AIE(LEGAL) - ACCOUNTABILITY: INVESTIGATIONS
The commissioner may authorize a special investigation:
- When excessive numbers of absences of students eligible to be tested on state assessment instruments are determined;
- When excessive numbers of allowable exemptions from the required state assessment are determined;
- In response to complaints to TEA of alleged violations of civil rights or other requirements imposed on the state by federal law or court order;
- In response to established compliance reviews of the district's financial accounting practices and state and federal reporting requirements;
- When extraordinary numbers of student placements in disciplinary alternative education programs, other than placements under Education Code 37.006 and 37.007, are determined;
- In response to an allegation involving a conflict between members of the board or between the board and the district administration if it appears that the conflict involves a violation of a role or duty of the board members or the administration clearly defined by the Education Code. If TEA's findings indicate the board has observed a lawfully adopted policy, TEA may not substitute its judgment for that of the board;
- When excessive numbers of students in special education programs are assessed through modified assessment instruments;
- In response to an allegation regarding, or an analysis using a statistical method result indicating, a possible violation of an assessment instrument security procedure;
- When a significant pattern of decreased academic performance has developed as a result of the promotion in the preceding two school years of students who did not perform satisfactorily on the state assessments;
- When excessive numbers of students eligible to enroll fail to complete an Algebra II course or any other advanced course as determined by the commissioner;
- When resource allocation practices indicate a potential for significant improvement in resource allocation;
- When a disproportionate number of students of a particular demographic group is graduating with a particular endorsement;
- When an excessive number of students is graduating with a particular endorsement;
- When a school district for any reason fails to produce, at the request of TEA, evidence or an investigation report relating to an educator who is under investigation by the State Board for Educator Certification;
- When ten percent or more of the students graduating in a particular school year from a particular high school campus are awarded a diploma based on the determination of an individual graduation committee under Education Code 28.0258;
- In response to a complaint with respect to alleged inaccurate data that is reported through PEIMS or through other reports required by state or federal law or rule or court order and that is used by TEA to make a determination relating to public school accountability, including accreditation, under Education Code Chapter 39;
- In response to repeated complaints concerning imposition of excessive paperwork requirements on classroom teachers; or
- As the commissioner otherwise determines necessary.
The commissioner may authorize special investigations to be conducted in response to repeated complaints submitted to the agency concerning imposition of excessive paperwork requirements on classroom teachers.
Education Code 39.003(a), (c)
TEA shall adopt written procedures for conducting special accreditation investigations, including procedures that allow TEA to obtain information from district employees in a manner that prevents a district or campus from screening the information. Education Code 39.004
Note: The procedures for conducting a special investigation, holding a hearing following an investigation, the process for commissioner determinations, and judicial appeal are described in Education Code 39.004–.007.
Based on the results of a special investigation, the commissioner may:
- Take appropriate action under Education Code Chapter 39A, [see AIC];
- Lower the district's accreditation status or a district's or campus's performance rating; or
- Take action under both items 1 and 2 above.
Education Code 39.003(d)
At any time before issuing a report with the TEA's final findings, the commissioner may defer taking the above action until:
- A person who is a third party, selected by the commissioner, has reviewed programs or other subjects of a special investigation and submitted a report identifying problems and proposing solutions;
- A district completes a corrective action plan developed by the commissioner; or
- The completion of actions under both items 1 and 2 above.
Education Code 39.003(e)
Based on the results of an action taken above, the commissioner may decline to take the deferred action. Education Code 39.003(f)
In accordance with Education Code 7.028(a), TEA may monitor compliance with requirements applicable to a process or program provided by a district, campus, or program, only as necessary to ensure:
- Compliance with federal law and regulations;
- Financial accountability, including compliance with grant requirements;
- Data integrity for purposes of:
- The Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS); and
- Accountability under Education Code Chapter 39 and 39A; and
- Qualification for funding under Chapter 48.
The board has primary responsibility for ensuring that the district complies with all applicable requirements of state educational programs.
Education Code 7.028
Compliance Monitoring Activities
Districts are subject to general supervision and monitoring activities for compliance with state law and federal regulation and review of program implementation and effectiveness within certain special populations of students.
Activities may include:
- Random, targeted, or cyclical reviews authorized under Education Code 39.056 (monitoring reviews), conducted remotely or on-site to identify problems implementing state and federal requirements and to provide support for development of reasonable and appropriate strategies to address identified problems; and/or
- Intensive or special investigative remote or on-site reviews authorized under Education Code 39.057 (redesignated to Education Code 39.003, special investigations).
Activities described in item 1, above, are applicable for compliance with requirements for reading diagnosis in Education Code 28.006 [see EKC] and dyslexia and related disorders in Education Code 38.003 and 19 Administrative Code 74.28 [see EHB].
19 TAC 97.1071(a)–(b)
TEA shall give written notice to the superintendent and the board of trustees of any impending monitoring review. Education Code 39.056(d)
Conducting the Review
A monitoring review may include desk reviews and on-site visits, including random on-site visits. In conducting a monitoring review, TEA may obtain information from administrators, other district employees, parents of students enrolled in the district, and other persons as necessary. Education Code 39.056(c), (g)
Converting to a Special Investigation
The commissioner may at any time convert a monitoring review to a special investigation under Education Code 39.003, provided the commissioner promptly notifies the district of the conversion. Education Code 39.056(h)
TEA shall report in writing to the superintendent and president of the board and shall make recommendations concerning any necessary improvements or sources of aid such as regional education service centers. A district that takes action with regard to the recommendations provided by TEA shall make a reasonable effort to seek assistance from a third party in developing an action plan to improve district performance using improvement techniques that are goal-oriented and research-based. Education Code 39.056(e)–(f)
A decision by the commissioner under Education Code Chapter 39 or 39A is final and may not be appealed unless an applicable provision of Chapter 39 or 39A provides otherwise. Education Code 39A.906 [See AIC]