In addition to the other place(s) at which a charter school must post notice of its Board meetings, it must also concurrently post notice of a Board meeting on its website. Tex. Gov’t Code §§ 551.056(a), (b)(3), 551.043, 551.051.
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. Tex. Gov’t Code § 551.056(c)(3).
Archived Recordings of Board Meetings
If a charter school has a student enrollment of 10,000 or more, the school shall post archived recordings, or a link thereto, for each (a) regularly scheduled open meeting that is not a work session or a special called meeting; and (b) open meeting that is a work session or special called meeting if the school has an enrollment of 10,000 or more and at the work session or special called meeting, the Board votes on any matter or allows public comment or testimony. The school shall make the archived recording available on the Internet not later than seven days after the date the recording was made, and maintain the archived recording on the internet for not less than two years after the date the recording was first made available. Tex. Gov’t Code § 551.128(b-1).
The names of the members of the governing body of the charter school must be listed 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. Tex. Educ. Code § 12.1211; 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 100.1007(d)(2).
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. Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code § 176.009.
Online Message Boards Accessible to the Public
A charter school Board may have one (and no more than one) 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. 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. Please note that online message boards are not required and that there are strict requirements for creating such a message board; please consult with legal counsel before creating such a message board. Tex. Gov’t Code § 551.006(b).
If the Board has designated one mailing address and one electronic mail address for receiving written requests for public information, that information should be posted on the school’s website. If the designated mailing and electronic mail addresses are posted on the school’s website, the school is not required to respond to a written request for public information unless the request is received: (a) at one of those addresses; (b) by hand delivery; or (by another method approved by the Board. The Board is considered to have approved another method for receiving public information requests only if the alternative method is identified on: (a) the school’s website or (b) the “Public Information Act Poster” required to be displayed in the school’s administrative offices under Government Code section 552.205. Tex. Gov’t Code § 552.234(b), (d).
The Attorney General has published a “Public Information Request Form” that the school may use to provide a requestor the option of excluding from release information that the school determines is: (a) confidential or (b) subject to an exception to disclosure that the school would assert if the information were subject to the request. The school is not required to allow requestors to use the Attorney General’s form; however, if the school does allow use of the Attorney General’s form, the form must be posted on the school’s website. Tex. Gov’t Code § 552.235(b).
A charter school must continuously post on its website the salary of the school’s superintendent or, as applicable, the administrator serving as the 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. Tex. Educ. Code § 12.136; 19 Tex. Admin. Code §§ 100.1007(d), 100.1032(2)(K), 100.1050.
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 website must prominently display the electronic link to the adopted budget, and the adopted budget must be maintained on the school’s Internet website until the third anniversary of the date the budget was adopted. Tex. Educ. Code § 44.0051; 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 100.1032(2)(K).
Annual Financial Statement
A charter school’s Board must take action to ensure that the school’s annual financial statement is posted continuously on the school’s website. Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code § 140.006(c); 19 Tex. Admin. Code §§ 100.1032(2)(K), 100.1050.
Annual Financial Report
Although Chapter 44 of the Education Code does not mandate that a charter school post its annual financial report on its website, the commissioner’s rules state that a charter may be non-renewed based on a charter school’s failure to post on its website the most current annual financial report. 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 100.1032(2)(K) (Tex. Educ. Code § 44.008).
*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 Tex. Admin. Code § 109.1001(q)(3)(B)(i).
Federal Grant Award Information
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (“FFATA”) is a federal law that applies to new federal contracts or grants issued on or after October 1, 2010. The law requires prime awardees to report information on subcontractors or sub-awards greater than or equal to $30,000. The TEA is the prime vendor / awardee for most federal awards that are distributed to schools, and the TEA generally reports information on federal sub-awards issued to individual schools. However, if a school receives federal funding through a grant award outside of the TEA, FFATA reporting requirements may apply. Public Law 109-82; Public Law 110-252 § 6202(a).
