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Principals shall make reports to local law enforcement authorities of the following classes of offenses.  Education Code 37.015

  1. “Conduct that may constitute an offense listed under Section 508.149, Government Code”:
    1. An offense for which the judgment contains an affirmative finding under Section 3g(a)(2), Article 42.12, Code of Criminal Procedure (use or exhibition of a prohibited weapon during commission of or flight from a felony offense).
    2. A first or second degree felony under Penal Code 19.02 (murder).
    3. A capital felony under Penal Code 19.03 (capital murder).
    4. A first or second degree felony under Penal Code 20.04 (aggravated kidnapping).
    5. An offense under Penal Code 21.11 (indecency with a child).
    6. A felony under Penal Code 22.011 (sexual assault).
    7. A first or second degree felony under Penal Code 22.02 (aggravated assault).
    8. A first degree felony under Penal Code 22.021 (aggravated sexual assault).
    9. A first degree felony under Penal Code 22.04 (injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual).
    10. A first degree felony under Penal Code 28.02 (arson).
    11. A second degree felony under Penal Code 29.02 (robbery).
    12. A first degree felony under Penal Code 29.03 (aggravated robbery).
    13. A first degree felony under Penal Code 30.02 (burglary).
    14. A felony for which punishment is increased under Health and Safety Code 481.134 (drug-free zones) or 481.140 (use of child in commission of offense).
    15. An offense under Penal Code 43.25 (sexual performance by a child).
    16. An offense under Penal Code 21.02 (continuous sexual abuse of young child or children).
  2. “Deadly conduct under Section 22.05, Penal Code”:
    1. A person commits an offense if he or she recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.
    2. A person commits an offense if he or she knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of one or more individuals or a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied.
    3. Recklessness and danger are presumed if the actor knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded.
  3. “Terroristic threat under Section 22.07, Penal Code”:

    A person commits an offense if he or she threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
    1. Cause a reaction of any type to the threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
    2. Place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
    3. Prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building; room; place of assembly; place to which the public has access; place of employment or occupation; aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance; or other public place;
    4. Cause impairment or interruption of public communications; public transportation; public water, gas, or power supply; or other public service;
    5. Place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
    6. Influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
  4. “Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense under Section 71.02, Penal Code” (Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity):

    A person commits an offense if, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, he or she commits or conspires to commit one or more of the following:
    1. Murder, capital murder, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, burglary, theft, aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, forgery, deadly conduct, assault punishable as a Class A misdemeanor, burglary of a motor vehicle, or unauthorized use of a motor vehicle;
    2. Any gambling offense punishable as a Class A misdemeanor;
    3. Promotion of prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, or compelling prostitution;
    4. Unlawful manufacture, transportation, repair, or sale of firearms or prohibited weapons;
    5. Unlawful manufacture, delivery, dispensation, or distribution of a controlled substance or dangerous drug, or unlawful possession of a controlled substance or dangerous drug through forgery, fraud, misrepresentation, or deception;
    6. Any unlawful wholesale promotion or possession of any obscene material or obscene device with the intent to wholesale promote the same;
    7. Any offense under Penal Code Chapter 43, Subchapter B depicting or involving conduct by or directed toward a child younger than 18 years of age (Chapter 43, Subchapter B prohibits obscenity including: sale, distribution, or display of material harmful to minor; sexual performance by a child; employment of a child in a sexually oriented activity or a place where the child works nude or topless; and possession or promotion of child pornography);
    8. Any felony offense under Penal Code Chapter 32 (fraud);
    9. Any offense under Penal Code Chapter 34 (money laundering) or Chapter 35 (insurance fraud);
    10. Any offense under Penal Code Chapter 36 (bribery and corrupt influence);
    11. Any offense under Penal Code 37.11(a) (impersonating a public servant);
    12. Any offense under Penal Code Chapter 20A (trafficking of persons);
    13. Any offense under Penal Code 37.10 (tampering with government record);

Any offense under Penal Code 38.06 (escape), 38.07 (permitting or facilitating escape), 38.09 (providing a person in custody or an inmate with an implement for escape), or 38.11 (providing prohibited or controlled substances or items to person in custody or an inmate).

Adopted: 9/27/17

Amended:

Reviewed:

 NOTICES TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

The Principal or designee shall notify local law enforcement if the Principal has reasonable grounds to believe that any of the following activities occur in school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property, without regard to whether the activity is investigated by school security officers:

  1. Conduct that may constitute an offense listed in Government Code 508.149; deadly conduct, as described by Penal Code 22.05; or a terroristic threat, as described by Penal Code 22.07. [See GRAA(EXHIBIT)
  2. The use, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or marijuana, as defined by Health and Safety Code 481.
  3. The possession of any of the weapons or devices listed in Penal Code 46.01(1)-(14) or (16). [See FNCG]
  4. The possession of a weapon as defined by 18 U.S.C. Section 921, in accordance with the Gun-Free Schools Act. [See FOD]
  5. Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense under Penal Code 71.02, Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. [See GRAA(EXHIBIT)]
  6. Conduct that may constitute a criminal offense for which a student may be expelled under Education Code 37.007(a), (d), or (e).

Notice is not required if the Principal or designee reasonably believes that the activity does not constitute a criminal offense.

The Principal or designee shall provide the notice to the Austin Police Department.  The report shall include the name and address of each student the person believes may have participated in the activity .

Notice to Employees

The Principal or designee shall also notify each instructional or support employee of the school who has regular contact with a student whose conduct is the subject of the notice.  Education Code 37.015, 37.007(e)

NOTICES FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

As described below, representatives of the juvenile justice system shall provide notice to Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired when:

  1. A student is arrested or referred to the juvenile board [see ARREST, below];
  2. A student is convicted, or receives deferred prosecution or deferred adjudication [see CONVICTION OR ADJUDICATION, below];
  3. A student was removed to a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) and the criminal case against the student is refused or the student is found not guilty [see NOT GUILTY/CHARGES DROPPED, below]; or
  4. A student on parole, probation, or community supervision transfers into or reenrolls in a district [see TRANSFER STUDENTS, below].

Code of Criminal Procedures 15.27

Local law enforcement shall provide notice to the Superintendent if a registered sex offender intends to reside in the district, as set out below.  Code of Criminal Procedure 62.053€, .053(f) [See REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS, below]

Reportable Offenses

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27 applies to the following offenses:

  1. Any felony offense; and
  2. The following misdemeanors:
    1. An offense under Penal Code 20.02 (Unlawful Restraint), 21.08 (Indecent Exposure), 22.01 (Assault), 22.05 (Deadly Conduct), 22.07 (Terroristic Threat), or 71.02 (Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity);
    2. The unlawful use, sale, or possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, or marijuana, as defined by Health and Safety Code Chapter 481; and
    3. The unlawful possession of any of the weapons or devices listed in Penal Code 46.01(1)-(14) or (16), or a weapon listed as a prohibited weapon under Penal Code 46.05.

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(h)

Contents of Notice

Oral or written notice under Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27 must include all pertinent details of the offense or conduct, including details of any:

  1. Assaultive behavior or other violence;
  2. Weapons used in the commission of the offense or conduct; or
  3. Weapons possessed during the commission of the offense or conduct.

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(k)

Electronic Notice

A person may substitute electronic notice for oral notice where oral notice is required by Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27.  If electronic notice is used, any written notice required by article 15.27 is not required.  Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(i)

Arrest

Oral Notice

If a law enforcement agency arrests a person or refers a child to the juvenile board for an offense specified at REPORTABLE OFFENSES, and the agency believes the person is enrolled as a student in a public school, the head of the agency or designee shall orally notify the Superintendent or designee in the district in which the student is enrolled, or believed to be enrolled, of the arrest or referral.  The notice shall be provided within 24 hours after the arrest or referral is made or before the next school day, whichever is earlier.

Written Notice

Within seven days after oral notice is given, the head of the law enforcement agency or designee shall mail written notice to the Superintendent or designee.  The written notice shall include the facts in the oral notice, the name of the person who was orally notified, and the date and time of the oral notice.

Both the oral and written notice shall contain sufficient details of the arrest or referral and the acts allegedly committed by the student to enable the Superintendent or designee to determine whether there is a reasonable belief that the student has engaged in conduct defined as a felony offense by the Penal Code.  The information in the notice shall be considered by the Superintendent or designee in making such a determination.

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(a)

Failure to Provide Notice to District

If the Superintendent of a district in which the student is enrolled learns of a failure of the head of a law enforcement agency or designee to provide a notice under Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(a), the Superintendent or the Principal shall report the failure to the Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.  Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(m)

Notice to Employees

The Superintendent or designee shall immediately notify all instructional and support personnel who have responsibility for supervising of a student who has been arrested or taken into custody. All personnel shall keep the information received confidential.

The Superintendent or designee shall send to an employee having direct supervisory responsibility over the student the information in the confidential notice provided by the law enforcement agency.

Failure to Provide Notice to Employees

If the Board learns of a failure by the Superintendent or the Principal to provide a notice required under Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(a) or (a-1), the Board shall report the failure to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(a), (a-1), (l)

Conviction or Adjudication

Oral Notice

On conviction, deferred prosecution, deferred adjudication, or adjudication of delinquent conduct of a student, for an offense or for any conduct specified at REPORTABLE OFFENSES, the office of the prosecuting attorney shall orally notify the Superintendent or designee of the conviction, or adjudication and whether the student is required to register as a sex offender.  Oral notice must be given within 24 hours of the time of the order or before the next school day, whichever is earlier. 

Written Notice

Within seven days after the date the oral notice is given, the office of the prosecuting attorney shall mail written notice, which must contain a statement of the offense of which the individual is convicted or on which the adjudication, deferred adjudication, or deferred prosecution is grounded and a statement of whether the student is required to register as a sex offender.

Notice to Employees

The Superintendent or designee shall, within 24 hours of receiving notice from the office of the prosecuting attorney, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier, notify all instructional and support personnel who have regular contact with the student.

Failure to Provide Notice to Employees

If the Board learns of a failure by the Superintendent or the Principal to provide a notice required under Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(b), the Board shall report the failure to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(b), (l)

Not Guilty/Charges Dropped

The office of the prosecuting attorney or the office or official designated by the juvenile board shall notify the district that removed a student to a disciplinary alternative education program, if:

  1. Prosecution of the student's case was refused for lack of prosecutorial merit or insufficient evidence and no formal proceedings, deferred adjudication, or deferred prosecution will be initiated; or
  2. The court or jury found the student not guilty or made a finding the child did not engage in delinquent conduct or conduct indicating a need for supervision and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

Notice shall be provided to the district within two working days.

Review of Placement

On receipt of the notice, the Superintendent or designee shall review the student’s placement in the DAEP [see FOC].

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(g); Education Code 37.006(h)

Transfer Students

If a juvenile justice agency has jurisdiction over a student who is arrested, referred, convicted, or adjudicated for a reportable offense and the student transfers from a school or is subsequently removed from a school and later returned to a school or district other than the one the student was enrolled in when the arrest, referral, conviction, or adjudication occurred, the juvenile justice agency shall notify the Superintendent or designee of the district to which the student transfers or is returned.

