85TH REGULAR SESSION LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY AVAILABLE NOW
The TCSA Legislative Summary of the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature is now available for member schools through the TCSA Quality Member Portal. TCSA Legal kept busy this summer reviewing and summarizing all 113 bills passed during the 85th Regular Legislative Session that impact public education. We hope the Summary will be a useful tool for charter school leaders as they head into the 2017-2018 school year and implement many of the new laws. Some of the highlights from the Legislative Session include:
Two Key TCSA Legislative Priorities:
SB 1480 increases the capacity of the Permanent School Fund (PSF) available to guarantee the financing of public charter schools from $1 billion to an estimated $4 billion beginning September 1, 2017, providing ample capacity for qualifying charter schools to take advantage of the savings afforded by the PSF Bond Guarantee Program.
HB 2442 protects the funding of about 110 public charter school campuses that enroll nearly 21,000 students. HB 2442 changes the requirement of 75,600 minutes of instructional time, to 75,600 minutes of operation. Additionally, it amends Tex. Education Code §42.005 to ensure all charter schools in operation on January 1, 2015 continue to receive full funding.
Other Significant Bills Include:
SB 179, known as “David’s Law” makes significant changes and additions related to student bullying and cyberbullying, and subjects charter schools to the Chapter 37 requirements of the Education Code as it relates to bullying prevention policies.
SB 7, expands the prohibition of improper relationships between an educator and an student to include any teacher, librarian, aide, administrator, counselor, or diagnostician regardless of whether the person holds a license or certificate, and imposes new SBEC reporting requirements and penalties for failure to report and improper conduct.
SB 160 removes by statute the 8.5% special education PBMAS indicator and SB 1153 implements new requirements relating to multi-tiered intervention strategies such as response to intervention (RTI), including parent notification and PEIMS reporting requirements.
Many of the new laws require charter schools to adopt new policies and procedures. We are currently updating the TCSA Model Policy Series (including the Model Personnel Handbook) which we will make available to subscribers soon.
The Model Student Code of Conduct Guide has been updated and is now available to purchase. The new Model Student Code of Conduct Guide addresses bullying and cyberbullying. Previous purchasers will receive a discount on the purchase of this new edition. As a reminder, the Guide was developed by TCSA and the Walsh Gallegos law firm to provide a legal and practical guide for charter schools to use in developing a student code of conduct. It contains model code of conduct language, legal and practical tips for development and implementation, and helpful forms for use in the student discipline process.
As always, do not hesitate to contact me or Christine Nishimura with questions or for more information on the laws passed by the Texas Legislature during the Regular Session.