By Maxey                                               H.B. No. 583

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

 1-1                                   AN ACT

 1-2     relating to public education, including the parental involvement

 1-3     division of the Texas Education Agency, waivers by school campuses

 1-4     and districts, public school campus report cards, liability of

 1-5     school districts, and the use of certain public school funds.


 1-7           SECTION 1.  Subchapter B, Chapter 7, Education Code, is

 1-8     amended by adding Section 7.025 to read as follows:

 1-9           Sec. 7.025.  PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT DIVISION.  (a)  The agency

1-10     shall establish a parental involvement division.

1-11           (b)  The division shall develop, implement, and administer

1-12     programs and activities to encourage and maintain parental

1-13     involvement in public schools.

1-14           SECTION 2.  Section 7.056(b), Education Code, is amended to

1-15     read as follows:

1-16           (b)  A school campus or district seeking a waiver must submit

1-17     a written application to the commissioner not later than the 31st

1-18     day before the campus or district intends to take action requiring

1-19     a waiver.  The application must include:

1-20                 (1)  a written plan approved by the board of trustees

1-21     of the district that states the achievement objectives of the

1-22     campus or district and the inhibition imposed on those objectives

1-23     by the requirement, restriction, or prohibition; and

1-24                 (2)  written comments and the signature of the

 2-1     chairperson of [from] the appropriate campus- or district-level

 2-2     committee established under Section 11.251 evidencing review of the

 2-3     application by a majority of the members of the committee as

 2-4     follows:

 2-5                       (A)  in the case of an application by a district,

 2-6     the chairperson of the district-level committee and of each

 2-7     campus-level committee whose campus is affected by the waiver must

 2-8     comment on and sign the application; and

 2-9                       (B)  in the case of an application by a campus,

2-10     the chairperson of the campus-level committee for that campus must

2-11     comment on and sign the application.

2-12           SECTION 3.  Section 39.052, Education Code, is amended by

2-13     amending Subsections (b) and (c) and adding Subsection (d) to read

2-14     as follows:

2-15           (b)  The report card shall include the following information

2-16     where applicable:

2-17                 (1)  the academic excellence indicators adopted under

2-18     Sections 39.051(b)(1) through (8);

2-19                 (2)  student/teacher ratios; [and]

2-20                 (3)  administrative and instructional costs per

2-21     student;

2-22                 (4)  the phone number of the agency's parental

2-23     involvement division; and

2-24                 (5)  the phone number at the agency to call for

2-25     information concerning assessment instruments under Section 39.023.

2-26           (c)  Phone numbers required under Subsections (b)(4) and (5)

2-27     must be toll free to further encourage parental involvement.

 3-1           (d)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for requiring

 3-2     dissemination of appropriate student performance portions of campus

 3-3     report cards and the information required under Subsections (b)(4)

 3-4     and (5) annually to the parent, guardian, conservator, or other

 3-5     person  having lawful control of each student at the campus.  On

 3-6     written request, the school district shall provide a copy of a

 3-7     campus report card to any other party.

 3-8           SECTION 4.  Section 45.105(c), Education Code, is amended to

 3-9     read as follows:

3-10           (c)  Local school funds from district taxes, tuition fees of

3-11     students not entitled to a free education, [and] other local

3-12     sources, and state funds not designated for a specific purpose may

3-13     be used for the purposes listed for state and county funds and for

3-14     purchasing appliances and supplies, paying insurance premiums,

3-15     paying janitors and other employees, buying school sites, and

3-16     buying, building, repairing, and renting school buildings,

3-17     including acquiring school buildings and sites by leasing through

3-18     annual payments with an ultimate option to purchase, and [paying]

3-19     for other purposes [goods and services] necessary in the conduct of

3-20     the public schools determined by the board of trustees.  The

3-21     accounts and vouchers for county districts must be approved by the

3-22     county superintendent.  If the state available school fund in any

3-23     municipality or district is sufficient to maintain the schools in

3-24     any year for at least eight months and leave a surplus, the surplus

3-25     may be spent for the purposes listed in this subsection.

3-26           SECTION 5.  Subchapter B, Chapter 101, Civil Practice and

3-27     Remedies Code, is amended by adding Section 101.0216 to read as

 4-1     follows:

 4-2           Sec. 101.0216.  LIABILITY OF SCHOOL DISTRICT.  (a)  A school

 4-3     district is liable for damages for personal injury or death if:

 4-4                 (1)  the personal injury or death is proximately caused

 4-5     by the sexual misconduct of an employee with respect to a student

 4-6     of the school district;

 4-7                 (2)  the employee comes into contact with students of

 4-8     the school district in the scope of the employee's employment; and

 4-9                 (3)  because of specific facts known to the school

4-10     district, the school district knew or should have known that the

4-11     employee posed a risk to students.

4-12           (b)  Sections 101.023, 101.024, and 101.106 do not apply to

4-13     the liability of a school district under this section.

4-14           (c)  In this section, "sexual misconduct" includes any

4-15     conduct that would be a violation of Chapter 21, Penal Code, and

4-16     the victim of which is a child younger than 18 years of age,

4-17     without regard to whether the person is convicted of an offense

4-18     with respect to the conduct.

4-19           SECTION 6.  Section 101.051, Civil Practice and Remedies

4-20     Code, is amended to read as follows:


4-22     EXCLUDED.  (a)  Except as to motor vehicles, this chapter does not

4-23     apply [to a school district or] to a junior college district.

4-24           (b)  Except as to motor vehicles and as provided by Section

4-25     101.0216, this chapter does not apply to a school district.

4-26           SECTION 7.  Section 22.051(b), Education Code, is amended to

4-27     read as follows:

 5-1           (b)  This section does not apply to the operation, use, or

 5-2     maintenance of any motor vehicle or to any act for which a school

 5-3     district may be liable under Section 101.0216, Civil Practice and

 5-4     Remedies Code.

 5-5           SECTION 8.  The provisions of this Act relating to school

 5-6     liability apply only to a cause of action that accrues on or after

 5-7     the effective date of this Act. A cause of action that accrues

 5-8     before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law as it

 5-9     existed immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that

5-10     law is continued in effect for that purpose.

5-11           SECTION 9.  (a)  On January 1, 1998, the commissioner of

5-12     education shall consolidate all Texas Education Agency programs and

5-13     activities relating to parental involvement in the parental

5-14     involvement division of the agency established as required by

5-15     Section 7.025, Education Code, as added by this Act.

5-16           (b)  All money, records, property, and equipment in the

5-17     custody of the Texas Education Agency on December 31, 1997, for

5-18     parental involvement program or activity purposes shall be

5-19     transferred to the custody of the parental involvement division of

5-20     the agency on January 1, 1998.  A person employed by the Texas

5-21     Education Agency in a program or activity related to parental

5-22     involvement becomes an employee of the parental involvement

5-23     division of the agency on January 1, 1998.

5-24           SECTION 10.  The amendment to Sections 39.052(b) and (d),

5-25     Education Code, by this Act, applies to campus report cards for the

5-26     1997-1998 school year and each school year thereafter.

5-27           SECTION 11.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

 6-1           SECTION 12.  The importance of this legislation and the

 6-2     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

 6-3     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

 6-4     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

 6-5     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.