The Texas Education Code outlines the creation and administration of the School-To-Work Transition Program, which is designed to provide students with the skills necessary for successful transition from school to work. The program includes career awareness and counseling, integration of academic and vocational education, work-based learning, and connecting activities. The statute mandates the development of partnerships between schools, businesses, and community stakeholders to facilitate the transition of students into the workforce.
Section 29.183 of the Texas Education Code specifies the powers and duties of the TEA in relation to the School-To-Work Transition Program. This includes providing technical assistance to local programs, developing a statewide plan for school-to-work transition, and coordinating with other agencies to ensure program effectiveness. The TEA is also responsible for disseminating information about the program and monitoring its outcomes.
The Texas Labor Code sets forth the conditions under which children may be employed in the state. It includes provisions for the issuance of age certificates, permissible work hours, and prohibited occupations for minors. While the STW program may involve on-site learning experiences, this statute would need to be considered to ensure that the employment of students complies with state labor laws, particularly if students are deemed employees under the FLSA.
Section 51.003 of the Texas Labor Code outlines exceptions to the general rules regarding the employment of children. These exceptions may include certain types of educational or training programs, which could potentially apply to students participating in the STW program. The statute allows for flexibility in the application of labor laws to accommodate the unique nature of educational work-based learning experiences.
The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-239) was enacted to develop a national framework for states and localities to create school-to-work systems. Key components of the Act include work-based learning, school-based learning, and connecting activities. The Act encourages partnerships between businesses, schools, and local governments to provide students with productive work experiences that are directly linked to academic and occupational learning. The goal is to prepare young people for high-skill, high-wage jobs or further education. The Act provides funding for states and localities to develop and implement these systems, with an emphasis on serving all students, including those who are at risk of dropping out of school or who are in need of greater educational opportunities.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state, and local governments. Under the FLSA, there are specific criteria to determine if a trainee or student is considered an employee. Generally, if the training is for the benefit of the trainees or students, if they do not displace regular employees, and if the employer derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees or students (and on occasion operations may actually be impeded), the trainees or students will not be considered employees under the FLSA. Additionally, if the trainees or students are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period and are aware that they are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training, they may not be considered employees. This is particularly relevant for STW participants, as it affects whether they are entitled to compensation during their training.