New Braunfels ISD board of trustees members discussed their intent to vote against the use of chaplains in the district during a Nov. 13 board meeting.

The context

With the passage of Senate Bill 763 in the 88th legislative session, chaplains may be employed by or volunteer for a district to provide support, services and programs for students. The bill requires each board in the state to vote on the measure by March 1.

“We utilize certified counselors and in partnership with Communities in Schools to provide these services to our students currently,” Superintendent Laurelyn Arterbury said. “And so while we are proud of that work, we do have an opportunity to bring in chaplains, but at this time it would be the administration's recommendation that we keep those services being provided by certified counselors and our Communities in Schools partners, and not necessarily employ chaplains in this capacity.”

“Chaplain” was not defined in the bill, and the State Board for Educator Certification will not require certification for chaplains employed or volunteering under the law, according to the district.

The action taken

Because of this, the district administration said they plan to vote against implementing chaplains in the district at the Dec. 11 board meeting. According to Arterbury, the district plans continue with the current process and follow the NBISD Comprehensive School Counseling and Guidance Plan.