-of-state travel are listed on the federal per diem rate map. If the city you are traveling to is not listed, use the daily rate for the county. If the county to which you are traveling is not listed, use the applicable maximum daily reimbursement rate:
      • From September 1–30, 2017, up to $91 for in-state or out-of-state lodging.
      • From October 1, 2017, through August 31, 2018, up to $93 for in-state or out-of-state lodging.

    The mileage, lodging, and meal rules and reimbursement rates published by the comptroller apply to all grants that TEA administers for individuals on travel status. See the attached guidelines for summarized travel information and for detailed travel rules and reimbursement rate information, visit the Texas State Comptroller’s website.  

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    Mileage_Reimbursement

     

    1. School Health and Related Services (SHARS) Reporting Requirement

    All LEAs that received IDEA-B grant funding in the 2016–2017 school year must submit the SHARS Reimbursement Report Survey, regardless of whether they received SHARS reimbursements.

    TEA has developed a SHARS Reimbursement Report Survey to collect this information and is also available from the SHARS and IDEA-B LEA MOE Guidance page of the TEA website.

    Refer to these SHARS survey instructions for information on how to access and submit the survey by the October 31, 2017, deadline.

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    SHARS

      

    1. 2017-2018 Preliminary Summary of Finances (SOF) – Updated to include the changes to funding formulas authorized with the passage of Senate Bill 1, House Bill 21, House Bill 1081 and Senate Bill 195, 85th Texas Legislature, 2017, and the Regular and 1st Called Sessions.

    Revised Formula Elements

    • an increased guaranteed yield for Tier 2 level 1 (from $74.28 to $99.41)
    • a preliminary available school fund rate of $206.566 (The rate is subject to change during the fiscal year)

    Financial Hardship Grants:  To be released this fall. Eligibility will be determined by TEA. Districts do not need to apply to TEA to receive a grant.

    New Instructional Facilities Allotment (NIFA): House Bill 1081, 85th Texas Legislature, increased the amount the NIFA program can provide up to $1,000 per student in average daily attendance (ADA) in an eligible new campus in the first year of operation and up to $1,000 per each additional ADA in the second year of operation to help with any start-up costs associated with opening a new campus. Deadline for application this year is December 29. Program information can be found on the NIFA web page.

    Transportation Hazardous Traffic and High Risk of Violence Areas: Senate Bill 195, 85th Texas Legislature expands hazardous funding to include areas within two miles that are at high risk for violence if students walk to and from school.

    Updates to Data used for Summary of Finance: The TEA correspondence letter lists other updates and information that is used in the calculation of the SOF. They include student counts, tax collections, EDA and IFA, transportation and staff salary, and a suggestion to use a state aid funding template when calculating your allotments.

    Please review the entire TEA correspondence in reference to this information at:

    SOF

    1. 2017–2018 Significant Expansion of Enrollment

    Open-enrollment charter schools that have been awarded 2017–2018 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA-B) federal grants may qualify for additional funding under these grants if they meet specific criteria defining significant expansion of enrollment.
    Significant Expansion of Enrollment Criteria for ESSA - To claim significant expansion of enrollment for ESSA, your open-enrollment charter school must meet both the following criteria based on the newly-expanded enrollment:

    • A minimum total student enrollment of 300
    • At least a 50% increase in the ages 5–17 student enrollment from previously-reported student counts

    Significant Expansion of Enrollment Criteria for IDEA-B - To claim significant expansion of enrollment for IDEA-B, your open-enrollment charter school must meet both the following criteria based on the newly-expanded enrollment:

    • A minimum total student enrollment of 50
    • At least a 50% increase in the total student enrollment from previously-reported student counts

    Timeline for Form Submission and Additional Funding -You may submit the reopened SC5050 as soon as the 2017–2018 school year begins. The final date for submitting the SC5050 is January 31, 2018.  Any additional grant funding becomes available for either the 2017–2018 or 2018–2019 school year, depending on when you submit the updated SC5050.

