89.1207 Bilingual Education Exceptions and English as a Second Language Waivers

(a) Bilingual education program.

(1) Exceptions. A school district that is unable to provide a bilingual education program as required by §89.1205(a) of this title (relating to Required Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language Programs) because of an insufficient number of appropriately certified teachers shall request from the commissioner of education an exception to the bilingual education program and the approval of an alternative program. The approval of an exception to the bilingual education program shall be valid only during the school year for which it was granted. A request for a bilingual education program exception must be submitted by November 1 and shall include:

(A) a statement of the reasons the school district is unable to provide a sufficient number of appropriately certified teachers to offer the bilingual education program with supporting documentation;

(B) a description of the alternative instructional program and methods to meet the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of the English learners, including the manner through which the students will be given opportunity to master the essential knowledge and skills required by Chapter 74 of this title (relating to Curriculum Requirements) to include foundation and enrichment areas, English language proficiency standards (ELPS), and college and career readiness standards (CCRS);

(C) an assurance that appropriately certified teachers available in the school district will be assigned to grade levels beginning at prekindergarten followed successively by subsequent grade levels to ensure that the linguistic and academic needs of the English learners with beginning levels of English proficiency are served on a priority basis;

(D) an assurance that the school district will implement a comprehensive professional development plan that:

(i) is ongoing and targets the development of the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to serve the needs of English learners;

(ii) includes the teachers who are not certified or not appropriately certified who are assigned to implement the proposed alternative program; and

(iii) may include additional teachers who work with English learners;

(E) an assurance that at least 10% of the bilingual education allotment shall be used to fund the comprehensive professional development plan required under subparagraph (D) of this paragraph;

(F) an assurance that the school district will take actions to ensure that the program required under §89.1205(a) of this title will be provided the subsequent year, including its plans for recruiting an adequate number of appropriately certified teachers to eliminate the need for subsequent exceptions and measurable targets for the subsequent year; and

(G) an assurance that the school district shall satisfy the additional reporting requirements described in §89.1265(c) of this title (relating to Evaluation).

(2) Documentation. A school district submitting a bilingual education exception shall maintain written records of all documents supporting the submission and assurances listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection, including:

(A) a description of the proposed alternative instructional program designed to meet the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of the English learners;

(B) the number of teachers for whom a bilingual education exception is needed by grade level and per campus;

(C) a copy of the school district's comprehensive professional development plan; and

(D) a copy of the bilingual allotment budget documenting that a minimum of 10% of the funds were used to fund the comprehensive professional development plan.

(3) Approval of exceptions. Bilingual education program exceptions will be granted by the commissioner if the requesting school district:

(A) meets or exceeds the state average for English learner performance on the required state assessments;

(B) meets the requirements and measurable targets of the action plan described in paragraph (1)(F) of this subsection submitted the previous year and approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA); or

(C) reduces by 25% the number of teachers under exception for bilingual programs when compared to the number of exceptions granted the previous year.

(4) Denial of exceptions. A school district denied a bilingual education program exception must submit to the commissioner a detailed action plan for complying with required regulations for the following school year.

(5) Appeals. A school district denied a bilingual education program exception may appeal to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. The decision of the commissioner or commissioner's designee is final and may not be appealed further.

(6) Special accreditation investigation. The commissioner may authorize a special accreditation investigation under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.057, if a school district is denied a bilingual education program exception for more than three consecutive years.

(7) Sanctions. Based on the results of a special accreditation investigation, the commissioner may take appropriate action under the TEC, §39.102.

(b) English as a second language (ESL) program.

(1) Waivers. A school district that is unable to provide an ESL program as required by §89.1205(c) of this title because of an insufficient number of appropriately certified teachers shall request from the commissioner a waiver of the certification requirements for each teacher who will provide instruction in ESL for English learners. The approval of a waiver of certification requirements shall be valid only during the school year for which it was granted. A request for an ESL program waiver must be submitted by November 1 and shall include:

(A) a statement of the reasons the school district is unable to provide a sufficient number of appropriately certified teachers to offer the ESL program;

(B) a description of the alternative instructional program, including the manner in which the teachers in the ESL program will meet the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of the English learners, including the manner through which the students will be given opportunity to master the essential knowledge and skills required by Chapter 74 of this title to include foundation and enrichment areas, ELPS, and CCRS;

(C) an assurance that appropriately certified teachers available in the school district will be assigned to grade levels beginning at prekindergarten followed successively by subsequent grade levels in the elementary school campus and, if needed, secondary campuses, to ensure that the linguistic and academic needs of the English learners with the lower levels of English proficiency are served on a priority basis;

(D) an assurance that the school district shall implement a comprehensive professional development plan that:

(i) is ongoing and targets the development of the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to serve the needs of English learners;

(ii) includes the teachers who are not certified or not appropriately certified who are assigned to implement the proposed alternative program; and

(iii) may include additional teachers who work with English learners;

(E) an assurance that at least 10% of the bilingual education allotment shall be used to fund the comprehensive professional development plan required under subparagraph (D) of this paragraph;

(F) an assurance that the school district will take actions to ensure that the program required under §89.1205(c) of this title will be provided the subsequent year, including its plans for recruiting an adequate number of appropriately certified teachers to eliminate the need for subsequent waivers; and

(G) an assurance that the school district shall satisfy the additional reporting requirements described in §89.1265(c) of this title.

(2) Documentation. A school district submitting an ESL waiver shall maintain written records of all documents supporting the submission and assurances listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection, including:

(A) a description of the proposed alternative instructional program designed to meet the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of the English learners;

(B) the name and teaching assignment, per campus, of each teacher who is assigned to implement the ESL program and is under a waiver and the estimated date for the completion of the ESL supplemental certification, which must be completed by the end of the school year for which the waiver was requested;

(C) a copy of the school district's comprehensive professional development plan;

(D) a copy of the bilingual allotment budget documenting that a minimum of 10% of the funds were used to fund the comprehensive professional development plan; and

(E) a description of the actions taken to recruit an adequate number of appropriately certified teachers.

(3) Approval of waivers. ESL waivers will be granted by the commissioner if the requesting school district:

(A) meets or exceeds the state average for English learner performance on the required state assessments; or

(B) meets the requirements and measurable targets of the action plan described in paragraph (1)(G) of this subsection submitted the previous year and approved by the TEA.

(4) Denial of waivers. A school district denied an ESL program waiver must submit to the commissioner a detailed action plan for complying with required regulations for the following school year.

(5) Appeals. A school district denied an ESL waiver may appeal to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. The decision of the commissioner or commissioner's designee is final and may not be appealed further.

(6) Special accreditation investigation. The commissioner may authorize a special accreditation investigation under the TEC, §39.057, if a school district is denied an ESL waiver for more than three consecutive years.

(7) Sanctions. Based on the results of a special accreditation investigation, the commissioner may take appropriate action under the TEC, §39.102.

 

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