A change from House Bill 3 is the addition of a new section of code, Tex. Edu. Code 28.0062. This new code places new requirements on charter schools in the areas of Reading Academies and Certification of Practices to TEA. There is also a new testing requirement for teaching certificates for Pre-K through 6th-grade teachers. This requirement is not applicable to charters unless they require a Texas certification for their teachers. Additionally, the new certification requirement is not retroactive, it will only apply to people who obtain a certificate after January 2021.

Reading Academies

All teachers and administrators of kindergarten, first, second, or third-grade students will be required to attend a reading academy. TEA is in the process of creating guidelines and authorizing providers of this training. The list of authorized providers is expected by March of 2020 and trainings will begin in the summer of 2020. The training will be specialized for teachers and administrators and will be offered in two different manners. The comprehensive program is an in-person training and TEA expects the cost to be between $3000 and $6000 per person. The other option is a blended program that will combine in-person training with internet-based training. They expect this type of program to cost from $300 to $500 per person.

Certification to TEA

Each school will have to certify to TEA that they are

  1. implementing a phonics curriculum in grades K-3;
  2. prioritizing the placement of highly effective teachers in K-2; and
  3. utilizing integrated reading instruments used to diagnose reading development and comprehension to support each student in pre-k-3.

TEA will have a survey for schools to complete in order to certify these three requirements.

Paying for these Requirements

TEA suggests allocating funds from a number of different sources in order to pay for the reading requirements imposed in HB3. They suggest using funds from the early education allotment, the dyslexia allotment, the basic allotment, the bilingual education allotment, and the compensatory education allotment. Additionally, if schools choose to provide a stipend to the teacher to cover the cost of the reading academy, they may count those stipends as part of the required 30% compensation increase.

TEA has provided a webinar on this topic, which can be viewed here. As always, TCSA is happy to assist your charter in complying with these requirements. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact TCSA.

TCSA has two new free webinars planned for next week that should be of interest to both charter CEOs and administrators as well as board members.

On Tuesday, September 10th at 11:00 a.m. please plan to join Ryan Alexander for Introduction to Civic Builders. Civic Builders, a non-profit facilities developer, offers very favorable terms to charters looking to establish a permanent facility presence in their community. Ryan oversees the Facilities Investment Fund, a $100 million loan fund formed in partnership with the Walton Family Foundation and Bank of America to support high-performing charter schools nationwide with their permanent facilities initiatives. The program offers very favorable financing terms to charter schools and has an established track record of working with charters in Texas. If you are thinking about expanding or upgrading your current facility, this is a webinar you don’t want to miss.

On Friday, September 13th at 10:00 a.m. please plan to join us for How to Have Great Governance Board Meetings. Great governance board meetings don't just happen - they are a result of detailed planning, collaborative communication, consistent implementation, and knowing to expect the unexpected. The webinar is designed for both charter CEOs and board members and will cover the following topics:

  • Planning for meetings throughout the year
  • Crafting a collaborative agenda
  • Reports and data that board members need to see
  • Monitoring SMART student outcome goals during the meeting
  • Rules and best practices for open meetings and closed executive sessions

Can’t make the live webinar presentation? No worries – these webinars will be recorded and offered for free as part of our ever-growing collection of on-demand training offerings.

Speaking of free – all of our on-demand, commissioner credit approved content is now free to TCSA members as part of your 19-20 membership renewal! This is a convenient option for those board members and administrators who want the option of a 24/7 training and credit acquisition platform.

Did you know that TCSA also does live board training? Last year we trained over 30 charter holder boards. The trainings are informative, interactive, and enjoyable. Contact Dr. Bruce Marchand at TCSA to get on our training calendar!

Two of the important conference breakout strands emphasize training in effective governance as well as developing school and network leadership systems. Here’s a sampling of breakout sessions in these two strands:

Why is Good Charter School Governance so Difficult? presented by Mike Mizzoni of BoardOnTrack – Monday, October 28 – 10:45 a.m.

