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School boards begin voting on new measure to allow chaplains to volunteer in schools

Texas school boards have already begun to vote on a new measure to allow or prohibit chaplains from volunteering to provide counseling and other services to students.

SB 763, which passed during the 88th regular legislative session, amended the Texas Education Code to allow school districts or open-enrollment charter schools to "employ or accept as a volunteer a chaplain to provide support, services, and programs for students as assigned by the board of trustees of the district or the governing body of the school," according to the bill language. "A chaplain employed or volunteering under this chapter is not required to be certified by the State Board for Educator Certification."

State Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston, who authored the bill, said it "will allow the important role chaplains serve for pastoral care and representing God's presence within our public schools."

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law in June, and it became effective Sept. 1, 2023. It requires each school board to have a recorded vote to determine ...