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September 2018 Committee on Instruction Item 6

 Consideration of Petition for Adoption of Rule Concerning a Requirement for School Uniforms

September 14, 2018


A petition to adopt a rule requiring that all Texas students wear school uniforms has been received from Ms. Brittany Clark. This item provides the opportunity for the State Board of Education (SBOE) to consider the petition.

Texas Government Code (TGC), §2001.021, and 19 TAC §30.1.

TGC, §2001.021, permits an interested person to request that a state agency adopt a rule change. It also requires a state agency to either deny the petition in writing or initiate rulemaking proceedings.

19 TAC §30.1 allows any interested person to petition the SBOE for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of an SBOE rule and establishes the procedures for the review of a petition for a rule change.

Ms. Brittany Clark submitted to the SBOE a petition requesting that all Texas students be required to wear school uniforms to help deter students from carrying weapons into classrooms. She recommended the uniforms include tucked-in shirts and clear backpacks. She also recommended that students not be permitted to wear coats unless the temperature is below 40 degrees but that they be allowed to wear a pull over within the school's uniform guidelines. Ms. Clark stated that implementing a uniform policy is a necessary step in protecting teachers and students. The petition, which provides the petitioner's rationale and justification, is presented in Attachment II of this item.

Texas Education Code (TEC), §11.162, School Uniforms, authorizes the board of trustees of an independent school district to adopt rules that require students in the school district to wear uniforms if the board determines the requirement would improve the learning environment at the school and requires the rules to designate a source of funding to provide uniforms for students who are educationally disadvantaged. The statute also allows a parent or guardian of a student assigned to a school at which uniforms are required to choose for the student to be exempted from the requirement or to transfer to a school at which students are not required to wear uniforms and at which space is available if the parent or guardian provides a written statement that, as determined by the board of trustees, states a bona fide religious or philosophical objection to the requirement.

While TEC, §11.162, allows local school districts to adopt rules requiring school uniforms, no statutory authority exists for the SBOE to adopt such rules. Because the SBOE does not have jurisdiction or authority to propose or adopt the petitioned rule, Texas Education Agency staff recommends that the SBOE deny the petition.

MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Deny the petition for adoption of a rule requiring all Texas students to wear school uniforms because the State Board of Education does not have jurisdiction or authority to propose or adopt the petitioned rule.

Staff Member Responsible:

Candace Stoltz, Director
Emergency Management

Attachment I:
  Statutory Citations
Attachment II:  Petition for Adoption of Rule Concerning a Requirement for School Uniforms