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  S.B. No. 507
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the placement and use of video cameras in
  self-contained classrooms or other settings providing special
  education services.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 26.009(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  An employee of a school district is not required to
  obtain the consent of a child's parent before the employee may make
  a videotape of a child or authorize the recording of a child's voice
  if the videotape or voice recording is to be used only for:
               (1)  purposes of safety, including the maintenance of
  order and discipline in common areas of the school or on school
  buses;
               (2)  a purpose related to a cocurricular or
  extracurricular activity;
               (3)  a purpose related to regular classroom
  instruction; [or]
               (4)  media coverage of the school; or
               (5)  a purpose related to the promotion of student
  safety under Section 29.022.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter A, Chapter 29, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 29.022 to read as follows:
         Sec. 29.022.  VIDEO SURVEILLANCE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
  SETTINGS. (a)  In order to promote student safety on request by a
  parent, trustee, or staff member, a school district or
  open-enrollment charter school shall provide equipment, including
  a video camera, to each school in the district or each charter
  school campus in which a student who receives special education
  services in a self-contained classroom or other special education
  setting is enrolled. Each school or campus that receives equipment
  shall place, operate, and maintain one or more video cameras in each
  self-contained classroom or other special education setting in
  which a majority of the students in regular attendance are:
               (1)  provided special education and related services;
  and
               (2)  assigned to a self-contained classroom or other
  special education setting for at least 50 percent of the
  instructional day.
         (b)  A school or campus that places a video camera in a
  classroom or other special education setting in accordance with
  Subsection (a) shall operate and maintain the camera in the
  classroom or setting as long as the classroom or setting continues
  to satisfy the requirements under Subsection (a).
         (c)  Video cameras placed under this section must be capable
  of:
               (1)  covering all areas of the classroom or other
  special education setting, except that the inside of a bathroom or
  any area in the classroom or setting in which a student's clothes
  are changed may not be visually monitored; and
               (2)  recording audio from all areas of the classroom or
  other special education setting.
         (d)  Before a school or campus places a video camera in a
  classroom or other special education setting under this section,
  the school or campus shall provide written notice of the placement
  to all school or campus staff and to the parents of a student
  receiving special education services in the classroom or setting.
         (e)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school
  shall retain video recorded from a camera placed under this section
  for at least six months after the date the video was recorded.
         (f)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school may
  solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations from any person for
  use in placing video cameras in classrooms or other special
  education settings under this section.
         (g)  This section does not:
               (1)  waive any immunity from liability of a school
  district or open-enrollment charter school, or of district or
  school officers or employees; or
               (2)  create any liability for a cause of action against
  a school district or open-enrollment charter school or against
  district or school officers or employees.
         (h)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school may
  not:
               (1)  allow regular or continual monitoring of video
  recorded under this section; or
               (2)  use video recorded under this section for teacher
  evaluation or for any other purpose other than the promotion of
  safety of students receiving special education services in a
  self-contained classroom or other special education setting.
         (i)  A video recording of a student made according to this
  section is confidential and may not be released or viewed except as
  provided by this subsection or Subsection (j).  A school district or
  open-enrollment charter school shall release a recording for
  viewing by:
               (1)  a school district employee or a parent or guardian
  of a student who is involved in an incident documented by the
  recording for which a complaint has been reported to the district,
  on request of the employee, parent, or guardian, respectively;
               (2)  appropriate Department of Family and Protective
  Services personnel as part of an investigation under Section
  261.406, Family Code;
               (3)  a peace officer, a school nurse, a district
  administrator trained in de-escalation and restraint techniques as
  provided by commissioner rule, or a human resources staff member
  designated by the board of trustees of the school district or the
  governing body of the open-enrollment charter school in response to
  a complaint or an investigation of district or school personnel or a
  complaint of abuse committed by a student; or
               (4)  appropriate agency or State Board for Educator
  Certification personnel or agents as part of an investigation.
         (j)  If a person described by Subsection (i)(3) or (4) who
  views the video recording believes that the recording documents a
  possible violation under Subchapter E, Chapter 261, Family Code,
  the person shall notify the Department of Family and Protective
  Services for investigation in accordance with Section 261.406,
  Family Code.  If any person described by Subsection (i)(2), (3), or
  (4) who views the recording believes that the recording documents a
  possible violation of district or school policy, the person may
  allow access to the recording to appropriate legal and human
  resources personnel. A recording believed to document a possible
  violation of district or school policy may be used as part of a
  disciplinary action against district or school personnel and shall
  be released at the request of the student's parent or guardian in a
  legal proceeding. This subsection does not limit the access of a
  student's parent to a record regarding the student under the Family
  Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section
  1232g) or other law.
         (k)  The commissioner may adopt rules to implement and
  administer this section, including rules regarding the special
  education settings to which this section applies.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter E, Chapter 42, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 42.2528 to read as follows:
         Sec. 42.2528.  EXCESS FUNDS FOR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE OF
  SPECIAL EDUCATION SETTINGS. (a)  Notwithstanding any other
  provision of law, if the commissioner determines that the amount
  appropriated for the purposes of the Foundation School Program
  exceeds the amount to which school districts are entitled under
  this chapter, the commissioner by rule shall establish a grant
  program through which excess funds are awarded as grants for the
  purchase of video equipment, or for the reimbursement of costs for
  previously purchased video equipment, used for monitoring special
  education classrooms or other special education settings required
  under Section 29.022.
         (b)  In awarding grants under this section, the commissioner
  shall give highest priority to districts with maintenance and
  operations tax rates at the greatest rates permitted by law. The
  commissioner shall also give priority to:
               (1)  districts with maintenance and operations tax
  rates at least equal to the state maximum compressed tax rate, as
  defined by Section 42.101(a), and lowest amounts of maintenance and
  operations tax revenue per weighted student; and
               (2)  districts with debt service tax rates near or
  equal to the greatest rates permitted by law.
         (c)  The commissioner may adopt rules to implement and
  administer this section.
         SECTION 4.  (a)  Subject to the availability of funds, the
  commissioner of education shall distribute grant funds in
  accordance with Section 42.2528, Education Code, as added by this
  Act, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.
         (b)  The change in law made by Section 29.022, Education
  Code, as added by this Act, applies beginning with the 2016-2017
  school year.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 507 passed the Senate on
  May 11, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 24, Nays 7;
  May 28, 2015, Senate refused to concur in House amendments and
  requested appointment of Conference Committee; May 29, 2015, House
  granted request of the Senate; May 31, 2015, Senate adopted
  Conference Committee Report by the following vote:  Yeas 21,
  Nays 10.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
 
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 507 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 27, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 132,
  Nays 12, two present not voting; May 29, 2015, House granted
  request of the Senate for appointment of Conference Committee;
  May 31, 2015, House adopted Conference Committee Report by the
  following vote:  Yeas 140, Nays 0, three present not voting.
 
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
 
  Approved:
 
  ______________________________ 
             Date
 
 
  ______________________________ 
            Governor