Targeted Improvement Plan
If assigned a campus intervention team, a school must post on its Internet website notice of a public meeting with certain school administrators, parents, and community members to review the campus performance rating and solicit input for the development of a targeted improvement plan. The notice must include the date, time, and place of the meeting. Additionally, the public must be notified of the meeting 15 days prior to the meeting by way of the district and campus website, local newspapers or other media that reach the general public, and the parent liaison, if present on the campus. Tex. Educ. Code § 39A.056(a)(2), (b); 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 97.1061(d)(3)(A)(ii).
After a targeted improvement plan or an updated targeted improvement plan is submitted to the Board of Director, the Board must conduct a hearing to discuss the insufficient performance of the campus, improvements expected for the campus, the intervention measures or sanctions that may be imposed if performance does not improve, and solicit public comment on the targeted improvement plan. The proposed targeted improvement plan must be posted on the school’s website before the public hearing. Tex. Educ. Code § 39A.057(b).
Campus Turnaround Plan
If required to develop a campus turnaround plan, the school shall notify stakeholders of their ability to review the completed plan on the school website at least 30 days before the final plan is submitted to the Board of Directors. 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 97.1064(e).
Notice of Accredited-Warned, Accredited-Probation, or Not Accredited-Revoked Accreditation Status
Not later than 30 days after an accreditation status of accredited-warned, accredited-probation, or not accredited-revoked is assigned, the school must post notice on its home page with a link to information about the accreditation status, the implications of such status, and the steps the 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 https://tea.texas.gov/accredstatus/ (scroll to “TEA Required Notification Language”). The notice must remain posted until the school is assigned Accredited status. 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 97.1055(f)(3)(A).
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). Tex. Educ. Code § 39.306; 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 61.1022(f).
Federal Report Card
A school that receives Title I funds shall prepare and disseminate an annual federal report card that includes information on the charter system as a hole and each school within the charter system. The report card shall be concise; presented in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language that parents can understand; and accessible to the public, including placing the report on the school’s website. 20 U.S.C. § 6311(h)(2)(B)(iii)(I).
State Assessment Information
A school that receives Title I funds shall post on its website information on each assessment required by the state to comply with 20 U.S.C. 6311, other assessments required by the state, and assessments required by the charter school, including (1) the subject matter assessed; (2) the purpose for which the assessment is designed and used; (3) the source of the requirement for the assessment; and (4) where available, the amount of time students will spend taking the assessment, the schedule for the assessment, and the time and format for disseminating results. 20 U.S.C. § 6312(e)(2)(B).
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. Tex. Educ. Code §§ 28.004(k), 38.0141.
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. Tex. Educ. Code § 38.019(a).
A charter school must, to the extent practicable, post on its website the procedure for reporting bullying established in the school’s policy prohibiting bullying and retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, provide information concerning an incident of bullying. Tex. Educ. Code §§ 12.104(b)(3)(P); 37.0832(e).
A charter school must post a summary a summary of TEA’s “Guidelines for the Care of Students with Food Allergies At-Risk for Anaphylaxis” (the “Guidelines”), as developed by the Commissioner of State Health Services. TEA is required to post the Guidelines on its website, along with a summary of the Guidelines. Each school year, a charter school must post on its website the summary of the Guidelines, along with instructions on obtaining access to the complete Guidelines document. Additionally, any forms used by the school requesting information from a parent or guardian enrolling a child with a food allergy must include information to access on the school’s website a summary of the Guidelines and instructions on obtaining access to the complete Guidelines document. Tex. Educ. Code § 38.0151.
Dissemination of Bacterial Meningitis Information
A charter school must provide on the school website the “Meningitis Information for Student & Parents” notice as prepared by the Texas Department of State Health Services (“TDSHS”). The information should be provided through the school website, or by providing a link on the school website to the “Meningitis Information for Students & Parents” page, unless the school has obtained written consent from the TDSHS to provide the required notice to students and parents by a different method. Tex. Educ. Code § 38.0025(a), (c).