    Date of Certified Submission

    Funding Availability

    By November 1, 2017

    2017–2018 school year final amounts

    November 2, 2017, to January 31, 2018

    2018–2019 school year planning amounts

     Please review the entire TEA correspondence in reference to this information at:

    http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/2017–2018_Significant_Expansion_of_Enrollment—Open-Enrollment_Charter_Schools_Only/

    Comments (-1)
  • September 6, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 9/6/2017

    To assist school districts and charter schools in complying with House Bill (HB) 2442 while developing their 2018-2019 school year calendars over the coming months, TEA has listed significant updates that they will propose in rule for the 2018-2019 school year.

     

    1. Changes to Staff Development and Early Release Waivers for 2018-2019 and Beyond

    Early Release Waivers

    • Early Release waivers are no longer necessary.
    • Early Release waivers previously approved for the 2018-2019 school year are rescinded.
    • Effective for the 2018-2019 school year, the agency will no longer offer Early Release waivers.

     Staff Development Waivers

    • Due to the change to minutes of operation made by HB 2442, all existing, approved Staff Development waivers for the 2018-2019 school year are rescinded. 
    • Effective with the 2018-2019 school year, the agency will offer a new Staff Development waiver that provides for a maximum of 2,100 total waiver minutes to use for professional development.
    • Each district and open-enrollment charter school may choose how to apply their approved Staff Development waiver minutes each year.
    • Waiver minutes are for staff development in place of student instruction.
    • On staff development days when students are in attendance part of the day, in order to receive full ADA funding, the district or open-enrollment charter school must provide at least 120 minutes of student instruction.

    Detailed information about each of these waivers can be found at the TEA correspondence page:

    TEA Waiver info

     

    1. Minutes of Operation - Updates to House Bill (HB) 2442 for the 2018-2019 School Year: 

     Effective in the 2018–2019 school year, HB 2442 repealed the seven-hour (420 minutes) school day requirement from Texas Education Code (TEC), §25.082; allowing school districts to adopt a shortened school day. However, as noted under the Funding section of this letter, school districts and charter schools failing to meet HB 2442 minutes requirements may be subject to a reduction of their full ADA for the year.

    Requirements for Full Funding at Most School District and Open-Enrollment Charter Schools

    • To receive full ADA funding (and avoid a reduction of funding), school districts, including Districts of Innovation and open-enrollment charter schools must:
    1. provide 75,600 operational minutes along with any applicable waivers; and
    2. provide instructional minute requirements in accordance with the proposed 2017–2018 SAAH, two-hour rule for half-day funding or four-hour rule for full-day funding.
    • To receive full-one-half ADA for half-day prekindergarten programs, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools must provide 32,400 instructional minutes along with any applicable waivers.

     Requirements for Full Funding in Special Cases

    • Full ADA funding will also be provided to entities meeting any of the following requirements: 
    1. Dropout recovery campus(es) or program(s) operating under TEC, §12.1141(c) or §39.0548; school program(s) and campus(es) located at a day treatment facility, a residential treatment facility, a psychiatric hospital, a medical hospital, a correctional facility; or a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) providing 43,200 instructional minutes with any applicable waivers.  
    2. Open-enrollment charter schools granted a charter before January 1, 2015, and satisfying the relevant ADA requirements in effect immediately prior to January 1, 2015, (e.g., provide 180 days of attendance with a minimum of four hours of instructional time per day) with any applicable waivers and complying with their charter contract terms regarding student instruction time. 
    3. Open-enrollment charter campuses approved by the commissioner after January 1, 2015, belonging to open-enrollment charter schools referenced above and meeting academic accountability requirements.
    • Satisfying funding requirements does not relieve an open-enrollment charter school from the terms of its contract and any changes must be reflected in a commissioner-approved amendment.
    • Adult High School and Industry Certification charter school pilots providing 43,200 instructional minutes will receive the appropriated funding as provided by TEC, §29.259.

     TEA Assistance to Avoid Funding Reductions
    Please note that if required operational and/or instructional minutes/days listed above and in the 2018–2019 SAAH are not followed, funding will be reduced for your school district or open-enrollment charter school.  If needed, contact TEA for a calendar review/consultation if necessary.