Great boards are well-staffed and well-supported. They have the right people in the right roles, doing the right work. And, by measuring their performance, they improve their capabilities over time. In this interactive workshop, we'll hand over the keys to great charter school governance. Whether you're focused on ending your first year strong, preparing to replicate, and managing a rapidly-scaling organization, you'll take away actionable strategies and practices for your governance team. Together, we'll explore:

  • How to ensure you've got the right people in the right roles, from charter starter to rapidly-scaling organization
  • The systems and processes that make great board meetings
  • How to establish and strengthen a board-CEO partnership that, in turn, strengthens your organization.

If you don't grow your people, who will? A Model for Developing Organizational Capacity: presented by Troy Mooney, EdD and Lani Norman of Life SchoolTuesday, October 29th, 2:00 p.m.

Employees are overtrained and underdeveloped. Learn how to develop leaders at all levels in your organization to improve student outcomes. Participants will explore how to build capacity by redefining systems and empowering leaders in order to create a sustainable learning culture that will:

  • Develop a systematic approach to creating leaders at all levels in their organization
  • Build organizational capacity through systems-thinking
  • Identify critical personnel groups to develop that improve student outcomes

Avoiding Chaos: Leadership Development and Succession Planning presented by attorney Darrick Eugene of Darick Eugene Law Firm – Wednesday, October 30th, 9:45 a.m.

The charter school movement started over 20 years ago and organizations that were new and novel are now mature and possibly in transition. As these organizations grow from founder lead to management lead, they may experience growing pains and challenges with navigating that path. This presentation will provide guidelines and strategies for leadership development and succession planning that will give school leadership resources to avoid potential pitfalls. Through case studies, group discussion and real world examples attendees will be encouraged to participate in and lead their organizations to new horizons.

  • Have you registered for the conference? Do so now before rates go up!
  • Have you downloaded the 2019 Conference App? It’s the best way to get the most updated information about the conference, including speakers, sessions, and special events!
  • Questions? Call our conference registration hotline at 1-855-389-8723 or email us at conference@txcharterschools.org

Thinking about adding capacity or simply providing more space to your current students? Maybe you’ve been in those portables a bit longer than you anticipated? Perhaps it’s time to move out of the old strip mall and into something newer and more modern? Is your landlord giving you the raw deal?

If any of these questions have crossed your mind, attend our Inaugural Texas Facilities Summit! Hosted in Austin in just a few short weeks, this convening will leverage experts from the various aspects related to facilities and financing to help our schools learn more about this constantly evolving space. Schools that acquired facilities ten or fifteen years ago now have many more options for competitive products while newly authorized charters are gaining more attention. While the charter market is slowing down significantly in other parts of the country, we still see a more positive charter environment here in the Lone Star State.

Learn more here in last newsletter’s blog post. If you have questions, please contact Elliott Nguyen at Enguyen@txcharterschhools.org.

See you in four weeks!

At TCSA we are always looking for ways to add value to your membership and respond to training requests from members.  One topic that frequently arises is that of superintendent evaluation.  Most governance boards understand the importance of evaluating the school leader of their organization, but they aren't sure where to start.   We’ve created a free webinar airing Thursday, April 25th at 10:00 a.m. for our members, CEO/Superintendent Evaluations – Best Practices , that will address the following:

  • What are the state laws and regulations related to school leader evaluations?
  • How frequently should superintendents be evaluated?  
  • What metrics should boards use as part of the evaluation?  
  • How do 3, 5, or 7 people decide on what are a leader’s areas of strength and what are areas where growth is needed?
  • How do you communicate the evaluation?  
  • What if we need to put the superintendent on a growth plan?

TCSA's Director of Training/COO Dr. Bruce Marchand will use his background and training as an ISD and charter school leader to answer these and other questions that boards (and superintendents) frequently ask.  Whether you are a board member, superintendent, or aspiring leader, please click on the link and plan to join the free webinar on Thursday, April 25th at 10:00 a.m. as we work through this important topic. 

