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K|B|S
Q:       A teacher at our District was allowed to use two weeks of leave in December under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) because her childcare provider was closed due to COVID-19. The teacher is scheduled to be paid for the two weeks of leave during our January payroll cycle. Do we still...
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Q:        I read somewhere that TEA has updated the COVID-19 close contact re-entry procedures and criteria based on new guidance from the CDC. Are there exceptions to the mandatory 14-day stay-at-home period now?  A:        Yes. TEA released an updated version of the Public Health Planning Guidance on December 10, 2020 which provides districts with the...
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Q:        I am hearing that the federal government, through Operation Warp Speed, expects to begin delivering COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020. Can a school district require students and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?   A:        Theoretically, yes as to students; no, as to staff (for now). The Texas Department of State...
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Q:        We are growing increasingly concerned with the impact the recent surge of coronavirus cases is having on our attendance and resulting state funding. Are we able to restrict student access to in-person instruction if a campus can no longer be adequately staffed due to a COVID-19 outbreak without impacting our funding?   A:...
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Q:        We are losing staff left and right due to COVID. We have a paraprofessional who would like to help out and “volunteer” as a coach. Can we take her up on her offer?  A:        Unfortunately, no. Because the paraprofessional is a nonexempt employee, the District would be required to pay her for all worked...
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Q:       We received a large TPIA request and don’t even know where to begin. It appears that some of the information sought is confidential and will require a decision request to the Attorney General’s office. Does sending a request for clarification/narrowing extend our initial 10-day deadline to seek an AG opinion?  A:        Yes....
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Q:        We have a record number of failing students in our remote learning program, and attendance by virtual students is at an all-time low. We would like to discontinue remote learning and offer in-person learning only. Is that possible?  A:        Yes. The Commissioner of Education recently announced procedures that must be followed if a District...
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Q:        We recently received a complaint about a teacher wearing a Trump/Pence t-shirt during virtual instruction. Our dress code prohibits all clothing with a political message—the teacher claims we are violating her right to free speech. Can our district regulate the employee’s political clothing? A:        Likely yes, but there are two issues to consider....
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Q:      I’m refreshing my memory on the new regulations regarding emergency safety drills to take effect during the 2020-2021 school year based on the TEA’s adoption of 19 Texas Administrative Code §103.129. Does the COVID-19 pandemic impact these emergency drills or their effective start date? A:       No, not really. All districts and open-enrollment charter schools...
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Q:        Our district recently discontinued virtual learning for our students. We have had a general education student request “homebound” instruction due to a member of the child’s immediate family being immuno-compromised. The parent submitted medical documentation confirming the family member’s condition.  Do we have to approve this request? A:        No. The student will not be...
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