SB 1566 Summary

  • SB 1566* - Powers and Duties of the Board of Trustees (2017 regular session)

    Academic Achievement & Website
    Requires trustees to provide oversight regarding student academic and strategic leadership to maximize student performance.

    Requires TEA, if requested by a school board, to create a website that those trustees can use to review campus and academic achievement data. Mandates that the website also be available to be used by campuses in a similar manner. Requires the website to include: 1) district information disaggregated by campus, grade, sex, race, academic quarter or semester, and school year regarding the following: (a) student academic achievement and growth; (b) teacher and student attendance; and (c) student discipline records; and (d) be updated at least once each quarter of the school year.

    Requires the website to allow trustees to compare the district’s academic performance with the performance of other districts of similar size and racial and economic demographics. Mandates that districts provide information requested by the commissioner related to this website. Allows TEA to contract with a third party to implement this section. Requires TEA to design a website that ensures public information is accessible to the public without releasing confidential information.

    Board Improvement and Evaluation Tool
    Requires the commissioner to develop a board of trustee’s improvement and evaluation tool that is researched-based and designed to assist districts in improving board oversight and academic achievement. Doesn’t mandate that districts use this evaluation tool except as required by TEC 39.102(a).

    Dropout Prevention Strategies
    Requires districts to implement dropout recovery prevention plans that include career and technology education courses or technology applications courses that lead to industry or career certification. Requires the plan to integrate research-based strategies to assist students in becoming academically able to pursue postsecondary education including: (a) high-quality, college readiness instruction with strong academic and social supports; (b) secondary to postsecondary bridging that builds college readiness skills, provides a plan for college completion, and ensures transition counseling; and (c) information concerning supports available in the first year of postsecondary enrollment to ensure postsecondary persistence and success, to the extent funds are available for the purpose. Mandates that districts plan to offer advanced academic and transition opportunities, including dual credit courses and college prep courses, such as AP courses. Allows districts to partner with a public junior college to fulfill the plan.

    Accreditations, Interventions and Sanctions
    Allows the commissioner to order the use of the board improvement and evaluation tool under TEC 11.182 if a school district fails to satisfy accreditation criteria.

    Campus Turnaround Plan
    Provides that a campus turnaround plan must also include a detailed description for developing and supporting the oversight of academic achievement and student performance by the board of trustees.
    CFO/COO Appear at Board Meetings
    Provides that a school board may require a school district’s chief business official, curriculum director, or person holding an equivalent position to appear at an executive session of the board or to testify at a public hearing held by the board. Prohibits a superintendent from interfering with an appearance or testimony in these circumstances.

    School Information to Trustees
    Provides that a school district must provide trustees with information, documents, and records within 20 business days after the district receives the request. Allows that a district may take additional time not to exceed 30 business days to respond to a request if the 20th business day deadline would be unduly burdensome due to the amount, age, or location of the requested information. Requires the district to inform the trustee of the reason for the delay.

    Allows a trustee to bring suit against a district that does not provide the requested information within the time required. Entitles a member who prevails to recover reasonable attorney fees that will come from the budget of the superintendent’s office. Requires trustees to maintain the confidentiality of the information, documents and records as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and any other applicable privacy laws.

    Trustee visits
    Requires districts to develop a policy regarding visits by trustees to a district campus or other facility.

    Trustee Training
    Requires the minutes of the last regular board meeting held before an election reflect whether each trustee has met or is deficient in meeting required training as of the first anniversary of the trustee’s election or appointment. Requires the district to post those minutes on the district’s website if a trustee is deficient with their training within 10 business days of the meeting.

    Provides that the SBOE require a trustee to complete at least three hours of training every two years on evaluating student performance. Requires that the training be research-based and designed to support the oversight role of the board. Trustees serving on a school board on September 1, 2017, must complete this training by September 1, 2018. Allows a candidate for trustee to complete the required training up to one year prior to becoming elected. Requires new trustees complete this training within 120 days of being elected or appointed. Requires a returning trustee to complete this training by the second anniversary of the completion of the trustee’s previous training. Allows a trustee to receive this training at an ESC or other authorized provider that can certify the completion of the training by a trustee or candidate.

    Posting of Local Innovation Plan
    Requires districts of innovation to post the local innovation plan in a prominent place on the district’s website. Requires districts to submit adopted, amended, or renewed plans to TEA within 15 days. Mandates that TEA promptly post current local innovation plans on its website.

    Patriotic Society Access to Students
    Requires districts to adopt a policy, at the beginning of each school year, that allows principals to provide representatives of a “patriotic society” with the opportunity to speak to students during regular school hours about membership in the society. Defines “patriotic society” as a youth membership organization listed in Title 36 of the U.S. Code with educational purpose that promotes patriotism and civic involvement (example: Boy Scouts of America). Requires that the board policy give the principal complete discretion over the specific date and time of the opportunity and allows the principal to limit the opportunity to a single day and any presentation to 10 minutes in length. Applies beginning with the 2017–2018 school year.
    Complaints (Parental Rights)
    Provides that school boards are not required to address a complaint that the board receives concerning a student’s participation in an extracurricular activity that does not involve a violation of a parental right. This does not affect IDEA or other federal statute addressing special education services for a child with a disability.

    Before-School and After-School Programs
    Allows districts to establish before- and after-school programs for students enrolled in elementary or middle schools. Defines a student eligible to participate in these programs as a student who is enrolled in a public or private school, or resides within the boundaries of a school district.

    Requires districts to conduct a request for proposals for procurement process to enable districts to determine if contracting with a child-care facility that provides a before- or after-school program would serve the district’s best interest. Allows districts to enter into a contract with a child-care facility or implement a program operated by the district. Prohibits a district contract with a child-care facility from exceeding a term of three years.

    Transportation or Storage of a Firearm and Ammunition by License holder in School Parking Area
    Prevents school districts from prohibiting any person who holds a license to carry a handgun from transporting or storing a handgun or other firearm or ammunition in a locked, privately owned, or leased vehicle in a parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area provided by the district as long as the handgun, firearm, or ammunition is not in plain view.

    Notice of Lice
    Requires school boards to adopt a policy requiring an elementary school nurse who determines or otherwise becomes aware that a student enrolled in the school has lice, to provide written or electronic notice of that fact to the parent of the child with lice as soon as practicable but not later than 48 hours. Requires the notice also be given to the parent of each child assigned to the same classroom as the child with lice not later than the fifth school day, but the notice cannot identify the child who has lice. Mandates that the notice include the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the treatment and prevention of lice. Applies beginning with the 2017–2018 school year.

    Dallas County Board of Education
    Provides that the Dallas County Board of Education is abolished effective November 15, 2017, unless the continuation of the county board of education, board of county trustees, and office of the county superintendent is approved by the majority of voters at an election held on the November 2017 uniform election date in Dallas County. Provides a process for dissolution.

    Earliest effective date: September 1, 2017