In addition, we’ve created a new free on-demand course available now especially for school secretaries, receptionists, and anyone else in your school whose job is to work in the front office titled Customer Service Training for Front Office Staff .  Front office staff members (secretaries, receptionists, clerks) are the first people that students, parents, and other school guests often see - they are the face of your school.  Yet without proper training in customer service best practices, mistakes can be made that can cause small problems to grow into large ones and use valuable resources to correct. In the training participants will learn the following:

  • What is good and bad customer service
  • Who your customers are
  • How to conduct a customer service self-assessment to build trust
  • Understanding how the physical environment affects customer's perceptions
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication tips
  • Handling e-mail, phones, and letters
  • Dealing with difficult cases
  • Handling meetings

Speaking of great training opportunities, registration for the 2019 TCSA Annual Conference is now open!  Register now to take advantage of early registration rates. 

Do you have a training need or are you interested in live training at your school?  Let us know – we’re here for you!

The Texas Charter Schools Association, in conjunction with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and Tennessee Charter School Center, is excited to announce the launch of the Charter School Facilities Summit. Taking place in Austin on June 4th, 2019, this convening shall provide objective information on the various aspects of growth and expansion, including, but not limited to:

  • Building Your Facilities Team
  • Understanding Facilities Financing (PSF, CDFIs, NMTC, long and short-term debt)
  • Construction Procurement and Delivery Methods
  • Real Estate Identification
  • Project Timelines and Costs
  • Leasing vs. Ownership

This convening is designed for Superintendents, CFOs, Board Members, and District Staff involved in growth and expansion. Whether you are a single-site organization or a large CMO, the charter school landscape is constantly evolving and growth is becoming both easier and more difficult at the same time. Come learn from industry experts in this daylong training for a low registration fee of $25.00. Registration is only open to schools and capped at 60 individuals.   

To register, visit the Learning Zone. For questions, please contact Elliott Nguyen at Enguyen@txcharterschools.org. Please note that this convening is taking place one day before TEA’s Annual Summer Summit in Austin.


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At TCSA we’re continuing our free Tuesday interactive live webinar series for CEOs, board members, and charter school officials. On Tuesday November 20 at noon we will present Basics for Founding Boards and New Board Members. This training will provide insight and guidance to charter governance board members in regards to duties and liabilities, non-delegable duties, nepotism, conflicts of interest, management companies, appropriate roles concerning internal and external audits, and the legal requirements specific to members of the governing body of a charter holder. Commissioner’s Credit – 60 minutes Charter School Law.

Join us Tuesday November 27 at 10:00 am for Social Media Use – A School Leader’s Legal Guide . Expert attorney John Janssen of Powell & Leon, L.L.P. will provide insight into issues involving the inappropriate use of social media and messaging services as well as some common-sense guidelines that schools should follow to avoid potential legal issues resulting from the use of such platforms. Commissioner’s Credit – 60 minutes Charter School Law.

On Tuesday, December 4 at 10:00 am you won’t want to miss Charter School Finance–2019. School finance expert Dr. Toni Templeton Montoya will provide insight and clarity into the basics of Texas charter school finance and the components of the FSP funding system including enrollment, attendance, weighted student formulas, facilities funding, transportation allotments, and more.  She'll also explain the per-pupil differences between ISD and charter funding and how those differences vary from school to school and across the state.  Dr. Templeton will help you have a clearer understanding of school finance so you can speak accurately and precisely with strategic partners, legislators, parents, and even charter school opponents. Commissioner’s Credit – 60 minutes School Finance.

All of these webinars are FREE to TCSA members and each webinar offers 60 minutes of Commissioner’s Credit in the categories noted. Do your board members need training? We would love to come to your school and train your board in person – contact Dr. Bruce Marchand for further details.

