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  By: Kolkhorst  S.B. No. 1566
         (In the Senate - Filed March 8, 2017; March 21, 2017, read
  first time and referred to Committee on Education; April 18, 2017,
  reported adversely, with favorable Committee Substitute by the
  following vote:  Yeas 10, Nays 0; April 18, 2017, sent to printer.)
Click here to see the committee vote
 
  COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR S.B. No. 1566 By:  Taylor of Collin
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
 
  relating to certain powers and duties of the board of trustees of an
  independent school district and the governing body of an
  open-enrollment charter school.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 11.1511, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
         (d)  The board may require a school district's chief business
  official or curriculum director or a person holding an equivalent
  position to appear at an executive session of the board or to
  testify at a public hearing held by the board. A superintendent may
  not interfere with an appearance or testimony required by the board
  under this subsection.
         SECTION 2.  Section 11.1512, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (c-1) and (g) to read as follows:
         (c-1)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a
  district shall provide a member of the board of trustees with
  information, documents, and records requested under Subsection (c)
  not later than the 20th business day after the date the district
  receives the request. The district may take a reasonable
  additional period of time, not to exceed the 30th business day after
  the date the district receives the request, to respond to a request
  if compliance by the 20th business day would be unduly burdensome
  given the amount, age, or location of the requested information.
  The district shall inform the trustee of the reason for the delay in
  providing the requested information and the date by which the
  information will be provided.
         (g)  A district shall create a policy on visits to a district
  campus or other facility by a member of the board of trustees of the
  district.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter D, Chapter 11, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Sections 11.1515 and 11.1516 to read as follows:
         Sec. 11.1515.  OVERSIGHT OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT. The board
  of trustees of an independent school district or the governing body
  of an open-enrollment charter school shall provide oversight
  regarding student academic achievement and strategic leadership
  for maximizing student performance.
         Sec. 11.1516.  DISTRICT DATA ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT.
  (a)  On request by the board of trustees of an independent school
  district, the agency shall create an Internet website that members
  of the board may use to review campus and district academic
  achievement data.  The website must also be made available to
  campuses in a similar manner that access is provided to the board.
         (b)  The Internet website must:
               (1)  include district information, disaggregated by
  campus, grade, sex, race, academic quarter or semester, as
  applicable, and school year, regarding the following:
                     (A)  student academic achievement and growth;
                     (B)  teacher and student attendance; and
                     (C)  student discipline records; and
               (2)  be updated at least once each quarter of the school
  year.
         (c)  The commissioner shall provide information that permits
  a board member to compare the district's academic performance with
  the academic performance of other districts of similar size and
  racial and economic demographics.
         (d)  A district must provide requested information to the
  commissioner for the creation of an Internet website under this
  section.
         (e)  Confidential information received by the commissioner
  under this section from a district remains confidential. The
  commissioner shall design the Internet website to ensure that:
               (1)  public information is made available to the
  public; and 
               (2)  information submitted by districts noted as
  confidential is not made available to the public.
         (f)  A request for public information under this section
  shall be submitted to the district that provides the agency with the
  information. The agency may not release information submitted by a
  district that is noted as confidential information.
         (g)  The agency may contract with a private entity as
  necessary to implement this section.
         (h)  The commissioner may adopt rules for the implementation
  of this section.
         SECTION 4.  Section 11.159, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsections (c) and (d) to read
  as follows:
         (b)  A trustee must complete any training required by the
  State Board of Education. The minutes of the last regular meeting
  of the board of trustees held before an election of trustees [during
  a calendar year] must reflect whether each trustee has met or is
  deficient [delinquent] in meeting the training required for the
  trustee [to be completed] as of the first anniversary of the date of
  the trustee's election or appointment [date of the meeting].  If the
  minutes reflect that a trustee is deficient, the district shall
  post the minutes on the district's Internet website within 10
  business days of the meeting and maintain the posting until the
  trustee meets the requirements.
         (c)  The State Board of Education shall require a trustee to
  complete at least three hours of training every two years on
  evaluating student academic performance. The training must be
  research-based and designed to support the oversight role of the
  board of trustees under Section 11.1515.  A candidate for trustee
  may complete the training up to one year before the candidate is
  elected. A new trustee shall complete the training within 120 days
  after the date of the trustee's election or appointment. A
  returning trustee shall complete the training by the second
  anniversary of the completion of the trustee's previous training.
         (d)  A trustee or candidate for trustee may complete training
  required under Subsection (c) at a regional education service
  center or through another authorized provider.  A provider must
  certify the completion of the training by a trustee or candidate.
