McLennan County juvenile prosecutors filed formal charges this week against a Moody High School student detained last spring on allegations he urinated in a teacher’s drinking cup.  Prosecutors filed a harassment of a public servant charge, a third-degree felony, against the Moody student, five months after he was suspended by school officials and detained in the Bill Logue Juvenile Justice Center for two weeks. Judge Gary Coley Jr. of Waco’s 74th State District Court has scheduled a hearing in the case for Oct. 2 at which the boy will either plead guilty or ask that his case be set for trial. view article arw

Terry Abbott, chief communication officer for Killeen Independent School District, responded Thursday afternoon to inquiries about two lawsuits settled at Tuesday’s KISD Board of Trustees meeting. “Bullying and harassment of any kind, including sexual harassment, will never be tolerated at any Killeen ISD school,” Abbott said. view article arw

Amid increasing scrutiny from top state officials of teachers accused of soliciting romantic relationships from students, the number of such cases has jumped for the ninth year in a row. In the one-year period that ended Sept. 1, the Texas Education Agency opened 302 cases against public teachers who have been accused of having improper relationships with students, a 36 percent increase from the year before. The most recent data show the biggest one-year jump in almost a decade. view article arw

Former Beaumont ISD contract electrician Calvin Walker has applied for a writ of habeas corpus in his criminal trial, repeating his claim that he can't be tried again on changes similar to those he was accused of in federal court in 2012. Walker is charged with fraud and money-laundering in Judge John Stevens' Criminal District Court. view article arw

Investigations into improper teacher-student relationships jumped 36 percent in the 2017 fiscal year, records obtained by mySA.com show. The Texas Education Agency opened 302 investigations into improper relationships in FY2017. It was at least the seventh year in a row that number has increased. view article arw

Two pending lawsuits were approved for settlement in votes passed unanimously after the Killeen Independent School Board of Trustees reconvened from closed session at 10:51 p.m. Tuesday. One lawsuit was filed by Kevin Gable on behalf of his daughter, who was bullied and sexually harassed over a three-year period while a student at Rancier Middle School. view article arw

This week Corpus Christi Independent School District leaders added new changes to their bullying policy to comply with Senate Bill 179, otherwise known as David's Law. The new law went into effect on September 1st and relates to student harassment, particularly cyberbullying. view article arw

After an incident at the Hawkins home football game versus Cushing, Hawkins ISD will be pursuing legal action against Cushing ISD's team personnel. According to a statement from Morris Lyon published on the Hawkins ISD Twitter page, the superintendent for HISD, believes that his district's coaches "responded in a manner to protect our students." view article arw

In June, The Ferguson Law Firm obtained a temporary restraining order to preserve evidence surrounding the May 23 death of Dennis Reeves, the Kirbyville High School principal.Reeves was found dead in his pickup shortly after being forced to resign from his job. On Aug. 31, the Ninth Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal brought by the Kirbyville Consolidated Independent School District at the request of the Reeves family, court records show. view article arw

Both Hawkins ISD and Cushing ISD are looking into a situation which unfolded Friday evening following the high school football game. Hawkins fell to Cushing 22-20 after a tense match-up all evening long. After the game ended, both teams met for the traditional sportsman-like "congratulations." This is when the altercation reportedly began. view article arw

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Whether more than 30 of the roughly 150 charter schools in Louisiana are being properly funded by the state's education board is now to be decided by the state Supreme Court in a case closely watched by charter school advocates and opponents.  Charter schools are tax-funded public schools operated by independent organizations under charters approved by state or local education officials. view article arw

Brock students now have guardians

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They're not angels, but folks in Brock might call them the next best thing as they watch over their children. The Brock School Board recently approved a Guardian Program in which select employees from the district are allowed to conceal carry in preparation for an emergency. view article arw

With three-point seat belts required on Texas school buses starting on Sept. 1, 2017, some districts are sharing their thoughts and plans on complying with the new requirements. SB 693, which Gov. Greg Abbot signed into law in June, requires all school buses model-year 2018 or later to have three-point seat belts. Last week, state Sens. Sylvia R. Garcia and Dade Phelan, the bill author and sponsor, sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency and school districts that explained the law and its motivation. The letter reminded them that buses manufactured before 2018 can be used without seat belts, and retrofitting is not required.  view article arw

