FAQ

What is a Senate Bill 1882 (SB 1882) partnership?

In 2017, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1882, which grants additional funding to school districts that agree to work collaboratively with nonprofit partners. These new partnerships offer districts the opportunity to expand options and provide resources for neighborhood schools, bring in targeted expertise for innovation and support, and empower educators with greater autonomy. EISD current SB 1882 partners include Pre-K4SA, Friends of P-TECH, and Texas A&M University – San Antonio. These new SB 1882 partnerships allow schools to engage mission-aligned nonprofits at a deeper level for the benefit of students and staff.

What are the benefits of a SB 1882 partnership?

Partnership schools that are approved by TEA will receive increased state funding, currently estimated at EISD to be $1,000 per student on an annual basis. For example, a school with 500 students may be eligible for $500,000 in additional funds annually. The amount of SB 1882 funding will always be subject to the district’s financial allotments from the state and federal government. In addition, the school will receive support from a mission-aligned nonprofit organization with expertise in whatever the school needs to be successful, whether it be academic coaching, professional development, new student learning opportunities, and/or strategic thought partnering. Finally, schools will be able to leverage the charter application process to seek autonomy over time, talent and resources, in exchange for greater accountability for performance.

How does a school become a SB 1882 partnership school?

When considering a school partnership, the district will seek mission-aligned nonprofit organizations with a strong track record of collaboration and driving student outcomes, particularly with historically disadvantaged communities. All partners must align with EISD’s mission and core values and provide expertise that meets the unique needs of specific schools. For example, an International Baccalaureate (IB) school might consider partnering with an organization that specializes in supporting IB schools. A school wanting to elevate its fine arts program might partner with a local arts organization that could offer professional artistic expertise for students and teachers. The Annual Call for Schools process takes one school year to complete. All partners will be extensively vetted by the school leadership team and district staff prior to being evaluated and approved by the EISD Board. A partnership agreement between the nonprofit organization and EISD Board must then be submitted to TEA for review and approval.

What type of organizations are eligible to become a SB 1882 Partnership?

Partner organizations must be nonprofits, institutions of higher education, or government entities. They must have a strong track record of success, align with EISD’s mission and core values, and provide specific expertise that meets the unique needs of the partnership schools. In conjunction with the District’s Annual Call for Quality Schools, all partners will be extensively vetted by the school leadership team and district staff prior to being evaluated and approved by the EISD Board.

How are SB 1882 partnerships structured?

Each partner organization will hire a small number of staff to support and coach the school’s leadership, provide professional development opportunities for school staff, and ensure the nonprofit meets all of the district’s expectations, such as producing an annual financial audit. The partner will also create a campus nonprofit governing board comprised of community stakeholders and professionals with the experience and passion necessary to support the school in achieving its goals. The nonprofit governing board will collaborate with the campus in selecting the curriculum, school calendar, and student assessments. If a change in leadership is ever needed at the school, the nonprofit partner will work closely with the district and the school’s community to select the school’s principal. At any partnership school, the EISD Board retains ultimate authority and oversight over the school, which will always remain an EISD campus. The district will hold the partner accountable for strong academic and financial performance through a board-approved performance contract and regular monitoring of the school’s charter by district staff and the EISD Board.

How does EISD hold the nonprofit and the school accountable?

Senate Bill 1882 partnerships ultimately exist to improve student outcomes and empower educators, so partnership agreements are written to ensure strong accountability and give the district the flexibility to end the partnership if it’s not benefiting students and staff. The EISD Board will review the performance of all in-district charter schools and SB 1882 partnerships every 3 to 5 years, as required by Board Policy EL(LOCAL). If a performance evaluation during a review cycle shows that the in-district charter school and its nonprofit partner are not meeting the district’s academic and operational expectations, the district may end the partnership or revoke the in-district charter or place it on probation. If the schools are meeting their 3 to 5-year performance goals, and the partner is fully complying with the partnership agreement and applicable law, then the length of the partnership can be up to 10 years. During the term of the partnership, a nonprofit partner will be subject to a minimum of two and as many as three separate performance review cycles, along with the annual audit requirement. The district can end the partnership or revoke the in-district charter at any time if any of the following occurs: (i) the schools fail to meet their 3 or 5-year performance metrics; (ii) the school or partner violates applicable state or federal law; (iii) the schools fail to meet generally accepted accounting standards; or (iv) after two years, the schools are rated as “Improvement Required” or are in the bottom 5% in comparison to all district campuses based on academic performance.

