Texas Education Code

Sec. § 29.259
Adult High School Diploma and Industry Certification Charter School Program


(a)

In this section, “adult education” means services and instruction provided below the college level for adults by a nonprofit entity described by Subsection (e).

(b)

The commissioner shall establish an adult high school diploma and industry certification charter school program as provided by this section as a strategy for meeting industry needs for a sufficiently trained workforce within the state.

(c)

The agency shall adopt and administer a standardized secondary exit-level assessment instrument appropriate for assessing adult education program participants who successfully complete high school curriculum requirements under a program provided under this section. The commissioner shall determine the level of performance considered to be satisfactory on the secondary exit-level assessment instrument for receipt of a high school diploma by an adult education program participant in a program provided under this section.

(d)

Notwithstanding any other law and in addition to the number of charters allowed under Subchapter D (Authorization), Chapter 12 (Charters), the commissioner may, on the basis of an application submitted, grant a charter under the program to a single nonprofit entity described by Subsection (e) to provide an adult education program for individuals described by Subsection (g) to successfully complete:

(1)

a high school program that can lead to a diploma; and

(2)

career and technology education courses that can lead to industry certification.

(e)

A nonprofit entity may be granted a charter under this section only if the entity:

(1)

has a successful history of providing education services, including industry certifications and job placement services, to adults 18 years of age and older whose educational and training opportunities have been limited by educational disadvantages, disabilities, homelessness, criminal history, or similar circumstances; and

(2)

agrees to commit at least $1 million to the adult education program offered.

(f)

A nonprofit entity granted a charter under this section may partner with a public junior college to provide career and technology courses that lead to industry certification.

(g)

A person who is at least 18 years of age and not more than 50 years of age is eligible to enroll in the adult education program under this section if the person:

(1)

has failed to complete the curriculum requirements for high school graduation; or

(2)

has failed to perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument required for high school graduation.

(g-1)

In admitting students to the adult education program under this section, the nonprofit entity shall give priority to a person who has not earned a high school equivalency certificate.

(h)

The nonprofit entity must include in its charter application the information required by Subsection (i).

(i)

A charter granted under this section must:

(1)

include a description of the adult education program to be offered under this section; and

(2)

establish specific, objective standards for receiving a high school diploma, including:

(A)

successful completion of:

(i)

if applicable to the program participant, the curriculum requirements under Section 28.025 (High School Diploma and Certificate; Academic Achievement Record); or

(ii)

the appropriate curriculum requirements applicable to the program participant; and

(B)

satisfactory performance on the standardized secondary exit-level assessment instrument described by Subsection (c).

(i-1)

The adult education program offered under this section must:

(1)

use an instructional model in which at least 75 percent of instruction is delivered by a teacher in an in-person, interactive classroom setting; and

(2)

provide support services to students, including:

(A)

child care at no cost to students;

(B)

life coaching services, at a ratio not to exceed one life coach for every 100 students, that use strategic and holistic interventions designed to facilitate graduation planning and assist students in overcoming life obstacles to achieve academic and career goals;

(C)

mental health counseling; and

(D)

for students with identified disabilities or impairments, instructional support services.

(i-2)

If money is appropriated for a state fiscal year for expansion of the program under this section, not later than June 30 of the state fiscal year in which the appropriation is made, the nonprofit entity granted a charter under this section must submit any request for approval of an expansion amendment. The expansion amendment is considered approved if the commissioner does not provide written notice to the nonprofit entity of the disapproval of the expansion amendment on or before August 1.

(j)

Funding for an adult education program under this section is provided based on the following:

(1)

for participants who are 26 years of age and older, an amount per participant from available general revenue funds appropriated for the program equal to the statewide average amount of state funding per student in weighted average daily attendance that would be allocated under the Foundation School Program to an open-enrollment charter school under Section 12.106 (State Funding) were the student under 26 years of age; and

(2)

for participants who are at least 18 years of age and under 26 years of age, an amount per participant through the Foundation School Program equal to the amount of state funding per student in weighted average daily attendance that would be allocated under the Foundation School Program for the student’s attendance at an open-enrollment charter school in accordance with Section 12.106 (State Funding).

(k)

Sections 12.107 (Status and Use of Funds) and 12.128 (Property Purchased or Leased With State Funds) apply as though funds under this section were funds under Subchapter D (Authorization), Chapter 12 (Charters).

(l)

Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 98 (S.B. 276), Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 2017.

(m)

The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to administer the program under this section. In adopting rules, the commissioner may modify charter school requirements only to the extent necessary for the administration of a charter school under this section that provides for adult education.

(n)

An adult education program operated under a charter granted under this section is subject to:

(1)

a provision of this title establishing a criminal offense; and

(2)

a prohibition, restriction, or requirement, as applicable, imposed by this title or a rule adopted under this title, relating to:

(A)

the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) to the extent necessary as determined by the commissioner to monitor compliance with this section and, as applicable, Subchapter D (Authorization), Chapter 12 (Charters);

(B)

criminal history records under Subchapter C (Definitions), Chapter 22 (School District Employees and Volunteers);

(C)

high school graduation requirements under Section 28.025 (High School Diploma and Certificate; Academic Achievement Record), to the extent applicable to a program participant;

(D)

special education programs under Subchapter A (Statewide Plan), Chapter 29 (Educational Programs);

(E)

bilingual education under Subchapter B (State Policy), Chapter 29 (Educational Programs);

(F)

health and safety under Chapter 38 (Health and Safety);

(G)

the requirement under Section 21.006 (Requirement to Report Misconduct) to report an educator’s misconduct; and

(H)

the right of an employee to report a crime, as provided by Section 37.148 (Right to Report Crime).

(o)

The commissioner shall develop and adopt performance frameworks that establish standards by which to measure the performance of an adult high school program operated under a charter granted under this section in a manner consistent with the requirements provided for an open-enrollment charter school under Sections 12.1181 (Performance Frameworks; Annual Evaluations)(a) and (b). The commissioner shall include in the performance frameworks adopted under this subsection the following performance indicators:

(1)

the percentage of program participants who performed satisfactorily on the standardized secondary exit-level assessment instrument described by Subsection (c);

(2)

the percentage of program participants who successfully completed the high school program and earned a high school diploma;

(3)

the percentage of program participants who successfully completed career and technology education courses and obtained industry certification;

(4)

the percentage of program participants who have enrolled in an institution of higher education or private or independent institution of higher education, as those terms are defined under Section 61.003 (Definitions); and

(5)

the percentage of program participants who earned a wage, salary, or other income increase that was significant as determined and reported by the Texas Workforce Commission.

(p)

Each year, the commissioner shall evaluate the performance of an adult high school program operated under a charter granted under this section based on the applicable performance frameworks adopted under Subsection (o).

(q)

The commissioner shall adopt rules as necessary to implement and administer the reporting requirements under Subsection (n)(2)(A) and the evaluation provisions of Subsections (o) and (p).

(r)

The commissioner or an adult education program operated under a charter granted under this section may accept gifts, grants, or donations from any public or private source to be used for purposes of this section.
Added by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 478 (S.B. 1142), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.
Amended by:
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 98 (S.B. 276), Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 98 (S.B. 276), Sec. 2, eff. May 23, 2017.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1060 (H.B. 1051), Sec. 3, eff. June 14, 2019.
Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1060 (H.B. 1051), Sec. 4, eff. June 14, 2019.
Reenacted and amended by Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1060 (H.B. 1051), Sec. 5, eff. June 14, 2019.
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Jun. 7, 2021