Bill Text: TX SB7 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Comm Sub

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Relating to improper relationships between educators and students and reporting of educator misconduct; creating a criminal offense and expanding the applicability of an existing offense; authorizing an administrative penalty.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 64-14)

Status: (Passed) 2017-05-26 - Effective on 9/1/17 [SB7 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB7-Comm_Sub.html
  85R21677 GCB-F
 
  By: Bettencourt, et al. S.B. No. 7
 
  (King of Hemphill, Dale, Huberty)
 
  Substitute the following for S.B. No. 7:  No.
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to improper relationships between educators and students
  and reporting of educator misconduct; creating a criminal offense
  and expanding the applicability of an existing offense; authorizing
  an administrative penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 21.12(a), Penal Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (a)  An employee of a public or private primary or secondary
  school commits an offense if the employee:
               (1)  engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or
  deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is enrolled in a public
  or private primary or secondary school at which the employee works;
               (2)  holds a position described by Section 21.003(a) or
  (b), Education Code, regardless of whether the employee holds the
  appropriate certificate, permit, license, or credential for the
  position, [a certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter
  B, Chapter 21, Education Code, or is a person who is required to be
  licensed by a state agency as provided by Section 21.003(b),
  Education Code,] and engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse,
  or deviate sexual intercourse with a person the employee knows is:
                     (A)  enrolled in a public or private primary or
  secondary school, other than a school described by Subdivision (1) 
  [in the same school district as the school at which the employee
  works]; or
                     (B)  a student participant in an educational
  activity that is sponsored by a school district or a public or
  private primary or secondary school, if[:
                           [(i)]  students enrolled in a public or
  private primary or secondary school are the primary participants in
  the activity; [and
                           [(ii)     the employee provides education
  services to those participants;] or
               (3)  engages in conduct described by Section 33.021,
  with a person described by Subdivision (1), or a person the employee
  knows is a person described by Subdivision (2)(A) or (B),
  regardless of the age of that person.
         SECTION 2.  Article 42.018(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  This article applies only to:
               (1)  [to] conviction or deferred adjudication
  community supervision granted on the basis of an offense for which a
  conviction or grant of deferred adjudication community supervision
  requires the defendant to register as a sex offender under Chapter
  62; or
               (2)  conviction of[:
                     [(A)]  an offense under Title 5, Penal Code,[; or
                     [(B)     an offense on conviction of which a
  defendant is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter
  62; and
               [(2)]  if the victim of the offense was [is] under 18
  years of age at the time the offense was committed.
         SECTION 3.  Section 21.006, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (b), (b-1), (c), (e), and (f) and adding
  Subsections (b-2), (c-1), (i), and (j) to read as follows:
         (b)  In addition to the reporting requirement under Section
  261.101, Family Code, the superintendent or director of a school
  district, district of innovation, open-enrollment charter school,
  regional education service center, or shared services arrangement
  shall notify the State Board for Educator Certification if:
               (1)  an educator employed by or seeking employment by
  the school district, district of innovation, charter school,
  service center, or shared services arrangement has a criminal
  record and the school district, district of innovation, charter 
  school, service center, or shared services arrangement obtained
  information about the educator's criminal record by a means other
  than the criminal history clearinghouse established under Section
  411.0845, Government Code;
               (2)  an educator's employment at the school district,
  district of innovation, charter school, service center, or shared
  services arrangement was terminated and there is [based on]
  evidence that the educator:
                     (A)  abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act
  with a student or minor;
                     (A-1)  was involved in a romantic relationship
  with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or
  minor;
                     (B)  possessed, transferred, sold, or distributed
  a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and
  Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.;
                     (C)  illegally transferred, appropriated, or
  expended funds or other property of the school district, district
  of innovation, charter school, service center, or shared services
  arrangement;
                     (D)  attempted by fraudulent or unauthorized
  means to obtain or alter a professional certificate or license for
  the purpose of promotion or additional compensation; or
                     (E)  committed a criminal offense or any part of a
  criminal offense on school property or at a school-sponsored event;
               (3)  the educator resigned and there is evidence that
  the educator engaged in misconduct described by Subdivision (2); or
               (4)  the educator engaged in conduct that violated the
  assessment instrument security procedures established under
  Section 39.0301.
         (b-1)  A superintendent or director of a school district,
  district of innovation, [or] open-enrollment charter school,
  regional education service center, or shared services arrangement
  shall complete an investigation of an educator that involves [is
  based on] evidence that the educator may have engaged in misconduct
  described by Subsection (b)(2)(A) or (A-1), despite the educator's
  resignation from [district or school] employment before completion
  of the investigation.