Are the partner organizations required to perform an audit?

Yes. In accordance with state law and the partnership agreement, partners are required to conduct an external and comprehensive financial audit of their nonprofit operations every year. The partner must provide an unqualified (“clean”) audit report to the district and TEA. If the audit raises any concerns or deficiencies that are not corrected by the partner, the district can terminate the partnership. Audits are important to ensure that the nonprofit is a healthy organization that can provide all of the support services that the schools need to be successful. This audit requirement establishes an even higher bar for quality and accountability than is generally required for existing nonprofit organizations that are not part of an SB 1882 partnership at EISD.

 

Can a nonprofit partner organization revoke a school’s charter or close the school?

No. Only the EISD Board of Trustees has the authority to revoke a school’s charter or close a school. A revocation of a school’s charter or the termination of a partnership will not lead to the closure of a school. Any type of school in EISD that experiences multiple years of Improvement Required status, whether or not it is an in-district charter school or a school with an SB 1882 partnership, will always be subject to state-level sanctions, which may include school reconstitution or closure. See Texas House Bill 1842, which defines state-mandated sanctions for all district schools, including in-district charter schools.

What will happen to neighborhood students if their school becomes an in-district charter school with a SB 1882 partnership?

If a school becomes an in-district charter school with an SB 1882 partnership, all neighborhood students will remain at their school, and all students living within the school’s attendance boundary will be guaranteed admission. Students at all EISD schools, including in-district charter schools, do not have to apply to attend their neighborhood school. In-district charter schools may also become open to students residing outside of the attendance zone. The in-district charter process is intended to offer more quality school options for all students; it is not meant to add entry requirements or reduce available seats for neighborhood students at schools with an established attendance zone. It is also illegal for in-district charter schools to discriminate against students based on their social, behavioral, or academic background.

Who can apply to SB 1882 partnership schools and what are the rules for student enrollment?

All SB 1882 partnership schools will be accountable to the district’s unified enrollment policy and administrative procedures. Schools that currently have attendance zones will maintain those attendance zones and students living in the attendance zone will be guaranteed admission. In-district charters with attendance boundaries are also able to offer seats to students living outside of their boundary. In-district charter schools without attendance boundaries will be open to students living within and outside of EISD while ensuring equitable access for historically disadvantaged students.

Who will be responsible for hiring and managing the employees at the SB 1882 partnership school?

The school’s principal and campus-based leadership team, in collaboration with the nonprofit partner, will make decisions related to campus staff evaluation, work hours, assignment, job description, and duties at the school, all in accordance with the school’s charter. Employment decisions like termination or non-renewal must be done in accordance with District policy and procedure and all applicable laws. The district will be responsible for determining all salaries, compensation and benefits of district employees working at the schools. The partner organization will directly employ at least one staff person to oversee support for the school (e.g., professional development, school improvement strategies, mentoring, school leadership coaching, etc.) and to assist the partner organization’s governing board. If a change in leadership is ever needed at the school, the district will work closely with the nonprofit partner and the school’s community to select the school’s principal.

What is the role of the partner’s governing board in a SB 1882 partnership?

The role of the governing board is to support the school with whatever the school needs to be successful, whether it be academic coaching, professional development, or new student learning opportunities, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization’s staff and in accordance with the school’s charter. The board will be comprised of community stakeholders and professionals with specific expertise that is aligned to the programs and strategies described in the charter. For example, the governing board for a nonprofit partner that is supporting an early childhood school model will have experts in early childhood development. Additionally, the nonprofit partner and school leadership team may decide to bring expertise to the governing board from other industries, such as law, engineering, communications, etc. The nonprofit governing board will largely act as advisors and strategic thought partners for the nonprofit staff and school leadership team. The nonprofit governing board and staff will collaborate with the campus leadership team in assessing and refining the curriculum, school calendar, and professional development opportunities. If a change in leadership is ever needed at the school, the nonprofit partner’s governing board and staff will work closely with the district and the school’s community to select the school’s principal. Like any EISD school, SB 1882 partnership schools are held to a rigorous performance contract and fully accountable to the EISD Board. The EISD Board retains ultimate authority and oversight over the school, which will always remain an EISD campus.

Who is responsible for setting the mission, vision, and academic programming at the school?

