Bill Affirming Discipline Authority of School Bus Drivers Wins Final Passage

The Texas House gave final approval today to SB 1541 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), a bill to bolster the authority of school bus drivers to maintain safety and order on board by removing disruptive students. The bill requires each district’s code of student conduct to specify the circumstances in which students may be removed from a school bus, and it affirms that drivers may remove a student to maintain effective discipline. The bill now goes to the governor for final sign-off. Thanks are due to Sen. Van de Putte and to the House author of companion bill HB 2367, Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston), who together shepherded this legislation to passage.

Credit for sparking this legislative initiative goes to the president of Texas AFT’s Houston Educational Support Personnel local in Houston ISD, Wretha Thomas, and the members of her local. Effective testimony in support of the bill was provided by Karen Barnes, a bus-driver trainer and leader in our Education Austin local in Austin ISD.

Look for Weekend Edition of the Hotline:  The House and Senate may be taking the weekend off, but we’re not. With 17 days left to go in the 2013 regular session, we will report the status of some notable legislative issues in a special weekend edition.