The juvenile justice agency shall provide notice of an arrest or referral in a manner similar to that provided above, at ARREST.  The juvenile justice agency shall provide notice of a conviction or delinquent adjudication in a manner similar to that provided above at CONVICTION OR ADJUDICATION.  In either case, notice shall be provided within 24 hours of learning of the student’s transfer or reenrollment, or before the next school day, whichever is earlier.

Notice to Employees

The Superintendent of the district to which the student transfers or is returned shall, within 24 hours of receiving notice or before the next school day, whichever is earlier, notify all instructional and support personnel who have regular contact with the student.

Code of Criminal Procedure 15.27(c)

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER

The local law enforcement authority shall immediately provide notice to the Superintendent of the district in which a person subject to registration as a sex offender intends to reside, by mail to the office of the Superintendent, as set out below.  Code of Criminal Procedure 62.053(e), .053(f)

A local law enforcement authority shall provide notice to the Superintendent regarding a registered sex offender only if:

  1. The victim was at the time of the offense a child younger than 17 years of age or a student enrolled in the School’s secondary program;
  2. The person subject to registration is a student enrolled in the School’s secondary program; or
  3. The basis on which the person is subject to registration is a conviction, deferred adjudication, or adjudication of delinquent conduct for an offense under Penal Code 43.25 (Sexual Performance by a Child) or 43.26 (Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography), or a substantially similar offense.

A local law enforcement authority may not provide notice to the Superintendent if the basis for the notice is a conviction, deferred adjudication, or adjudication of delinquent conduct for an offense under Section 25.02, Penal Code (Prohibited Sexual Conduct, relating to incest), or a substantially similar offense.

Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 62.054

Notice to Employees

On receipt of the notice from law enforcement regarding a registered sex offender, the Superintendent shall release the information contained in the notice to appropriate district personnel, including peace officers and security personnel, principals, nurses, and counselors.  Code of Criminal Procedure 62.053(e), .055(f)

Adopted: 3/27/92

Amended: 1/29/93, 11/14/97, 5/25/05, 9/29/17

Reviewed:

Policy/TitleUpdate
* Index 3/22/96, 7/26/96, 9/27/96, 11/15/96, 3/21/97, 5/23/97, 8/1/97, 9/26/97, 11/14/97, 1/23/98, 1/26/99, 5/20/99, 1/24/02, 3/21/03, 5/28/03, 11/21/03, 1/30/04, 3/26/04, 11/19/04, 5/25/05, 11/18/05, 1/27/06, 1/26/07, 6/4/08, 4/3/09, 11/20/09, 1/31/14, 10/3/14, 11/21/14, 9/29/17, 6/1/18, 9/28/18, 1/25/19, 4/5/19
GA ACCESS TO PROGRAMS, SERVICES, AND ACTIVITIES Amended 4/3/09
GB PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM Amended 9/29/17
GBA PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM: ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION

Amended 1/25/19

GBAA INFORMATION ACCESS: REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION Amended 6/1/18
GBAA-E PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM: ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION Amended 11/18/05
GBBA PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM: NEWS MEDIA RELATIONS Amended 9/29/17
GE RELATIONS WITH PARENT ORGANIZATIONS Amended 3/21/03
GF/ PUBLIC COMPLAINTS Amended 11/21/14
GF-E COMPLAINT: MEMBER OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC Adopted 10/3/14
GKA COMMUNITY RELATIONS: CONDUCT ON SCHOOL PREMISES Amended 9/28/18
GKB COMMUNITY RELATIONS: ADVERTISING AND FUND RAISING IN THE SCHOOLS Amended 1/25/19
GKC VISITORS TO THE SCHOOL Amended 6/1/18
GKD COMMUNITY RELATIONS: USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES Amended 1/25/19
GKDA NONSCHOOL USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES: DISTRIBUTION OF NONSCHOOL LITERATURE Adopted 5/25/05
GKG COMMUNITY RELATIONS: SCHOOL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM Amended 4/5/19
GNA RELATIONS WITH EDUCATIONAL ENTITIES: AFTER-SCHOOL RECREATION PROGRAMS Reviewed 3/26/04
GR RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES Amended 5/28/03
GRA RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES:STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES Amended 9/29/17
GRAA STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES Amended 9/29/17
GRAA-E STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES Adopted 9/29/17

 


NONDISCRIMINATION

No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any School program or activity.  42 U. by the School. 42 U.S.C. 12131(2); 28 CFR 35.104

REASONABLE MODIFICATION

The School shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the School can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

28 CFR 35.130 S.C. 2000d

INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES

No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the School, or be subjected to discrimination by the School. Nor shall the School exclude or otherwise deny equal services, programs, or activities to an individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the individual is known to have a relationship or association. 42 U.S.C. 12132; 28 CFR 35.130(g)

DEFINITION

A "qualified individual with a disability" is an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided (b)(7)

COMMUNICATIONS

The School shall take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. To this end, the School shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by the School. In determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary, the School shall give primary consideration to the requests of the individual with disabilities.

28 CFR 35.160

AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES

"Auxiliary aids and services" includes (1) qualified interpreters, note takers, transcription services, written materials, assistive listening systems, and other effective methods for making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments, (2) qualified readers, taped texts, audio recordings, Brailled materials, large print materials, or other effective methods for making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments, (3) acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, and (4) other similar services and actions. 28 CFR 35.104

LIMITS OF REQUIRED MODIFICATION

The School is not required to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a service, program, or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. Any decision that compliance with its responsibility to provide effective communication for individuals with disabilities would fundamentally alter the service, program, or activity or unduly burden the School shall be made by the Board after considering all resources available for use in funding and operating the program, service, or activity. The decision shall be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. 28 CFR 35.164

NOTICE

The School shall make available to applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons information regarding the provisions of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its applicability to the services, programs, or activities of the School. The information shall be made available in such manner as the Board and Superintendent find necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by the ADA. 28 CFR 35.106

COMPLIANCE COORDINATOR

The Superintendent shall coordinate the School's efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title II of the ADA, including any investigation of any complaint communicated to it alleging its noncompliance or alleging any actions that would be prohibited under the ADA. The School shall make available to all interested individuals the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee(s) so designated and shall adopt and publish procedures for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited under the ADA. 28 CFR 35.107 (See DAA and GF)

The School designates the following person to coordinate all its efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act:

NAME:  William Daugherty
OFFICE ADDRESS: 1100 W. 45th Street
OFFICE TELEPHONE: (512) 454-8631

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

The School may not substantially burden a person's free exercise of religion, unless it is acting in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and has used the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.  Civil Practice and Remedies Code 110.003 [See also DAA and FB]

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

It shall be unlawful for the School to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of the individual's refusal to disclose his or her Social Security number.

Exceptions

The above provision does not apply to:

  1. Any disclosure that is required by federal statute. The United States Internal Revenue Code provides that the Social Security number issued to an individual for purposes of federal income tax laws shall be used as the identifying number for taxpayers;
  2. Any disclosure, if such disclosure was required under statute or regulation adopted before January 1, 1975 to verify the identity of an individual; or
  3. Any use for the purposes of establishing the identity of individuals affected by any tax, general public assistance, driver's license, or motor vehicle registration law within the School's jurisdiction.

If the School requests that an individual disclose the individual's Social Security number, the School shall inform that individual whether the disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, by what statutory authority such number is solicited, and what uses will be made of it.

5 U.S.C. 552a Note; PL 93-579, § 7, 88 Stat. 1896 (1974)

Adopted: 1/29/93
Amended: 3/22/96, 3/21/03, 4/3/09
Reviewed: 5/23/97

PUBLIC INFORMATION DEFINED

 

As used in this policy, “public information” means, but is not limited to, information that is written, produced, collected, assembled, or maintained under a law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business or as otherwise defined in the Texas Public Information Act (PIA).  Gov’t Code 552.002 et. seq.:

  1. By a board;
  2. For a board and the board:
    1. Owns the information;
    2. Has a right of access to the information; or
    3. Spends or contributes public money for the purpose of writing, producing, collecting, assembling, or maintaining the information; or
  3. By an individual officer or employee of a district in the officer’s or employee’s official capacity and the information pertains to official business of the district.

“Official business” means any matter over which a district has any authority, administrative duties, or advisory duties.

Information is “in connection with the transaction of official business” if the information is created by, transmitted to, received by, or maintained by an officer or employee of the district in the officer’s or employee’s official capacity, or a person or entity performing official business or a governmental function on behalf of a district, and pertains to official business of the district.

The definition of “public information” above applies to and includes any electronic communication created, transmitted, received, or maintained on any device if the communication is in connection with the transaction of official business.

Gov’t Code 552.002(a)–(a-2), .003(2-a)

Forms of Public Information

The general forms in which the media containing public information exist include a book, paper, letter, document, e-mail, Internet posting, text message, instant message, other electronic communication, printout, photograph, film, tape, microfiche, microfilm, photostat, sound recording, map, and drawing and a voice, data, or video representation held in computer memory.

The media on which public information is recorded include:

  1. Paper;
  2. Film;
  3. A magnetic, optical, solid state, or other device that can store an electronic signal;
  4. Tape;
  5. Mylar; and
  6. Any physical material on which information may be recorded, including linen, silk, and vellum.

Gov’t Code 552.002(b)–(c)

ONLINE MESSAGE BOARD

If a board maintains an online message board or similar Internet application under Government Code 551.006 [see BBI], and the board removes from the online message board or similar Internet application a communication that has been posted for at least 30 days, the board shall maintain the posting for a period of six years.  This communication is public information and must be disclosed in accordance with the PIA.  Gov’t Code 551.006(d)

Adopted: 3/12/82

Amended: 1/29/93, 3/22/96, 5/25/05, 9/29/17

Reviewed:

Contents

SECTION I:  RIGHT OF ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION

AVAILABILITY

Public information is available, at a minimum, to the public during the School's normal business hours.  Gov't Code 552.021

INFORMATION THAT MUST BE DISCLOSED

The following categories of information are public information and not excepted from required disclosures unless made confidential under Government Code Chapter 552 (the Public Information Act – PIA) or other law:

  1. A completed report, audit, evaluation, or investigation made of, for, or by, the Board except as provided in Government Code 552.108.
  2. The name, sex, ethnicity, salary, title, and dates of employment of each employee and officer of the School.
  3. Information in any account, voucher, or contract relating to the receipt, or expenditure, of public funds.
  4. The names of each official and the final record of voting on all proceedings of the Board.
  5. All working papers, research material, and information used to estimate the need, or expenditure, of public funds or taxes by the Board, on completion of the estimate.
  6. A description of the School's organization and where, from whom, and how the public may obtain information, submit information or requests, or obtain decisions.
  7. A statement of the general course and method by which the School's functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal policies and procedures.
  8. A rule of procedure, descriptions of forms available or the places where forms may be obtained, and instructions relating to the scope and content of all papers, reports, or examinations.
  9. A substantive rule of general applicability adopted or issued by the Board, and a statement of general policy or interpretation of general applicability formulated and adopted by the Board.
  10. Any amendment, revision, or repeal of the information described in items 6-9.
  11. Final opinions and orders issued in adjudication of cases.
  12. A policy statement, or interpretation, adopted by the Board.
  13. Administrative manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public.
  14. Information regarded as open to the public under the School's policies.
  15. Information that is in a bill for attorney's fees and that is not privileged under the attorney-client privilege.
  16. Information that is also contained in a public court record.
  17. A settlement agreement to which the Board is a party.

