Bill Text: TX SB84 | 2017 | 85th Legislature 1st Special Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the oversight of public education, including the creation of the office of inspector general at the Texas Education Agency.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-07-19 - Filed [SB84 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB84-Introduced.html
  85S10074 MEW-D
 
  By: Bettencourt S.B. No. 84
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the oversight of public education, including the
  creation of the office of inspector general at the Texas Education
  Agency.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 7, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter E to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER E. OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL
         Sec. 7.151.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Fraud" means an intentional deception or
  misrepresentation made by a person with the knowledge that the
  deception could result in some unauthorized benefit to that person
  or some other person. The term includes any act that constitutes
  fraud under applicable federal or state law.
               (2)  "Office" means the office of inspector general
  established under this subchapter.
         Sec. 7.152.  OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL. (a)  The office
  of inspector general is established as a division within the
  agency.
         (b)  The commissioner shall appoint an inspector general to
  serve as director of the office. The inspector general serves until
  removed by the commissioner.
         Sec. 7.153.  GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES. (a)  The office is
  responsible for the investigation, prevention, and detection of
  criminal misconduct and wrongdoing and of fraud, waste, and abuse
  in the administration of public education by:
               (1)  school districts, including school districts
  described by Section 11.301(a);
               (2)  open-enrollment charter schools;
               (3)  regional education service centers;
               (4)  county systems described by Section 11.301(a); and
               (5)  other local education agencies in this state.
         (b)  The office shall investigate allegations of fraud,
  waste, and abuse and violations of this code or other law.
         (c)  The office may:
               (1)  conduct criminal, civil, and administrative
  investigations and initiate reviews of:
                     (A)  a school district, including a school
  district described by Section 11.301(a);
                     (B)  an open-enrollment charter school;
                     (C)  a regional education service center;
                     (D)  a county system described by Section
  11.301(a); or
                     (E)  any other local education agency as
  considered appropriate by the inspector general;
               (2)  receive and investigate complaints from any source
  on its own initiative; and
               (3)  conduct special accreditation investigations
  authorized by the commissioner under Section 39.057(a).
         (d)  The office shall perform all other duties and exercise
  all other powers granted to the office by this subchapter or another
  law.
         Sec. 7.154.  GENERAL POWERS. The office has all the powers
  necessary or appropriate to carry out its responsibilities and
  functions under this subchapter and other law.
         Sec. 7.155.  SUBPOENAS. (a)  The inspector general may
  issue a subpoena to compel the attendance of a relevant witness at a
  hearing or deposition under this subchapter or to compel the
  production, for inspection or copying, of books, papers, records,
  documents, or other relevant materials, including electronic data,
  in connection with an investigation, review, hearing, or deposition
  conducted under this subchapter.
         (b)  A subpoena may be served personally or by certified
  mail. If a person fails to comply with a subpoena, the inspector
  general, acting through the attorney general, may file suit to
  enforce the subpoena in a district court in this state.
         (c)  On finding that good cause exists for issuing the
  subpoena, the court shall order the person to comply with the
  subpoena. The court may hold in contempt a person who fails to obey
  the court order.
         Sec. 7.156.  COOPERATION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS AND
  OTHER ENTITIES. (a)  The office may provide information and
  evidence relating to criminal acts to the State Auditor's Office
  and appropriate law enforcement officials.
         (b)  The office may refer matters for further civil,
  criminal, and administrative action to appropriate administrative
  and prosecutorial agencies, including the attorney general.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter G, Chapter 11, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 11.305 to read as follows:
         Sec. 11.305.  OVERSIGHT OF CERTAIN ENTITIES.  (a)  This
  section only applies to a school district or county system
  described by Section 11.301(a).
         (b)  Each school district or county system subject to this
  section shall provide a report to the agency not later than February
  27 of each year. The annual report must include:
               (1)  a summary of the district's or system's operations
  for the preceding fiscal year; and
               (2)  the district's or system's audited financial
  statements for the preceding fiscal year.
         (c)  The commissioner may direct the agency to investigate a
  school district or county system subject to this section for
  allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse.
         (d)  If, after an investigation described by Subsection (c),
  the commissioner determines that the school district or county
  system has engaged in fraud, waste, or abuse, and the district or
  system does not timely correct the fraud, waste, or abuse to the
  satisfaction of the commissioner, the commissioner may replace the
  governing board of the district or system with a board of managers
  in accordance with Chapter 39A.
         (e)  If a school district or county system subject to this
  section discovers an instance of fraud, waste, or abuse, the
  district or system shall report the fraud, waste, or abuse to the
  agency not later than the 20th day after the date the fraud, waste,
  or abuse is discovered.
         (f)  If a school district or county system fails to file an
  annual report required under Subsection (b) or fails to report
  fraud, waste, or abuse as required under Subsection (e), the
  commissioner may replace the governing board of the district or
  system with a board of managers in accordance with Chapter 39A and
  rules adopted under that chapter.
         (g)  The commissioner may adopt rules as necessary to
  implement this section.
         SECTION 3.  Section 39.057(a), Education Code, as effective
  September 1, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The commissioner may authorize special accreditation
  investigations to be conducted:
               (1)  when excessive numbers of absences of students
  eligible to be tested on state assessment instruments are
  determined;
               (2)  when excessive numbers of allowable exemptions
  from the required state assessment instruments are determined;
               (3)  in response to complaints submitted to the agency
  with respect to alleged violations of civil rights or other
  requirements imposed on the state by federal law or court order;
               (4)  in response to established compliance reviews of
  the district's financial accounting practices and state and federal
  program requirements;
               (5)  when extraordinary numbers of student placements
  in disciplinary alternative education programs, other than
  placements under Sections 37.006 and 37.007, are determined;
               (6)  in response to an allegation involving a conflict
  between members of the board of trustees or between the board and
  the district administration if it appears that the conflict
  involves a violation of a role or duty of the board members or the
  administration clearly defined by this code;
               (7)  when excessive numbers of students in special
  education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, are assessed
  through assessment instruments developed or adopted under Section
  39.023(b);
               (8)  in response to an allegation regarding or an
  analysis using a statistical method result indicating a possible
  violation of an assessment instrument security procedure
  established under Section 39.0301, including for the purpose of
  investigating or auditing a school district under that section;
               (9)  when a significant pattern of decreased academic
  performance has developed as a result of the promotion in the
  preceding two school years of students who did not perform
  satisfactorily as determined by the commissioner under Section
  39.0241(a) on assessment instruments administered under Section
  39.023(a), (c), or (l);
               (10)  when excessive numbers of students eligible to
  enroll fail to complete an Algebra II course or any other advanced
  course as determined by the commissioner;
               (11)  when resource allocation practices as evaluated
  under Section 39.0821 indicate a potential for significant
  improvement in resource allocation;
               (12)  when a disproportionate number of students of a
  particular demographic group is graduating with a particular
  endorsement under Section 28.025(c-1);
               (13)  when an excessive number of students is
  graduating with a particular endorsement under Section
  28.025(c-1);
               (14)  in response to a complaint submitted to the
  agency with respect to alleged inaccurate data that is reported
  through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS)
  or through other reports required by state or federal law or rule or
  court order and that is used by the agency to make a determination
  relating to public school accountability, including accreditation,
  under this chapter;
               (15)  when a school district for any reason fails to
  produce, at the request of the agency, evidence or an investigation
  report relating to an educator who is under investigation by the
  State Board for Educator Certification; [or]
               (16)  by the office of inspector general for the
  purpose of investigating allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse in
  the administration of public education; or
               (17)  as the commissioner otherwise determines
  necessary.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect December 1, 2017.
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