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HARMONY WITH LAW

Newly enacted law is applicable when effective.  No policy or regulation, or any portion thereof, shall be operative if it is found to be in conflict with applicable law.

Severability

If any portion of a policy or its application to any person or circumstance is found to be invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of policy that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application; and to this end the provisions of the TSBVI policy manual are declared to be severable.

ORGANIZATION

Legally referenced policies contain provisions from federal and state statutes and regulations, case law, and other legal authority that together form the framework for decision making and implementation.  These policies are binding on the School until the cited provisions are repealed, revised, or superseded by legislative, regulatory, or judicial action.

TERMS

The terms “Trustee” and “Board member” are used interchangeably in the policy manual.  Both terms are intended to reflect all the duties and obligations of the office.

POLICY-RELATED FUNCTIONS

The following guidelines address policy functions:

  1. Policy development is a cooperative effort involving the Board, the staff, members of the community, and other information sources.
  2. Policy adoption is the function of the Board.
  3. Policy implementation is a function of the Superintendent and staff.
  4. Policy monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating are functions of the Board based on information received from the staff, the community, and other sources.

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ADOPTION

Policies and policy amendments may be initiated by the Superintendent, Board members, school personnel, or community citizens, but shall be recommended for the Board’s consideration by the Superintendent.

Effective Date

Policies shall become effective upon Board adoption or at a future date designated by the Board at the time of adoption.

Evaluation

The Board may establish a time frame for monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating designated policies.

OFFICIAL POLICY MANUAL

The Board shall designate one copy of the policy manual as the official policy manual of the School, as well as a copy of the Board Operating Procedures.  The official copies shall be kept in the central administration office, and the Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for its accuracy and integrity and shall maintain an historical record of the School’s policy manual.  If discrepancies occur between different copies of the manual, the version contained in the official policy manual shall be regarded as authoritative.

EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES

The Superintendent shall have the authority to make editorial administrative changes to policies, such as changes in program and job titles, staff names assigned to Title IX, Title VII and other such duties, telephone numbers, and addresses that do not alter substantive portions or the intent of policies.  Administrative changes that are made under the provisions of this policy shall go into effect 10 days after the Board receives a copy of the amended policy.  A cover letter shall accompany the distribution of the policy that clearly states what changes were made; that they were made by the Superintendent; and that the amendment shall go into effect in 10 calendar days.

WAIVERS

Except as indicated below at Restrictions, the School may apply to the Commissioner of Education for a waiver of a requirement or prohibition imposed by the Education Code or rule of the State Board of Education or Commissioner.  An application for a waiver must include:

  1. A written plan approved by the Board that states the achievement objectives of the School and the inhibition imposed on those objectives by the requirement or prohibition; and
  2. Written comments from the Instructional Planning Committee.

Education Code 7.056(a)(b)

Submission and Approval

The application shall be submitted to the Commissioner not later than the 31st day before the School intends to take action requiring a waiver.  If the Commissioner does not notify the School of an objection within 30 days after receiving the application, the waiver is granted.  Education Code 7.056(b)(c)

Duration

A waiver is effective for the period stated in the application, which cannot exceed three years.  If TSBVI has received a waiver for three years, it may receive an exemption from the requirement, restriction, or prohibition at the end of that period if it has achieved the objectives stated in the application.  The exemption remains in effect until the Commissioner determines that achievement levels of the School have declined.  Education Code 7.056(d)

Restrictions

The School may not receive an exemption or waiver from a requirement, restriction, or prohibition imposed by federal or state law or rule relating to:

  1. A prohibition on conduct that constitutes a criminal offense.
  2. Essential knowledge or skills under Education Code 28.002, or high school graduation requirements under Education Code 28.025;
  3. TSBVI statutory accountability under Education Code 30.002 and 30.005, and standards set by the Memorandum of Understanding with TEA;
  4. Extracurricular activities under Education Code 33.081 or participation in a University Interscholastic League area, regional, or state competition under Education Code 33.0812;
  5. Health and safety under Education Code Chapter 38;
  6. Elementary school class size limits, except as provided by Education Code 25.112;
  7. Removal of a disruptive student from the classroom under Education Code Chapter 37, Subchapter A;
  8. At-risk programs under Education Code 29, Subchapter C;
  9. Educator rights and benefits under Education Code Chapter 21, Subchapters A, C, D, E, F, G, I and Chapter 2, Subchapter A;
  10. Special education programs under Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter A;
  11. Bilingual education programs, including ESL, under Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter B; or
  12. First day of instruction requirements under Education Code 25.0811.

Education Code 7.056(e); [ Note:  As a state agency, TSBVI’s purchasing is subject to the Gov’t Code, not the Education Code, therefore, no waivers are required.]

Adopted:             3/7/80

Amended:           9/10/82, 3/22/91, 9/27/91, 3/27/92, 1/29/93, 3/25/94, 3/21/97, 1/25/08, 11/17/17, 9/27/19

Reviewed:           1/31/03