Gov’t Code 552.022

Investment Information

Certain School investment information, as specified by Government Code 552.0225, is public information and not excepted from disclosure.  Gov’t Code 552.0225

Security System Information

Financial information in the possession of the School that relates to the expenditure of funds by the School for a security system is public information that is not excepted from required disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act (PIA).  Gov’t Code 418.182(b)

Body-Worn Camera

Except as set forth at Occupations Code Chapter 1701, Subchapter N, a recording from a body-worn camera that is or could be used as evidence in a criminal prosecution is subject to the requirements of the PIA.

However, a law enforcement agency may not release any portion of a recording made in a private space, or a recording involving the investigation of conduct that constitutes a misdemeanor punishable by fine only and does not result in arrest, without written authorization from the person who is the subject of that portion of the recording or, if the person is deceased, from the person’s authorized representative.

Occupations Code 1701.661

Personal Information – Employee/Board Member

Each School employee and Board member, and each former employee and Board member, shall choose whether to allow public access to School-held information relating to the person's home address, telephone numbers, emergency contact information, or social security number, or any other information that reveals whether the person has family members.  However, the School may not require an employee or former employee of the School to choose whether to allow public access to the employee’s or former employee’s social security number. 

Employees and Board members shall state their choice to the School's Human Resources Director in a signed writing not later than the 14th day after employment begins, or appointment to the Board occurs, or service with the School ends.  If an employee, or officer, fails to state his or her choice within 14 days, the information is available to the public.  However, an employee or Board member may make a written request at any time to the Human Resources Director to open or close the information.  A written request made after the 14 days does not apply to an open records request made before the option was exercised.

Gov’t Code 552.024; Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD 530 (1989)

Notice to Requestor

If an employee or Board member has opted to restrict public access to his or her personal information, the School may redact the personal information from any information the School discloses without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  Gov’t Code 552.024(c)

If the School redacts information under this provision, it shall provide the information required by Government Code 552.024(c-2) to the requestor on a form prescribed by the attorney general.  The requestor is entitled to seek a decision from the attorney general about the matter.  Gov’t Code 552.024(c-2)

SPECIAL RIGHTS OF ACCESS

Employees

An employee or an employee’s authorized representative has a special right of access, beyond the right of the general public, to information held by the School that relates to the employee and that is protected from public disclosure by laws intended to protect the employee’s privacy interests.  [See DBAGov’t Code 552.023

Board Members

When acting in the member’s official capacity, a Board member has an inherent right of access to information, documents, and records maintained by the School.  “Official capacity” means all duties of office and includes administrative decisions or actions.  [See BBEEducation Code 11.1512; Atty. Gen. Op. JM-119 (1983)

INFORMATION TSBVI IS NOT REQUIRED TO RELEASE

Commercial Information

TSBVI is not required to allow the inspection of or to provide a copy of information in a commercial book or publication purchased or acquired by the School for research purposes, if the book or publication is commercially available to the public.  Although information in a book or publication may be made available to the public as resource material, such as a library book, TSBVI is not required to make a copy of the information in response to a request for public information.  TSBVI shall allow the inspection of information in a book or publication that is made part of, incorporated into, or referred to in a rule or policy of TSBVI.  Gov’t Code 552.027

Request for Information from Incarcerated Individual

TSBVI is not required to accept or comply with a request for information from an individual who is imprisoned or confined in a correctional facility or an agent of that individual, other than the individual’s attorney when the attorney is requesting information that is subject to disclosure under the PIA.  This section does not prohibit TSBVI from disclosing to an incarcerated individual or the individual’s agent information that pertains to the individual.  Gov’t Code 552.028

VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE

The board or the officer for public information voluntarily may make part or all of its records available to the public, unless the disclosure is expressly prohibited by law or the records are confidential by

law.  Gov’t Code 552.007

SECTION II:  CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION UNDER THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT (PIA) OR OTHER LAW

INFORMATION THAT MUST NOT BE DISCLOSED

A person commits a misdemeanor offense if the person distributes information considered confidential under the terms of the PIA.  A violation of this section also constitutes official misconduct.  Gov’t Code 552.352

Student Records

Information is confidential and excepted from required disclosure if it is information in a student record.

“Student record” means information that constitutes education records as that term is defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g(a)(4)) [see FL] and information in a record of an applicant for admission to an educational institution, including a transfer applicant.

TSBVI may disclose or provide information included in an education record as authorized by 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g or other federal law.  [See FL]  In addition, a student record shall be made available upon request to TSBVI personnel, the student, the student’s parents, guardian, authorized agent of the parent, or spouse, or a person conducting a child abuse investigation required by Family Code Chapter 261, Subchapter D or Chapter 34. 

Except as set forth in federal law (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), TSBVI shall not release personally identifiable information in education records without the written consent of the student’s parents.

TSBVI may redact information that constitutes a student record from information disclosed under the PIA without requesting a decision from the attorney general. 

If an applicant for admission to an educational institution funded wholly or partly by state revenue, or a parent or legal guardian of a minor applicant to such an educational institution, requests information in the record of the applicant, TSBVI shall disclose any information that is related to the application for admission and was provided to the School by the applicant.

Gov’t Code 552.026, .114  [See FL]

Employee Social Security Numbers

The social security number of an employee of TSBVI in the custody of the School is confidential.  Gov’t Code 552.147(a-1)

Evaluations

A document evaluating the performance of a teacher or administrator is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under the Public Information Act.

Education Code 21.355

Educator Certification Exam

The results of an educator certification examination are confidential and are not subject to disclosure, unless the disclosure is regarding notification to a parent of the assignment of an uncertified teacher to a classroom as required by Education Code 21.057.  Education Code 21.048(c-1)

Credit Card, Debit Card, Charge Card, and Access Device Numbers

A credit card, debit card, charge card, or access device number that is collected, assembled, or maintained by or for TSBVI is confidential.

"Access device" means a card, plate, code, account number, personal identification number, electronic serial number, mobile identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrument identifier or means of account access that alone or in conjunction with another device may be used to:

  1. Obtain money, goods, services, or another thing of value; or
  2. Initiate a transfer of funds other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument.

TSBVI may redact credit card, debit card, charge card, or access device numbers from any information the district discloses without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  TSBVI shall provide the information required by Government Code 552.136 to the requestor on a form prescribed by the attorney general.  The requestor is entitled to seek a decision from the attorney general about the matter.

Gov't Code 552.136

E-Mail Addresses

Confidential

An e-mail address of a member of the public that is provided for the purpose of communicating electronically with the School is confidential and not subject to disclosure unless the member of the public affirmatively consents to its release. 

Exceptions

This confidentiality does not apply to an e-mail address:

  1. Provided to TSBVI by a person who has a contractual relationship with TSBVI or by the contractor's agent;
  2. Provided to the TSBVI by a vendor who seeks to contract with TSBVI or by the vendor's agent;
  3. Contained in a response to a request for bids or proposals, contained in a response to similar invitations soliciting offers or information relating to a potential contract, or provided to TSBVI in the course of negotiating the terms of a contract or potential contract;
  4. Provided to TSBVI on a letterhead, coversheet, printed document, or other document made available to the public; or.
  5. Provided to TSBVI for the purpose of receiving orders or decisions from TSBVI, or for the purpose of providing public comment on or receiving notices relayed to an application for a license. A “license” under this section includes a state agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, or similar form of permission required by law. 

The School TSBVI may also disclose an e-mail address for any reason to another governmental body or to a federal agency.

Gov't Code 552.137, 2001.003(2)

Victim of Abuse or Improper Relationship

The name of a person who is enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school and involved in an improper relationship with an educator as provided by Penal Code 21.12(a) may not be released to the public and is not public information subject to disclosure.  Penal Code 21.12(d)

The name of a student or minor who is the victim of abuse or unlawful conduct by an educator is not public information subject to disclosure.  Education Code 21.006(h)

Crime Victims

Information relating to a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Family Violence, Sexual Assault or Abuse, Stalking, or Trafficking of Persons under Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 56, Subchapter C is confidential, except as provided by Code of Criminal Procedure 56.90, and may not be disclosed.  Code of Criminal Procedure 56.88

A TSBVI employee who is a victim under the Crime Victim Compensation Act may elect whether to allow public access to information held by TSBVI that would identify or tend to identify the victim, including a photograph or other visual representation of the victim.  The election must be made in writing on a form developed by TSBVI, signed by the employee, and filed with TSBVI before the third anniversary of the latest to occur of one of the following:

  1. The date the crime was committed;
  2. The date employment begins; or
  3. The date the governmental body develops the form and provides it to employees.

If the employee fails to make an election, the identifying information is excepted from disclosure until the third anniversary of the date the crime was committed.  In case of disability, impairment, or other incapacity of the employee, the election may be made by the guardian of the employee or former employee.

Gov’t Code 552.132

Criminal History Records

Information collected to comply with Education Code Chapter 22, Subchapter C (criminal records), including the person’s name, address, phone number, social security number, driver’s license number, other identification number, and fingerprint records, is confidential and may not be released except to comply with Subchapter C, by court order, or with the consent of the person who is the subject of the information.  Education Code 22.08391

Criminal history record information obtained by TSBVI from the Texas Department of Public Safety may not be disclosed to any person except:

  1. The person who is the subject of the information;
  2. The Texas Education Agency;
  3. The State Board for Educator Certification;
  4. The chief personnel officer of the transportation company if the information was obtained under Government Code 411.097(a)(2) with respect to a transportation company that contracts with to provide student transportation;
  5. By court order.

Gov’t Code 411.097(d)(2)  [See CJA, DBAA, and DHB]

Sensitive Crime Scene Image

A sensitive crime scene image in the custody of TSBVI is confidential and excepted from the requirements of the PIA, regardless of the date that the image was taken or recorded.

“Sensitive crime scene image” means a photograph or video recording taken at a crime scene, contained in or part of a closed criminal case, that depicts a deceased person in a state of dismemberment, decapitation, or similar mutilation or that depicts the deceased person’s genitalia.   TSBVI may not permit a person to view or copy the image except as provided by Government Code 552.1085.

Gov’t Code 552.1085(a)(6), (c)

School Marshal Identity

The identity of a school marshal appointed under Education Code 37.0811 is confidential except as provided by Occupations Code 1701.260(j).

If a parent or guardian of a student enrolled at a school inquires in writing, TSBVI shall provide the parent or guardian written notice indicating whether any employee of the school is currently appointed

a school marshal. The notice must not disclose the identity of the school marshal.

