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:        Last month, my Board voted to terminate an employee’s probationary contract against my strong objection. Even after I recommended her contract for renewal, the Board acted to terminate. Can they do that? A:        Yes. While the Superintendent has the authority to make recommendations regarding personnel, the Board is free to accept or reject these recommendations and can initiate nonrenewal or termination proceedings against the Superintendent’s recommendation. Texas Education Code §11.201 lists one of the duties of the Superintendent as...
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Q:        Our district renewed contracts back in February. Employees were required to sign and return the contract on or before April 10, 2016. After several reminders, one teacher has yet to return her signed contract. She has a probationary contract and we were on the fence about renewing—her failure to return the contract pushed us over the edge. Can we void her contract for failure to timely return? A:        Likely yes, depending on the language in the employment contract.  ...
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Q: Due to the passage of SB 1 in the 2015 legislative session, my District acted before June 1, 2015, to adopt a Local Option Homestead Exemption (LOHE) of zero percent (0%) that was previously twenty percent (20%).  Our CFO has told us that action is void and our prior 20% LOHE is automatically reinstated.  Is that true? How can proper Board action be void? A: That is the apparent effect of the recent opinion by the Texas Attorney General...
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Q:   I’ve heard there may be some changes in the law when it comes to videotaping our board meetings. Currently, our meetings are not available online, but we do tape record them and make the tapes available to copy. Does our current practice meet our obligation to the public? A:  Maybe. If your District has a student population of 10,000 or more, Texas law requires that a District make a video recording of all regularly scheduled board meetings available...
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Q: The District’s elementary school principal would like to require her teachers to complete an eight hour online training regarding bullying over the summer to get a jump start on the school year. Are the teachers entitled to pay for completing training over the summer? A:  Yes. The District must compensate teachers for participating in mandatory training held after completion of the term of the contract.     Most Districts employ teachers on a 10 month basis, with duty days...
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