         (b-2)  The principal of a school district, district of
  innovation, or open-enrollment charter school campus must notify
  the superintendent or director of the school district, district of
  innovation, or charter school not later than the seventh business
  day after the date:
               (1)  of an educator's termination of employment or
  resignation following an alleged incident of misconduct described
  by Subsection (b); or
               (2)  the principal knew about an educator's criminal
  record under Subsection (b)(1).
         (c)  The superintendent or director must notify the State
  Board for Educator Certification by filing a report with the board
  not later than the seventh business day after the date the
  superintendent or director receives a report from a principal under
  Subsection (b-2) or otherwise learns [knew] about an educator's
  [employee's criminal record under Subsection (b)(1) or a]
  termination of employment or resignation following an alleged
  incident of misconduct described by Subsection (b) or an employee's
  criminal record under Subsection (b)(1).
         (c-1)  The report under Subsection (c) must be:
               (1)  in writing; and
               (2)  in a form prescribed by the board.
         (e)  A superintendent, [or] director, or principal of a
  school district, district of innovation, open-enrollment charter
  school, regional education service center, or shared services
  arrangement who in good faith and while acting in an official
  capacity files a report with the State Board for Educator
  Certification under this section or communicates with another
  superintendent, director, or principal concerning an educator's
  criminal record or alleged incident of misconduct is immune from
  civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or
  imposed.
         (f)  The State Board for Educator Certification shall
  determine whether to impose sanctions, including an administrative
  penalty under Subsection (i), against a principal who fails to
  provide notification to a superintendent or director in violation
  of Subsection (b-2) or against a superintendent or director who
  fails to file a report in violation of Subsection (c).
         (i)  If an educator serving as a superintendent or director
  is required to file a report under Subsection (c) and fails to file
  the report by the date required by that subsection, or if an
  educator serving as a principal is required to notify a
  superintendent or director about an educator's criminal record or
  alleged incident of misconduct under Subsection (b-2) and fails to
  provide the notice by the date required by that subsection, the
  State Board for Educator Certification may impose on the educator
  an administrative penalty of not less than $500 and not more than
  $10,000. The State Board for Educator Certification may not renew
  the certification of an educator against whom an administrative
  penalty is imposed under this subsection until the penalty is paid. 
         (j)  A superintendent or director required to file a report
  under Subsection (c) commits an offense if the superintendent or
  director fails to file the report by the date required by that
  subsection with intent to conceal an educator's criminal record or
  alleged incident of misconduct. A principal required to notify a
  superintendent or director about an educator's criminal record or
  alleged incident of misconduct under Subsection (b-2) commits an
  offense if the principal fails to provide the notice by the date
  required by that subsection with intent to conceal an educator's
  criminal record or alleged incident of misconduct.  An offense
  under this subsection is a state jail felony.
         SECTION 4.  Section 21.044(g), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (g)  Each educator preparation program must provide
  information regarding:
               (1)  the skills that educators are required to possess,
  the responsibilities that educators are required to accept, and the
  high expectations for students in this state;
               (2)  the effect of supply and demand forces on the
  educator workforce in this state;
               (3)  the performance over time of the educator
  preparation program;
               (4)  the importance of building strong classroom
  management skills; [and]
               (5)  the framework in this state for teacher and
  principal evaluation, including the procedures followed in
  accordance with Subchapter H; and
               (6)  appropriate relationships, boundaries, and
  communications between educators and students.
         SECTION 5.  Sections 21.054(d) and (e), Education Code, are
  amended to read as follows:
         (d)  Continuing education requirements for a classroom
  teacher must provide that not more than 25 percent of the training
  required every five years include instruction regarding:
               (1)  collecting and analyzing information that will
  improve effectiveness in the classroom;
               (2)  recognizing early warning indicators that a
  student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
               (3)  integrating technology into classroom
  instruction; [and]
               (4)  educating diverse student populations, including:
                     (A)  students with disabilities, including mental
  health disorders;
                     (B)  students who are educationally
  disadvantaged;
                     (C)  students of limited English proficiency; and
                     (D)  students at risk of dropping out of school;
  and
               (5)  understanding appropriate relationships,
  boundaries, and communications between educators and students.