     Attendance

    • Districts and charter schools must continue to follow the rules in the SAAH.  The 2018–2019 SAAH will be modified by rule in the coming months to include these changes.
    • Student attendance will continue to be captured during the designated official attendance taking time as required by the SAAH and/or determined by your local policy.
    • Please note, the 2-through-4-hour rule is still in effect for attendance purposes.
    • Students eligible to participate in the Optional Flexible School Day Program (OFSDP) will receive full funding if they comply with TEC, §29.0822, and applicable rules.

    Additional information on this TEA correspondence can be found at:

    Minutes of Operation

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  • August 29, 2017

    Posted by Susan Morris on 8/29/2017
    1. Culmination of the 2016-2017 High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant

    The High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant closes on August 31, 2017. Charters are encouraged to complete their compliance documentation, financial obligations and submit corresponding data by close of the grant.

    Please note the following dates:

    • August 31, 2017 - Last day to obligate any HQPG funds to any activity or supplies
    • October 2, 2017 – Last day to submit a final expenditure report
    • November 1, 2017 - Last day to submit a revised final expenditure report(s)

    You can view the amount awarded and remaining amount of HQPG funding per grantee at the TEA correspondence:

    http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Culmination_of_the_2016-17_High-Quality_Prekindergarten_Grant/

    1. Financial Hardship Transition Program 

     House Bill 21 (85th Legislature, 1st Called Session) established a Financial Hardship Transition Program under Texas Education Code 42.451 (“Hardship Grants”). TEA is in process of determining eligibility and calculating the Hardship Grant amounts. All eligible districts under the legislation will receive a grant award and do not need to apply to TEA to receive a grant. TEA will release a letter in early fall with more information and anticipates being able to award grants by no later than December 2017.

    For questions related to these grants, please call Al McKenzie, Director of State Funding, at (512) 463-9186.

     The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Financial_Hardship_Transition_Program/

      

    1. Proposed 2017-2018 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) 

    TEA has posted the posted proposed versions of the 2017-2018 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) and the 2017-2018 SAAH Change Document on their website:

    http://tea.texas.gov/Finance_and_Grants/Financial_Compliance/Student__Attendance_Accounting_Handbook/

    The web page will be updated with the final adopted versions of the documents in the near future and TEA will announce when the final adopted versions of the documents are posted.

    Comments (-1)
  • June 23, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 6/23/2017

    1. Risk assessment level for school year 2017–2018 (fiscal year 2018)

    As a pass-through entity, TEA awards federal grant funds to eligible sub-recipients, ISDs and open enrollment charters, and is required to “evaluate each sub-recipient’s risk of noncompliance with federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the sub-award for purposes of determining the appropriate sub-recipient monitoring.” 

    TEA has assigned all LEAs a risk level for the 2017–2018 school, which is available for viewing through a TEASE or TEAL account.

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    Risk Assessment Level

    2. School Year 2015–2016 (FY 2016) Final IDEA-B LEA MOE Compliance Reviews

    TEA has posted the final Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B (IDEA-B) local educational agency (LEA) maintenance of effort (MOE) compliance reviews for school year 2015–2016 in the GFFC Reports and Data Collections secure application through a TEASE or TEAL account.

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    LEA MOE Compliance Reviews

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  • June 14, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 6/14/2017

    2017 Tax Information Survey (TIS)

    The 2017 Tax Information Survey opened at the beginning of this month and will be open through the month of August.  Once tax collections are finalized, the amounts can be submitted to TEA through the FSP System under a TEASE account. 

    If tax collections are submitted by the deadline on August 31st, the collection amounts will be included in the 2016–2017 near-final Summary of Finances (SOF) estimates in September 2017. Otherwise, tax collections from a district’s J1 schedule of its annual financial report will not be incorporated in the 2016–2017 SOF until April 2018.  Additionally, a district can request an adjustment to its 2016-2017 compressed rate in the survey, if beneficial.