A federal judge has tossed out a new law softening Texas’ strict voter identification requirements. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Wednesday ruled that Senate Bill 5, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, doesn’t absolve Texas lawmakers from responsibility for discriminating against Latino and black voters when they crafted one of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws in 2011. The judge also ruled that the state failed to prove that the new law would accommodate such voters going forward. view article arw

A Texas boy who eagerly started school last week was sent home just two days in when officials banned the child from attending classes because of his long hair, his mother said.Jessica Oates told FOX26 her son, Jabez Oates, began pre-kindergarten in Barbers Hill Independent School District last week, where she learned during registration that Jabez wasn't allowed to have hair that went below his eyes, ears and neck. "He's never had a haircut. It's just kinda part of his identity," Oates told the news station. "He's just so smart he blows my mind. Full of energy and excited to learn."  view article arw

A former teacher in the Galveston Independent School District has been arrested and charged for alleged sexual assault of a minor. According to the Galveston Police Department, 27-year-old Eliezer Marquez was taken into custody on Wednesday after an investigation revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl who attended Ball High School. view article arw

A law that allows guns on school property will go into effect Sept. 1. The law allows teachers in Texas to transport or store a handgun, other firearm or ammunition in the parking lot of a school. view article arw

AUSTIN — The prosecutors pursuing charges against Attorney General Ken Paxton haven't been paid in more than a year and a half — and they will continue to wait on a payday.  On Monday, the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas voided a $205,000 invoice dating back to January 2016, saying state laws and local rules did not allow the three special prosecutors to be paid the $300-an-hour rate they were promised.  It is unclear whether the prosecutors will appeal the ruling, and their attorney, David Feldman, did not return questions about whether they would step down from the case due to nonpayment.  "We are delighted," said County Judge Keith Self, who sits on the commissioners court. "All along, Collin County has asked for a ruling by a court and we now have it." view article arw

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has closed an investigation into discrimination allegations made against Axtell Independent School District by the father of a special-needs child. The OCR closed the investigation after learning similar allegations have been filed against Axtell ISD by Cornel Marton with another state or local civil rights enforcement agency or through internal grievance procedures, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed Friday. view article arw

Six days after Spring Hill ISD announced a new stadium scoreboard would use private funds instead of bond money, the board trustee who eventually would take out a loan to pay for it asked if there was any word on a donor."Any news on scoreboard?" trustee Frank Bufkin III wrote in an April 26 email to Superintendent Steven Snell. "If not set up some suggested paramiters [sic] for me buying it and taking out the cost over time with no interest ... and using say 100-75% to the athletic (department)." view article arw

A former Alvin ISD middle school teacher and coach will spend up to 30 years in prison after a jury determined he sexually assaulted a female student last year. A Brazoria County jury took almost six hours Tuesday to sentence 30-year-old Steven Cortez of Houston to three decades in prison for the March 2016 assault. view article arw

The judge declared a mistrial in the case of former Hallsville ISD coach Dean McDaniel, accused of indecency with a child. A new jury will be chosen as a result of the mistrial. There will be another trial next year according to Leslie Hawsey, the court coordinator. Other details are limited due to a gag order put in place by the Judge. Carlton Ray Burris, uncle of McDaniel by marriage, and pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall, says he and the family are very disappointed. view article arw

A Brownfield ISD teacher was arrested and released on bond for what Terry County authorities are calling an improper relationship with a student. Tyson Jones, who is listed as a high school teacher on the Brownfield ISD website, was arrested Friday on a charge of improper relationship between educator/student, according to an official with the Terry County Sheriff’s Office. view article arw

Spring Hill ISD cannot withhold a document it had sought to keep confidential relating to financing for a new scoreboard at its football stadium, the Texas Attorney General's Office has ruled. The district has not said if it plans to release the document or appeal the ruling as allowed under the Texas Public Information Act. view article arw