Early Childhood Literacy and Mathematics Proficiency Plans and Progress Reports
The Board shall adopt and post on the school’s Internet website early childhood literacy and mathematics proficiency plans that set specific annual goals for the following five school years to reach quantifiable goals for student performance in reading and mathematics at each campus. At least one district-level administrator (or an employee of the regional education service center for the school’s region) must submit an annual report to the Board on the school’s progress toward the goals set under the plan. The annual report shall be posted on the school’s website and the campus website, if any, for each campus. Tex. Educ. Code §§ 11.185(a), (e), 12.104(b)(3)(T).
College, Career, and Military Readiness Plans
The Board shall adopt college, career, and military readiness plans that set specific annual goals for the following five school years to reach quantifiable goals for measures of student college, career, and military readiness at each campus. At least one district-level administrator (or employee of the regional education service center for the school’s region) must submit an annual report to the Board on the school’s progress toward the goals set under the plan. The annual report shall be posted on the school’s website and on the campus website, if any, for each campus. Tex. Educ. Code §§11.186(c), 12.104(b)(3)(U).
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. Tex. Educ. Code § 29.0112(e)(1).
College Credit Program
If a charter school has adopted a college credit program under Education Code § 28.009, the school must post each year on the school’s website a copy of the agreement (including a memorandum of understanding or articulation agreement) between the charter school and the public institution of higher education. Tex. Educ. Code § 28.009(b-2)(7).
Each school that receives American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (“ESSER”) funds must develop a plan for its use of such funds. Schools must provide the public the opportunity to provide input on the development of the plan, take such input into account, and post the school’s ARP ESSER plan on its website. American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund Interim Final Requirements (Apr. 22, 2021).
A school that receives ARP ESSER funds must, within 30 days of receiving the funds, develop and make publicly available on its website a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The school must seek public comment on the plan prior to making the plan publicly available. A plan for safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services must describe how the school will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the prevention and mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC. The plan must also describe how the school will ensure continuity of services by addressing students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, and which may include student health and food services. Additionally, the school must regularly, but no less frequently than every six months (taking into consideration the timing of significant changes to CDC guidance on reopening schools), review and, as appropriate, revise its plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services, and must seek and take public input into account in determining whether and what revisions are necessary. American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Pub. L. No. 117-2, § 2001(i).
Title I: District and Campus Improvement Plans
The Title I, Part A requirements related to making a schoolwide program plan/campus improvement plan available to stakeholders states the following:
An eligible school operating a schoolwide program shall develop a comprehensive plan (or amend a plan for such a program that was in existence on the day before the date of the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act) that—is available to the local educational agency, parents, and the public, and the information contained in such plan shall be in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language that the parents can understand.
There is no strict legal requirement under Title I, Part A for posting a Title I, Part A Program Plan/District Improvement Plan on a school’s website. However, if posting the plan on a school website is the method your school has selected to make the plan available to parents and the public, it is best practice to have this information posted by the first day of school. 20 U.S.C. § 6314(b)(4). Your school would follow its general translation policies and protocols to determine when the document must be translated into a language other than English.
Under recent updates to Title IX regulations, schools that receive federal funding must prominently display on their website the following contact information for any Title IX Coordinator(s) designated by the school: (a) name or title; (b) office title; (c) electronic mail address; and (d) telephone number. 34 C.F.R. § 106.8(b)(1).
Title IX Training Materials
The updated Title IX regulations require schools that receive federal funding to post on its website all materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process. If a school does not maintain a website, it must make these materials available upon request for inspection by members of the public. 34 C.F.R. § 106.45(b)(10)(i)(D).
While not a strict legal requirement, we recommend posting a notice to persons with disabilities regarding how to request the webmaster or other appropriate person to provide access to (or notify the school regarding) online content that is currently inaccessible. The notice may also include information or an accessible link to information on how an individual may file a formal grievance under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Such a notice can be useful when responding to complaints to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), that a school’s website is inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
We recommend that you review your school’s website to identify potential accessibility issues. An Internet search for “website accessibility checker” or similar terms will provide several applications that can help identify areas and content that may require attention with respect to accessibility for individuals with disabilities. If accessibility issues are found, we recommend that you work with your website design team to remedy the issues and develop a website that meets the accessibility standards preferred by OCR, namely, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA and Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA).