After the legislature in 2017 adopted clarifying amendments to the original law requiring video cameras in special education classes in certain circumstances, TEA began the long process of proposing similar changes to its rules. TEA announced the final adoption of the rules in late January, and TCTA was pleased to see that many of our suggestions were included in the final rules.
 
TEA’s original proposed rule changes included eliminating some of the limitations in state law that TCTA considered important; TCTA was successful in advocating that the following provisions be retained:

  • Video cameras must only be operated in settings in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education/related services and are assigned to one or more self-contained classrooms/other special education setting for at least 50% of the instructional day.
  • Placement of video cameras is required upon request by a parent only in settings in which the parent’s child is in regular attendance.

Additionally, some important statutory changes made by the legislature were not included in TEA’s proposed rules. TCTA was successful in ensuring that the rules included clarification regarding how long a video camera must be operated, by providing that it must only be for the remainder of the school year in which a school/campus receives a request.

Finally, TCTA supported proposed changes to the rule that reflected important changes made by the legislature, including:

  • Changing the definition of staff member to limit it to only those staff members assigned to work in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting (for purposes of defining which staff can request a video camera be placed in a special education classroom/setting);
  • Clarifying that video cameras must only be operated when students are present in the classroom/setting; and
  • Clarifying that video recordings can only be used in disciplinary actions against district or school personnel if the type of district or school policy believed to be violated relates to the neglect or abuse of a student.

The rules became effective January 31, 2019.