TEA asking for more money to investigate improper student-teacher relationships

TEA is asking for funding to hire additional staff to help handle the caseload of improper student- teacher relationships.

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Education Agency says it's seeing an increasing case load and keeping up with demand is getting harder and harder. 

In addition to other issues surrounding student safety, a big strain on the agency's resources involve improper relationships between teachers and students. 

The TEA is asking state lawmakers for nearly $400,000 to hire two more investigators and another assistant to help investigate the cases. 

At the end of the last fiscal year, the agency investigated 222 improper student-teacher relationships. That's an increase of 43 cases from two years prior. 

The agency says additional staff will help enforce sanctions sooner and keep students safe. 

"We want to make sure, especially when we are talking about instances that involve student safety, and that is what we are talking about when we are talking about inappropriate relationships with a student or minor, that we are able to sanction the educator as swiftly and appropriately as we are able to," said Lauren Callahan, a spokesperson for the TEA.  

"When we are talking about issues of student safety, we are going to do our very best to get the educator's certificate revoked," she added. 

It is now up to state lawmakers to respond to the TEA's request. The TEA also hopes to establish a clear social media policy when it comes to educators interacting with students online. 

(© 2016 KAGS)


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