The vice president of the Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) Board of Trustees is now in custody on charges of conspiracy and corruption. A federal grand jury returned the eight-count indictment Dec. 10 against Sylvia P. Atkinson, 48, of Brownsville. It was unsealed as authorities took her into custody upon her arrival for a scheduled BISD meeting last night. She is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan today at 10 a.m. view article arw

After months of a back-and-forth dispute, Epic Charter Schools is suing state Sen. Ron Sharp over his comments on attendance policies at the virtual charter school.  Epic’s attorney, Bill Hickman, filed the libel and slander lawsuit Monday in Oklahoma County District Court. Epic is seeking at least $75,000 in damages from the senator. view article arw

The Killeen Police Department is reporting that a former Killeen ISD teacher’s aide has been arrested over accusations that she had an improper relationship with a student. According to detectives, Louisa Theresa Hernandez, 37, faces an improper relationship between educator and student charge, after a complaint of a relationship during the 2018-19 school year. view article arw

Fort Worth school officials are appealing a ruling that reinstated an English teacher who was fired after she asked President Donald Trump on Twitter to crack down on immigration at Carter-Riverside High School.  At a Fort Worth Independent School District meeting Tuesday night, the school board voted unanimously to appeal the Texas Education Agency decision to district court.  In May, former teacher Georgia Clark’s tweets ignited a national backlash.  In June, Superintendent Kent P. Scribner recommended Clark be terminated for using racially insensitive language and abusing social media. The school board unanimously agreed and she was placed on leave. On Sept. 26, Clark’s contract was officially terminated.  However, Clark appealed her termination. view article arw

As Houston Independent School District fights for its independence, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel gave little indication Thursday of whether he would tap the brakes on the state’s plans to strip power from the elected trustees and install a new governing board.  However, Yeakel complimented the district on a “well-presented” case and said he plans to rule quickly on HISD’s request for a preliminary injunction. An injunction would stop the state from making moves to upend management at the state’s largest school district until the court hears and decides the full case. view article arw

Katy Independent School District police confirmed Thursday they are investigating allegations that a 16-year-old girl was attacked and raped in a secluded hallway near the cafeteria at Mayde Creek High School about 11:30 a.m. Nov. 22. view article arw

A transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta will hear arguments about whether a Florida school district should be ordered to allow students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling last year ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. The district has appealed, arguing that although it will permit transgender students to use single-occupancy, gender-neutral restrooms, it shouldn't be forced to let students use the restroom of the gender they identify with. view article arw

An Abilene ISD teacher and 19 other men are suspects in a human trafficking investigation. Police Chief Stan Standridge said they believe Jim Counts, an 8th grade math teacher at Mann Middle School, and 19 other men paid to have sex with a Chinese woman in her 30's at an Abilene hotel. view article arw

The parents of a Round Rock Independent School District student are suing the district, claiming their daughter’s teacher exploited their daughter’s eating disorder for a yearbook article. According to the lawsuit, the parents — whose names have been withheld to protect their minor daughter — say journalism teacher Theresa Proctor made their daughter, who has anorexia, the subject of an article in the school’s yearbook concerning mental illness. view article arw

A recount that took nearly 20 hours – and ended at 4 a.m. Saturday -- shows that Midland ISD’s $569 million bond passed by 11 votes. Representatives from both sides said the ballots counted manually during the recount were fewer than the ballots counted electronically by the Midland County Elections Office. view article arw

The Aldine Independent School District faces a discrimination suit from a female African-American employee who alleges discrimination and retaliation due to her disability and race. Celeste Glover of Houston filed a complaint Nov. 19 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Aldine Independent School District (ISD) alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  view article arw

The parents of a Round Rock ISD student have filed a lawsuit against the district claiming that a journalism teacher allowed their daughter to become the subject of an unpublished yearbook article about her mental illness without their permission. According to the suit, the additional defendants – the teacher and assistant principal – were aware their daughter struggled with anorexia nervosa and that she had a 504 Plan to accommodate her condition at McNeil High School. view article arw

