Honorable Dan Huberty, Chair, House Committee on Public Education
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB3769 by King, Ken (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.), Committee Report 1st House, Substituted
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
The bill would amend the Penal Code to expand the prohibition on improper employee and student relationships for any school employee serving in a capacity that requires a license, regardless of whether the employee holds that license. The bill would expand the offense to include any employee engaging in an improper relationship with a student who the employee knows is enrolled in any public or private primary or secondary school, or with any student participant in an educational activity sponsored by a school district or public or private primary school or secondary school. The bill would create an offense for certain persons with the intent to conceal certain information which would be punishable as a state jail felony.
The bill would amend the Education Code to expand the requirements to report certain information regarding misconduct for principals, superintendents, and district directors of school districts, charter school, districts of innovation, service centers, and shared service arrangement. The bill would permit the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) to impose an administrative penalty for certain persons who fail to report according to the provisions of the bill; establish thresholds for the amount of the penalty; and specify that an educator's certificate may not be renewed unless he or she has paid the penalty.
The bill would amend the Education Code to require instruction to prevent and recognize improper educator-student relationships as an additional element of educator preparation programs and continuing education for educators and principals.
The bill would amend the Education Code to authorize the Commissioner of Education to conduct special accreditation investigations when a school district fails to produce, upon request, evidence or an investigation report relating to an educator who is under investigation by the State Board for Educator Certification.
This analysis assumes the provisions of the bill addressing felony sanctions for criminal offenses would not result in a significant impact on state correctional agencies. The Office of Court Administration, Office of the Attorney General, and Teacher Retirement System estimates there would be minimal cost associated with implementing the provisions of the bill. The Texas Education Agency does not anticipate significant revenue resulting from the collection of the administrative penalty imposed by SBEC to certain persons failing to report in accordance with the provisions of the bill.
Local Government Impact
The bill would require school districts to adopt policies concerning electronic communications between school employees and students, including policies designed to prevent improper electronic communications between school employees and students. The bill would expand the reporting requirements related to educator misconduct and provide timelines in which reporting is required. The bill would require school districts to conduct certain actions once notified of misconduct for certified persons employed within the district.
School districts and charter schools may incur costs associated with modifying existing policies to comply with the provisions of the bill. School districts and charter schools may also incur some legal costs associated with interpreting and applying the reporting requirements associated with the bill. However, this analysis assumes these costs are not expected to be significant.
212 Office of Court Administration, Texas Judicial Council, 302 Office of the Attorney General, 696 Department of Criminal Justice, 701 Texas Education Agency