Education Code 37.0811(g), (h)

Closed Meeting Recording/Certified Agenda

The certified agenda or tape recording of a closed meeting is available for public inspection only under a court order issued in litigation in a district court involving an alleged violation of the Open Meetings Act.  Gov’t Code 551.104(c); Atty. Gen. ORD 684 (2009)

Security Information

Except as provided by the Texas Homeland Security Act, Government Code 418.182, information, including access codes and passwords, in the possession of a district that relates to the specifications, operating procedures, or location of a security system used to protect public or private property from an act of terrorism or related criminal activity is confidential.  Gov’t Code 418.182(a)

The following information is confidential under Subchapter C of the PIA:

  1. A computer network vulnerability report;
  2. Any other assessment to the extent to which data processing operations, a computer, a computer program, network, system, or system interface, or software of TSBVI or of a contractor of the School is vulnerable to unauthorized access or harm, including an assessment of the extent to which TSBVI’s or contractor’s electronically stored information containing sensitive or critical information is vulnerable to alteration, damage, erasure, or inappropriate use;
  3. A photocopy or other copy of an identification badge issued to an official or employee of TSBVI; and
  4. Information directly arising from a governmental body’s routine efforts to prevent, detect, investigate, or mitigate a computer security incident, including information contained in or derived from an information security log. This does not affect the notification requirements related to a breach of system security as defined by Business and Commerce Code 521.053  [See CQ]

TSBVI may disclose the information to a bidder if the School determines that providing the information is necessary for the bidder to provide an accurate bid.  Such a disclosure is not a voluntary disclosure for purposes of Government Code 552.007. 

Gov’t Code 552.139(b), (c)

Military Discharge Records

A military veteran’s Department of Defense Form DD-214 or other military discharge record that first comes into the possession of TSBVI on or after September 1, 2003, is confidential for the 75 years following the date it comes into the possession of TSBVI.  TSBVI shall limit the use and disclosure of this information to the purpose for which the information was obtained.  Gov’t Code 552.140; Atty. Gen. ORD 684 (2009)

Retirement Eligibility Records

Records, including any identifying information, of individual members, annuitants, retirees, beneficiaries, alternate payees, program participants, or persons eligible for benefits from ERS or another retirement system, are confidential and not subject to public disclosure.  This provision applies to records in the custody of TSBVI acting in cooperation with or on behalf of the retirement system.  When TSBVI is acting in cooperation with or on behalf of the retirement system, TSBVI is not required to accept or comply with a request for a record or information about a record or to seek an opinion from the attorney general.

For purposes of Government Code 825.507, “participant” means a member, former member, retiree, annuitant, beneficiary, or alternate payee of the retirement system, or an employee or contractor of an employer covered by the retirement system for whom records were received by the retirement system for the purpose of administering the terms of the plan, including for audit or investigative purposes.

Gov’t Code 552.0038, 825.507(g)

Peace/Security Officer Information

TSBVI information related to the home address, home telephone number, emergency contact information, date of birth, or social security number of a peace officer or commissioned security officer, or information that reveals whether the officer has family members, is confidential and may not be released if the officer chooses to restrict public access to the information by notifying TSBVI on a form provided by the School with evidence of the individual’s status.

In accordance with Government Code 552.1185(h), TSBVI may redact information that must be withheld under this section from any section TSBVI discloses under the PIA without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  If TSBVI redacts information under this provision, it shall provide the information required by Government Code 552.024(c-2) to the requestor on a form prescribed by the attorney general.  The requestor is entitled to seek a decision from the attorney general about the matter.

Gov’t Code 552.1175

Cybersecurity Information

A cyber threat indicator or defensiveness measure shared by or with a state, tribal, or local government under 6 U.S.C. 1503 shall be deemed voluntarily shared information and exempt from disclosure under any state or local freedom of information law, open government law, open meetings law, open records law, sunshine law, or similar law requiring disclosure of information or records.  6 U.S.C. 1503(d)(4)(B)

A cyber threat indicator or defensive measure shared with the federal government under Title 6, United States Code, shall be:

  1. Deemed voluntarily shared information and exempt from disclosure under federal public information law and any state or local provision of law requiring disclosure of information or
  2. records and
  3. Withheld, without discretion, from the public under federal public information law and any state or local provision of law requiring disclosure of information or records.

6 U.S.C. 1504(d)(3)  [See CQ]

SECTION III:  INFORMATION EXCEPTED FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER SUBCHAPTER C OF THE PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT

INFORMATION EXCEPTED FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

Except for social security numbers or as otherwise provided by law, information that is not confidential, but is excepted from required disclosure under Government Code 552.101-151, is public information and is available to the public on or after the 75th anniversary of the date the information was originally created or received by TSBVI.  This paragraph does not limit the authority of TSBVI to establish retention periods for records under applicable law.  Gov’t Code 552.0215

Categories of information that are excepted from disclosure to the public include:

Confidential by Law

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information considered to be confidential by law, either constitutional, statutory, or by judicial decision.  Gov’t Code 552.101

Certain Personnel File Information

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information in a personnel file, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and transcripts from institutions of higher education maintained in files of professional employees; however, the degree obtained and the curriculum on the transcripts shall be subject to disclosure.  Gov’t Code 552.102

Disclosure of employee birth dates would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and such dates are excepted from disclosure under Government Code 552.102(a), if the employees’ privacy interests substantially outweigh the public interest in the information.  Texas Comptroller of Public Accts. v. Atty. Gen’l of Texas, 354 S.W.3d 336 (Tex. 2010) (holding that a newspaper’s stated reason for requesting state employees’ dates of birth did not outweigh employees’ privacy rights)

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information in the custody of TSBVI that relates to an employee or officer of the School if, under the specific circumstances pertaining to the employee or officer, disclosure of the information would subject the employee or officer to a substantial threat of physical harm.  Gov’t Code 552.152

Information Relating to Litigation

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information relating to litigation of a civil or criminal nature to which TSBVI is, or may be, a party or to which an officer or employee of the School, as a consequence of the office or employment, is or may be a party, but only if the litigation is pending or reasonably anticipated at the time the School’s public information officer receives the request.  Gov’t Code 552.103

Information that Advantages Competitors or Bidders

Information is excepted from public disclosure it is information that, if released, would give advantage to competitors, or bidders.  The requirement of Government Code 552.022 that a category of information listed under 552.022(a) is public information and not excepted from required disclosure unless expressly confidential under law does not apply to information that is excepted from required disclosure under this paragraph.  Gov’t Code 552.104

Certain Information on Real or Personal Property

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information relating to the location of real or personal property for public purpose prior to public announcement of the project, or information pertaining to appraisals, or purchase price of real or personal, property for a public purpose prior to the formal award of contracts for the property.   Gov’t Code 552.105

Drafts Involving Legislation

A draft or working paper involved in the preparation of proposed legislation is excepted from public disclosure.  Gov’t Code 552.106

Attorney-Client Information

Information TSBVI's attorney is prohibited from disclosing because of a duty to the School under the Texas Rules of Evidence or the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct or information that a court order has prohibited from disclosure.  Gov’t Code 552.107

Certain Information from Law Enforcement

Under certain circumstances, information (except basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime) held by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor is excepted from public disclosure if it is:

  1. Information that deals with detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime; and
  2. An internal record or notation that is maintained for internal use in matters relating to law enforcement or prosecution

Gov’t Code 552.108

Criminal history record information obtained by TSBVI from the Texas Department of Public Safety or other law enforcement.  Gov’t Code 411.097(d)(2)

Trade Secrets

A trade secret obtained from a person and privileged or confidential by statute or judicial decision is excepted from public disclosure.  Gov't Code 552.110(a)

Certain Commercial and Financial Information

Commercial or financial information for which it is demonstrated based on specific factual evidence that disclosure would cause substantial competitive harm to the person from whom the information was obtained.  Gov't Code 552.110(b)

Certain Memoranda

Interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not be available by law to a party in litigation with TSBVI is excepted from public disclosure.  Gov’t Code 552.111; City of Garland v. Dallas Morning News, 22 S.W.3d 351 (Tex. 2000) (concluding that the deliberative process privilege, incorporated into the exception found at Government Code 552.111, exempts communications related to a governmental agency’s policymaking)

Audit Working Papers

An audit working paper of an audit of TSBVI’s auditor, including any audit relating to the criminal history background check of a school employee, is excepted from public disclosure.  If information in an audit working paper is also maintained in another record, that other record is not exempted.  Gov’t Code 552.116

Certain Personal Information

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information that relates to the home address, home telephone number, emergency contact information, or social security number of the following persons, or that reveals whether the person has family members:

  1. A current or former district employee or board member, except as provided by Government Code 552.024; or
  2. A peace officer or a security officer commissioned by the Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies, regardless of whether the officer complies with Government Code 552.1175.

Gov’t Code 552.117

Photograph of Peace Officer

A photograph that depicts a peace officer, the release of which would endanger the life or physical safety of the officer, is excepted from public disclosure unless:

  1. The officer is under indictment or charged with an offense by information;
  2. The officer is a party in a fire or police civil service hearing or a case in arbitration; or
  3. The photograph is introduced as evidence in a judicial proceeding.

If a photograph is exempt from public disclosure as described above, it may be made public only if the officer gives written consent.

Gov't Code 552.119

Testing Items

A test item developed by TSBVI or a state-funded educational institution is excepted from public disclosure.  Gov’t Code 552.122

Certified Agenda and Closed Session Minutes

The certified agenda or tape recording of a closed meeting, unless a court order makes it available for public inspection and copying is excepted from public disclosure.  Gov’t Code 551.104(c)

Certain Library Records

Records of a library or library system that identify or serves to identify, a person who requested, obtained, or used a library material or service is excepted from public disclosure, unless the record is disclosed:

  1. Because the library determines that disclosure is reasonably necessary for the operation of the library and the records are not confidential under other state, or federal, law;
  2. To a person with a special right of access under Government Code 522.023; or
  3. To a law enforcement agency or prosecutor under a court order or subpoena.

Gov’t Code 552.124

Superintendent Applicants

The name of an applicant for Superintendent is excepted from public disclosure, except the Board must give public notice of the name or names of the finalists being considered for the position at least 21 days before the date of the meeting at which final action or a vote is to be taken on the applicant's employment.  Gov't Code 552.126 (See BJB)

Certain Motor Vehicle and Personal Identification Information

Information is excepted from public disclosure if the information relates to:

  1. A motor vehicle operator's or driver's license or permit issued by an agency of this state or another state or country;
  2. A motor vehicle title or registration issued by an agency of this state or another state or country; or
  3. A personal identification document issued by an agency of this state, another state or country, or a local agency authorized to issue an identification document.

The motor vehicle information described above may be released only in accordance with Transportation Code Chapter 730.

Subject to Transportation Code Chapter 730 (the Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act), TSBVI may redact motor vehicle or driver license information under this provision from any information the School discloses without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  TSBVI shall provide the information specified at Government Code 552.130 to the requestor on a form prescribed by the attorney general.  The requestor is entitled to seek a decision from the attorney general about the matter.

Gov’t Code 552.130; Atty. Gen. ORD 684 (2009)

Individuals Who Inform of Violations of Law

An informer's name or information that would substantially reveal the identity of an informer is excepted from public disclosure, unless:

  1. The informer consents. If the informer is a student or former student, consent may also be given by the informer’s legal guardian or spouse; or
  2. The informer planned, initiated, or participated in the possible violation.

"Informer" means a student or former student or an employee or former employee of TSBVI who has furnished a report of another person's possible violation of criminal, civil, or regulatory law to the School or the proper regulatory enforcement authority.

