Poorly Written Special Education Law Could Be Costly to School Districts, Paxton Says

The attorney general's opinion lends credibility to school district officials who have criticized the special-education law for being expensive to comply with.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.

A sloppily written law could require cameras in far more special-education classrooms than lawmakers intended, placing “significant costs” on school districts, according to a new opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton’s opinion, which is nonbinding, lends credibility to school district officials who, according to the Dallas Morning News, have criticized the law for being expensive to comply with.

Lawmakers in 2015 apparently meant to pass legislation that would allow a parent to ask for a video camera to be installed specifically in their child’s special-education classroom, Paxton wrote in a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday. But the way the law is written, it actually requires entire school districts to install cameras in every special-education classroom after a parent’s request.

Paxton said his hands are tied by the law. If the Legislature intended for the law to “have a narrower application, it should amend the statute,” Paxton wrote.

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