Paying for lost or stolen textbooks

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Lost or Stolen Textbooks

Texas Education Code §31.104, (d) and (e) states:

(d) Each student, or the student’s parent or guardian, is responsible for each textbook not returned by the student. A student who fails to return all textbooks forfeits the right to free textbooks until each textbook previously issued but not returned is paid for by the student, parent, or guardian. As provided by policy of the board of trustees or governing body, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may waive or reduce the payment requirement if the student is from a low-income family. The district or school shall allow the student to use textbooks at school during each school day. If a textbook is not returned or paid for, the district or school may withhold the student’s records. A district or school may not, under this subsection, prevent a student from graduating, participating in a graduation ceremony, or receiving a diploma.

(e) The board of trustees of a school district may not require an employee of the district to pay for a textbook or instructional technology that is stolen, misplaced, or not returned by a student.

How to Protect Yourself

If you sign a withdrawal form for a student without the return of a textbook, be sure that the withdrawal form indicates that the book has not been returned. Keep a copy of the withdrawal form with your textbook records so that you can account for that particular book.

If you use class sets of books, count them before the class ends to be sure that all books have been returned and that they stay in the classroom. In addition, if you find something missing from your classroom be sure to report it missing, in writing, to the appropriate administrator as soon as possible.