Correspondence for Charter Schools
  • Sept 5, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 9/9/2019


    1. Preliminary 2019-2020 Summary of Finance


    The summary of finances (SOF) report for 2019-2020 located on the School District State Aid Reports webpage has been updated to reflect changes related to the passage of House Bill (HB) 3. The new foundation school fund and ASF allotment will be used to issue the first payments in September, with ongoing updates to add detail to the SOF report. More detailed correspondence is forthcoming in a TEA letter explaining the funding elements and estimates used in the preliminary 2019–2020 SOF report.


    1. Recently added HB 3 Information


    The FAQ’s have been updated as of 09/03/19 with new information. In addition to the HB 3 in 30 video series, some of the recent correspondence letters include:


    • Gifted/Talented Certification and Funding
    • Charter School Funding
    • Special Education/Dyslexia – correspondence and video should be released today on this subject


    Additional correspondence on a variety of school finance topics is located on the HB 3 webpage. HB 3 questions can be sent to HB3info@tea.texas.gov.


    1. Census Block Group Tools


    HB 3 requires that Texas Local Education Agencies (LEAs) report a census block group number for each economically disadvantaged student. TEA has created two tools to determine this information: 1) Census Block Group Calculator with instructions on how to utilize it, and 2) the Census Clock Map. Both tools can be accessed at the TEA’s Census Block Group Tools website.


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  • August 27, 2018

    Posted by Business Center on 9/2/2019
    1. Updates to Program Intent Codes from HB 3


    Three new program intent codes (PICs) will be added to the 2019-2020 Texas Education Data Standards (TEDS) PEIMS Program Intent Code, code table (C147) effective with the 2019-2020 budget financial data submission and the 2020-2021 actual financial data submission. Also, the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG), will be updated in the guide’s next adoption to include the new PICs.


    NEW Program Intent Codes (PICs)




    Use of Funds


    Early Education Allotment

    Funds allocated must be used to fund programs and services designed to improve student performance in reading and mathematics in prekindergarten through third grade, including programs and services designed to assist the district in achieving the goals set in the district’s early childhood literacy and mathematics proficiency plans adopted under TEC Section 11.185.



    For each student that a school district serves who has been identified as having dyslexia or a related disorder under TEC Section 48.103.


    College, Career, and Military Readiness

    At least 55 percent of the funds allocated must be used in grades 8 through 12 to improve college, career, and military readiness outcomes as described by TEC Section 48.110, Subsection (f).



    LEAs will continue to use PICs for the Gifted and Talented (GT), and High School Allotments:


    • The GT - PIC 21 will be used to report the use of funds on the LEA’s program for gifted and talented as provided by State Board of Education rule.
    • The High School Allotment - PIC 31 will be used for funds left over from previous allotments that were allocated to LEAs to prepare high school students for higher education, encourage students to take advance academic course work, increase the rigor of academic course work, align secondary and postsecondary curriculum and support promising high school completion and success initiatives in grades 6 through 12.


    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at: http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Updates_to_Program_Intent_Codes


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  • Aug 8, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 8/12/2019
    1. Official Notification of Preliminary 2018-2019 Charter FIRST Ratings

     A preview of your charter school’s preliminary 2018–2019 Charter Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating is now available in the online. The ratings will be publicly announced, August 8, 2019. To access your charter school’s Charter FIRST rating:

    • access the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website: http://tea.texas.gov/,
    • click the Finance and Grants webpage tab link: http://tea.texas.gov/Finance_and_Grants/, 
    • click the Financial Accountability link,
    • click the Charter FIRST link, and
    • click the 2011—2012 and newer Charter School - Financial Accountability (Select Year from Dropdown) Ratings link.

    If your charter school wants to appeal an adverse issue it identifies in the preliminary rating, your charter school may submit a written appeal with supporting evidence to the Financial Accountability Section. For the appeal to be considered, TEA must receive it by September 9, 2019.

    If you have questions about your charter school’s Charter FIRST rating, please contact Rita Bunton at (512) 936-3712 or by email at Rita.Bunton@tea.texas.gov or Yolanda Walker at (512) 463-0947 or by email at Yolanda.Walker@tea.texas.gov.

    1. Instructional Materials Allotment for 2019-2020 and 2020-2021

    The 2020‒2021 technology and instructional materials allotment allocations for each open-enrollment charter school are now available at https://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=51539631497. The district allotment allocations are expected to be populated in EMAT, the state’s online ordering system, on August 2, 2019.

    Although the amounts will soon be available in EMAT, the actual funds will not be available until after September 1, 2019. Until that time, open enrollment charter schools may use unexpended funds (carry-over funds) for allotment expenditures, including newly adopted instructional materials, continuing contracts, technological equipment, and/or technology services.