The informer’s name may be made available to a law enforcement agency or prosecutor for official purposes upon proper request, made in compliance with applicable law and procedure.  However, this exception does not impair the confidentiality of information considered to be confidential by law, including information excepted from disclosure under the PIA.

Gov't Code 552.135

Economic Development Negotiations

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information that relates to economic development negotiations involving the Board and a business prospect that the Board seeks to have locate, stay, or expand in or near the School, and the information relates to:

  1. A trade secret of the business prospect; or
  2. Commercial or financial information for which it is demonstrated based on specific factual evidence that disclosure would cause substantial competitive harm to the person from whom the information was obtained.

Gov't Code 552.131(a)

Unless and until an agreement is made with the business prospect, information about a financial or other incentive being offered to a business prospect by the Board or by another person is excepted from public disclosure.

After an agreement is made, information about a financial or other incentive being offered is no longer exempted from public disclosure if the information is about a financial or other incentive being offered to the business prospect:

  1. By the Board; or
  2. By another person, if the financial or other incentive may directly or indirectly result in the expenditure of public funds by TSBVI or a reduction in revenue received by the School from any source.

Gov't Code 552.131(b), (c)

Computer Network Security

Information is excepted from public disclosure if it is information that relates to computer network security, to network security information that is restricted under Government Code 2059.055, or to the design, operation, or defense of a computer network.  [See Security Information, above]  Gov't Code 552.139(a)

Social Security Numbers

The Social Security number of a living person is excepted from public disclosure. The social security number of a living person other than a School employee is not confidential, however. TSBVI may redact the Social Security number of a living person from any information the School discloses to the public without the necessity of requesting a decision from the attorney general.

Gov't Code 552.147

Crime Victim

Information that would identify or tend to identify a School employee who is also a crime victim under Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 56, Subchapter B, regardless of whether the employee chooses to restrict public access to the information, is excepted from public disclosure until the third anniversary of the date the crime was committed.  Gov’t Code 132

Adopted:         5/8/81

Amended:       3/12/82, 10/25/85, 3/10/88, 9/27/90, 1/29/93, 11/18/94, 9/27/96, 1/24/02, 5/28/03, 5/25/04, 5/25/05, 1/26/07, 11/20/09, 6/1/18, 1/25/19

Reviewed:       1/26/99

Table of Contents

GBAA - INFORMATION ACCESS:  REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION.. 1

OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION.. 3

Public Information Officer 3

SIGN.. 3

ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION.. 4

Time for Response. 4

Location of Access. 4

Establishing Identity. 4

Treatment of Requests. 5

EXAMINATION.. 5

Electronic Data. 6

Requests Requiring Programming or Manipulation. 6

Response Time When Programming or Manipulation Is Required. 7

Further Action. 7

Processing of Requests. 7

Repetitious or Redundant Requests. 7

Procedures. 8

ATTORNEY GENERAL DECISIONS. 8

Calculating Timelines. 8

Previous Determinations. 9

Statement to Requestor 10

Submission to Attorney General 10

Failure to Raise Exceptions Before Attorney General 11

Additional Information. 11

Privacy or Property Interests. 12

Notice to Owner of Proprietary Information. 12

COSTS AND CHARGES. 12

50 Pages or Less. 12

Statement of Labor Costs. 12

Exemptions. 13

Copies for Parents. 13

Statement of Estimated Charges. 13

Requestor's Response. 14

Actual Charges. 14

Timing of Deadlines. 14

Deposit or Bond/Triggers Timeline. 15

Modified Request 15

Unpaid Amounts. 15

Waivers. 15

Government Publication. 16

INSPECTION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION.. 16

Redaction of Confidential Information. 16

Payment, Deposit or Bond. 16

Electronic Records. 16

PRESERVATION OF RECORDS. 17

FILING SUIT TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION.. 17

PARENT'S REQUEST FOR INFORMATION.. 18

Frequent Requests. 18

Request by Minor 18

Exception. 18

Written Statement of Personnel Time. 19

Written Estimate of Charges. 19

Acceptance of Charges. 20

Waived or Reduced Charges. 20

 

OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION

The Director of Planning and Evaluation shall be the School’s public information officer.  Each department head shall be an agent of the officer for public information for complying with the Public Information Act (PIA) and the School’s policy on public records.  The public information officer shall:

  1. Make public information available for public inspection and copying.
  2. Carefully protect public information from deterioration, alteration, mutilation, loss, or unlawful removal.
  3. Repair, renovate, or rebind public information when necessary to maintain it properly.

The public information officer is responsible for the release of public information as required by Government Code Chapter 552.  The officer is not responsible for the use made of the information by the requestor or the release of the information after it is removed from a record as a result of an update, correction, or change of status of the person to whom the information pertains.

Gov't Code 552.201-552.204

Public Information Officer

Within 90 days after assuming office, a public information officer shall complete a course of training regarding the responsibilities under the PIA (Public Information Act).

The training shall be not less than one nor more than two hours. The attorney general may provide the training and may also approve other acceptable sources of training.

TSBVI shall maintain and make available for public inspection the record of a public information officer’s completion of the training.

Gov’t Code 552.012(b), (e)

SIGN

The public information officer shall prominently display a sign in the form prescribed by the attorney general that contains basic information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities the School, and the procedures for inspecting or obtaining a copy of public information under the PIA.  The officer shall display the sign at one or more places in the administrative offices of the School where it is plainly visible to:

  1. Members of the public who request public information in person; and
  2. Employees of the School whose duties include receiving or responding to public information requests.

Gov't Code 552.205

ACCESS TO PUBLIC INFORMATION

The School may promulgate reasonable procedures by which public information may be

inspected and copied efficiently, safely, and without delay.  These procedures may not be inconsistent with any provision of the PIA.  Gov't Code 552.230

Time for Response

The Superintendent or designee shall promptly produce public information for inspection, duplication, or both, in the School’s offices on application by any person. "Promptly" means as soon as possible under the circumstances, that is, within a reasonable time, without delay.  Gov’t Code 552.228, .230

Location of Access

The Superintendent or designee complies with such a request by:

  1. providing the information for inspection or duplication in the School’s offices or
  2. sending copies of the information by first class mail, if the requestor requests that the copies be provided and pays the postage and any other applicable charges that the requestor has accrued under Chapter 552, Subchapter F.
  3. referring a requestor to an exact Internet location or uniform resource locator (URL) address on a website maintained by TSBVI and accessible to the public if the requested information is identifiable and readily available on that website.

If the officer for the public information provided by e-mail an Internet location or URL address, the e-mail must contain a statement in a conspicuous font clearly indicating that the requestor may nonetheless access the requested information by inspection or duplication or by receipt through United States Mail, as described above.

Gov’t Code 552.221(b)-(b-2), .226

If the requested information is unavailable because it is in storage or active use, the Superintendent or designee shall certify this fact in writing to the requestor and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available for inspection or duplication.  If the Superintendent or designee cannot produce the public information for inspection or duplication within ten business days after the date the information is requested, the superintendent or designee shall certify that fact in writing to the requestor and set a date and hour within a reasonable time when the information will be available for inspection or duplication.  An original copy of public information shall not be removed from School offices by a requestor.

Gov't Code 552.221, 552.226; Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD-664 (2000)

Establishing Identity

The public information officer shall not make an inquiry of any requestor, except to establish proper identification or to ask the requestor to clarify.  If a large amount of information has been requested, the officer may discuss with the requestor how the scope of the request might be narrowed, but the officer may not inquire into the purpose for which the information will be used.  All reasonable comfort and facility shall be extended to the requestor.  Gov't Code 552.222, 552.224

The public information officer shall treat all requests for information uniformly without regard to the position or occupation of the requestor, the person on whose behalf the request is made, or the status of the individual as a member of the media.  Gov't Code 552.223

Treatment of Requests

If a large amount of information has been requested, the School may discuss with the requestor how the scope of the request might be narrowed, but the officer may not inquire into the purpose for which the information will be used.  If what information is requested is unclear, the officer may ask the requestor to clarify.

If the request included the requestor’s physical or mailing address, the officer must send the request for discussion or clarification to that address by certified mail.  The written request for discussion or clarification must include a statement as to the consequences of failure by the requestor to timely respond.

If the requestor’s request for public information was sent by electronic mail, the officer may send the request for clarification or discussion or the written request for additional information by electronic mail to the same electronic mail address from which the original request was sent or to another electronic mail address provided by the requestor.

If the officer does not receive a written response or a response by electronic mail, as applicable, by the 61st day after the School sends the written request, the underlying request for public information is considered to have been withdrawn by the requestor.

Gov’t Code 552,222(b), (d)-(g)

EXAMINATION

A requestor shall complete the examination of the information not later than the tenth business day after the date the officer for public information makes it available.  If the requestor does not complete the examination of the information within ten business days after the date the information is made available and does not file a request for additional time, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request.  The officer shall extend the initial examination period by an additional ten business days if, within the initial period, the requestor files with the officer a written request for additional time.  The officer shall permit a second additional ten business day examination period if, within the first additional period, the requestor files with the officer a second written request for time.  The time during which a person may examine information may be interrupted by the officer if the information is needed for use by the School.

The period of interruption is not considered to be a part of the time during which the person may examine the information. Gov't Code 552.225

A request is considered to have been withdrawn if the requestor fails to inspect or duplicate the public information in the offices of the governmental body on or before the 60th day after the date the information is made available or fails to pay the postage and any other applicable charges accrued under Government Code, Chapter 552, Subchapter F on or before the 60th day after the date the requestor is informed of the charges.

Gov’t Code 552.221(e)

Electronic Data

If public information exists in an electronic or magnetic medium, the requestor may request a copy in an electronic medium, such as on diskette or on magnetic tape.  TSBVI shall provide a copy in the requested medium:

  1. If the School has the technological ability to produce the information in the requested medium;
  2. If the School is not required to purchase any software or hardware to accommodate the request; and
  3. Providing the copy will not violate any copyright agreement between the School and a third party.

If the School is unable to comply with a request to produce a copy of information in a requested medium for any of these reasons, TSBVI shall provide a copy in another medium that is acceptable to the requestor.  TSBVI is not required to copy information onto a diskette or other material provided by the requestor but may use School supplies.

Gov’t Code 552.228

Requests Requiring Programming or Manipulation

If the officer determines that responding to a request for information will require programming or manipulation of data and that compliance with the request is not feasible or will result in substantial interference with operations or the information could be made available in the requested form only at a cost that covers the programming and manipulation of data, it shall provide to the requestor a written statement that includes all of the following information:

  1. A statement that the information is not available in the requested form;
  2. A description of the form in which the information is available;
  3. A description of any contract or services that would be required to provide the information in the requested form;
  4. A statement of the estimated cost of providing the information in the requested form, as determined in accordance with the rules established by the attorney general; and 
  5. A statement of the anticipated time required to provide the information in the requested form.

Response Time When Programming or Manipulation Is Required

The officer shall provide the written statement to the requestor within 20 days after the date the officer receives the request. The officer has an additional ten days to provide the statement if the officer gives written notice to the requestor within 20 days after receiving the request that additional time is needed.

