Huckabee | Architecture | Engineering | Management

The Texas Public Information Act (the “PIA”) gives members of the public the right to request access to government information. While the requested information is presumed public, the PIA provides exceptions to disclosure. These exceptions fall into two main categories: those that require a ruling from the Office of the Attorney General and those that allow the governmental body to make redactions on its own. The most common of the exceptions you can apply on your own are FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and sections 552.117, 552.130, and 552.147 of the Government Code.

A local teacher says a former Frisco ISD School Board candidate is using a lawsuit to bully her and two others, and she has appealed to the community for help with legal expenses. But the plaintiff said he is the one who has been treated unfairly. Jeff Snowden, who unsuccessfully ran against Anne McCausland for Place 4 in May 2017, filed a lawsuit against FISD teacher Megan DeWolfe, as well as Tracy Gamble and Brian Ravkind, all who supported McCausland, claiming multiple errors in campaign finance reporting. view article arw

A growing num ber of people have reported that a state law is forcing them to choose between their political beliefs and payment for their labor.  To make extra money while attending the University of Texas at Austin, Obi Dennar often worked as a judge for high school debate tournaments. In October, after working a two-day tournament at Klein High School near Houston, Dennar noticed a clause in his contract that he’d never seen before.  “Contractor hereby certifies and verifies that neither Contractor, nor any affiliate … boycotts Israel, and contractor agrees that Contractor … will not boycott Israel during the term of this agreement,” it read. view article arw

Alief Independent School District (AISD) obtained a favorable decision on an appeal against a former employee in an employment discrimination suit. Texas Judge Martha Jamison, on the bench of the 14th Court of Appeals, issued a 17-page ruling on Aug. 7 reversing the previous decision by the 334th District Court of Harris County that denied AISD's plea on the case filed by Raymond Brantley. view article arw

It is hard to believe that 50 years have passed since Galveston fully integrated its schools. No longer would blacks and whites be educated in separate school systems. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities were legal. Southern states set up separate school systems to educate black students. Sixty years later in May 1954, the Supreme Court, in an unanimous decision, ruled that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Unfortunately, the court ruling did not offer a plan on what was to be done. view article arw

Five days after Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway voted in favor of putting cameras on school buses, he was at a liquor store cashing a check for $5,000. That was back in May of 2012.  Since then, Caraway has amassed cash, gifts, paid travel, real estate consultancy and money to his campaign, according to court documents. Caraway pled guilty to federal corruption charges Thursday, and resigned from his position on the Dallas City Council effective immediately. view article arw

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges Thursday, and resigned from his position on the Dallas City Council effective immediately. The former city leader now faces up to seven years in federal prison for wire fraud and tax evasion. “Caraway entered a plea of guilty to two charges — one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and one count of tax evasion,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox during a news conference on Thursday morning. “The conspiracy took place between 2011 and 2017.” view article arw

A Louisiana school superintendent whose hefty pay increase led to the videotaped handcuffing of a complaining teacher has been put on paid administrative leave. South Louisiana news outlets report Jerome Puyau (PEE'-oh) was placed on leave Monday night after the Vermilion Parish School Board voted to investigate a list of complaints by his critics. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – One of the men who played a role in the demise of the agency once responsible for getting tens of thousands of students to and from school in Dallas County will soon be sentenced for his role in a corruption scheme.  Rick Sorrells agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud in April, in a case that contributed to the shutdown the Dallas County Schools bus agency. view article arw

The president of a national higher education association has asked University of Houston President Renu Khator to investigate claims that the outgoing Katy ISD superintendent plagiarized his doctoral dissertation at the school. Peter Wood, the president of the National Association of Scholars, wrote to Khator on July 27 and said that Superintendent Lance Hindt's doctorate should be revoked from the university if his dissertation is found to be plagiarized. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The committee overseeing the shutdown of Dallas County Schools has filed a lawsuit claiming the bus agency was the victim of racketeering and fraud worth $125 million. The suit, filed last Friday in Dallas County, named 15 defendants, including its former Superintendent, Dr. Rick Sorrells, former Board President Larry Duncan, Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, and some of the firms that did business with the agency. view article arw