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


    1. HB 3 Information

    In addition to the HB3 in 30 video series, some of the recent correspondence letters include:

    Stay tuned to the HB 3 website, as TEA has continued to push out new information regarding HB 3 weekly.


    1. SB 500 Implementation: Additional Funding for Special Education Services

    SB 500, Section 30(3)(C), provides an amount of $61,147,333 for special education funding under Strategy A.1.1., FSP – Equalized Operations, to be distributed for each full-time equivalent student in average daily attendance in a special education program, in proportion to the applicable weight for the student under the public school finance system.

    These amounts will be paid out by August 30, 2019 and will be delivered as a stand-alone payment to all affected LEAs outside of the Summary of Finances. LEAs should document as follows:

    • Record payments in the General Fund, under Object Code 5819, Other Foundation School Program Act Revenues
    • Record expenditures of these funds under Program Intent Code (PIC) 23, Services to Students with Disabilities (Special Education)

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



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  • June 25, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 6/25/2019

    TEA has launched a new web video series, “HB3 in 30.” Each video will feature, in roughly 30 minutes, an overview and detailed explanation of a specific provision in House Bill 3, as well as information on how TEA is working to implement applicable changes to public education required by this new legislation. Videos will be released every Thursday and will be accompanied by supporting documents available for download.

    The first video in the series, an overview of Budget Planning for Teacher Compensation, is scheduled for release on Thursday, June 27.

    A full schedule of weekly release dates, a summary of HB3, frequently asked questions, and implementation guidance for school districts can be found on the TEA House Bill 3 information site.

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  • June 20, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 6/20/2019
    1. New Expenditure Reporting Process


    A new Expenditure Reporting (ER) System Quick Reference Guide is available to assist subgrantees in using the ER system to request grant payments.

    Payment requests in “Saved/Not Certified” status must now be certified and submitted by the grantee’s authorized official within 10 business days from the date it was entered into the ER system. If a payment request is not certified and submitted by the tenth business day from the date it was entered, it will be automatically cancelled.

    Failure to certify and submit payment requests in a timely manner may increase the grantee’s likelihood of being selected for in-depth grant monitoring.

    Contact Information  For expenditure reporting questions, please contact the Grants Administration Division at 512-463-8525 or email your questions to TEAExpenditures@tea.texas.gov.


    1. 2019–2020 Indirect Cost Rates


    The Federal Fiscal Compliance and Reporting (FFCR) Division has published indirect cost rates for independent school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. These rates are effective July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020.

    You may find your indirect cost rates in either of two places:

    • The Indirect Cost Rates page of the TEA website lists 2019–2020 indirect cost rates for all independent school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.

    The GFFC Reports and Data Collections secure TEAL application includes a 2019–2020 Indirect Cost Rate Notification Letter for each independent school district and open-enrollment charter school.



    1. Risk assessment level for school year 2019–2020 (fiscal year 2020)


    TEA has assigned all LEAs a risk level for the 2019–2020 school year. You may learn your risk assessment level by accessing the GFFC Reports and Data Collections secure application, where you will find a letter for your organization.


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



    1. 2017-2018 Final Summary of Finances


    A final Summary of Finances (SOF) and other related reports for the 2017–2018 school year are now posted to the School Finance website of the Texas Education Agency (TEA). A final Summary of Finances (SOF) and other related reports for the 2017–2018 school year are now posted to the School Finance website of the Texas Education Agency (TEA). This includes the final student data as reported in PEIMS, audited tax collection from schedule J-1, and other final calculations by TEA.


    The TEA correspondence in reference to this information can be found at: 2018 SOF


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  • June 20, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 6/20/2019

    The ESC Region 11 Business Office has reached out to Rita Bunton at TEA to get some clarification on the new FIRST rating indicators and how they will be viewed in light of HB 3. We are always here to support you at the campus level and will continue to work on your behalf to provide additional information as it becomes available.


    Below is the question I asked Rita and her response to it:


    1. Due to the uncertainty on how current year values might or might not change during the year before certified by the Comptroller, how will the budgeted to actual revenue (indicator 10) be viewed?


    A: For indicator 10 for the 2020–2021 School FIRST rating year, I will review the preliminary points earned by each school district for indicator 10 and report the points/scores to management before the preliminary ratings are released. Management will then make the decision on any adjustments that may or may not need to be made to indicator 10 before the preliminary ratings are released. I have noted the concerns of school districts concerning using current values for the first time and how this may impact the points that they may receive on indicator 10.

