The Educator's Guide to Texas School Law

The Educator's Guide to Texas School Law

The Educator's Guide to Texas School Law

The Educator's Guide to Texas School Law

Synopsis

For over twenty years, The Educator's Guide to Texas School Law has been the preeminent source for information on Texas school law for the state's education community. The sixth edition is the latest in a series of revisions designed to keep the book current, comprehensive, and readable. Readers will find a number of changes in the new edition. First and foremost, the immensely important No Child Left Behind Act has been incorporated at various points in the text, particularly in discussions pertaining to accountability, assessment, and school safety. Other changes include an expanded discussion of charter schools, school uniform policies, and student drug testing programs. Employment issues are now addressed in two chapters, one dealing with contractual matters and the other with personnel management. The new edition includes all legislative developments, relevant federal and state court rulings, and Texas Commissioner of Education decisions to date. In its ten chapters, The Educator's Guide discusses a myriad of topics relating to the legal structure of the Texas school system, attendance law and the instructional program, the education of children with disabilities, employment law, rights of expression and association, the role of religion, student discipline, open meetings and public records, privacy issues, student search and seizure, and legal liability of school districts and employees.

Excerpt

Changes at the state and federal level continue to impact our education system. Every time the Texas Legislature meets, portions of the Texas Education Code are amended. Increasingly we also see the impact of the U.S. Congress as it gets more deeply involved in efforts to improve education. and the disputes over personnel issues, student discipline, religion, and special education continue to make their way to the courthouse.

Thus, it is time for the Sixth Edition of The Educator’s Guide to Texas School Law. This book is intended for all Texas school personnel, school board members, interested attorneys, parents, and taxpayers. Our goal is to explain in lay language, and with occasional humor, what the law is and what the implications are for effective school operations. We aim to help professional educators avoid expensive and timeconsuming lawsuits by taking effective preventive action. We believe this book is an especially valuable resource for school law courses and staff development sessions.

In this edition, the reader will note an increase in the federal role in education. the No Child Left Behind Act, passed by the U.S. Congress under the leadership of former Texas Governor George W. Bush, is impacting virtually every aspect of school operations. We also include more cases involving the use of emerging technology, along with updates on everything from student uniforms to prayer in public schools. in an effort to simplify the very complex area of personnel law, we have split personnel issues into two chapters. Chapter 4 deals with constitutional issues, contracts, and how the personnel relationship begins and ends. Chapter 5 addresses all the legal issues that come up during the employment relationship, from grievances to the role of employee organizations, to various types of leave.

The book begins with a review of the legal structure of the Texas school system. As Chapter 1 notes, education law is a complex interweaving of state and federal constitutional, statutory, administrative, and judicial law. It is important to understand the nature of the system before reading other sections. Following the opening chapter, major topics of education law are presented in some detail. Statute and case references are kept as simple as possible; a complete index of case citations is included for those readers who wish to consult the cases themselves.

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