         (e)  Continuing education requirements for a principal must
  provide that not more than 25 percent of the training required every
  five years include instruction regarding:
               (1)  effective and efficient management, including:
                     (A)  collecting and analyzing information;
                     (B)  making decisions and managing time; and
                     (C)  supervising student discipline and managing
  behavior;
               (2)  recognizing early warning indicators that a
  student may be at risk of dropping out of school;
               (3)  integrating technology into campus curriculum and
  instruction; [and]
               (4)  educating diverse student populations, including:
                     (A)  students with disabilities, including mental
  health disorders;
                     (B)  students who are educationally
  disadvantaged;
                     (C)  students of limited English proficiency; and
                     (D)  students at risk of dropping out of school;
  and
               (5)  preventing, recognizing, and reporting any sexual
  conduct between an educator and student that is prohibited under
  Section 21.12, Penal Code, or for which reporting is required under
  Section 21.006 of this code.
         SECTION 6.  The heading to Section 21.058, Education Code,
  is amended to read as follows:
         Sec. 21.058.  REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATE AND TERMINATION OF
  EMPLOYMENT BASED ON CONVICTION OF OR PLACEMENT ON DEFERRED
  ADJUDICATION COMMUNITY SUPERVISION FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES.
         SECTION 7.  Sections 21.058(a), (b), (c), (c-1), and (c-2),
  Education Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The procedures described by Subsections (b) and (c)
  apply only:
               (1)  to conviction of or placement on deferred
  adjudication community supervision for an offense for which a
  defendant is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter
  62, Code of Criminal Procedure; or
               (2)  to conviction of a felony offense under Title 5,
  Penal Code, [or an offense on conviction of which a defendant is
  required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of
  Criminal Procedure; and
               [(2)]  if the victim of the offense was [is] under 18
  years of age at the time the offense was committed.
         (b)  Notwithstanding Section 21.041(b)(7), not later than
  the fifth day after the date the board receives notice under Article
  42.018, Code of Criminal Procedure, of the conviction or placement
  on deferred adjudication community supervision of a person who
  holds a certificate under this subchapter, the board shall:
               (1)  revoke the certificate held by the person; and
               (2)  provide to the person, to the agency, and to any
  school district or open-enrollment charter school employing the
  person at the time of revocation written notice of:
                     (A)  the revocation; and
                     (B)  the basis for the revocation.
         (c)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school
  that receives notice under Subsection (b) of the revocation of a
  certificate issued under this subchapter shall:
               (1)  immediately remove the person whose certificate
  has been revoked from campus or from an administrative office, as
  applicable, to prevent the person from having any contact with a
  student; and
               (2)  if the person is employed under a probationary,
  continuing, or term contract under this chapter, with the approval
  of the board of trustees or governing body or a designee of the
  board or governing body:
                     (A)  suspend the person without pay;
                     (B)  provide the person with written notice that
  the person's contract is void as provided by Subsection (c-2); and
                     (C)  terminate the employment of the person as
  soon as practicable.
         (c-1)  If a school district or open-enrollment charter
  school becomes aware that a person employed by the district or
  school under a probationary, continuing, or term contract under
  this chapter has been convicted of or received deferred
  adjudication for a felony offense, and the person is not subject to
  Subsection (c), the district or school may, with the approval of the
  board of trustees or governing body or a designee of the board of
  trustees or governing body:
               (1)  suspend the person without pay;
               (2)  provide the person with written notice that the
  person's contract is void as provided by Subsection (c-2); and
               (3)  terminate the employment of the person as soon as
  practicable.
         (c-2)  A person's probationary, continuing, or term contract
  is void if, with the approval of the board of trustees or governing
  body or a designee of the board or governing body, the school
  district or open-enrollment charter school takes action under
  Subsection (c)(2)(B) or (c-1)(2).
         SECTION 8.  Subchapter B, Chapter 21, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 21.0581 to read as follows:
         Sec. 21.0581.  REVOCATION FOR ASSISTING PERSON WHO ENGAGED
  IN SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OBTAIN EMPLOYMENT. (a)  The board may suspend
  or revoke a certificate held by a person under this subchapter,
  impose other sanctions against the person, or refuse to issue a
  certificate to the person under this subchapter if:
               (1)  the person assists another person in obtaining
  employment at a school district or open-enrollment charter school,
  other than by the routine transmission of administrative and
  personnel files; and
               (2)  the person knew that the other person has
  previously engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor or student in
  violation of the law.
         (b)  The commissioner may require a school district to revoke
  or decline to issue a school district teaching permit under Section
  21.055 issued to or requested by a person subject to board action
  under Subsection (a).
         SECTION 9.  Section 21.062(a), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (a)  During an investigation by the commissioner of an
  educator for an alleged incident of misconduct, the commissioner
  may issue a subpoena to compel:
               (1)  the attendance of a relevant witness; or
               (2)  the production, for inspection or copying, of
  relevant evidence that is located in this state.