The jury will pick up deliberations again at 8:30 a.m. today in 71st Judicial District Judge Brad Morin's court regarding the case of former Hallsville ISD coach Dean McDaniel who faces three counts of indecency with a child by exposure with intent of sexual gratification and one count of improper relationship between an educator and a student.  The jury broke for recess at 6 p.m. on Monday after three hours of deliberation did not produce a verdict. The jury came out of deliberations twice during that time view article arw

Several members of the Texas Senate emphasized their support for reforming the state’s school finance and retired teacher healthcare systems at a press conference on Tuesday. As the special session enters its final week, the time to pass legislation designated by Governor Greg Abbott is running out, and these members want to ensure that key bills reach his desk.These Senators highlighted two measures passed by the body earlier in the session, one to create a special commission to study the way the state pays for public education and one to put more money into TRS-Care, the program that provides health coverage for retired teachers.  view article arw

This is one side of the story - js -AUSTIN— Attorney General Ken Paxton today intervened in a property tax lawsuit against Dumas Independent School District, stating that the district violated state law and the Texas Constitution when it reduced the district’s local option homestead exemption. Attorney General Paxton filed similar interventions against the White Deer and Kilgore Independent School Districts in September 2016.  read more arw

Testimony in the case of former Hallsville ISD cross country coach Dean McDaniel — charged with three counts of indecency with a child by exposure with the intent of sexual gratification and one count of improper relationship between an educator and a student — continued on Wednesday with two more witnesses claiming McDaniel also showered with them in the summer of 2015. view article arw

The trial of ex-Hallsville ISD coach Dean Michael McDaniel, 37, has completed its second day. According to witness testimony, McDaniel is accused of showering with male students and having them stretch while in the nude. view article arw

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into Axtell Independent School District involving discrimination allegations made by the father of a special needs child, but district officials said Wednesday the claims have no merit. Cornel Marton, the owner of Axtell BBQ and the father of Zackery Marton, a 12-year-old with spina bifida, alleges the district treated his child “inhumanely” throughout the 2016-2017 school year. He received a letter about the open investigation July 20, after filing a complaint with OCR March 3. view article arw

Local school districts replacing buses may have to strap in their students after a new state law goes into effect Sept. 1. Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law in June that requires districts pay for three-point seat belts on all new model buses — unless a school board specifically votes against purchasing them and cites budget constraints. view article arw

A 15-year-old boy testified Tuesday that a former Hallsville ISD coach made him "feel uncomfortable" by showering with him and making him do stretches naked in the student locker room. The boy was the first student witness to testify in the case of former Hallsville ISD track coach Dean McDaniel, who is on trial in Harrison County's 71st District Court. McDaniel is charged with three counts of indecency with a child by exposure with the intent of self-sexual gratification and one charge of improper relationship between an educator and a student. view article arw

The Dallas-based defense attorney representing former Hallsville ISD track coach Dean McDaniel said Tuesday, in the criminal trial involving allegations of sexual misconduct, that his client used "poor judgment" by showering with male student athletes but did not commit a crime. Day two of McDaniel's trial in Harrison County's 71st District Court in Marshall, saw testimony regarding the three charges of indecency with a child by exposure with the intent of self sexual gratification and one charge of improper relationship between an educator and a student. view article arw

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is refuting Representative John Zerwas and Fort Bend Independent School District’s argument for bypassing tax legislation to reduce their tax rates without a tax ratification election. Zerwas sought a written opinion from Paxton in April asking whether or not an independent school district would need to hold the election to implement tax rates. The district was seeking to reduce its ad valorem tax rate to $1.32 per $100 versus its current $1.34 rate. To accomplish this, it planned to lower its debt service rate by 4 cents and raise its maintenance and operations rate by 2 cents. It was its goal to change the tax rate while avoiding the costs associated with holding the election.   view article arw

More than two years after Beaumont ISD sued its former auditor, the district and Gayle Botley have reached a settlement agreement following two rounds of mediation. BISD sued Botley in July 2015 alleging negligence and breach of contract and seeking more than $1 million. The district will receive $750,000 from Botley's insurance carrier, it said in a statement. view article arw