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  • June 18, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 6/20/2019

    TEA has published a FAQ document in their HB 3 section of the website. Be sure to review the document frequently for updates on specific questions, including the 30% requirement, as it will be updated with additional guidance as it becomes available.



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  • June 12, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 6/20/2019

    Over the next several months, the agency will be releasing more To the Administrator Addressed (TAA) correspondence with additional information, as it becomes available. All TAA correspondence in reference to HB3 will be posted to their website at tea.texas.gov/HB3.   Below are the first three implementation notices sent to districts and charters:


    House Bill 3 (HB3) Implementation: Salary Increases


    House Bill 3 (HB3) Implementation: Tax rate compression


    Minimum Salary Schedule Increase pursuant to House Bill 3 (HB3)

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  • June 11, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 6/11/2019
      1. TEA Update on Summary of Finances

      The summary of finances (SOF) report for 2019-2020 located on the School District State Aid Reports webpage is based on current/old law. Given the magnitude of changes prescribed by HB3, it will be several months before the agency can put up a new report with all the new data fields and allotments. The foundation school fund allotment will be updated prior to the first payment in September, even if the SOF report is still being updated.

      1. Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities

      The GASB recently released GASB Statement No. 84, Fiduciary Activities, and subsequently released an Exposure Draft Implementation Guide. The Statement may affect how independent school districts and governmental charter schools report for any:

      • Pension (and other employee benefit) trust funds,
      • Investment trust funds,
      • Private-purpose trust funds, and
      • Custodial (formerly agency) funds.

      The statement establishes guidelines for identifying fiduciary activities and determining if these activities should be reported in the governmental funds financial statements (C1/C2) as a special revenue fund.

      The statement is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 or the fiscal 2019-2020 year.

      The TEA correspondence can be found at: GASB 84

      1. Request for Letters of Interest – Lone Star STEM Pilot Grant, Cycle 1, Year 1

      The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is actively seeking the participation of open-enrollment charter schools in the Lone Star STEM Pilot. Interested open-enrollment charter schools should submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) in the template included in Attachments 1 and 2 to TEA by June 20, 2019 at 5 p.m. CDT. The TEA correspondence requesting competitive Letters of Interest provides information on the initiative, requirements for participation, and steps to respond to the LOI request.  LOI Submissions are due by June 20, 2019.

      The TEA correspondence can be found at: STEM PilotGrant


      1. New Instructional Facility Allotment (NIFA); Online Application for Funding

       A recent TEA correspondence provides information about the New Instructional Facility Allotment (NIFA), available to public open-enrollment charter schools (charter schools). It describes the allotment, explains the eligibility criteria and application process, and spells out the NIFA payments process. Districts must apply online by July 15, 2019, to receive funding.


      The TEA correspondence can be found at: NIFA


      1. Travel Reimbursement Rates

       The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has published the travel and mileage reimbursement rates to be effective through August 31, 2019, as summarized below:

      • The automobile mileage reimbursement rate is 58 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 $55.
      • 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 current maximum daily reimbursement rate of $94.

      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.

      For detailed travel rules and reimbursement rate information, visit the Texas State Comptroller’s website at:  https://fmx.cpa.texas.gov/fmx/travel/textravel/rates/current.php

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  • May 22, 2019

    Posted by Business Center on 5/22/2019

    Not-for-Profit Charters Only

    Financial Accounting Standards Board Topic 958; ASU Update 2016-14

    A recent TEA correspondence provides guidance on new requirements for the presentations of financial statements and notes.  The new requirements apply to June 30, 2019, and August 31, 2019, fiscal year end annual financial reports for charter schools that have Not-For-Profit charters.   

    The new guidance:

    • Changes the presentation to two classes of net assets on the face of the statement of financial position (net assets with donor restrictions and net assets without donor restrictions) in place of the previously required three classes. 
      • Additional sub-categories of classes are not required to be presented on the statement of financial position.
    • Present the two classes of net assets on the statement of activities.
    • Present the statement of cash flows using the direct method with reconciliation to the indirect method.
    • Notes to the financial statements:
      • Present an analysis of expenses by both their natural classification and their functional classification.
      • Disclose the liquidity and availability of resources in the notes to the financial statements.
    • Apply all provisions to each year presented in the annual financial report. Apply those provisions retrospectively to the prior year if presenting comparative financial statements.

    State funds must be classified as net assets with donor restrictions until the funds are expended, pursuant to applicable statutes, regulations, and grant requirements as referred to in the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG). Capital assets purchased with state and federal funds must remain in net assets with donor restrictions.

    Additional information on this TEA correspondence can be found at: Financial Accounting Standards

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