Further Action

After providing the written statement described above, the officer has no further obligation to provide the information in the requested form or in the form in which it is available, unless within 30 days the requestor writes to the officer stating that the requestor wants the information in the requested form according to the time and cost parameters set out in the officer's statement or that the requestor wants the information in the form in which it is available.  If a requestor does not make a timely written response, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request for information.

Processing of Requests

The public information officer shall establish policies that assure the expeditious and accurate processing of requests for information that require programming or manipulation of data.  The Board shall maintain a readily accessible file containing all written statements issued concerning requests for information that require programming or manipulation of data.

Gov't Code 552.231

Repetitious or Redundant Requests

If the officer determines that a requestor has made a request for information for which the School has previously furnished or made copies available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges, the officer shall respond to the request for information for which copies have been already furnished or made available, except that:

  1. The School is not prohibited from furnishing the information or making the information available to the requestor again in accordance with the request; and
  2. The School is not required to comply with the procedures described below in relation to information that the School simply furnishes or makes available to the requestor again in accordance with the request.

Gov’t Code 552.232(a)

Information for which the School has not previously furnished copies or made copies available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges, information that was redacted from information provided earlier, or that did not exist at the time of an earlier request, shall be treated in the same manner as any other request for public information.

Gov’t Code 552.232(d)

Procedures

The officer shall, free of charge, certify to the requestor that copies of all or part of the requested

information were previously furnished or made available to the requestor on payment of applicable charges.  The certification must include:

  1. A description of the information for which copies have been previously furnished or made available to the requestor.
  2. The date that the School received the requestor's original request for that information.
  3. The date that the School previously furnished copies of or made available copies of the information to the requestor.
  4. A certification that no subsequent additions, deletions, or corrections have been made to that information; and
  5. The name, title, and signature of the officer for public information or the officer's agent making the certification.

Gov't Code 552.232(b),(c)

ATTORNEY GENERAL DECISIONS

If the School receives a written request, including a request that is sent by electronic mail or facsimile transmission if that request is sent to a superintendent or designee, for information it wishes to withhold from public disclosure and that it considers to be within one of the exceptions to required disclosure, but for which there has been no previous determination that it falls within one of the exceptions, the School, not later than the tenth business day after receiving the written request, shall ask for a decision from the attorney general about whether the information is within one of the exceptions and state the exception that applies.  If a decision from the attorney general is not so requested or the School fails to provide the requestor with the statement and a copy of the School’s communications to the attorney general, as described below, the information is presumed to be public information and must be released unless there is a compelling reason to withhold it. Gov't Code 552.301(a), (b), (c), 552.302

The School may only request an open records decision from the attorney general if the School reasonably believes that the requested information is excepted from required disclosure.  The School must promptly produce the requested information to the requestor.  Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD-665 (2000)

Calculating Timelines

For the purposes of Government Code sections 552.301-.308, if TSBVI receives a written request by United State mail and cannot adequately establish the actual date of receipt, the request is considered to have been received on the third business day after the date of the postmark on a properly addressed request.  Gov’t Code 552.301(a-1)

When Government Code sections 552.301-.308 require a request, notice, or other document to be submitted or otherwise given to the attorney general within a specified period, the requirement is met in a timely fashion if TSBVI submits the document through the attorney general’s designated electronic filing system within that period.  This provision does not affect the right of the School to submit information to the attorney general by mail under Government Code 552.308.

When the attorney general is required to deliver a notice, decision, or other document within a specified period, the requirement is met in a timely fashion if the attorney general electronically transmits the document within that period.

Gov’t Code 552.309

Previous Determinations

Same Information

Except as set forth at Government Code section 552.301(g), TSBVI may not request an attorney general decision if the School has previously requested and received a determination from the attorney general concerning the precise information at issue in a pending request and the attorney general or a court determined that the information is not within one of the exceptions.  This exception applies to specific information that is again requested from the School after the attorney general has previously issued a decision regarding the precise information or records at issue. Gov’t Code 552.301(f); Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD 673 (2001)

Categories of Information

TSBVI may rely on a previous determination by the attorney general regarding a specific, clearly delineated category of information if:

  1. The previous decision is applicable to a school district or state agency;
  2. The previous decision concludes that the category of information is or is not excepted from public disclosure;
  3. The elements of law, fact, and circumstances are met to support the previous decision’s conclusion that the requested records and information at issue are or are not excepted from public disclosure; and
  4. The previous decision explicitly provides that the governmental body or bodies to which the decision applies may withhold the information without the necessity of seeking a decision from the attorney general.

Tex. Atty. Gen ORD 673 (2001)

If TSBVI relies on any previous determination to withhold information from disclosure it should notify the requestor in writing of the decision or ruling upon which it is relying.

TSBVI may withhold from public disclosure the categories of records listed at Texas Attorney General Open Records Decision 684 (2009).

Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD 684 (2209)

TSBVI may withhold from public disclosure personally identifiable, non-directory information in “education records” as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”), 20 U.S.C. 1232g [see FL].  Tex Atty. Gen. ORD 634 (1995)

The School must promptly release public information not excepted from required disclosure.  The prompt release of information requires release as soon as possible under the circumstances and within a reasonable time, without delay.  The School may not automatically withhold for ten business days public information not excepted from disclosure.  Tex. Atty. Gen. ORD-664 (2000)

Statement to Requestor

If the School requests an attorney general decision, it must provide to the requestor within a reasonable time but not later than the tenth business day after the date of receiving the requestor's written request:

  1. A written statement that the School wishes to withhold the requested information and has asked for a decision from the attorney general about whether the information is within an exception to public disclosure; and
  2. A copy of the School’s written communication to the attorney general asking for the decision.

If the School’s written communication to the attorney general discloses the requested information, the School shall provide a redacted copy of that written communication to the requestor.

Gov't Code 552.301(d)

Submission to Attorney General

When the School requests an attorney general decision, it shall, within a reasonable time but not later than the 15th business day after the date of receiving the request for information, submit to the attorney general all of the following:

  1. Written comments stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply that would allow the information to be withheld;
  2. A copy of the written request for information;
  3. A signed statement as to the date on which the written request for information was received by the School or evidence sufficient to establish that date; and
  4. A copy of the specific information requested, or representative samples of the information, if a voluminous amount of information was requested. These copies must be labeled to indicate which exceptions apply to which parts of the copy.

Unless the information is confidential by law, the officer may disclose the requested information to the public or the requestor before a final determination that the information is public has been made by the attorney general or a court with jurisdiction. Gov’t Code 552.303(a)

TSBVI shall send a copy of the comments to the requestor not later than the 15th business day after the School receives the written request.   If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the requestor shall be redacted.

Gov’t Code 552.301(e), (e-1)

Failure to Raise Exceptions Before Attorney General

If the School files suit seeking to withhold information, the School may raise only those exceptions to required disclosure that the School properly raised before the attorney general in connection with a request for a decision by the attorney general, unless the exceptions raised by the School in its suit seeking to withhold information are required by federal law or involve property of privacy interests of another person.  Gov’t Code 552.326

The district shall send a copy of the comments to the requestor not later than the 15th business day after the district receives the written request.  If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the requestor shall be redacted.

Gov’t Code 552.301(e), (e-1)

Unless the information is confidential by law, the district may disclose the requested information to the public or the requestor before a final determination that the information is public has been made by the attorney general or a court with jurisdiction.  Gov’t Code 552.303(a)

Additional Information

If the attorney general determines that additional information is necessary to render a decision, the attorney general shall give the School and the requestor written notice of that fact.  Upon receipt of such notice, the officer shall submit the necessary additional information to the attorney general not later than the seventh calendar day after the date the notice is received.  If the officer does not comply with the attorney general's request for additional information, the information is presumed to be subject to required public disclosure and must be released unless there is a compelling reason to withhold the information.

Gov't Code  552.303(c)-(e)

When submitting written comments to the attorney general stating the reasons why the stated exceptions apply, the School shall send a copy of those comments to the person who requested the information from the School.  If the written comments disclose or contain the substance of the information requested, the copy of the comments provided to the requestor must be a redacted copy.

Gov't Code 552.301(e-1)

Privacy or Property Interests

When information is requested and a person's privacy or property interests may be involved, including a case under Government Code 552.101 (confidential by law), 552.104 (competitive bidding), 552.110 (trade secrets), and 552.114 (student records), the School may decline to release the information for the purpose of requesting a decision from the attorney general.  The School may, but is not required to, submit its reasons why the information should be withheld or released.  Gov’t Code 552.305(a)-(c)

Notice to Owner of Proprietary Information

If release of a person's proprietary information may be subject to exception under Government Code 552.101, 552.110, 552.113, or 552.131, and the School requests an attorney general decision, the School shall make a good faith attempt to notify that person of its request for the attorney general decision.  The notice must include a copy of any written request the School received for the information and a statement, in the form prescribed by the attorney general, that the person is entitled to submit to the attorney general, not later than the tenth business day after the person receives the notice, a written statement of the reason(s) why the information should be withheld and a letter, memorandum, or brief supporting the reason(s). Gov't Code 552.305(d)

COSTS AND CHARGES

The charge for providing a copy of public information shall be an amount that reasonably includes all costs related to reproducing the information, including costs of materials, labor, and overhead.  The charges shall not be excessive and shall not exceed the actual cost of producing the information or for making public information that exists in a paper record available.

Charges for providing a copy of public information are considered to accrue at the time TSBVI advises the requestor that the copy is available on payment of the applicable charges.

50 Pages or Less

If a request is 50 or fewer pages of paper records, the charge for providing the copy of the information shall be limited to the charge for each page of the paper record that is photocopied unless the pages to be photocopied are located in two or more separate buildings that are not physically connected with each other or a remote storage facility.  The charge for providing a copy may not include costs of materials, labor, or overhead.

Statement of Labor Costs

If the charge for providing a copy of public information includes costs of labor, the requestor may require the public information officer to provide the requestor with a written statement as to the amount of time that was required to produce and provide the copy.  The statement must be signed by the officer and the officer or agent’s name must be typed or legibly printed below the signature.  A charge may not be imposed for providing the written statement to the requestor.

All requests received in one calendar day from an individual may be treated as a single request for purposes of calculating costs.  TSBVI may not combine multiple requests form separate individuals who submit requests on behalf of an organization.

Gov’t Code 552.261,.262(a)

Attorney General’s Rules

TSBVI shall use the attorney general’s rules to determine the charges for providing copies of public information and to determine the charge, deposit, or bond required for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection, except to the extent that other law provides for charges for specific kinds of public information.  [See GBAA (EXHIBIT)]

TSBVI may determine its own charges for providing copies of public information and its own charge, deposit, or bond for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection. However, the School may not charge an amount that is greater than 25 percent more than the amount established by the attorney general unless the School requests an exemption. Gov’t Code 552.261, 552.262; 1 TAC 111.61(b)

Exemptions

The School may request that it be exempt from part or all of the rules adopted by the attorney general for determining charges for providing copies of public information or the charge, deposit, or bond required for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection.  The request must be made in writing to the attorney general and must state the reason for the exemption.  If the attorney general determines that good cause exists, the attorney general shall grant the exemption by giving written notice of the determination within 90 days of the request.  When it receives the notification, the School may amend its charges for providing copies of public information or its charge, deposit, or bond required for making public information that exists in a paper record available for inspection according to the terms of the attorney general's determination.  Gov't Code 552.262(c)

Copies for Parents

The School may charge a reasonable fee in accordance with the above requirements for copies of materials provided to parents pursuant to Education Code Chapter 26.  Education Code 26.012

Statement of Estimated Charges

If a request for a copy of public information or a request to inspect a paper record will result in the imposition of a charge that exceeds $40, the School shall provide the requestor with a written itemized statement that details all estimated charges that will be imposed, including any allowable charges for labor or personnel costs.  If an alternative less costly method of viewing the records is available, the statement must include a notice that the requestor may contact the School regarding the alternative method.  The School must inform the requestor of the responsibilities imposed on the requestor by this section and the rights granted by this entire section and give the requestor the information needed to respond as detailed in Government Code 552.2615(a).

