Monday, May 6, 2013

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Attorney General Abbott Sends Letter to TESCCC Regarding Disclosure of CSCOPE Materials

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent the following letter to the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) regarding allegations that Texas parents are being denied access to CSCOPE curriculum and materials.

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Letter to Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative Governing Board regarding CSCOPE

Text of letter:

May 6, 2013

Ms. Anne Poplin
Chair, Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC) Governing Board
301 Loop 11
Wichita Falls, Texas 76306

Dear Ms. Poplin:

It has come to our attention that school districts may be denying Texas parents access to CSCOPE curriculum and materials in violation of the Texas Education Code. Specifically, it has been alleged that school districts are improperly attempting to charge parents hundreds of dollars in order to access CSCOPE-related information that must be provided to them under Texas law.

As you know, Section 26.006(a) of the Texas Education Code provides that parents are “entitled to review all teaching materials, instructional materials, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the parent’s child.” The Education Code also provides that school districts “shall make teaching materials and tests readily available for review by parents.” Further, Texas law specifically states that “A student’s parent is entitled to request that the school district…allow the student to take home any instructional materials used by the student.”

Notwithstanding the fact that Texas law clearly requires school districts to make educational materials accessible to parents, it is our understanding that school districts have recently attempted to charge hundreds of dollars for information related to the CSCOPE curriculum. To the extent parents are being charged a fee in order to access CSCOPE-related information, such a fee is not authorized by the Education Code.

In light of these concerns, we request that the TESCCC promptly notify school districts that information related to CSCOPE must be provided to parents in accordance with Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code, which does not authorize the imposition of a fee. With summer fast approaching, it is imperative that the TESCCC distribute the notification requested herein immediately so that parents are assured access to CSCOPE-related information before the end of the school year. Finally, be advised that failure to comply with the Education Code’s disclosure requirements could result in legal action against school districts.

Sincerely,

Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

cc: The Honorable Dan Patrick
Chairman, Texas Senate Committee on Education