Model Policy Updates

Model Policy subscribers can find more updates in the Quality Portal incorporating important changes made by the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. TCSA Legal updated 400.080 Required Instruction & Graduation to include changes to college readiness and vocational assessments. Section 400.120 Health now includes information about required lice notices and donating food. The School Marshal policy, 400.150, updated the minimum number of students needed per school marshal to 200 students instead of 400 students. Concerning the Texas Open Meetings Act, section 500.020 updated the minimum requirements to hold a video conference meeting, as well as updated the exceptions for closed meetings. Section 500.040 updated procedures to respond to a public information request under the Texas Public Information Act, including when a request may be considered withdrawn for failure to pay costs associated with the request.

For the convenience of subscribers, all updated legal authorities and policies clearly note which subsections within the policy have been updated.

Personnel Handbook Update

In early fall, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a permanent injunction against the Department of Labor’s proposed Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules. By issuing a permanent injunction, the exemption from overtime salary test will remain at $455 per week or $23,660 per year instead of the proposed $913 a week. The Personnel Handbook 2nd Edition has been updated to reflect this change. Additionally, for your convenience, the Commissioner approved pre-employment affidavits have been added to the Personnel Handbook folder in the Quality Portal.

As always, do not hesitate to contact Christine Nishimura with questions or for more information regarding the TCSA Model Policy Series.

The Special Education Policy Series for Open-enrollment Charter Schools is now updated and ready for you to download.

Open-enrollment charter schools are required to adopt policies and procedures in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Chapter 29 of the Texas Education Code. Additionally, the Texas Education Agency requires all schools to provide copies of their special education policies through the Special Education Legal Framework in connection with ESC Region 18.

All 2016 Model Policy subscribers can access the Special Education Policy Series in the Quality Portal. If you are not a 2016 Model Policy Subscriber, members will need to purchase the 2016 Model Policy Subscription in order to access the Special Education Policy Series. As part of the Special Education Policy Series, TCSA has designated which policies must be uploaded for each Legal Framework. Each policy must be reviewed and adopted by the board of directors prior to publishing your policies on the Legal Framework. All schools must update and post their new policies before the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

TEA and the Regional ESCs will conduct trainings at each regional ESC to assist schools with uploading the policies to the Legal Framework. Questions specifically about the Legal Framework and ESC Region 18’s website should be directed to Lee Lentz-Edwards and Becky Bilyeu at 432-561-IDEA (4332) or

For all inquires regarding the Special Education Policy Series or the Model Policies contact Christine Nishimura, Director of Legal and Policy Services at or 512-584-8272 ext. 306.

The TCSA Model Policies and Legal Authorities are updated and in the Quality Portal! 

After a very busy legislative session the new Model Policies provide a framework for truancy and how to ensure compliance. There are also new requirements for teacher training in suicide prevention.  Additionally, we added language to address the new open carry law, which went into effect on January 1, 2016. These just highlight a few of the numerous changes that were included in our January updates, so make sure to review all of the modules in the Quality Portal to see more.

During 2016, TCSA will continue to provide updates to all members with a current 2016 Model Policy Subscription. In April, TCSA will provide member subscribers with a complete update to the Special Education Framework. Each charter school will be required to post their updated legal framework to the ESC 18 website prior to the 2016-2017 school year.  July will bring new policies regarding transgender youth, residency, and retention and promotion. Our final 2016 update will be published in October, including any necessary updates to the Personnel Handbook. 

To ensure access to all of the Model Policy updates, renew your 2016 Model Policy Subscription today. Members can renew subscriptions at the same time as you renew your membership through the Quality Portal. If you have already submitted your membership application, but forgot to purchase the 2016 Model Policy Subscription, please contact Christine Nishimura at 512-584-8272 ext. 306 or

We look forward to working with our members and providing continued support to meet our members’ needs.