Below are today’s updates regarding COVID-19 and its impact on Texas public schools.  For additional resources, please visit our COVID-19 page.

TEA Special Education and Special Populations Updates for the Week of April 20, 2020
Dean Micknal, Partner

The Texas Education Agency reorganized its COVID-19 Support: Special Education webpage last week.  The revised site, which can be accessed here, now includes a direct link to the COVID19 Special Education Q&A, as well as links to four areas dedicated to:

Please click here to continue reading.

Now They Tell Us: Authority to Regulate Public Comments
Mike Leasor, Shareholder

On April 22, 2020, the Attorney General provided additional guidance on the implementation of Texas Government Code §551.007.  This section went into effect on September 1, 2019 and the sections addressed in the Opinion state:

  • A governmental body shall allow each member of the public who desires to address the body regarding an item on an agenda for an open meeting of the body to address the body regarding the item at the meeting before or during the body’s consideration of the item.
  • A governmental body may adopt reasonable rules regarding the public’s right to address the body under this section, including rules that limit the total amount of time that a member of the public may address the body on a given item.

The first question presented was whether §551.007(b) permits a district to hold one public comment period at the beginning of an open meeting to address all agenda items, or instead, whether §551.007(b) requires a district to hold separate public comment periods immediately before each agenda item.

Please click here to continue reading.

Class of 2020: Waiving Graduation Requirements
Victoria Elliott, Associate

In the wake of COVID-19, many questions have arisen regarding graduation for the 2020 senior class.  During these times, it is important to remember that certain specific assessment graduation requirements may be satisfied via an individual graduation committee (“IGC”) review, including:

  • Seniors who were enrolled in the district or charter school during the 2019–2020 school year may graduate via an IGC determination, regardless of the number of EOC exams they still need to pass.
  • In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC) §28.0258, students must successfully complete the curriculum requirements for high school graduation as identified in Title 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 74, Subchapter B. Districts and charter schools must determine if a student has met all other graduation requirements under TEC, §28.025(c), including successful completion of all curriculum requirements or an individualized education program.

Please click here to continue reading.

Planning for the Future
Rhonda Crass, Shareholder

As we look at virtual learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, it brings many new issues to the forefront regarding what it will take to open for the 2020-2021 school year.  In our practice each day, issues being discussed include the need for guidelines aimed at summer trips for staff and students; guidelines and legal parameters for social distancing when school resumes; employment issues under the new leave statutes; and, what to do with those students or teachers who are placed in quarantine for exposure to COVID-19 and can no longer attend school.

As other topics arise, we are here to assist you in preparing for the 2020-2021 school year with answers, training for staff, and guidance for specific programs.


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Leasor Crass has been an invaluable asset to Wylie Independent School District for 8 years. As a trusted advisor and reliable guide, the firm has consistently supported us through every challenge we’ve faced. Their common sense and pragmatic approach to the law have earned them greater trust with each passing year. We feel incredibly fortunate to have them represent our school district. With their ongoing support and guidance, we are confident in our ability to overcome any obstacle as we continue to strive for educational excellence.

– Dr. David Vinson, Superintendent, Wylie Independent School District

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House Bill 3 Strengthens School Safety and Security

House Bill 3 brings major changes to school safety, specifically requiring districts to strengthen active shooter policies and safety plans. Effective September 1, 2023, it is imperative that districts begin to review the new requirements of HB 3 to ensure policies and procedures are compliant in time for the upcoming school year. Security Officers/Facility Safety […]

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