A former Fort Worth teacher argued in an appeal to the state that her tweets asking President Donald Trump to "remove" undocumented immigrants from her school were protected speech. The Texas Education Agency agreed. In a decision issued Nov. 25, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath wrote that the teacher, Georgia Clark, should get her job back at Carter-Riverside High School and receive back pay and benefits, or receive one year's salary. view article arw

U.S. Marshals arrested a former Calallen ISD teacher accused of sexual abuse. Joseph M. Sandoval was wanted on Oct. 8 in Nueces County on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child, according to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service. Sandoval was found in Taft near Toland Avenue and County Road 1612 on Thursday, the release states. view article arw

Teacher Lea DiRusso plans to file a lawsuit against the School District of Philadelphia after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer primarily caused by asbestos exposure. The 51-year-old mother of two spoke about her diagnosis and lawsuit in an ABC News exclusive on Thursday's edition of "Good Morning America." view article arw

The Beaumont Independent School District is seeking restitution from Calvin Walker, an electrical contractor recently convicted of defrauding the district in 2009 while doing work on two school campuses. Superintendent Shannon Allen outlined BISD’s wishes in an Oct. 17 letter to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. view article arw

At Monday night’s board meeting, trustees issued a statement on the Axberg v. Kilgore ISD case, which has been continuing for several years.  “Kilgore Independent School District has always relied on the Court to interpret the law. We appreciate TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) Risk Management’s ongoing support and willingness to defend and pay the legal defense for this important case. Although KISD is disappointed the Texas Supreme Court did not find this case regarding statewide school finance worthy of review, we will return to the local court, consistent with the latest mandate issued by the 6th Appellate District Court of Appeals, and let the trial court determine the end result,” the statement read.  The statement was issued following a closed session consultation with KISD attorney Dennis Eichelbaum. The board filed a motion for a rehearing of the case in the Texas Supreme Court Sept. 16, which was denied Oct. 18. view article arw

The Houston Federation of Teachers announced legal action against the state of Texas. The union said the Texas Education Agency's takeover of the Houston Independent School District is unconstitutional. Union officials made the argument in federal court on Tuesday.   view article arw

Kilgore ISD board members have decided to let a long-running lawsuit against the district be taken to a lower court for final judgment after a denial for rehearing by the Texas Supreme Court. view article arw

A fourth teacher has filed a lawsuit against Epic Charter Schools, alleging she was fired after objecting to questionable enrollment practices. Ryan Aispuro said Epic terminated her employment “because she resisted pressure to manipulate Epic’s truancy standards.” The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court, requesting at least $75,000 in damages. view article arw

A former El Campo Independent School District building maintenance man has been arrested a small camera he hid in the boy's restroom was discovered. El Campo ISD released a statement on their website informing parents and students of the incident. view article arw

A year after a U.S. Department of Education investigation found black students in Fort Bend ISD were six times more likely to receive out-of-school suspensions than white students, some of the largest advocacy groups in Texas say the district continues to disproportionately discipline African-American students.  In a letter to the district’s board of trustees and Superintendent Charles Dupre, the groups say the district has done little to address the discipline issues highlighted by the Department of Education investigation, which was released last fall. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — When Pamela Parks and Charles Sneed asked for help, they didn’t expect to end up in a federal lawsuit.  The parents of a Bowie High School student said their daughter faced repeated “racially charged” harassment during her freshman and sophomore year.   “I’m a parent. I’ve never had that happen before,” said Parks. view article arw

A former Whitehouse ISD employee charged with child sex crimes committed one of the crimes in the equipment room on campus, according to one of the victims. The victim statement contradicts a statement put out by the district on Friday, which stated “The charges are not related to his employment with WISD.” view article arw

Denton ISD hires new general counsel

November 1408:20 AM

Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Deron Robinson will begin serving as general counsel for Denton ISD beginning in January, following a unanimous vote by the Denton school board Tuesday evening. Robinson currently holds an identical title with Allen ISD. Before joining Allen schools, he worked at two separate law firms for roughly a decade, during which time he represented more than 30 school districts across the state. view article arw