         SECTION 5.  Subchapter D, Chapter 11, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 11.182 to read as follows:
         Sec. 11.182.  BOARD IMPROVEMENT AND EVALUATION TOOL.
  (a)  The commissioner shall develop a board of trustees improvement
  and evaluation tool. The evaluation tool must be research-based
  and designed to assist a school district in improving board
  oversight and academic achievement.
         (b)  A board of trustees may determine whether to use the
  evaluation tool, except as required by Section 39.102(a).
         SECTION 6.  Section 39.102(a), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  If a school district does not satisfy the accreditation
  criteria under Section 39.052, the academic performance standards
  under Section 39.053 or 39.054, or any financial accountability
  standard as determined by commissioner rule, or if considered
  appropriate by the commissioner on the basis of a special
  accreditation investigation under Section 39.057, the commissioner
  shall take any of the following actions to the extent the
  commissioner determines necessary:
               (1)  issue public notice of the deficiency to the board
  of trustees;
               (2)  order a hearing conducted by the board of trustees
  of the district for the purpose of notifying the public of the
  insufficient performance, the improvements in performance expected
  by the agency, and the interventions and sanctions that may be
  imposed under this section if the performance does not improve;
               (3)  order the preparation of a student achievement
  improvement plan that addresses each academic achievement
  indicator under Section 39.053(c) for which the district's
  performance is insufficient, the submission of the plan to the
  commissioner for approval, and implementation of the plan;
               (4)  order a hearing to be held before the commissioner
  or the commissioner's designee at which the president of the board
  of trustees of the district and the superintendent shall appear and
  explain the district's low performance, lack of improvement, and
  plans for improvement;
               (5)  arrange a monitoring review of the district;
               (6)  appoint an agency monitor to participate in and
  report to the agency on the activities of the board of trustees or
  the superintendent;
               (7)  appoint a conservator to oversee the operations of
  the district;
               (8)  appoint a management team to direct the operations
  of the district in areas of insufficient performance or require the
  district to obtain certain services under a contract with another
  person;
               (9)  if a district has a current accreditation status
  of accredited-warned or accredited-probation, fails to satisfy any
  standard under Section 39.054(e), or fails to satisfy financial
  accountability standards as determined by commissioner rule,
  appoint a board of managers to exercise the powers and duties of the
  board of trustees;
               (10)  if for two consecutive school years, including
  the current school year, a district has received an accreditation
  status of accredited-warned or accredited-probation, has failed to
  satisfy any standard under Section 39.054(e), or has failed to
  satisfy financial accountability standards as determined by
  commissioner rule, revoke the district's accreditation and:
                     (A)  order closure of the district and annex the
  district to one or more adjoining districts under Section 13.054;
  or
                     (B)  in the case of a home-rule school district or
  open-enrollment charter school, order closure of all programs
  operated under the district's or school's charter; [or]
               (11)  if a district has failed to satisfy any standard
  under Section 39.054(e) due to the district's dropout rates, impose
  sanctions designed to improve high school completion rates,
  including:
                     (A)  ordering the development of a dropout
  prevention plan for approval by the commissioner;
                     (B)  restructuring the district or appropriate
  school campuses to improve identification of and service to
  students who are at risk of dropping out of school, as defined by
  Section 29.081;
                     (C)  ordering lower student-to-counselor ratios
  on school campuses with high dropout rates; and
                     (D)  ordering the use of any other intervention
  strategy effective in reducing dropout rates, including mentor
  programs and flexible class scheduling; or 
               (12)  order the use of the board improvement and
  evaluation tool as provided by Section 11.182.
         SECTION 7.  Section 39.107(b-1), Education Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (b-1)  A campus turnaround plan must include:
               (1)  a detailed description of the academic programs to
  be offered at the campus, including instructional methods, length
  of school day and school year, academic credit and promotion
  criteria, and programs to serve special student populations;
               (2)  the term of the charter, if a district charter is
  to be granted for the campus under Section 12.0522;
               (3)  written comments from the campus-level committee
  established under Section 11.251, if applicable, parents, and
  teachers at the campus; [and]
               (4)  a detailed description of the budget, staffing,
  and financial resources required to implement the plan, including
  any supplemental resources to be provided by the district or other
  identified sources; and
               (5)  a detailed description for developing and
  supporting the oversight of academic achievement and student
  performance by the board of trustees under Section 11.1515.
         SECTION 8.  A person serving on the board of trustees of a
  school district on the effective date of this Act must complete the
  training required by Section 11.159(c), Education Code, as added by
  this Act, not later than September 1, 2018.
         SECTION 9.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
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