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Q:        As we move further into December, several teachers have asked whether they may place holiday decorations in their classrooms. Are religious themed decorations permitted?  A:        Yes, so long as there is a balance of views and traditions represented. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits government entanglement with...
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Q:       I’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about library books, including seeing several lists circulated identifying books that may have inappropriate sexual content. The talk is that the Texas House of Representatives may be taking action on this subject. Am I obligated to review/remove these books? A:        No. While the Texas House Committee on...
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Q:        I heard that TEA recently changed its position regarding low attendance waivers. Our attendance was horrible in August due to COVID-19 quarantines. Will we be eligible for a waiver? A:        No, but the Commissioner has agreed to adjust operational minutes for all school districts for the first six-week reporting period of the 2021-2022...
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Q.        I heard there is a new Active Shooter Alert System in the event of a reported active shooter in the school district’s jurisdiction. Does this mean that local law enforcement is liable if the alert is not activated?  A.       No. While HB 103 requires the Department of Public Safety...
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Q:        Some parents in our district remain interested in remote learning and have asked  what virtual options will be available for their students next year. Did I hear correctly that Governor Abbott signed a bill into law funding virtual learning during the 2022-2023 school year?  A:        Yes. Governor Abbott executed SB 15, which...
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Q:       We caught a student on campus with CBD oil and local law enforcement advised us that they cannot determine the THC concentration to pursue charges for possession of a controlled substance. Can we still discipline the student under the Student Code of Conduct?  A:        Yes. A school district can discipline a student...
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Q:       I just received a Public Information Request for all electronic communications between individual board members or between board members and the superintendent related to a proposed vaccine incentive. I can pull ISD emails from our server, but do I need to search my phone and ask the board members for copies of personal...
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Q:        I’ve heard that evaluations for dyslexia or a related disorder must now occur as part of Full Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE), is that true?   A:         Yes, the Dyslexia Handbook sections on evaluation for dyslexia and dysgraphia, published by the State Board of Education, now require that anytime a school district suspects that a student...
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Q:        As we settle into the new school year, police officers in my district have been asking if there are any changes that impact them. Did the 87th Texas Legislature pass any laws that affect peace officers?  A:        Yes, the 87th Texas Legislature was as busy as ever; here are a few key...
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Q:        If our District receives a donation from our Parent-Teacher Organization designated to fund supplemental educational staff positions, are we required to use the funds for that specific purpose if something else is needed at a given campus?  A:        Yes. Pursuant to House Bill 1525, enacted September 1, 2021, school districts must accept PTO donations...
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