A parent filed a complaint at TEA alleging that a school district violated the law by denying her request to transfer her child to a different campus.
The parent argued that her child should be assigned or transferred to a different campus than the assigned campus, and objected to the assigned campus. She made these arguments in writing to the school district. The school board held a hearing on the parent's request to have her child assigned to a different campus. The parent disagreed with the board's decision to deny the request and filed an appeal to the commissioner of education.
The commissioner noted that there is a process in the Texas Education Code by which a parent may petition a transfer or assignment of their child to a different campus. When a parent does so, the school board must conduct a hearing on the petition, if requested, but even if a hearing is not requested, the school board must promptly reach a decision on the petition and inform the parent of its decision. A school board must grant the petition "unless the board determines that there is a reasonable basis for denying the request."
The school board's decision is final unless an exception is filed alleging a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The board has 16 days to consider the exception. If the board has not ruled on the exception by the 16th day, the parent may file a petition in the district court of the county in which the board is located within 30 days after the board's final decision. The only appeal from a school board's decision concerning a transfer or assignment decision under this process is to a district court, and the issue on appeal is limited to violations of rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
In this case, the board held a hearing as required and denied the transfer request. The parent's only option on appeal following that denial was to file an exception and appeal to district court as described in the law, not appeal to TEA. Therefore, the commissioner lacked jurisdiction over the appeal and ordered that it be dismissed.