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A federal judge on Monday refused to throw out a voting rights lawsuit against the Frisco school district, allowing the case to move forward to trial. The lawsuit alleges that the district's election system is discriminatory against minority candidates because school trustees are elected at-large to represent all of the district. view article arw

LONGVIEW, Texas — Coronavirus has changed how many of us live our daily lives and that includes kids.  At Longview ISD, students are now doing their school work online.  "Not being able to see my students has been a little bit of an adjustment," said Constance Massey, a 5th-grade teacher at Dudson Pep Elementary.  Massey has needed to adjust how she teaches. She now uses resources like Google Classroom and Zoom to teach her students. view article arw

AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued a stern warning to retail suppliers, including those who supply grocery stores and pharmacies, that state law strictly prohibits price gouging in the wake of a declared disaster. Price gouging laws apply to any person or entity selling necessities at an exorbitant or excessive price after a disaster has been declared by the Governor or President. This prohibition includes those who supply retailers.  (26) read more arw

Dallas County residents are being ordered to stay in their homes except for essential work and errands, beginning at 11:59 p.m. Monday. All businesses that are not deemed essential are also ordered to stop operating.  County Judge Clay Jenkins announced the strictest limits yet on social gatherings and movement in Texas Sunday evening. His order, which came the same day the number of positive cases of coronavirus cases in the county surpassed 100 and announced two more deaths, is the latest update to restrictions that were implemented March 12.  “This order is our best chance to flatten the curve here in Dallas County and save as many lives as possible," he said. “It makes me sick that we’re at this point.” view article arw

A jury in south Florida has convicted a Florida resident of duping Texas' Crowley ISD of nearly $2 million; money which was earmarked for the construction of a new elementary school. view article arw

A man and woman were indicted Wednesday on felony charges after investigators say a gun was seen at Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium in October during a 'disturbance.' Tracy Motton and Treavonta Motton were arrested when police were called about ‘a disturbance involving multiple subjects’ on October 5 on the home side according to court documents. view article arw

A Florida man has been convicted of stealing $2 million from the Crowley Independent School District in a computer email scam.  Donald Conkright, 63, of Key West, Florida, was arrested in December 2018. A jury convicted him of money laundering last week after a three-day trial.  Prosecutors said in October 2018 an email claiming to be from a legitimate contractor, a construction company, was used to dupe the district's accounting director into wiring $1,995,715.52 to Conkright's personal bank account. view article arw

AG Opinion:

March 1008:53 AM
 

Re: Whether a school district may purchase real property outside its boundaries for the purpose of constructing and operating a school (RQ-0304-KP)  A court would likely conclude that section 11.167 of the Education Code does not expressly permit a school district to purchase land outside of its boundaries for the purpose of building and operating a middle school. Given the constitutional and statutory language referencing the construction and maintenance of public school buildings "in the district," we cannot predict with certainty whether a court would conclude that section 11.167 implies the power to do so. read more arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — It’s been 30 years since former President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.  It was the United States’ first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities.  Local advocates said the nation has come a long way, but there’s still room for improvement. view article arw

Texas Bar Foundation honors Neal W. Adams with statewide recognition  Neal W. Adams of Grapevine – photo Neal W. Adams – is the recipient of the 2020 Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award from the Texas Bar Foundation. The Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award was established by friends and family and endowed through the Texas Bar Foundation in June 1996 in memory of Austin lawyer Dan Price who died in 1994.  Adams earned a BBA in Marketing from Texas A&M University in 1968, and a Juris Doctor in 1970 from Baylor University School of Law. He served in the United States Army as trial counsel for Headquarters Command, Fort Jackson, South Carolina. view article arw

A former Carroll ISD volleyball coach has been accused of sexually assaulting a child more than 20 years ago. Anthony Clark, 45, faces three charges of sexual assault of a child, Grapevine police said Monday. Each charge involves the same victim, who was 15 during the alleged offenses. Police said the victim came forward in January and accused Clark of assaulting them between 1999 and 2000. view article arw

Gatesville ISD said that law enforcement officials have arrested a custodian for possession of "lewd visual material depicting a child." Police said that the material was on a personal device at the custodian's home. view article arw

