Cameras in Special Ed Classrooms

Background

Senate Bill 507, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015:
  • requires a school district or open-enrollment charter holder, upon the request of a parent, trustee, or staff member, to provide equipment, including a video camera, to each school in the district or each charter school campus in which a student who receives special education services in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting is enrolled
  • requires each school or campus that receives equipment to place, operate, and maintain one or more video cameras in each self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education and related services and assigned to a self-contained classroom or other special education setting for at least 50 percent of the instructional day
  • requires the video cameras placed in the classroom to cover all areas of the classroom or special education setting, except that the inside of a bathroom or any area in the classroom setting in which a student’s clothes are changed may not be visually monitored
  • requires audio to be recorded from all areas of the classroom or other special education setting
  • requires a school or campus to provide written notice of the camera’s placement to all school of campus staff and to the parents of a student receiving special education services in the classroom or setting
  • requires a school district or open-enrollment charter school to retain video recorded in the special education classroom for at least six months after the date the video was recorded.

Read more about SB 507.

Related TASA Capitol Watch Alerts

Senate Education Committee Meets on Bill to Clarify Special Ed Video Camera Law, Others
04.04.2017 — On Tuesday, April 4, the Senate Education Committee met on five bills on a variety of topics, including the law requiring cameras in special education settings.
 
09.29.2016 — TEA issued a letter to administrators September 28 that provides districts with additional guidance on the new law that requires districts to install cameras in special education classrooms.

Texas Attorney General Provides Guidance on Cameras in Special Education Classrooms
09.15.2016 — Interpreting SB 507 as written, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ruled on September 13 that school districts must “provide equipment, including a video camera, to each school."

TEA Releases Final Rules on Cameras in Special Ed Settings
08.04.2016 — Pursuant to Senate Bill 507, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, TEA has released final rules concerning video surveillance in certain special education settings. The final rules are effective August 15.

TEA to Hold Public Hearing on Rules Concerning Video Surveillance of Special Education Settings
05.03.2016 — TEA will hold a public hearing on proposed Commissioner’s Rules concerning video surveillance of certain special education settings on May 19.

TEA Proposes Rules for Video Cameras in Special Education Settings
04.07.2016 — TEA has posted proposed rules for the implementation of SB 507, which requires video cameras to be placed in certain special education settings.

TEA Seeks Expedited AG Opinion on Cameras in Special Education Classroom
03.18.2016 — Commissioner Morath sent a request to the Attorney General asking for clarification on certain matters in recently passed legislation requiring cameras in some special education classrooms.
 
House Public Education Committee to Meet on Bill Requiring Cameras in Self-Contained Classrooms, More on May 21
05.20.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet Thursday, May 21, upon final adjournment of the House on a half-dozen Senate bills, including one that would require districts to install video cameras in certain self-contained classrooms.
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