Hundreds of people rallied outside the Texas attorney general’s office Tuesday as the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could decide the fate of young undocumented people, often referred to as “Dreamers.”  The court heard a class action suit Tuesday to decide whether President Donald Trump’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is constitutional. In 2012, the Obama Administration instituted DACA, which grants temporary protection from deportation to more than 700,000 young adults. view article arw

The changes Tatum ISD is making to its dress code are not enough, say a grandmother and mother at the heart of a recent controversy with the district, and their attorney is questioning the motives behind the superintendent’s announcement Monday that the district is dropping its Head Start program. Edwina “Randi” Woodley’s and Kambry Cox’s boys were “unenrolled” from the district after the women voiced issues with the hair and grooming policy in the dress code. They say the changes leave the dress code, which has been called racially discriminatory, still biased against gender. view article arw

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people. The justices rejected an appeal from Remington Arms that argued it should be shielded by a 2005 federal law preventing most lawsuits against firearms manufacturers when their products are used in crimes. The case is being watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers across the country, as it has the potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue the makers of firearm. view article arw

In 2015 Judge Janis Jack ruled the Texas foster care system was broken and ordered the state to make changes, including around the clock supervision by adults who are awake for foster children in a group setting. Almost five years later, the Department of Family and Protective Services have not implemented her orders. Now, Jack is suing the state of Texas. Jack announced Tuesday until the problems are fixed the state will be fined $50,000 a day. That amount will double later this month if the foster care system still hasn’t changed. view article arw

AUSTIN — For the fourth year in a row, Texas “needs assistance” complying with federal law to provide special education services to children with disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Education.  Texas has earned the same rating every summer since 2016 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) despite a push to improve student access to special education services in light of revelations the state had illegally capped how many children should get them.  The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services offered little detail as to why the state received the rating in a June letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath, though the TEA said the designation is due to low student test scores on a national standardized test. view article arw

University of Houston student Valerie Smith sat in the front row of her classroom, drawing and labeling boxes with fluorescent colored pens. But what looks like doodles on a page in her notebook are in fact notes to help her remember some of the basics of cloud computing — a newer technological venture for many companies and Texas educational institutions.  Cloud computing, a practice that allows the storage, management and processing of data through remote servers on the Internet rather than a local or physical computer (think Google Drive), is becoming more and more common, and education leaders want to prepare students for related job opportunities as more companies migrate their systems to the cloud. view article arw

The Decatur ISD trustees approved an agreement reached between Carly Cloud's attorney and the district's attorney to resolve the former Decatur softball coach's Level III grievance. view article arw

The attorney for Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau says they are going to take their case to the Louisiana Supreme Court after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Puyau’s lawsuit earlier this week.  The ruling from the appeals court affirmed a judge’s decision that the January 2018 meeting where the superintendent signed a new contract to be null and void.  Attorney Lane Roy says that despite the absence of a contract, the superintendent will keep his job for the time being. view article arw

AUSTIN — Jesse Alvarez may be in his late teens, but he functions on a first or second grade level. He has fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a learning disability, requiring his father Alfredo Alvarez to make most of his son’s decisions for him, according to court records. Alvarez was concerned the school district wasn’t meeting Jesse’s needs in May and asked for a hearing, but says he was told by a special education officer that he could no longer advocate for his son because Jesse had turned 18.  Now Alvarez and special education watchdog groups contend Texas is violating federal law by refusing to allow guardians to look out for certain students after they become legal adults. view article arw

Lavaca County prosecutor Stuart Fryer is requesting a visiting judge preside over the criminal cases against three Hallettsville ISD officials.  Lavaca County Judge Tramer Woytek agreed Thursday to a visiting judge and said he would appoint one to preside over the cases.  The three indicted Hallettsville school officials are accused of failing to report allegations of student abuse earlier this year. view article arw