Texas School districts now have the ability to provide accident, liability, and automobile coverage to students placed to work for local businesses as part of their career and technology education.
This change occurred with the recent passage of House Bill (HB) 639 into law, sponsored by Representative Anderson of Waco. Through this bill and its companion, Senate Bill 1880 by Senator Menendez of San Antonio, career and technology students in jobsite placements are also entitled to immunities similar to those enjoyed by school volunteers.
These changes to Education Code Sections 29.121 and 29.122 were needed, as many private employers are requiring these coverages for students placed in educational work programs. Previously, there was no specific grant of authority for school districts to provide these coverages to students.
The TASB Risk Management Fund (Fund) provided testimony in support of these bills to the House and Senate Education Committees. The Fund Board also approved extending the Liability coverage offered through the Fund to include students placed in career and technical education work programs. This coverage extension will be included in all Fund Liability coverage taking effect on the member's coverage anniversary date starting September 1, 2017. Now, when Fund Liability members negotiate a CTE placement agreement, the district will be able to agree to cover the student learner for their liability exposure, without the need to find and procure additional coverage.
Individual CTE agreements may require other types of coverage in addition to Liability, such as accident or automobile coverage. While HB 639 allows districts to purchase these additional coverages, districts will need to procure these lines through private insurance.
The Fund’s involvement in these efforts, along with the extension of coverage, are a tangible expression of the Fund’s mission to provide responsive risk management solutions to our members.