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Open Government
Q:        One of our board members is currently under quarantine due to his spouse testing positive for COVID-19. Our board meeting is next week, and he would like to participate in the meeting. Can he call in and be put on speakerphone?  A:        No. Telephone participation at a public meeting is not permitted under the...
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Q:        Did the Legislature make any provision in the Education Code to provide flexibility with attendance requirements for a student who experiences excessive absenteeism resulting from a serious or life-threatening illness, such as COVID-19?  A:        Yes, HB 699 requires a school district to excuse a student from attending school for an absence resulting from “a...
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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...
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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,...
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Q:        I heard recently that the Governor’s suspension of certain Texas Open Meetings Act requirements is coming to an end and we will be required soon to conduct Board of Trustees meeting in person. Is that true?   A:        Yes. While on July 1, 2021, the Governor of Texas granted an additional 30-day extension of the...
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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...
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