Reference Desk and News

The Attorneys at K|B|S provide timely content on matters of interest to client districts through various forms of publications and genre. Once released, the communications are placed on our news blog, chronologically and in a simple to read Q&A searchable format.
Q:        Can we legally ask employees if they have received a COVID-19 vaccine as part of our health screening protocols when someone reports a positive case or close contact exposure to the virus?  A:        Yes, you can inquire about employees’ vaccination status, but the employee can choose not to provide an answer. Importantly, a public school district cannot require proof of vaccination status (e.g., vaccine card), nor can the district require or mandate vaccines for employees. Governor Abbott’s Executive Order...
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Q:        I’m hoping the Legislature made it easier to suspend the Texas Public Information Act in the event we experience another COVID epidemic. Did I hear that correctly?  A:       Not really.  S.B. 1225 did amend the TPIA. However, the amendment provides for greater restriction than access to the Act’s suspension provisions. In the past, catastrophes, natural disasters, and other similar emergencies rendered it difficult or impossible for impacted governmental bodies to timely respond to TPIA requests, either due to...
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Q:        Did I hear correctly that the Legislature passed a bill that changes the standard for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect?  A:        Yes. HB 3379 amends the Texas Family Code to establish and apply a “reasonable cause” standard for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, which is a higher standard than that currently in place. This revision is intended to reduce unfounded reports, distress on children in question, costly investigations, and no-evidence prosecutions.    Longstanding state law has...
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Q:        Did the Legislature take any action relevant to cyberbullying and the increasing prevalence of social media in students’ lives?   A:        Yes. SB2050 amends Texas Education Code section 37.0832 to require a school district’s board to adopt a policy, including any necessary procedures, for prevention and mediation of bullying incidents, including cyberbullying, between students. Previously, the statute made adoption of a policy for bullying prevention and mediation optional. Statistics are rising that indicate students who experience bullying are at increased...
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Q:        I heard a bill just passed that would allow homeschool students to participate in district UIL activities. Are we now required to let homeschool students participate in our UIL activities?   A:        No. HB 547, also known as the “Tim Tebow Bill,” gives school districts the option to allow homeschool students to participate in UIL activities as representatives of the school for which their residence is zoned but does not require it. HB 547 adds Texas Education Code section 33.0832...
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Recent Articles

KBS Reference Desk: Accelerated and Supplemental Instruction HB 4545
September 17, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Active Threat Excercises
September 10, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 1927 Firearms
September 3, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Remote Participation in Board Meetings
August 27, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Waiving Minimum Attendance Requirements for Seriously Ill Students
August 20, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Inquiring About Vaccine Status
August 13, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Temporary Suspension of TPIA due to Catastrophe
August 6, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Standard for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
July 30, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Bullying Policies and Reporting SB 2050
July 23, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Homeschoolers and UIL
July 16, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: TOMA Suspension Extension
July 9, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Revision to Resignation without Penalty Deadline
July 2, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: SB 179 School Counselors
June 25, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: 2021 TRS Surcharge SB 202
June 18, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: When do Virtual Board Meetings End
June 11, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Buy American Program
June 4, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Board Member with Substantial Interest Closed Meeting Attendance
May 28, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Administrator Reassignments – Same Professional Capacity
May 21, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Vaccine Complications and FFCRA
May 14, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Importance of Contract Legal Review
May 7, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Negotiating Resignations
April 30, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Authority to Create New Position
April 23, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Vaccine Incentive Programs for Employees
April 16, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Felony Conviction and School Board Candidates
April 9, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: T-TESS Rubric Virtual
April 2, 2021
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