In addition, TCSA offers dozens of free and low-cost courses on our on-demand training portal to meet state training requirements mandated under TAC 19.100.1102-1105:

  • Members of the governing body of the charter holder (12 hours in the first year of service, 6 hours annually thereafter)
  • Members of the governing body of the charter school (12 hours in the first year of service, 6 hours annually thereafter)
  • Chief executive officers (30 hours in the first year of service, 15 hours annually thereafter)
  • Central administrative officers (30 hours in the first year of service, 15 hours annually thereafter)
  • Campus administrative officers (10 hours in the first year of service, 5 hours annually thereafter)
  • Business managers (30 hours in the first year of service, 15 hours annually thereafter)

Don’t let your training requirements lapse – let TCSA be your source for the most up to date trainings for your board and charter staff!


TCSA has Training and Services to Meet Your Specific Needs!

  • Did you know - There are very specific professional development requirements outlined in 19 TAC §100.1102-1105 describing required training for board members, CEOs and charter officers, and campus administrators;
  • Did you know - New board members must receive 12 hours of prescribed Commissioner-hour training in their first year of service and 6 hours annually thereafter, with training in Public Records and Open Meetings within the first 90 days of service on the board;
  • Did you know - CEOs and Business Managers must receive 30 hours of training in their first year of service and 15 hours annually thereafter, with different training modules for each role;
  • Did you know - Campus administrators are required to have 10 hours of training initially and 5 hours annually thereafter; and
  • Did you know - The Texas Charter Schools Association has a solution for all of your training needs!

Training Solutions for Board and Administrator Training

  • TCSA’s on-demand training portal is a great option for board members, CEOs, and campus administrators who want high-quality, up to date Commissioner-hour credit training with the convenience of 24/7 access.
  • In-person board training is available at reasonable rates for schools that prefer a “live” training option and can be customized to meet the needs of the school. TCSA is also one of the few authorized providers of the new state EISO training for CEOs and boards that are interested in an effective way to look at data and goal-setting.
  • TCSA will again provide a 6-hour large-group board training on Friday, October 26th in Houston as part of the TCSA Conference.

Customized Training to Meet Your Needs for 2018-2019

  • TCSA can provide training to complete the ESSA-required Campus Needs Assessment and Campus Improvement Plan using the TCSA Quality Framework
  • Request access to the TCSA Heat Map and learn how the Campus and Network Data Packs in the Quality Portal can help you with Growth and Development strategies.
  • Be looking for an announcement of our CFO Boot Camp Training to be held in early December!

As your member organization, TCSA is here to assist you in any way we can to help you achieve excellence in your organization.  Be sure to let us know how we can serve you!

Something New: EISO Training

Many member schools have inquired about the 3-hour SB 1566 Evaluating and Improving Student Outcomes (EISO) training that is required for ISD elected trustee boards by September 1, 2018.  This training is not required for charter boards; however, it is excellent training for any charter governance board as the training allows boards and CEOs to:

  • Understand student outcomes and why they matter
  • Develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Focused, and Timebound) goals linked to measurable student outcomes with an identified baseline, target, population, and deadline.
  • Develop a system of Progress Monitoring to evaluate progress towards goal attainment
  • Understand the latest changes in the A-F Accountability System and how the EISO process can facilitate improved student performance

TCSA is one of only a handful of Authorized Providers who are eligible to provide this training. TEA has mandated that this training be conducted “live” so no on-demand course option is available.  If you are interested, contact Dr. Bruce Marchand to make plans to provide this 3-hour training for your board.

Upcoming TCSA Professional Development Opportunities

Below are upcoming training opportunities for TCSA members:

May 15th Deadline - Conference Call for Proposals

Time is running short for you to submit a conference session proposal for the 2018 TCSA Conference.  Proposals are due May 15th.  Proposals can be in one or more of the following strands - Innovation, Advocacy, Finance, Governance, Leadership and Coaching, Operations, Student Success and Learning, School Law, Growth, Safety and Security, Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Communication.  Schools and individuals may submit multiple proposals.  Contact Dr. Bruce Marchand if you have any questions.

April 26th Member Council Reminder

Be sure to make time to attend the Member Council Meeting next Thursday, April 26th at 9:00 a.m. in Austin.  The agenda is robust with a focus on charter advocacy and getting your voice heard as we rely on your input to craft legislative priorities for the 86th Legislative session.  A virtual attendance option is available for those unable to attend in person.