A former employee of the Rio Grande City school district filed a federal lawsuit against three school board trustees alleging his termination from the district was political retaliation.  Ricardo “Rick” Lopez, a former truancy officer with the school district, filed the lawsuit earlier on Tuesday against board trustees Daniel J. Garcia, Eleazar Velasquez and Daria “Dr. B.” Babineaux, claiming a violation of his rights to freedom of expression and due process. view article arw

FBI agents are actively investigating the Houston Independent School District's administrative offices, the school district confirmed in a statement.  At least a dozen agents were seen at the Houston ISD administrative building Thursday morning carrying out white boxes and a black trunk, according to the Houston Chronicle. There were at least six unmarked FBI vehicles parked near the building.  There’s been no word as to what FBI agents are looking for, but the district is “fully cooperating,” according to a written release sent by the school district. view article arw

A lot of people are unhappy about changes to the Fort Worth Independent School’s school zone boundaries. Some of the most vocal opponents of the new zones are parents who have children attending South Hills Elementary School. view article arw

Dallas ISD is suing a 7-year-old former student in federal court over the right to test him for autism over his parents’ objections. The Texas Education Agency has weighed in twice, both time siding with the boy’s parents. Now the district is appealing in federal court, arguing federal law requires them to test the boy for all suspected disabilities. view article arw

Agents with the FBI and IRS spent hours Thursday searching the administrative offices of the Houston Independent School District and the Cypress-area house of its chief operating officer, but they remained tight-lipped about what they were seeking.  At least a dozen federal agents made their way in and out of HISD’s Hattie Mae White building on 4400 West 18th Street Thursday morning, at one point carrying several boxes and containers to vehicles parked nearby.  The bureau called the search a “court authorized law enforcement activity,” but did not elaborate.  The district issued a statement saying it was fully cooperating with the FBI, adding there was no danger to students or staff.  Federal agents also were at a Cypress-area home listed in county property tax records as the residence of HISD Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby and his wife, HISD Officer of Special Populations Courtney Busby. Security refused to allow news media inside the gated neighborhood.  (02/28) view article arw

A Comal ISD bus driver has been put on unpaid administrative leave after she was accused of assigning specific seats on the bus by race, the school district said. The unnamed employee drove bus 420 for Danville Middle School, said Comal ISD spokesperson Steve Stanford. The district opened an investigation after the transportation department received several phone calls about the bus driver after the incident. Stanford said it was a one-time incident that occurred Monday view article arw

MANSFIELD, Texas (AP) — A Texas teacher who alleged she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation has reached a settlement with the school district.  Stacy Bailey, who is an art teacher at Mansfield Independent School District, will get a letter of recommendation and a $100,000 payment to her and her attorney as part of the settlement. The school board approved the settlement Monday. view article arw

MANSFIELD, Texas (AP) — A Texas teacher who alleged she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation has reached a settlement with the school district.  Stacy Bailey, who is an art teacher at Mansfield Independent School District, will get a letter of recommendation and a $100,000 payment to her and her attorney as part of the settlement. The school board approved the settlement Monday. view article arw

A Mansfield teacher who says she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation has reached a settlement with the school district.  Part of the settlement calls for Mansfield art teacher Stacy Bailey to get a letter of recommendation and a $100,000 payment to her and her attorney. Her record also will no longer show that she was investigated and suspended because of accusations she was promoting a “homosexual agenda,” according to a statement issued on behalf of Bailey.  “The agreements the district and I made in this settlement are a positive first step in making things better for gay employees, gay students and gay families in Mansfield,” Bailey said in a statement.  The school board approved the settlement Monday night.   (02/26) view article arw

A group of students and teachers just won $53 million from California in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit arguing the state had not done enough to ensure students learned how to read. The settlement last week in Ella T. v. State of California, accepted by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rupert A. Byrdsong, calls on state officials to introduce legislation that will establish a $50 million block grant program. The money is to be used over three years by the state’s 75 lowest-performing elementary schools, which will work with stakeholders to identify causes of poor academic performance and develop high-quality literacy programs. The 75 schools include charters, which are publicly funded but privately operated. The settlement also provides $3 million to install a statewide literacy leader. view article arw

