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The Structure and Governance of The Texas School System
Transcript of The Structure and Governance of The Texas School System
is responsible for the structure and operation of the Texas public school system.
The Legislature is the biggest player in Texas education.
State Board of Education
The SBOE is a power entity.
Some of its duties involve; establishing state curriculum and graduation requirements, determining the standards for satisfactory student performance on assessments, adopting and purchasing state textbooks, and investing permanent school funds.
The SOBE also is charged with granting charter schools for open-enrollment.
Texas Education Agency- TEA
Composed of the Texas Commissioner of Education and the agency staff.
TEA can only preform those duties specifically assigned to it by the legislature.
The TEA's duties involve but not limited too; monitoring district compliance with federal and state programs, conducting research to improve teaching and learning, developing a teacher recruitment program, maintaining an electronic information transfer system, and are also authorized to enter agreements with federal agencies that regard activities such as school lunches.
Texas Commissioner of Education
Other than the legislature, the most powerful state-level player is the Texas Commissioner of Education.
The commissioner serves a four year term and the only qualification for serving as commissioner is U.S. citizenship
The commissioner also serves as the executive office and executive secretary of the SBOE.
Current Commissioner is Michael L. Williams. Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in 2012.
Local School Districts
The governance of schools is left to the local board of trustees.
A few responsibilities of the board of trustees includes; establishing community relationships, adopting a vision statement and goals, including academic and fiscal performance goals, adopt a annual budget and tax rate, adopting a grievance process, make contract termination and renewal decisions, employ and evaluate the superintendent and more.
School board members serve a term of 3 or 4 years. Trustees serve without compensation. The state board is required to provide a training program for school board members through regional service centers
Newly created public school that operates relatively free of state regulations.
Usually granted by a local school district or state agency.
Failure to conform to the charter can result in its revocation.
Three forms of charter schools emerged from the 1995 legislative; home-rule school district charter, campus charters, and open-enrollment charters.
There are currently no schools operating under home-rule school district charters.
Most of the charter schools in Texas operate under open-enrollment charters which are granted by the SBOE.
Charter schools are entitled to receive state funding.
In 1925 a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the states cannot require all children to attend public schools only (Pierce v. Society of Sisters).
TEA ceased accrediting private schools in 1989.
Instead the commissioner has endorsed the accreditation decisions of private schools through Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC).
Student credit earned in TEPSAC is transferable to the Texas public schools.
While private schools are not required to follow state curriculum and student assessment program or employ certified teachers and administrators, they are not exempt from basic health and safety laws passed by local, state, and federal governments.
The superintendent is the chief operating officer of the public school district.
TEC § 11.201 lists 11 superintendent duties.
The school principal is the frontline administrator, with statutory responsibility under the direction of the superintendent.
TEC § 11.202 lists seven major functions of the role as principal.
Believing principals to be the persons with the most responsibility for school improvement, the legislature has given them more authority than in the past to operate their schools.