         SECTION 10.  Section 21.355, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (d), (e), and (f) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  A document evaluating the performance of a teacher or
  administrator is confidential and is not subject to disclosure
  under Chapter 552, Government Code.
         (d)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school may
  give the agency a document evaluating the performance of a teacher
  or administrator employed by the district or school for purposes of
  an investigation conducted by the agency.
         (e)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a) and except as otherwise
  provided by a court order prohibiting disclosure, a document
  provided to the agency under Subsection (d) may be used in a
  disciplinary proceeding against a teacher or administrator based on
  a report submitted under Section 21.006 concerning an alleged
  incident of misconduct, if permissible under rules of evidence
  applicable to a contested case, as provided by Section 2001.081,
  Government Code.
         (f)  A document provided to the agency under Subsection (d)
  remains confidential unless the document becomes part of the record
  in a contested case under Chapter 2001, Government Code.
         SECTION 11.  Subchapter A, Chapter 38, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 38.027 to read as follows:
         Sec. 38.027.  ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION POLICY. (a)  In this
  section, "electronic communication" means any communication
  facilitated by the use of any electronic device, including a
  telephone, cellular telephone, computer, computer network,
  personal data assistant, or pager. The term includes e-mails, text
  messages, instant messages, and any communications made through an
  Internet website, including a social media website or a social
  networking website.
         (b)  A school district shall adopt a written policy
  concerning electronic communications between a school employee and
  a student enrolled in the district.
         (c)  The policy adopted under this section must:
               (1)  include provisions designed to prevent improper
  electronic communications between a school employee and a student;
               (2)  allow a school employee to elect to not disclose to
  students the employee's personal telephone number or e-mail
  address; and
               (3)  include provisions instructing a school employee
  about the proper method for notifying appropriate local
  administrators about an incident in which a student engages in
  improper communications with the school employee.
         SECTION 12.  Section 39.057(a), Education Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         (a)  The commissioner may authorize special accreditation
  investigations to be conducted:
               (1)  when excessive numbers of absences of students
  eligible to be tested on state assessment instruments are
  determined;
               (2)  when excessive numbers of allowable exemptions
  from the required state assessment instruments are determined;
               (3)  in response to complaints submitted to the agency
  with respect to alleged violations of civil rights or other
  requirements imposed on the state by federal law or court order;
               (4)  in response to established compliance reviews of
  the district's financial accounting practices and state and federal
  program requirements;
               (5)  when extraordinary numbers of student placements
  in disciplinary alternative education programs, other than
  placements under Sections 37.006 and 37.007, are determined;
               (6)  in response to an allegation involving a conflict
  between members of the board of trustees or between the board and
  the district administration if it appears that the conflict
  involves a violation of a role or duty of the board members or the
  administration clearly defined by this code;
               (7)  when excessive numbers of students in special
  education programs under Subchapter A, Chapter 29, are assessed
  through assessment instruments developed or adopted under Section
  39.023(b);
               (8)  in response to an allegation regarding or an
  analysis using a statistical method result indicating a possible
  violation of an assessment instrument security procedure
  established under Section 39.0301, including for the purpose of
  investigating or auditing a school district under that section;
               (9)  when a significant pattern of decreased academic
  performance has developed as a result of the promotion in the
  preceding two school years of students who did not perform
  satisfactorily as determined by the commissioner under Section
  39.0241(a) on assessment instruments administered under Section
  39.023(a), (c), or (l);
               (10)  when excessive numbers of students eligible to
  enroll fail to complete an Algebra II course or any other advanced
  course as determined by the commissioner;
               (11)  when resource allocation practices as evaluated
  under Section 39.0821 indicate a potential for significant
  improvement in resource allocation;
               (12)  when a disproportionate number of students of a
  particular demographic group is graduating with a particular
  endorsement under Section 28.025(c-1);
               (13)  when an excessive number of students is
  graduating with a particular endorsement under Section
  28.025(c-1);
               (14)  in response to a complaint submitted to the
  agency with respect to alleged inaccurate data that is reported
  through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS)
  or through other reports required by state or federal law or rule or
  court order and that is used by the agency to make a determination
  relating to public school accountability, including accreditation,
  under this chapter; [or]
               (15)  when a school district for any reason fails to
  produce, at the request of the agency, evidence or an investigation
  report relating to an educator who is under investigation by the
  State Board for Educator Certification; or
               (16)  as the commissioner otherwise determines
  necessary.
         SECTION 13.  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  21.12, Penal Code, applies only to an offense committed on or after
  the effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense
  was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element
  of the offense was committed before that date.
         SECTION 14.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
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