Austin, Texas
March 27, 2013

Honorable Dan Patrick, Chair, Senate Committee on Education
Ursula Parks, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB1380 by Patrick (Relating to the placement of video monitoring cameras in self- contained classrooms providing special education services.), As Introduced

No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill would require school districts to provide video monitoring cameras in self-contained classrooms in which students received special services. The bill would require school districts to provide parents with written notice that video monitoring cameras were to be installed prior to installation, but would not require the district to secure parental consent.

The bill would apply beginning with the 20132014 school year.

Local Government Impact

The bill calls for the provision of video surveillance equipment for installation in self-contained classrooms for students receiving special services. Special services are not defined, and since classrooms can be repurposed to serve different populations at different times, these provisions could require the purchase of cameras for installation in most classrooms or limit flexibility of use of classroom space. Before installation of cameras, districts would be required to notify parents in writing that cameras were to be installed. It is assumed that once cameras were installed, notification of parents that cameras were installed would not be required since video surveillance would not require the consent of parents.

There are approximately 73,375 students with disabilities being served in self-contained settings. If one camera was required for every five students, a minimum of 14,675 cameras would be required to be made available for installation statewide. The estimated minimum cost to purchase an inexpensive camera with limited-quality video or audio is $150 per camera, or $2.2 million total. If schools chose to install the cameras, there would be additional costs for installation and maintenance of the cameras.
It is assumed that there is no requirement to archive video, so no costs have been estimated for video storage. Video storage would require additional costs and would require the video to be secured to protect the privacy of students. Other costs to districts would be masking software in case video became subject to public information requests if the video was archived. 
If there was a live video stream, it is assumed that personnel would be required to monitor the video. Costs associated with providing for an adequate number of monitors would vary according to the number of video feeds requiring monitoring in a district and could be signficant.  

Actual costs would vary from school district to school district depending on how many classrooms were considered self-contained, how many students met the definition of having to receive special services, the number of cameras to be purchased, and whether schools chose to install and maintain the cameras.

Source Agencies:
701 Central Education Agency
LBB Staff:
UP, JBi, JSc