I’m just back in town from the TASB Summer Leadership Institute in San Antonio where my friends and fellow Walsh Gallegos attorneys Tony Resendez and Haley Turner gave a great presentation on Board-level grievances. Not only that, I got to visit with a number of trustees who participated in the state-mandated S.B. 1566 training on evaluating student performance. With those things in mind, and since summer is a great time to think about updating local policies and regulations, let’s focus on another piece of SB 1566: the changes to Texas Education Code Section 26.011 on – what else – complaints!
The changes are good. Section 26.011(b) allows school boards to forego the pleasure of addressing a complaint concerning a student’s participation in extracurricular activities. This is good news for your boards, because it allows them to avoid the difficult position of choosing between disappointing those students who really just want to cheer or swim, or be NHS president, and disappointing their administrators who really just want the board to support the tough choices they have to make on a daily basis.
There are a couple of exceptions. First, the board must still hear any complaint that involves an allegation that parental rights guaranteed by Chapter 26 of the Education Code have been violated. Second, the board must also hear any complaint related to special education services for a student with a disability.
Your FNG (Legal) policies already reflect these changes in the law. Your local polices, however, may need to be updated to give both parents and administrators notice of the procedural changes and how they will be implemented locally.
DAWG BONE: THE TIME TO MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR STUDENT/PARENT COMPLAINT POLICY IS NOW
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