The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution
Texas Constitution of 1876, Art. 7, §1 and Bill of Rights
Impact in Texas Schooling: States that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively… “Since education is not delegated to the federal government, it is a power reserved to the states.
Protects certain civil liberties of employees and students in the public schools.
Authorizes the state legislature to support and maintain an efficient system of public free schools and provides for civil liberties
Type of Law: Constitutional
Type of Law: Statutory Source: Impact on Texas schooling
Acts of the U. S. Congress
Acts of Texas Legislature most pertaining to education are found in the Texas Education Code
Acts of Congress guarantee various civil rights and establish the conditions upon which states and political subdivisions may receive federal funds
Sets up the State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency to carry our limited educational functions. Actual operation of schools is left to school districts. School districts and school personnel are part of the state.
Type of Law: Statutory Source: Impact on Texas schooling
Federal Administrative regulations
Policies and rulings by school boards, Texas Commissioner of Education, and State Board of Education
Both TEA and local school districts must comply with the regulations promulgated by federal educational agencies implementing federal statutes.
Board of trustees develop policies to be utilized in operating their schools. State board and commissioner have the authority to establish rules that govern school district activity in areas designated by the legislature. Any person aggrieved by the schools laws of Texas or actions of school districts involving school laws or impairing employment contracts can appeal to the commissioner. Policies, rules, and appeal decisions are classified as administrative law.
Type of Law: Judicial Source: Impact on Texas schooling
Decisions of state courts
Decisions of federal courts
Any aggrieved person can appeal an adverse administrative ruling from the commissioner into state courts. Highest state court (civil) is the Texas Supreme Court, which has the last word on matters of state law, subject, of course, to the ultimate authority of the U. S. Supreme Court to review questions of state law in light of federal statutes and the U. S. Constitution.
Any person alleging state interference with a right granted by the U. S. Constitution or federal law can bring an action in a federal court. The lowest federal court is the district court. There are thirteen intermediate appellate federal courts ( ours is the U. S. Court of appeals for the Fifth Circuit) At the top is the U. S. Supreme court, Which has the last word on maters of federal law. The U. S. Constitution provides that any state action, law, or constitutional provision that conflicts with the Constitution or a federal law is null and void.
The most important function of federal courts is to adjudicate disputes arising under the Constitution and statutes of the United States. The present jurisdiction of the Fifth Circuit encompasses Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Geographic Jurisdiction of U. S. District Courts in Texas TEXAS NORTHERN TEXAS EASTERN TEXAS SOUTHERN TEXAS WESTERN
One might assume that state and federal case law has relatively little impact on Texas public education, compared with state statutes and administrative rules and regulations.. For the last thirty years , since the late 1960’s , courts have been increasingly involved in a maze of litigation involving the day- to day management of schools. The rulings they hand down have become an important part of school law and are ignored at one’s peril.
The Structure and Governance of the Texas School System
Texas Legislature is responsible for the structure and operations of the Texas public school system.
State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency were separated from each other in 1995 by legislature. The board has fifteen member and is limited to perform only those duties assigned by the state constitution or by the legislature. While many of its functions have shifted in recent years to the Texas commissioner of Education
TEA is composed of the Texas Commissioner of Education and the agency staff
Like the SBOE, the agency can perform only those duties specifically assigned to it by the legislature
TEC §7.021 lists fourteen educational functions that TEA is to perform. Among them are monitoring the district compliance with federal and state programs, conducting research to improve teaching and learning, etc.
Is authorized to enter into agreement with federal agencies regarding school lunch, school construction
Administers the capital investment fund established by the legislature to provide grants to school districts
The most powerful player is the Texas Commissioner of Education
Is the frontline administrator, with statutory responsibility under the direction of the superintendent for administering the day-to-day activities of the school
Have seven major functions listed in TEC §II.202
They have approval power for teacher and staff appointment to the campus from a pool of applicants selected by the district
Set the campus education objectives through the planning process, develop budget, have the responsibility for student discipline
Assign, evaluate, and promote campus personnel, as well to make recommendation to the superintendent for renewal, suspension and termination of personnel
Is the person with the most responsibility for school improvement, the legislature has given them more authority than in the past to operate their schools.
How the Us Constitution and Federal Government Affect Texas Schools (congress)
Protect the individual rights, determined by the Constitution
Passed a statute after the Civil War to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment with two clauses from the amendment, “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”