    For help with accessing the FSP System or submitting the 2017 TIS, please contact Nancy Kuhn by phone (512) 463-6313 or by email nancy.kuhn@tea.texas.gov or State Funding by phone (512) 463-9238 or by email sfinance@tea.state.tx.us.

    Comments (-1)
  • June 5, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 6/5/2017
    1. Updates to New EDGAR FAQ Now Available

    An updated version of the New EDGAR FAQ is now available on The New EDGAR page of the TEA website.

     This version addresses recently asked questions and changes made at the federal level to questions 7.1, 7.36, 9.8 and a new question 7.41. Appendix 1 has been updated with this information as well.

    7.1 – Clarifications on the thresholds and the LEA’s responsibility for each type of purchase.

    7.36 – Reviews the LEA’s responsibility in ensuring that a purchasing cooperative is compliant.

    7.41 – Notes that it is up to the individual LEA to perform a cost analysis when the purchasing cooperative is not fully compliant with EDGAR.

    9.8 – Updates the response to confirm how long LEAs should maintain federal grant records (5 years)

     For further information, please email grants@tea.texas.gov.

    1. Instructional Material Allotment Updates

    Changes and Reminders for Allowable IMA Expenses

    With the revision of TAC Chapter 66 rules, the agency has determined that the approval of some disbursement requests might have changed on the following items:

     Based on the definition of instructional materials, online dual-credit tuition is allowable.

    • The portion of learning management systems (LMSs) that are used to provide access to instructional materials are allowable. Charters will need to determine what that portion is.
    • The portion of single-sign-on services that are used to provide access to instructional materials are allowable. Charters will need to determine what that portion is.
    • Inventory and tracking software is not allowable.
    • Student information systems (SISs) are not allowable.

     High Enrollment Growth

    As a result of changes to administrative rules, charter schools will no longer need to apply for a high-enrollment-growth adjustment.  TEA will make these adjustments automatically based on actual enrollment growth and available funding. Once new PEIMS snapshot data is confirmed (February of each year), the charters with the highest growth will receive an adjustment to their IMAs.

    1. NIFA Online Application is Now Open

    The New Instructional Facility Allotment (NIFA) application is now open and is available to charter schools. The recent correspondence letter describes the allotment amounts, explains the eligibility criteria and application process, and spells out the NIFA payments process if approved.

    Applications must be submitted electronically by July 17, 2017.

     If you have any questions related to the NIFA or the NIFA application, please contact Cassie Huggins by phone at (512) 463-9232 or by email at Cassie.Huggins@tea.texas.gov.

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/NIFA_Online_Application_is_Now_Open/

    1. Competitive Letter of Interest (LOI) for Physical Fitness Character Education Expansion Pilot Grant Program

    TEA is preparing to award Physical Fitness Character Education Expansion Pilot grants to Texas public schools. The grant is intended to provide funding for middle or junior high schools and the high school campuses they feed into to expand a physical fitness character education program to additional campuses within a district currently implementing the program. Additional information on eligible applicants and the application process can be found at

     Interested applicants are asked to complete the application by Friday, June 23, 2017.

    Additional information on eligible applicants and the application process can be found at the TEA correspondence in reference to this information:

    http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Competitive_Letter_of_Interest_(LOI)_for_Physical_Fitness_Character_Education_Expansion_Pilot_Grant_Program/

     Tuition Limits under the TEC §25.0031

    TEA has provided the updates to the tuition limit for each charter school for the 2017–2018 school year based on Senate Bill 453, passed during the 83rd Texas Legislature, under §25.0031 of the Texas Education Code (TEC).

     This new section requires a charter school to accept tuition from a student who is required to pay tuition as a condition of holding a visa. Charter schools may not charge more than the commissioner-determined tuition without permission from the commissioner.

    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at:

    http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Tuition_Limits_under_the_TEC,_%C2%A725_0031/

     

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  • May 24, 2017

    Posted by Business Office on 5/24/2017

    In case you missed it, Thomas Canby from TASBO recently published updates on the implementation period for Federal Procurement Standards. The link to his posting can be found at:

    Thomas Canby Blog

     

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