The mission, vision and core values of the school are defined in the school’s charter. As discussed above, an in-district charter school is a district public school that is authorized by the EISD Board with enhanced autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. Educators interested in opening an in-district charter school must participate in a rigorous application process, and neighborhood schools must obtain the support of a majority of the school’s teachers and parents through a petition process to become an in-district charter school. The role of the partner is to support the school staff in achieving the mission, vision, and core values that are outlined in the school’s charter application. The charter also empowers the school to determine its academic programming, extra-curricular activities and curriculum (subject to state standards), length and design of the school day, calendar, professional development, and other school-based programming. Ultimately the EISD Board will hold the school-based leadership team and partner’s governing board accountable for implementing and refining the school’s charter.

What type of autonomies will the EISD School Board grant to schools with a SB 1882 partnership?
All schools with a Senate Bill 1882 partnership must participate in the Annual Call for Quality Schools and receive approval from the EISD Board of Trustees to become an in-district charter school. The EISD Board will grant autonomies to in-district charter schools and their nonprofit partners in the areas of time, talent, and resources, in accordance with EISD board policy EL(LOCAL). Through the Annual Call, schools are encouraged to request a wide range of autonomies that have been shown to improve operational efficiency and academic outcomes at the campus level. Focus areas may include professional development, curriculum, school calendar, scheduling, staffing, and resource allocation.
Which support services will the district provide to SB 1882 partnership schools?

The district is responsible for providing the same services that it provides to other district schools, including, but not limited to:

    • Ongoing collaboration opportunities with the district’s instructional support departments, including Teaching and Learning, Special Education, and Research and Evaluation;
    • Ensuring that the school complies with all applicable laws, such as Section 504, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and FERPA;
    • Providing related services for special education, Section 504, dyslexia, dysgraphia, hearing, vision, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, adaptive equipment, speech, psychology, orientation and mobility, reading, adaptive physical education, and occupational and physical therapy;
    • All child nutrition program services (breakfast, lunch, etc.);
    • Facility maintenance and repair services;
    • Technology infrastructure and repair;
    • Grant reporting and payment processing;
    • Assisting with the recruiting, hiring, and processing of campus employees;
    • Overseeing employee grievances and due process;
    • Providing schools with substitute teachers; and
    • Maintaining all students in the District’s student information system and performing all mandatory reporting to TEA.
Which support services will approved partners provide to SB 1882 partnership schools?

Each partner organization has its own unique background and expertise that is aligned to the needs of the school and the school’s charter, so the type of support provided will depend on the partner organization and the school. For example, a partner may offer marketing and community engagement support to a school that is working to increase its student enrollment and improve parent outreach. A partner might assist a high school in securing adult mentors and job shadowing opportunities for its students. On an ongoing basis, all  partners and governing boards are expected to review and refine the core tenants of a school’s charter (mission, vision, academic model), in close collaboration with the school leadership team, to ensure that the charter is being implemented successfully. Student achievement and fulfilling the school’s charter must be a constant focus for each partner organization’s staff and governing board, while ultimately remaining accountable to the EISD Board.

How are SB 1882 schools funded?

These schools will receive the district’s usual state and federal funds that all district schools receive, as well as additional SB 1882 funds if the partnership is approved by Texas Education Agency. SB 1882 funds are currently estimated at EISD to be $1,000 per student on an annual basis. For example, a school with 500 students may be eligible for $500,000 in additional funds annually. 

Schools will be empowered to spend these additional funds on identified campus needs that are aligned to its academic model, such as hiring staff to support the International Baccalaureate program or expanding student learning opportunities (projects, field trips, job shadowing, etc.) The district will retain an administrative support fee of 2.74% of the state revenue generated by students at the schools for the support it will continue to provide to the schools .

The partner organization will receive a management fee from the SB 1882 Funds actually received by the district for the campuses. These funds will build and sustain the organization’s capacity to support the partnership schools in achieving their goals. Nonprofit partners will complete a comprehensive and external financial audit every year to ensure these funds are spent in accordance with the partnership agreement and applicable laws.

What will happen to the building if the school enters into a SB 1882 partnership?

The district will continue to own all school buildings and property. SB 1882 partnerships have no impact on the district’s ownership of buildings and property. School facilities will be maintained and managed like all other district campuses. All partner organization staff who have passed the district’s criminal background check will be granted access to the schools as necessary to support the schools and comply with the partnership agreement.