• Act Now to be Heard on Proposed Changes to School District Document Retention Schedule
  • September 1, 2017 | Author: Jennifer Archimbaud Powell
  • Law Firm: Eichelbaum Wardell Hansen Powell & Mehl, P.C. - Austin Office
  • All school district staff should be aware that records they create and maintain are subject to records retention requirements. The district’s responsibilities are based on schedules developed by the Texas State Library Archives Commission (“TSLAC”), which are published in Title 13 of the Texas Administrative Code. These schedules are also referenced in board policies at CPC (LEGAL).

    TSLAC’s Local Schedule SD addresses records specifically related to public school districts. TSLAC is in the process of proposing changes to the Local Schedule SD, which are primarily based on changes in law or questions and suggested revisions they have received from local governments since the last schedule update in 2011. For example, one proposed substantive addition to the schedule is for Video Surveillance, Special Education Settings, which was necessitated by the addition of Section 29.022(e) of the Texas Education Code. Another example is the addition of a section related to Student Accommodation Records, which, as proposed, provides for a one year retention period. Interestingly, in the remarks section, it notes that all approved accommodation requests will expire on December 31 of the year it was approved (i.e., on a calendar year basis rather than a school year basis). The schedule also adds a section for Civil Rights Data Collection, with a five year retention period. These are just a few examples of proposed changes. TSLAC indicates they are also proposing to remove several series and are reorganizing the schedule to reduce redundancy and make Local Schedule SD easier to use.

    The draft of the proposed changes is available for your review at this link: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/sites/default/files/publ.... In addition, TSLAC has made available a chart that summarizes the proposed changes. It can be found at this link: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/sites/default/files/publ....

    TSLAC has requested feedback about the proposed changes to improve usability and compliance. They are accepting comments and feedback until 5:00 pm on Friday, September 22, 2017. They have requested that written comments be sent to Sarah Jacobson, Manager, Records Management Assistance, Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711; by fax to 512-936-2306; or by email to [email protected].

    The district’s records management officer should take the time to review the proposed changes and obtain feedback from the district staff who are the subject matter experts in the various areas. Sharing this feedback with TSLAC may result in a better schedule that is easier for districts to comply with.