We Need Your Input on Training

TCSA has in-person and on-demand training available for governance boards, CEOs, leadership staff, and campus administrators that can be customized to meet your needs.  Contact me and let me know how we can meet your training needs!

Spring is the time for all things new, and at TCSA we’re committed to ensuring that our member schools have access to professional development that is up to date and that our webinars, workshops, and on-demand content is exactly what you need in your role as a school leader.  Speaking of new (which is a term that doesn’t ordinarily apply to me) you may already know that I am in a new position at TCSA as the Director of Training.  You may also start to notice some subtle changes in our approach to professional development at your association, all of which are designed to improve our services and help our member schools access the highest quality training to help you achieve your school’s mission.

That said, we’ve had great responses to our free one-hour webinars, and there are four scheduled between now and the end of May:

April 19th, 4:00 p.m.Energy Savings 101 - How to Find Energy Savings in Your School Facility.  Energy efficiency experts Kwame Watkins and Chuck Thomas from Jengo Consulting will present a step by step overview on how to reduce energy costs in your school building.  Energy reduction best practices will be shared that can be implemented at little or no cost.  Audience – Operations staff, CEOs, CFOs

May 1st, 4:00 p.m. - Employee Situations Involving Alleged Harassment, Retaliation and Discrimination.  Texas charter school expert and attorney Joe Hoffer will offer authoritative advice and guidance in this one-hour webinar on dealing with employee situations regarding alleged harassment, retaliation and discrimination.  Audience – CEOs, HR and Operations staff, Campus Leaders. Credit – 60 minutes Charter School Law.

May 16th, 9:00 a.m. – School Safety and Active Shooter Threats – Next Steps.  This webinar is a follow up to our well-attended March webinar on school safety.  Edward Rivas of AIG will guide school leaders through additional steps to take that will help ensure that your school is utilizing the latest information and practices to ensure the safety of your students and staff.  Audience – CEOs and Campus Leaders. Credit – 60 Minutes Health and Safety.

May 22, 4:00 p.m. – Charter Advocacy 101 for CEOs, Boards, and Campus Administrators. TCSA advocacy experts Martha Fernandez, Director of Civic Affairs and Advocacy, and Erika Rocha, Central Texas Outreach & Field Manager, will provide expert advice and guidance on ways to successfully advocate for your school in today's contentious political environment. Audience – CEOs, Board Members, Campus Leaders. Credit – 60 minutes Charter School Law.

TCSA is very excited to co-host the Charter School Law Institute Texas Legal Seminar: Student Civil Rights Summit on Tuesday, June 26th at Goodwater Montessori School in Georgetown.  This one-day workshop presented by national charter law experts will provide the legal expertise charter school leaders need to serve their students, staff, and community in understanding the breadth of civil rights law and the ways they are changing with a clear understanding of how they are applied to charter schools.  Register by May 25th to get an early registration discount.  Discounts are also available for two or more participants from one organization.   Audience – CEOs, Board Members, Campus Leaders.  Credit - 360 minutes Charter School Law.

Our next Member Council Meeting is scheduled for April 26th from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the TCEA training facility in Austin. This is the best way to engage with your organization and strengthen our movement.  Please note the agenda on the registration link.  Lunch will be provided by our sponsor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  At this time we are also planning on making remote access available as well; we should have that link available shortly.

Finally, with our annual TCSA Conference coming up October 24-26, we are looking for quality conference session proposals focused on one or more of the following areas - Innovation, Advocacy, Finance, Governance, Leadership and Coaching, Operations, Student Success and Learning, School Law, Growth, Safety and Security, Strategic Planning, Marketing, and Communication.  We are planning for our 2018 conference to be the biggest and best yet.  Please help make that happen by considering submitting a conference proposal before the May 15th deadline!

At TCSA we offer specially discounted bundled training for governance teams and administrators, and we can set up customized in-person training for your staff and governance teams as well.  Please reach out to me and let me know how we can help meet your training needs!