KILGORE — New developments in the long-running Axberg vs. Kilgore ISD lawsuit have come to light as plaintiffs filed an amended petition turning the case into a class-action lawsuit seeking monetary damages to recoup taxes they say were improperly collected and, on the same day, a judge dealt a blow to the district by ruling against it in its bid to end the suit.  According to Gregg County court records, the plaintiffs filed an amended motion on Feb. 11 to expand the scope of the original lawsuit. The amendments include adding plaintiffs and defendants to the petition and seeking monetary damages to cover the cost of taxes they allege were collected improperly. view article arw

The San Marcos Consolidated ISD Board of Trustees approved several items related to its upcoming election.   The board approved a resolution to participate in a joint election with Hays County on May 2. Three board of trustee positions are up for election. Miguel Arredondo (Single Member District 1), Margie Villalpando (Single Member District 2) and Lupe Costilla (Single Member District 3) all have their current terms as trustees coming to an end this year.  view article arw

EDCOUCH-ELSA, Texas (CBS 4) — The Edcouch-Elsa Independent School District (ISD) is asking for information that may lead to the arrest of the person responsible for a break-in at a middle school. view article arw

PALESTINE, Texas — Palestine Independent School District is warning community members of a scammer attempting to solicit money by using the school's name.  According to PISD, a Hispanic man going by the name Jose Robles is calling residents saying he's with Palestine ISD and is asking for money on behalf of the sports department.  view article arw

DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — A Texas-based organization could give tipsters up to $5,000 for reporting admissions fraud at Dallas magnet schools.  Parents living outside the Dallas school district have been accused of faking residency, by forging documents or taking out short-term leases, to get their kids into nationally-recognized Booker T. Washington High School. view article arw

Routinely changing federal regulations, spotty oversight and tight budgets can leave education leaders feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to serving students with disabilities.  While administrators think their schools could be doing more to support special education, they report not having sufficient leadership support, materials and tools, staff with specific expertise, and training and information to make that happen, according to a recent study.  view article arw

Greenville ISD released a statement Tuesday, saying that five of the six claims listed in a lawsuit against the district by two parents who alleged that their child had been sexually assaulted twice by another student in the 2018-19 school year, had been dismissed by the U.S. District Court. The district’s statement was about a the lawsuit filed against the district in June 2019, where the parents alleged that their child was sexually assaulted at the Katherine G. Johnson STEM Academy, once in November 2018 and another time in March 2019, by the same student.

AG Opinion Request

February 1208:30 AM
 

Whether Texas Government Code Section 2054.5191(a-1) requires a member of the board of directors of an appraisal district to complete a certified cybersecurity training program at least once per year view article arw

Officers with the Hudson ISD Police Department arrested a former math teacher for the school district on Monday in connection to allegations that he had an improper relationship with a high school student that included sexual contact. view article arw

A 67-year-old former Galena Park Independent School District school bus attendant was fired in January after being accused of touching a 13-year-old disabled student inappropriately, officials said. Sergio Lopez was charged with misdemeanor assault. Lopez worked at Galena Park ISD as a school bus attendant for five years. The assault charge was filed following an investigation by the district and Harris County Pct. 3 deputy constables. view article arw

A judge ruled Sunday that Lancaster ISD trustee Carolyn Morris cannot continue to advocate for students with special needs while serving as an elected member of the school board. The district sued Morris, who has been an advocate for nearly 30 years, in October. The suit alleged that being an advocate presented a conflict of interest. view article arw

The La Grulla city attorney has occupied that role for more than a decade, but after the Rio Grande City school district hired him, the payments he’s received from both entities has come under scrutiny.  Attorney Rene Montalvo took on the role of city attorney for La Grulla in 2002, and in October, he was hired as the new attorney for the school district board of trustees. Additionally, he serves as the attorney for the Starr County Appraisal District. view article arw

Mart Independent School District’s band director has formally resigned from the position as he remains in jail on charges that he had a sexual relationship with a Mexia teenager.  Conrad Douglas Flusche, 46, submitted a formal letter of resignation to Mart ISD Superintendent Betsy Burnett on Friday. His wife submitted the letter to the school district effective Monday while Flusche remained in Limestone County Jail, with bond listed at $75,000. view article arw