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

Don’t Forget About FERPA
Victoria Elliott, Associate

The Department of Education’s Student Privacy Policy Office has sent out information informing districts of the importance of updating FERPA/PPRA policies and notifications, as applicable, during online and virtual learning due to COVID-19.

If appropriate based on current policies, districts should revise the following:

  1. “the criteria specified in their annual notification of FERPA rights… as to who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest in order to permit the non-consensual disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records to school officials who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests under the school official exception…”; and
  2. “their directory information policies under FERPA.”

Please review the cover letter and annual notification here.

TEA and U.S. Dept. of Education Special Education Updates for the Week of April 27, 2020
Dean Micknal, Partner

After completely redesigning the COVID-19 Support: Special Education webpage last week, the Texas Education Agency had a relatively quiet week of updates.  The only update in the General Guidance section appears to consist of a minor correction to the COVID-19 Special Education Q&A regarding the requirement that SHARS informed consent include the name, rather than signature, of the district staff member who received information.

Please click here to continue reading.

Gov. Abbott’s Latest Executive Order and Its Impact on Graduations and Proms
Holly James, Senior Associate 

On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-18, allowing certain businesses to physically reopen at 25% capacity.  Very little of GA-18 impacts schools in a new way, but as districts work to make decisions about graduation, prom, and other activities, it is useful to take a more in-depth look at the primary mandate contained in the order.

Please click here to continue reading.

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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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