Policy and Regulations
Santa FE ISD, like all Texas public school districts, operates under a complex framework of federal and state statutes, regulations and rules along with local board policies, administrative regulations, guidelines and handbooks.
It is the mission of the District to assist you in successfully navigating the legal authorities that guide the operations of the District and interactions with employees, students, parents and the community.
In addition to the U.S. Constitution, federal laws impacting SFISD include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Title IX of The Education Amendments of 1972, as amended
- Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
- The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
- Title II of The Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- The Fair Labor Standards Act
- The Family Medical Leave Act
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
At the state level, the Texas Education Code controls many of the day-to-day operations of the District, addressing topics ranging from governance by the Board of Trustees to bid solicitation and purchasing to admission and enrollment to employment of teachers to student discipline. Adding another layer is the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education (SBOE), an elected 15-member board, oversee the public education system of Texas in accordance with the Education Code. The rules adopted by the SBOE and the Commissioner are part of a larger body of state agency rules that are collected and published by the Office of the Secretary of State as the Texas Administrative Code (TAC). SBOE and commissioner's rules are codified under Title 19, Part II, of the TAC. These rules provide further detail and guidance for implementing the legislation found in the Education Code. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) oversees enforcement.
Locally, SFISD is governed by policies developed by administration and formally approved by the Board of Trustees. SFISD Board Policies are maintained through the Texas Association of School Board’s (TASB) Policy Online, a searchable database that is updated regularly as policies are amended or added. The policies are divided by subject matter, display descriptive titles, and are categorized as (LEGAL) or (LOCAL.) (LEGAL) policies, drafted by TASB, often cite constitutional or statutory authority and provide the legal support under which school districts may develop their own unique corresponding (LOCAL) policy. In SFISD, committees of administrators draft proposed policy for consideration by the SFISD policy committee, which in turn makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Each new policy or amendment generally goes through two “readings” in two successive regular meetings before it becomes approved and operational.
The Administrative Regulations offer yet another layer of rules under which we operate. Some but not all of the Board Policies have corresponding administrative regulations and exhibits; the regulations and exhibits are organized under the same lettering system used for policies, followed by the designation: (Regulation) or (EXHIBIT.) These regulations provide more detail and often outline the procedures to be followed in implementing the policies. Finally, various departments issue employees handbooks, which offer even more specific information and provide further guidance.