HBA-TYH H.B. 3754 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3754 By: Krusee Public Education 4/20/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Open-enrollment charter schools are Texas public schools, paid for with state funds. Charter schools, like other public schools, are a part of the Texas Education Agency (agency) accountability system. Because a charter, or contract, exists, charter schools are further held accountable by the State Board of Education (board), which monitors compliance with the charter. Charters are free public schools and must take all eligible students up to their maximum enrollment. Charter schools are designed to offer equitable choices to parents within the public school system. The basic premise is that charters are released from many state laws, board rules, and agency regulations in return for increased student performance. Currently, approved Texas open-enrollment charters include neighborhood schools where none existed previously, two schools specifically designed to offer bilingual programs, several drop-out recovery high schools, a school specializing in individual instruction attracting a high percentage of special education students, an International Baccalaureate curriculum middle school, and two distance learning schools. Most charter schools are unique in that they are a response to a perceived need in the community that developed them. H.B. 3754 establishes the Charter School Commission (commission) and transfers jurisdiction over the charter schools from the board to the commission. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Subchapter D, Chapter 12, Education Code, by adding Section 12.1012, as follows: Sec. 12.1012. CHARTER SCHOOL COMMISSION. (a) Provides that the Charter School Commission (commission) is composed of five members appointed as follows: _three members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate; _one member appointed by the commissioner of education; _one member appointed by the chair of the State Board of Education (board). (b) Prohibits an appointment to the commission from being made with regard to the race, creed, sex, religion, or national origin of the appointed member. (c) Provides that a person is not eligible for service on the commission if the person holds an office with this state or any political subdivision of this state or is required to register as a lobbyist under Chapter 305 (Registration of Lobbyists), Government Code. (d) Provides that members of the commission serve for two-year terms expiring February 1 of each odd-numbered year. Prohibits a member of the commission from serving more than two full terms as a commission member. (e) Requires the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, to appoint the chair from among the membership of the commission. Provides that the chair serves at the pleasure of the governor. (f) Requires the commission to hold four meetings a year on dates determined by the chair and may hold other meetings at the call of the chair. (g) Provides that a member of the commission is not entitled to receive compensation for service on the commission. Provides that a member of the commission is entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in discharging the member's duties as a commission member as provided by the General Appropriations Act. (h) Requires the Texas Education Agency to provide staff and facilities for the commission. SECTION 2. Amends Sections 12.101(a) and (b), Education Code, to delete reference to the board and replace it with the commission. Makes a conforming change. SECTION 3. Section 12.1011(a), Education Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 4. Sections 12.110(a), (c), and (d), Education Code, to make conforming changes. SECTION 5. Section 12.112, Education Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 6. Section 12.113, Education Code, to make conforming changes. SECTION 7. Section 12.114, Education Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 8. Section 12.115, Education Code, to make conforming changes. SECTION 9. Section 12.116(a), Education Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 10. Section 12.118(a), Education Code, to make a conforming change. SECTION 11. Repealer: Section 7.102(c)(9) (State Board of Education Powers and Duties), Education Code. This subsection authorizes the board to grant an open-enrollment charter or approve a charter revision as provided by Subchapter D (Home-Rule School District Charter), Chapter 12. SECTION 12. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 13. (a) Requires each appointing authority specified by this Act, not later than November 1, 1999, to make the initial appointments to the commission. (b) Authorizes the board, during the period beginning September 1, 1999, and ending on the date that a quorum of the commission has been appointed and has qualified for office, to modify a charter for an open-enrollment charter school granted by the board under Subchapter D, Chapter 12, Education Code, as that law existed on January 1, 1999, or to place such a charter on probation, but prohibits the board from revoking such a charter. (c) Provides that a charter for an open-enrollment charter school granted by the State Board of Education under Subchapter D, Chapter 12, Education Code, as that law existed on January 1, 1999, or a revision to such a charter, remains valid for the period for which it was granted unless the charter is modified or placed on probation by the board under Subsection (b) or by the commission. Authorizes the commission to take any action concerning such a charter as if the commission had granted the charter. SECTION 14. Emergency clause.