If, after the School provides the requestor the itemized statement but before it makes the copy or the paper record available, the School determines that the estimated charges will exceed the charges detailed in the original itemized statement by 20 percent or more, the School shall send to the requestor an updated written itemized statement that details all estimated charges that will be imposed, including any allowable charges for labor or personnel costs.

Requestor's Response

A request for which the School is required to produce an (original or updated) itemized statement of estimated charges is considered to have been withdrawn if the requestor does not respond in writing to the itemized statement by informing the School within ten business days after the date the statement is sent to the requestor that:

  1. The requestor will accept the estimated charges.
  2. The requestor is modifying the request in response to the itemized statement; or
  3. The requestor has sent to the attorney general a complaint alleging that the requestor has been overcharged for being provided with a copy of the public information.

Actual Charges

If the actual charges that School imposes for a copy or inspection of public information exceed $40, the charges may not exceed:

  1. The amount estimated in the updated itemized statement; or
  2. If an updated itemized statement is not sent to the requestor, an amount that exceeds by 20 percent or more the amount estimated in the original itemized statement.

Timing of Deadlines

An original or updated itemized statement is considered to have been sent by the School, and a requestor is considered to have responded to the statement, on the date that the statement or response is:

  1. Delivered in person;
  2. Deposited, properly addressed, in the U.S. mail; or
  3. Transmitted by electronic mail or facsimile, provided the requestor agrees to receive the statement by those means.

The time deadlines for providing the required statement of estimated charges do not affect the application of a time deadline imposed on the School for requesting a decision by the attorney general under Government Code 552, Subchapter G.

Gov't Code 552.2615

Deposit or Bond/Triggers Timeline

For the purposes of charging for providing copies of public information or for requesting an attorney general's opinion, if the School requires a deposit or bond from the requestor, a request for a copy of public information is considered to have been received by the School on the date it receives the deposit or bond for payment of anticipated costs or unpaid amounts.  A requestor who fails to make such a deposit or post such a bond before the tenth day after the date the deposit or bond is required is considered to have withdrawn the request.  Gov't Code 552.263(e), (f)

Modified Request

If a requestor modifies a request in response to the requirement of a deposit or bond, the modified request is considered a separate request and is considered received on the date the School receives the written modified request.  Gov’t Code 552.263(c)(e-1)

Unpaid Amounts

The public information officer or agent may require a deposit or bond for payment of anticipated costs for the preparation of a copy of public information if the public information officer has provided the requestor with the required written itemized statement detailing the estimated charge for providing the copy and if the charge for providing the copy of the public information specifically requested by the requestor is estimated by the School to exceed $100.  The public information officer or agent may not require a deposit or bond be paid as a down payment for copies of future information that the requestor may request in the future.  Gov't Code 552.263(a), (b)

If TSBVI receives a request from a requestor who, within the preceding 180 days, has accepted but failed to pay written itemized statements of estimated charges from TSBVI as provided under Government Code 552.2661 (b) may require the requestor to pay the estimated charges for the request before the request is fulfilled.  Gov’t Code 552.2661

The public information officer agent may require a deposit or bond for payment of unpaid amounts the requestor owes the School in relation to previous public information requests before preparing a copy of public information in response to a new request if those unpaid amounts exceed $100.  The officer for public information or the officer's agent may not seek payment of those unpaid amounts through any other means.  Gov't Code 552.263(c)

The School must fully document the existence and amount of those unpaid amounts or the amount of any anticipated costs before requiring a deposit or bond under this section.  The documentation is subject to required public disclosure.  Gov't Code 552.263(d)

Waivers

If the cost to the School of processing the collection of a charge for providing a copy of public information will exceed the amount of the charge, the Superintendent may waive the charge.  If the Superintendent determines that waiver or reduction of the charge is in the public interest because providing the copy of the information primarily benefits the general public, the Superintendent may waive or reduce the charge for a copy of public information.  Gov't Code 552.267

Government Publication

The cost provisions described above do not apply to a publication that is compiled and printed by or for the School for public dissemination.  If the cost of the publication is not determined by state law, the School may determine the charge for providing the publication, or it may provide the publication free of charge, if state law does not require a certain charge.  Gov't Code 552.270

INSPECTION OF PUBLIC INFORMATION

If the requestor does not request a copy of public information, the School may not impose a charge for making available for inspection any public information that exists in a paper record.  Gov’t Code 552.271(a)

Redaction of Confidential Information

If a page contains confidential information that must be edited from the record before the information can be made available for inspection, the School may charge for the cost of making a photocopy of the page from which the confidential information must be edited.  No charge other than the cost of the photocopy may be imposed.  Gov't Code 552.271(b)

Payment, Deposit or Bond

The public information officer may require a requestor to pay, or to make a deposit or post a bond for the payment of, anticipated personnel costs for making available for inspection public information that exists in paper records only if:

  1. The public information specifically requested by the requestor is older than five years or completely fills, or when assembled will completely fill, six or more archival boxes; and
  2. The officer for public information or the officer's agent estimates that more than five hours will be required to make the public information available for inspection.

Gov't Code 552.271(c)

Electronic Records

If the School receives a request to inspect information that exists in an electronic medium and the information is not available directly on-line to the requestor, a charge may not be imposed for access to the information unless complying with the request will require programming or manipulation of data. If programming or manipulation of data is required, the public information officer shall notify the requestor before assembling the information and provide the requestor with an estimate of charges that will be imposed.

If public information exists in an electronic form on a computer owned or leased by the School, and the public has access to that information through a computer network or other means, the electronic form of the information may be electronically copied from that computer without charge if accessing the information does not require processing, programming, or manipulation on the School’s computer before the information is copied.  If such information does require processing, programming, or manipulation before it can be copied, the public information officer may impose charges.

If the School creates or keeps information in an electronic form, it is encouraged to explore options to separate confidential information from public information and make the public information available to the public through electronic access through a computer network or other means.

Gov't Code 552.272

PRESERVATION OF RECORDS

The Superintendent shall determine a time for which information that is not currently in use will be preserved, subject to any applicable rule or law governing the destruction and other disposition of local government records or public information.  Gov't Code 552.004

The Board shall preserve the certified agenda or tape recording of a closed meeting for at least two years after the date of the meeting.  If an action involving the meeting is brought within that period, the certified agenda or tape recording shall be preserved while the action is pending.  Gov't Code 551.104(a)

The certified agenda or recording of a closed meeting is only available to the public under a court order.  Gov’t Code 551.104(b)(3), (c)

FILING SUIT TO WITHHOLD INFORMATION

The Board or officer for public information may file suit in Travis County district court seeking to withhold information, but the requestor may not be named as a party to that action.  The Board or officer for public information must demonstrate to the court that the board or officer made a timely good faith effort to inform the requestor, by certified mail or other method of written notice that requires the return of a receipt, of:

  1. The existence of the suit, including the subject matter, the cause number, and the court in which the suit is filed.
  2. The requestor's right to intervene in the suit or to choose not to participate.
  3. The fact that the suit is against the attorney general.
  4. The address and phone number of the office of the attorney general.

To preserve an affirmative defense for the School’s Public Information Officer, the court case must be filed no later than the 10th calendar day after receipt of the attorney general’s decision, otherwise, suit must be files no later than the 30th calendar day after receipt of the attorney general’s decision.

Gov't Code 552.324, 552.325, 552.353(b)(3)

PARENT'S REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

If the School seeks to withhold information from a parent who has requested public information relating to the parent's child under Chapter 552, Government Code, and files suit as described by Government Code 552.324 to challenge a decision by the attorney general, the School must bring the suit not later than the 30th calendar day after the date the School receives the decision of the attorney general.

A court shall grant such a suit precedence over other pending matters to ensure prompt resolution of the subject matter of the suit.  Notwithstanding any other law, the School may not appeal the decision of a court in such a suit challenging a ruling of the attorney general.  This prohibition does not affect the right of a parent to appeal the decision.  If the School does not bring suit within the period established, the School shall comply with the decision of the attorney general.

If the School receives a request from a parent for public information relating to the parent's child, the

School shall comply with Chapter 552, Government Code.  If an earlier deadline for bringing suit is established under Chapter 552, Government Code, this rule does not apply.

Education Code 26.0085

Frequent Requests

Personnel Time

TSBVI may establish reasonable monthly and yearly limits on the amount of time that School employees are required to spend producing public information for inspection or duplication by a requestor, or providing copies of public information to a requestor, without recovering its costs attributable to that personnel time.  A yearly time limit may not be less than 36 hours for a requestor during the 12-month period that corresponds to TSBVI’s fiscal year.  A monthly time limit may not be less than 15 hours for a requestor for a one-month period.

Request by Minor

Any time spent complying with a request submitted in the name of a minor, as defined by Family Code 101.003(a), is to be included in the calculation of the cumulative amount of time spent complying with a request for public information by a parent, guardian, or other person who has control of the minor under a court order and with whom the minor resides, unless that parent, guardian, or other person establishes that another person submitted that request in the name of the minor.

Exception

This section does not apply if the requestor is an individual who, for a substantial portion of the individual’s livelihood or for substantial financial gain, gathers, compiles, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports, investigates, processes, or publishes news or information for and is seeking the information for:

  1. Dissemination by a news medium or communication service provider, including;
    1. An individual who supervises or assists in gathering, preparing, and disseminating the news or information; or
    2. An individual who is or was a journalist, scholar, or researcher employed by an institution of higher education at the time the person made the request for information; or
  2. Creation or maintenance of an abstract plant as described by Insurance Code 2501.004.

“Communication service provider” has the meaning assigned by Civil Practice and Remedies Code 22.021

“News medium” means a newspaper, magazine or periodical, a book publisher, a news agency, a wire service, an FCC-licensed radio or television station or a network of such stations, a cable, satellite, or other transmission system or carrier or channel, or a channel or programming service for a station, network, system, or carrier, or an audio or audiovisual production company or Internet company or provider, or the corporate parent, subsidiary, division, or affiliate of that entity, that disseminates news or information to the public by any means, including:

  1. Print;
  2. Television;
  3. Radio;
  4. Photographic;
  5. Mechanical;
  6. Electronic; and
  7. Other means, known or unknown, that are accessible to the public.

