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  H.B. No. 1783
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the right of a school employee to report a crime,
  persons subject to the prohibition on coercing another into
  suppressing or failing to report information to a law enforcement
  agency, and the reporting of criminal history record information of
  educators and other public school employees who engage in certain
  misconduct; creating a criminal offense.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 12.104(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  An open-enrollment charter school is subject to:
               (1)  a provision of this title establishing a criminal
  offense; and
               (2)  a prohibition, restriction, or requirement, as
  applicable, imposed by this title or a rule adopted under this
  title, relating to:
                     (A)  the Public Education Information Management
  System (PEIMS) to the extent necessary to monitor compliance with
  this subchapter as determined by the commissioner;
                     (B)  criminal history records under Subchapter C,
  Chapter 22;
                     (C)  reading instruments and accelerated reading
  instruction programs under Section 28.006;
                     (D)  accelerated instruction under Section
  28.0211;
                     (E)  high school graduation requirements under
  Section 28.025;
                     (F)  special education programs under Subchapter
  A, Chapter 29;
                     (G)  bilingual education under Subchapter B,
  Chapter 29;
                     (H)  prekindergarten programs under Subchapter E,
  Chapter 29;
                     (I)  extracurricular activities under Section
  33.081;
                     (J)  discipline management practices or behavior
  management techniques under Section 37.0021;
                     (K)  health and safety under Chapter 38;
                     (L)  public school accountability under
  Subchapters B, C, D, E, F, G, and J, Chapter 39;
                     (M)  the requirement under Section 21.006 to
  report an educator's misconduct; [and]
                     (N)  intensive programs of instruction under
  Section 28.0213; and
                     (O)  the right of a school employee to report a
  crime, as provided by Section 37.148.
         SECTION 2.  Sections 21.006(b), (b-1), (c), and (d),
  Education Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  In addition to the reporting requirement under Section
  261.101, Family Code, the superintendent or director of a school
  district, open-enrollment charter school, regional education
  service center, or shared services arrangement shall notify the
  State Board for Educator Certification if [the superintendent or
  director has reasonable cause to believe that]:
               (1)  an educator employed by or seeking employment by
  the district, school, service center, or shared services
  arrangement has a criminal record and the district, school, service
  center, or shared services arrangement obtained information about
  the educator's criminal record by a means other than the criminal
  history clearinghouse established under Section 411.0845,
  Government Code;
               (2)  an educator's employment at the district, school,
  service center, or shared services arrangement was terminated based
  on evidence [a determination] that the educator:
                     (A)  abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act
  with a student or minor;
                     (A-1)  was involved in a romantic relationship
  with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or
  minor;
                     (B)  possessed, transferred, sold, or distributed
  a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and
  Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.[, and its
  subsequent amendments];
                     (C)  illegally transferred, appropriated, or
  expended funds or other property of the district, school, service
  center, or shared services arrangement;
                     (D)  attempted by fraudulent or unauthorized
  means to obtain or alter a professional certificate or license for
  the purpose of promotion or additional compensation; or
                     (E)  committed a criminal offense or any part of a
  criminal offense on school property or at a school-sponsored event;
               (3)  the educator resigned and there is [reasonable]
  evidence [supports a recommendation by the superintendent or
  director to terminate the educator based on a determination] that
  the educator engaged in misconduct described by Subdivision (2); or
               (4)  the educator engaged in conduct that violated the
  assessment instrument security procedures established under
  Section 39.0301.
         (b-1)  A superintendent or director of a school district or
  open-enrollment charter school shall complete an investigation of
  an educator that is based on evidence that [reasonable cause to
  believe] the educator may have engaged in misconduct described by
  Subsection (b)(2)(A) or (A-1), despite the educator's resignation
  from district or school employment before completion of the
  investigation.
         (c)  The superintendent or director must notify the State
  Board for Educator Certification by filing a report with the board
  not later than the seventh day after the date the superintendent or
  director knew [first learns] about an employee's criminal record
  under Subsection (b)(1) or a termination of employment or
  resignation following an alleged incident of misconduct described
  by Subsection (b). The report must be:
               (1)  in writing; and
               (2)  in a form prescribed by the board.
         (d)  The superintendent or director shall notify the board of
  trustees or governing body of the school district, open-enrollment
  charter school, regional education service center, or shared
  services arrangement and the educator of the filing of the report
  required by Subsection (c).
         SECTION 3.  Section 22.087, Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 22.087.  NOTIFICATION TO STATE BOARD FOR EDUCATOR
  CERTIFICATION.  The superintendent of a school district or the
  director of an open-enrollment charter school, private school,
  regional education service center, or shared services arrangement
  shall promptly notify the State Board for Educator Certification in
  writing if:
               (1)  the person obtains or has knowledge of information
  showing that an applicant for or holder of a certificate issued
  under Subchapter B, Chapter 21, has a reported criminal history;
  and
               (2)  the person obtained the information by a means
  other than the criminal history clearinghouse established under
  Section 411.0845, Government Code.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter E-1, Chapter 37, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 37.148 to read as follows:
         Sec. 37.148.  RIGHT TO REPORT CRIME. (a) An employee of a
  school district or open-enrollment charter school may report a
  crime witnessed at the school to any peace officer with authority to
  investigate the crime.
         (b)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school may
  not adopt a policy requiring a school employee to:
               (1)  refrain from reporting a crime witnessed at the
  school; or
               (2)  report a crime witnessed at the school only to
  certain persons or peace officers.
         SECTION 5.  Section 39.06(a), Penal Code, is amended to read
  as follows:
         (a)  A public servant commits an offense if, in reliance on
  information to which the public servant [he] has access by virtue of
  the person's [his] office or employment and that has not been made
  public, the person [he]:
               (1)  acquires or aids another to acquire a pecuniary
  interest in any property, transaction, or enterprise that may be
  affected by the information;
               (2)  speculates or aids another to speculate on the
  basis of the information; or
               (3)  as a public servant, including as a [principal of
  a] school administrator, coerces another into suppressing or
  failing to report that information to a law enforcement agency.
         SECTION 6.  The change in law made by this Act to Section
  39.06, Penal Code, applies to an offense committed on or after the
  effective date of this Act. An offense committed before the
  effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect on the
  date the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in
  effect for that purpose. For purposes of this section, an offense
  was committed before the effective date of this Act if any element
  of the offense occurred before that date.
         SECTION 7.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1783 was passed by the House on May
  12, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 138, Nays 6, 2 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 1783 on May 29, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 141, Nays 4,
  2 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1783 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 27, 2015, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor