• Student Health/Well-Being Bills Passed by the 2015 Legislature

     

    HB 1559
    Parker
    Online Information on Homeless Student Programs/Services

    Requires each school that maintains a website to post information on local programs and services available to assist homeless students. Requires schools to make a good faith effort to compile the information and post it in a format and style that is easily understandable by parents and students.

    Allows a representative of a local program to request that information about the program and its services be posted on a school’s website, but the school maintains discretion on whether to post the information. Provides that a district is not liable for harm to a student that results in connection with a local program or service included on a district website. These provisions do not apply to a school within a district that has fewer than 3,000 students and is primarily located in a county with a population of less than 50,000. This section expires September 1, 2025.

    This act applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Earliest effective date: Immediately

    HB 3562
    Thompson, Senfronia
    Grace Period for Exhausted or Insufficient Meal Card or Account Balance

    Requires a school district that allows a student to use a prepaid meal card or account to purchase meals to adopt a grace period policy for situations in which the meal card or account is exhausted or insufficient to continue for a period determined by the district. Provides that the policy must require the school district to notify the parent or person standing in parental relation that the meal card or account is exhausted. Prohibits the district from charging a fee or interest in connection with meals purchased during the grace period. Allows the district to set a repayment schedule as part of the notice to the parent or person standing in parental relation.

    Earliest effective date: Immediately

    HB 3748
    Farney
    Coordination of Support Services for Current or Former Children Placed in Foster Care

    Requires TEA to designate at least one agency employee to act as a liaison officer for educational issues related to students in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Requires each institution of higher education to designate at least one employee to act as a liaison officer for current and incoming students at the institution who were formerly in the conservatorship of the DFPS. Requires the THECB to designate at least one employee of that board to act as a liaison officer for current and incoming students at the institution who were formerly in the conservatorship of the DFPS. Requires the DFPS and the THECB to enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the exchange of information. Provides specific requirements for the memorandum of understanding.

    Earliest effective date: Immediately

    SB 66
    Hinojosa
    Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (EpiPens) in Public Schools

    Provides for the establishment, composition, compensation, and duties of an advisory committee that will examine and review the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) to a person experiencing an anaphylactic reaction on a campus of a school district or open-enrollment charter school.

    Allows each school district and open-enrollment charter school to adopt and implement a policy regarding the maintenance, administration, and disposal of EpiPens at each campus in the district or open-enrollment charter school. Provides specific requirements for a policy adopted by a school district or open-enrollment charter school.

    Requires the commissioner of state health services, in consultation with the commissioner of education, to adopt rules regarding the maintenance, administration, and disposal of an EpiPen at a school campus. Requires that each school district or open-enrollment charter school that adopts a policy to have one or more school personnel members or school volunteers authorized and trained to administer an EpiPen present during all hours the campus is open. Requires the supply of EpiPens to be securely stored and accessible to school personnel and volunteers.

    Requires the school, not later than the 10th business day after the date a school personnel member or school volunteer administers an EpiPen, to report certain required information to the school district or charter school, the physician or other person who prescribed the EpiPen, the commissioner of education, and the commissioner of state health services.
    Requires each school district or open-enrollment charter school that adopts a policy to train school personnel and school volunteers in the administration of an EpiPen. Provides specific requirements for the training.

    Allows a physician or person who has been delegated prescriptive authority to prescribe EpiPens in the name of the school district or open-enrollment charter school. Requires a physician to provide the school district or open-enrollment charter with a standing order for the administration of an EpiPen to a person reasonably believed to be experiencing anaphylaxis. Provides the content requirements for the order.

    Requires a school district or open-enrollment charter that implements a policy to provide written notice to each student enrolled in the district or school.

    Allows a school district or open-enrollment charter school to accept gifts, grants, donations, and federal and local funds to implement the requirements of the bill.

    Requires the commissioner of education and the commissioner of state health services to jointly adopt rules.

    Provides immunity from civil or criminal liability or disciplinary action to any person who in good faith takes, or fails to take, any action under the provisions of the bill. Provides that no civil, criminal, or administrative cause of action or liability is created. Provides immunity from suit to a school district, open-enrollment charter school, school personnel, and school volunteers for an act or failure to act.

    Earliest effective date: Immediately

    SB 97
    Hinojosa
    Sale, Possession, and Use of E-Cigarettes

    Prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes to persons younger than 18 years of age.

    Pursuant to federal law, prohibits a person from selling, giving, or causing to be sold or given an e-cigarette to someone who is younger than 27 years of age unless the person to whom the e-cigarette was sold or given presents an apparently valid proof of identification.

    Requires a report on the status of the use of e-cigarettes in this state to be presented to the governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House of Representatives before the commencement of a regular session of the Texas Legislature. Provides requirements for the contents of the report.

    Prohibits the possession, purchase, consumption, or receipt of e-cigarettes by a minor younger than 18 years of age.

    Requires the board of trustees of a school district to: prohibit smoking or using e-cigarettes or tobacco products at a school-related or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property; prohibit students from possessing e-cigarettes or tobacco products at a school-related or school-sanctioned activity on or off school property; and ensure that school personnel enforce the policies on school property.

    Earliest effective date: October 1, 2015

    SB 265
    Ellis
    Student Sunscreen Use

    Allows students to possess and use topical sunscreen while on school property or at a school-related event or activity to avoid overexposure to the sun and not for medical treatment of an injury or illness if the product is approved by the FDA for over-the-counter use. Provides that this change does not waive any immunity nor does it create any liability against a school district, its board of trustees, or its employees.

    Applies beginning with the 2015-16 school year.

    Earliest effective date: Immediately

    SB 1494
    Uresti
    Transition Assistance for Homeless Students

    Requires TEA to provide transition assistance to homeless students moving from one school to another. Provides that if a grade 11 or 12 student transfers to a different school district and the student is ineligible to graduate from the district to which the student transfers, the district from which the student transferred shall award a diploma at the student’s request, if the student meets the graduation requirements of the district from which the student transferred.

    Earliest effective date: Immediately