This section also does not apply if the requestor is an elected official of the United States, this state, or a political subdivision of this state or a representative of a publicly funded legal services organization that is a federal tax exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Written Statement of Personnel Time

If TSBVI establishes a time limit, each time the School complies with a request for public information, TSBVI shall provide the requestor with a written statement of the amount of personnel time spent complying with that request and the cumulative amount of time spent complying with the requests for public information from the requestor during the applicable monthly or yearly period.  The amount of time spent preparing the written statement may not be included in the amount of time in the statement.

Written Estimate of Charges

If the cumulative amount of personnel time spent complying with requests for public information from the same requestor equals or exceeds the established time limit, TSBVI shall provide the requestor with a written estimate of the total cost, including materials, personnel time, and overhead expenses, necessary to comply with the request.  The School shall provide the written estimate on or before the tenth day after the date on which the request was made.  The amount of this charge relating to the cost of locating, compiling, and producing the public information shall be established by rules prescribed by the attorney general.

When a request is made by a requestor who has made a previous request to TSBVI that has not been withdrawn, for which the School has located and compiled documents in response, and for which TSBVI has issued a written estimate of charges that remains unpaid on the date the requestor submits the new request, the School is not required to locate, compile, produce, or provide copies of documents or prepare an estimate of charges in response to a new request until the date the requestor pays each unpaid statement issued in connection with a previous request or withdraws the previous request to which the statement applies.

Additional Time

If TSBVI provides the requestor with written notice that additional time is required to prepare the written estimate, the School must provide the written estimate as soon as practicable, but on or before the tenth day after the date TSBVI provided the notice that additional time was required.

Acceptance of Charges

If TSBVI provides a requestor with the estimate of charges and the time limits regarding the requestor have been exceeded, the School is not required to produce public information for inspection or duplication or to provide copies of public information in response to the requestor’s request unless on or before the tenth day after the date provided the written estimate, the requestor submits payment of the amount stated in the written estimate.

If the requestor fails or refuses to submit payment, the requestor is considered to have withdrawn the request.

Waived or Reduced Charges

This section does not prohibit the School from providing a copy of public information without charge or at a reduced rate, or from waiving a charge for providing a copy of public information, under Government Code 552.267 [see Waivers, above].

Gov’t Code 552.275

Adopted:         1/26/07

Amended:       6/1/18

Reviewed:

GUIDELINES FOR COPY CHARGES

The charges in this exhibit, to recover costs associated with providing copies of public information, are based on estimated average costs to governmental bodies across the state.

Copy charges are as follows:

  1. Standard-paper copy. The charge for standard-paper copies reproduced by means of an office machine copier or a computer printer is $.10 per page or part of a page. Each side that has recorded information is considered a page.
  2. Nonstandard-size copy. The charges for nonstandard copies are:
    1. Diskette - $1.00
    2. Magnetic tape - actual cost
    3. Data cartridge - actual cost
    4. Tape cartridge - actual cost
    5. Rewritable CD (CD-RW) - $1.00
    6. Non-rewritable CD (CD-R) - $1.00
    7. Digital video disc (DVD) - $3.00
    8. JAZ drive - actual cost
    9. Other electronic media - actual cost
    10. VHS video cassette - $2.50
    11. Audio cassette - $1.00
    12. Oversize paper copy (e.g., 11" x 17", greenbar, bluebar, not including maps and photographs using specialty paper) - $.50
    13. Specialty paper (e.g., Mylar, blueprint, blueline, map, photographic) - actual cost

Personnel charges are as follows:

  1. If a particular request requires the services of a programmer in order to execute an existing program or to create a new program so that requested information may be accessed and copied, a district may charge for the programmer's time. The hourly charge for a programmer is $28.50 an hour, which includes fringe benefits. Only programming services will be charged at this hourly rate. Districts that do not have in-house programming capabilities will comply with requests in accordance with Government Code 552.231. [See CQ]
  2. The charge for labor costs incurred in processing a request for public information is $15.00 an hour, which includes fringe benefits. The labor charge includes the actual time to locate, compile, and reproduce the requested information.
  3. 3. A labor charge will not be billed in connection with complying with requests that are for 50 or fewer pages of paper records, unless the documents to be copied are located in two or more separate buildings that are not physically connected to each other or a remote storage facility. For purposes of this provision, two buildings connected by a covered or open sidewalk, an elevated or underground passageway, or a similar facility, are not considered to be separate buildings.
  4. A labor charge should not be recovered for any time spent by an attorney, legal assistant, or any other person who reviews the requested information:
    1. To determine whether a district will raise any exceptions to disclosure of the requested information under Government Code, Subchapter C, Chapter 552; or
    2. To research or prepare a request for a ruling by the attorney general's office pursuant to section 552.301 of Government Code. [See CQ]
  5. When confidential information pursuant to a mandatory exception of the Act is mixed with public information in the same page, a labor charge may be recovered for time spent to redact, blackout, or otherwise obscure confidential information in order to release the public information. A labor charge will not be made for redacting confidential information for requests of 50 or fewer pages, unless the request also qualifies as a labor charge pursuant to Government Code 552.261(a)(1) or (2).

Overhead charges are as follows:

  1. Whenever any labor charge is applicable to a request, a district may include the charges direct and indirect costs, in addition to the specific labor charge. This overhead charge would cover such costs as depreciation of capital assets, rent, maintenance and repair, utilities, and administrative overhead. If a district chooses to recover such costs, a charge will be made in accordance with the methodology described in item 3 below. Although an exact calculation of costs will vary, the use of a standard charge will avoid complication in calculating such costs and will provide uniformity for charges made statewide.
  2. An overhead charge will not be made for requests for copies of 50 or fewer pages of standard paper records unless the request also qualifies for a labor charge pursuant to Government Code 552.261(a)(1) or (2).
  3. The overhead charge will be computed at 20 percent of the charge made to cover any labor costs associated with a particular request. For example, if one hour of labor is used for a particular request, the formula would be as follows:

    Labor charge for locating, compiling, and reproducing, $15.00 x .20 = $3.00; or programming labor charge, $28.50 x .20 = $5.70. If a request requires one hour of labor charge for locating, compiling, and reproducing information ($15.00 per hour); and one hour of programming labor charge ($28.50 per hour), the combined overhead would be: $15.00 + $28.50 = $43.50 x .20 = $8.70.

Microfiche and microfilm charges are as follows:

  1. If a district already has information that exists on microfiche or microfilm and has copies available for sale or distribution, the charge for a copy must not exceed the cost of its reproduction. If no copies of the requested microfiche or microfilm are available and the information on the fiche or film can be released in its entirety, a district should make a copy of the fiche or film. The charge for a copy must not exceed the cost of reproduction. Districts that do not have in-house capability to reproduce microfiche or microfilm are encouraged to contact the Texas State Library before having the reproduction made commercially.
  2. If only a master copy of information in microform is maintained, the charge is $.10 per page for standard-size paper copies plus any applicable labor and overhead charge for more than 50 copies.

Remote document retrieval charges are as follows:

  1. Due to limited on-site capacity of storage of documents, it is frequently necessary to store information that is not in current use in remote storage locations. Every effort should be made by a district to store current records on-site. To the extent that the retrieval of documents results in a charge to comply with a request, it is permissible to recover costs of such services for requests that qualify for labor charges under current law.
  2. If a district has a contract with a commercial records storage company, whereby the private company charges a fee to locate, retrieve, deliver, and return to storage the needed record(s), no additional labor charge will be factored in for time spent locating documents at the storage location by the private company's personnel. If after delivery to a district, the boxes must still be searched for records that are responsive to the request, a labor charge is allowed in accordance with item 2 under personnel charges, above.

Computer resource charges are as follows:

  1. The computer resource charge is a utilization charge for computers based on the amortized cost of acquisition, lease, operation, and maintenance of computer resources, which might include, but is not limited to, some or all of the following: central processing units (CPUs), servers, disk drives, local area networks (LANs), printers, tape drives, other peripheral devices, communications devices, software, and system utilities.
  2. These computer resource charges are not intended to substitute for cost recovery methodologies or charges made for purposes other than responding to public information requests.
  3. The charges in this section are averages based on a survey of governmental bodies with a broad range of computer capabilities. Each district using this cost recovery charge will determine which category(ies) of computer system(s) used to fulfill the public information request most closely fits its existing system(s) and set its charge accordingly:
    Type of System
    Rate
    Mainframe $10.00 per CPU minute
    Midsize $ 1.50 per CPU minute
    Client/Server $ 2.20 per clock hour
    PC or LAN $ 1.00 per clock hour
  4. The charge made to recover the computer utilization cost is the actual time the computer takes to execute a particular program times the applicable rate. The CPU charge is not meant to apply to programming or printing time; rather, it is solely to recover costs associated with the actual time required by the computer to execute a program. This time, called CPU time, can be read directly from the CPU clock, and most frequently will be a matter of seconds. If programming is required to comply with a particular request, the appropriate charge that may be recovered for programming time is described above, at Personnel Charges. No charge should be made for computer print-out time. For example, if a mainframe computer is used, and the processing time is 20 seconds, the charges would be as follows: $10.00 / 3 = $3.33; or $10.00/(60 / 20) = $3.33.

A district that does not have in-house computer capabilities will comply with requests in accordance with Government Code 552.231. [See CQ]

The actual cost of miscellaneous supplies, such as labels, boxes, and other supplies used to produce the requested information may be added to the total charge for public information.

Governmental bodies may add any related postal or shipping expenses that are necessary to transmit the reproduced information to the requesting party.

Pursuant to Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts' rules, sales tax will not be added on charges for public information. (34 TAC, Part 1, Chapter 3, Subchapter O, Sections 3.341 and 3.342).

1 TAC 111.63; 111.70

Adopted: 9/29/95

Amended: 11/14/97, 5/28/03, 11/18/05

Reviewed: 11/21/03

 

INITIATING CONTACTS WITH THE NEWS MEDIA

It is the intent of the Board to promote positive interactions with the news media.  The Board delegates to the Superintendent or his/her designee the responsibility of initiating contacts with the media to increase the community’s knowledge about the mission of the School.

TSBVI staff members shall communicate their ideas for initiating positive contacts with the media to their supervisor, who will forward them to the Superintendent.

RESPONDING TO REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

The Board delegates to the Superintendent or his/her designee the responsibility of responding to requests for information about TSBVI from the news media.

TSBVI staff members shall refer any requests for information from the news media to their supervisor, who will forward them to the Superintendent.

EMERGENCIES ON THE CAMPUS OR AT SCHOOL-RELATED ACTIVITIES OFF-CAMPUS

In the case of any type of emergency that may bring news media to the campus of TSBVI or to other locations of school-related activities, staff members shall refer all questions from the news media to the Superintendent or his/her designee who shall be the official spokesperson for TSBVI.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Staff members are not prohibited from communicating with the media in cases in which the staff member only represents his or her opinion as opposed to acting as, or appearing to act as, the School’s representative.  However, under no circumstances should any personal information about students be communicated to the news media.

Adopted: 11/15/96

Amended: 9/29/17

Reviewed: 3/21/03

PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATIONS

The Board shall cooperate in the establishment of ongoing operations of at least one parent-teacher organization at the School to promote parental involvement in school activities. Education Code 26.001(e)

Adopted: 7/17/92
Amended: 1/29/93, 3/22/96, 9/26/97, 3/21/03
Reviewed: 11/15/96