RENTON, N.J. (AP) — A civil rights group has sued 12 New Jersey school districts over enrollment practices that it says discriminate against children of immigrants who are living in the country illegally. view article arw

Carthage ISD has denied allegations it knew and failed to stop harassment of a female student after her mother said the girl was secretly recorded in the nude by a football player, court records show. The district is seeking to have a federal civil rights lawsuit stemming from those allegations dismissed. In a counter-claim filed May 21 in federal court, the district called the lawsuit “frivolous, unreasonable, and without foundation.” The only notice and evidence presented to school officials, the district argued in another filing May 25, was of the football player’s “off-campus misconduct from 10 months prior.” view article arw

The local high school at the center of an altered grade scandal revealed more details about the investigation Tuesday afternoon. As KTSM previously reported, Gadsden High School had to notify parents after 55 students reportedly accessed a grading system to change their grades in April. Three months later, Gadsden ISD released four pages detailing student information to include the first names of the students involved and the consequences for their actions.  view article arw

Three Salado High School students were taken to the hospital after band practice on Monday. According to Superintendent Michael Novotny, three students were taken to the hospital to receive heat exhaustion treatment after practicing for about 30 minutes out in the heat on Monday. view article arw

The attorney for a Cypress-Fairbanks ISD student who said she was expelled for not standing for the pledge of allegiance said Thursday her lawsuit will go to trial. The attorney said the district and five of its employees violated her civil rights. view article arw

A former elementary school teacher in Aransas County ISD is in Aransas County Jail for inappropriate behavior with a child. Kelsey Fitzpatrick, 27, was in Aransas County Jail on Friday for suspicion of sexual performance by a child. The charge is defined as sexual conduct by a child younger than 18. view article arw

A former school board member is suing the Richardson school district and school board claiming they violated the state open meetings law. David Tyson Jr. served on the Richardson school board from 2004 to 2010. In the lawsuit, he alleges board members had discussions and made decisions about votes on agenda items that did not take place during public meetings. view article arw

A charge has been added to the ledger of 25-year-old Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley, who was charged in May with tampering with government records after enrolling at Dallas’ Hillcrest High School as a 17-year-old. Gilstrap-Portley was arrested again last week and charged with indecency with a child, a second-degree felony. The arrest stems from evidence that Gilstrap-Portley dated and inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl while enrolled at Hillcrest. view article arw

A former school board member is suing the Richardson school district, and the school board, claiming they violated the state open meetings law. David Tyson Jr. served on the Richardson school board from 2004 to 2010. In the lawsuit, he alleges board members had discussions about votes on agenda items that did not take place during public meetings. The suit, filed by Brewer Storefront, says the school board voted unanimously on more than 500 votes during the past seven years. view article arw

A former Richardson ISD school board member has sued the school district and its board of trustees, alleging "continuous and systematic" violations of the state's open meetings law.  David Tyson Jr. -- a black businessman who has challenged the validity of the all-white board in the diverse district -- said in the civil lawsuit that the school board has participated in a long-running practice of violating the state's open meetings laws. The result, he alleged, has been that votes are merely "rubber-stamp" formalities. view article arw

A mother’s fight for her son is now a fight in federal court. The woman claims an Austin Independent School District Teacher’s Aide injured her special needs son. State law protects government entities from spending our tax money fighting most personal injury lawsuits, which is called sovereign immunity. In schools, it’s to help keep curriculum flowing without fear liability for accidents. view article arw

A federal civil rights lawsuit over the alleged strip-searching of a sixth-grade class during the 2012-2013 school year will continue after the fifth circuit court of appeals reversed an earlier court's dismissal of the case. Two mothers of students filed the suit that accuses the school of taking their daughters and others in a choir class into a bathroom and strip-searching them for $50 that went missing during class. view article arw

