By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has weighed in on a complaint filed by elementary school teacher Susie Houston against the Point Isabel Independent School District (PIISD) in regards to a newly adopted attendance policy.
“Because (the District’s) leave policy under Domain IV Attendance marks teachers down on their appraisals for taking leave that they are allowed to take under Texas Education Code section 22.003(a), it is a policy that makes taking leave difficult. For this reason it violates Texas Education Code 22.003(a),” the conclusion of the nine-page decision reads.
Christopher Maska, the administrative law judge who heard the case, further concluded that, as it violates the education code, the attendance policy cannot be enforced.
Reached by phone for comment, Houston expressed relief at the decision. “I am very pleased that the justice from TEA realized that what PIISD did to the teachers was not right,” she said.
“I did it for all the teachers,” she added.
The decision came 10 months after Houston first raised concerns about the attendance policy, which was newly implemented as part of a teacher’s annual evaluations in the 2015-2016 school year.
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