Updated Website Posting Requirements
As we have previous noted, any Texas charter school that maintains a website is required by law to make certain information available on that website. Following the enactment of Senate Bill 2 and accompanying rules, there are some new website posting requirements, as well as more severe consequences for failure to comply.
Under the Commissioner of Education’s new rules concerning open-enrollment charter schools (Texas Administrative Code, Title 19, Chapter 100), failure to comply with Texas Education Code, Chapter 12, Subchapter D, or any other applicable law or rule will result in mandatory revocation of an open-enrollment charter school’s charter or mandatory reconstitution of the governing body of the charter holder. 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 100.1021(a)(4). This, of course, includes laws and rules regarding Internet postings.
No charter school wants to face such a sanction for the failure to make the necessary website postings, so I have summarized the requirements below to assist you with compliance with the current laws. Please thoroughly check your website for compliance with the required postings, and continue to update your materials as necessary.
1. All Board meeting notices
In addition to the other place(s) at which a charter school must post notice of its Board meetings, a charter school must concurrently post notice of a Board meeting on its website.
Texas Government Code § 551.056(a), (b)(3)
2. Board meeting agenda (if the school’s primary geographic service area includes all or part of a municipality with a population of 48,000 or more)
A charter school must also post the Board meeting agenda on its website concurrently if its geographic service area contains all or part of the area within the corporate boundaries of a municipality with a population of 48,000 or more.
Texas Government Code § 551.056(c)(3)
3. Names of members of the school’s governing body on the home page
A charter school must list the names of the members of the governing body on the home page of the school's website. Each year, the charter holder is required to file with the Texas Education Agency a screenshot of the names of the governing body as listed on the home page of the school’s website (19 Tex. Admin. Code § 100.1007(d)).
Texas Education Code § 12.1211
4. Completed Conflict Disclosure Statements and Questionnaires
A charter school must provide access on its website to Conflict Disclosure Statements and Conflict of Interest Questionnaires required under chapter 176 of the Local Government Code
Texas Local Government Code § 176.009
5. Link to any online message board or similar Internet application accessible to the public over which Board members communicate or exchange information about public business or school policy
A charter school Board may have no more than one such online message board or similar Internet application. The link must be prominently displayed on the school home page, and the message board or Internet application must not be more than one click away from the home page.
Texas Government Code § 551.006(b)
6. Salary of the school’s superintendent or, as applicable, of the administrator serving as the educational leader and chief executive officer
A charter school must post on its website the salary of the school's superintendent or, as applicable, of the administrator serving as educational leader and chief executive officer. Each year, the charter holder is required to file with the Texas Education Agency a screenshot of the superintendent’s salary (or other applicable officer) from the school’s website (19 Tex. Admin. Code § 100.1007(d)).
Texas Education Code § 12.136; 19 Texas Administrative Code § 100.1050
7. Budget adopted by board of trustees/directors, with link prominently displayed, until the third anniversary of its adoption
Upon the Board’s final approval of the budget, a charter school must post on the school’s website a copy of the budget adopted by the Board. The charter school’s website must prominently display the electronic link to the adopted budget. The school must maintain the adopted budget on its website until the third anniversary of the date the budget was adopted.
Texas Education Code § 39.084
8. Annual financial statement prepared under Local Government Code § 140.005
A charter school’s Board must take action to ensure that the school’s financial statement is posted continuously on the school’s website.
Texas Local Government Code § 140.006(c); 19 Texas Administrative Code § 100.1050
9. Most current annual financial report
Although Chapter 44 of the Texas Education Code does not mandate that a charter school post its annual financial report on its website, the commissioner’s rules state that he may non-renew a charter contract based on a charter school’s failure to post its most current annual financial report on its website.
19 Texas Administrative Code § 100.1032(2)(K) (Texas Education Code § 44.008)
10. If assigned a campus intervention team, a School/Targeted Improvement Plan, posted at least 72 hours prior to a hearing pursuant to Education Code § 39.106(e-1)
Texas Education Code § 39.106(e-1)(2); 19 Texas Administrative Code § 97.1063(j)(2)
11. Notice of an Accredited-Warned or Accredited-Probation status, no later than 30 days after the status is assigned and remaining until the school is assigned the Accredited Status
There must be a link to information about the accreditation status, the implications of such status, and the steps the charter school is taking to address the areas of deficiency identified by the commissioner. The notice shall use the format and language determined by the commissioner, available at: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/accredstatus/ (scroll to “TEA Required Notification Language”).
19 Texas Administrative Code § 97.1055(f)(3)(A)
12. Texas Academic Performance Report
A charter school must disseminate the Texas Academic Performance Report by posting it on the school’s website (among other places).
Texas Education Code § 39.306; 19 Texas Administrative Code § 61.1022
13. Health-related policies
A charter school must post on its website a statement of the polices adopted to ensure that elementary school, middle school, and junior high school students (as applicable) engage in at least the amount and level of physical activity required by Tex. Educ. Code § 28.002(1). Charter schools must also include a statement of: (1) the number of times during the previous year the school health advisory council met; (2) whether the school adopted and enforces policies to ensure schools comply with vending machine and food service guidelines to restrict student access to vending machines; and (3) whether the school adopted and enforces policies and procedures which penalize the use of tobacco products by students and others on school grounds or at school-sponsored or school-related activities. Additionally, post a statement which provides parents with notice that they may require in writing their child’s physical fitness assessment results at the conclusion of the school year.
Texas Education Code §§ 28.004(k), 38.0141
14. Immunization information
A charter school must post on its website a list, in Spanish and English, of the immunizations required for admission to public school; any immunizations or vaccines recommended for public school students by the Department of State Health Services; and all known health clinics in the district that offer the influenza vaccine, to the extent those clinics are known to the school, as well as a link to the Department of State Health Services website regarding claiming an exemption from the immunization requirements.
Texas Education Code § 38.1019(a)
15. Community and student engagement performance ratings and compliance status
Each charter school is required to evaluate its performance and the performance of each of its campuses, if applicable, in community and student engagement and in compliance as provided by Tex. Educ. Code § 39.0545 and assign the charter school and each campus a performance rating of exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable for both overall performance and each individual evaluation factor listed section 39.0545. Not later than August 8 of each year, the charter school shall make the performance ratings publicly available on its website.
Texas Education Code § 39.0545; 19 Texas Administrative Code § 61.1023(h)
16. Transition and employment guide
A charter school must post to its website the transition and employment guide developed and published by the Texas Education Agency for students enrolled in special education programs and their parents.
Texas Education Code § 29.0112(e)(1)
*NOTE: a charter school may publish the superintendent's employment contract on its website in lieu of publication in the annual financial management report. 19 Texas Administrative Code § 109.1005(b)(2)(A)