TO: TSBA MEMBERSHIP
FROM: LONIEL GREENE, DIRECTOR OF POLICY SERVICES / STAFF ATTORNEY
RE: STATUTORY AND REGULATORY CHANGES
DATE: MAY 23, 2014
As part of your membership with TSBA, we want to keep you informed regarding new statutory and regulatory changes that may affect board policies. Below you will find a few statutory and regulatory changes with a brief explanation.
As always, thank you for your membership with TSBA.
This statutory revision gives parents/guardians the right to inspect all instructional materials, to include all teaching materials and teaching aids used in the classroom.
This statutory revision requires that once proposed textbooks have been approved by the Board, the director of schools shall post the approved textbooks on the school system website and send notice to the commissioner of education.
This statutory revision gives parents/guardians the right to inspect all tests that are developed by and graded by a teacher.
This statutory revision requires that no later than July 31st of each year, a LEA shall post on its website information regarding state and board mandated tests that will be administered during the school year. This statute also requires a LEA, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, to include information related to testing information in each school’s student handbook or policy guidebook that is distributed on an annual basis.
This statutory revision is known as the Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act. This Act requires that if a LEA provides a limited public forum whereby students are allowed to speak during school sponsored events, the LEA is required to adopt a policy that allows student speakers to publicly state or express a religious viewpoint without fear of discrimination or retaliation.
This statutory revision allows students to express religious beliefs in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. The new statutory provision also explicitly prohibits students from being penalized or rewarded on account of the religious content of their work.
This statutory revision limits a teacher’s suspension to ninety (90) days in duration unless it is related to a criminal or Department of Children’s Services investigation.
This statutory revision authorizes LEAs that have established a teacher sick leave bank to allow employees who are not teachers, but who accrue sick leave, to participate in the LEA's teacher sick leave bank or classified employee sick bank.
This regulatory revision requires that when a student is absent five (5) days without adequate excuse, the principal/designee shall initiate meaningful communications with the student and parent(s)/guardian(s) in order to determine the underlying cause(s) of the unexcused absences. The principal/designee shall then develop an attendance plan and coordinate additional services designed to improve the student's attendance.
The new regulation also requires the LEA to develop an attendance appeals process whereby students who have excessive unexcused absences will be afforded due process.
This statutory revision gives parents the right to inspect all materials related to a survey, analysis, or evaluation of any program, prior to dissemination. In addition, no student shall be required, as part of any program, to submit to a survey, analysis or evaluation that reveals certain information without the prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor), or in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior consent of the parent.
This statutory revision requires that when a student transfers to another school within the LEA, the school shall send copies of any and all records, to include the student’s academic and disciplinary records, to the transfer school.In addition, the statute requires that when a student transfers to a school outside the LEA, the school shall send copies of any and all records, to include the student’s academic and disciplinary records, to the transfer school.
Director of Policy Services and Staff Attorney
Tennessee School Boards Association
525 Brick Church Park Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37207