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sent a letter to the Fort Worth ISD asking the North Texas school district to provide a copy of its human sexuality curriculum. In a press release, Paxton's office wrote that the district would not share the curriculum with parents who requested it, and that students were not allowed to bring their textbooks for the course home or take pictures of the content. view article arw

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Attorney General sent a letter blasting Forth Worth ISD to the media around 5:30 Thursday afternoon.  Fort Worth ISD says the letter was never sent to them. They said they spent hours tearing up the mail room looking for it. view article arw

Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner says school district officials will meet Monday to talk about a request from the state attorney general. Ken Paxton demanded late last weekthat the district turn over a copy of its sixth-grade human sexuality curriculum. view article arw

In April, the Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) issued new guidance concerning FERPA and video surveillance. It answers some of the ongoing questions that districts have wrestled with as video surveillance has become more prevalent.

Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner on Thursday evening demanding he hand over a copy of the district's controversial sixth-grade human sexuality curriculum, which includes lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation.  Paxton claimed in the letter that district officials were repeatedly denying parents access to the curriculum or textbooks, which he said are in use in 22 schools across the district.  view article arw

AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today dispatched a letter to Fort Worth Independent School District (ISD) requesting a full and complete copy of the district’s human sexuality curriculum after the district repeatedly denied parents access to these public documents. Parents reported that not only were their records requests denied, but their children were prohibited from bringing a copy of their textbooks home for review or from taking photos of the curriculum. view article arw

Teachers unions are hoping that recent grass-roots protests over pay and working conditions will blunt the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on union fees and help persuade dues-paying members not to abandon them. The court said in a 5-4 ruling Wednesday that government workers can no longer be required to pay fees to labor organizations that represent them in collective bargaining.

The Texas Supreme Court made a decision last week that could adversely affect the lives of thousands of children. In John Doe vs. Episcopal School of Dallas, the justices refused to consider a harmful ruling issued by an appellate court. The ruling allows a faith-based school to avoid civil liability for harming a child in its care. Texas parents may have lost their right to sue a faith-based school, even if there are claims of abuse or neglect. view article arw

The Supreme Court’s five conservative justices delivered a powerful blow to public-sector unions Wednesday in the Janus v. AFSCME case, ending the practice of agency fees and depriving labor of a major financial pillar of its organizing activities. Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito, who has invited legal challenges like Janus in previous cases, crafted a far-reaching opinion that confirmed union backers’ worst fears: More than simply striking down agency fees, the court determined that workers must take the affirmative step of opting into union membership, rather than opting out. view article arw

Leaders of school employee unions in California and nationwide know the future after Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision to strike down mandatory union fees: They’ll have to fight hard in faculty lounges, custodial offices and school bus depots to hold onto each member as anti-union forces try to pull them away. The battle over school employees will be intense in California, where their unions, fueled by member dues, have long been a political force. Their strength has helped the state remain a bastion of liberalism and labor-friendly policy even as labor’s fortunes have suffered elsewhere. view article arw

Laredo chamber suing Laredo ISD

June 2808:30 AM

The Laredo Chamber of Commerce said Tuesday that it is suing Laredo ISD, claiming the district is pressuring the organization to sell the leasehold interest of its property. Miguel Conchas, president and CEO of the Laredo Chamber of Commerce, said LISD's plan to build an administrative building on the former Civic Center property has prompted the district to urge his organization to relocate. LISD acquired the leased property from the City of Laredo in 2013. view article arw

A federal judge in San Diego on Tuesday barred the separation of migrant children from their parents and ordered immigration officials to reunify within 30 days families that have been divided as a result of a zero-tolerance policy enforced by the Trump administration until last week.Judge Dana Sabraw of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted a preliminary injunction sought by the American Civil Liberties Union. view article arw