- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Reports of teachers in improper relationships with students have increased for the eighth consecutive year.

The Austin American-Statesman (https://atxne.ws/2cIsw6i) reports the Texas Education Agency opened investigations on 222 teachers in the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, an 80 percent increase from 2008.

Doug Phillips, the TEA’s director of investigations, blames the rise of social media for the increase. He says it seems like every case involves “some sort of texting or Snapchatting with kids.”

The TEA has 1,110 open cases of teachers accused of improper relationships and seven investors to handle them. Phillips says cases stay open an average of 113 days, not counting cases suspended after teachers are arrested. TEA hopes the Legislature provides $400,000 to hire two more investigators and an administrator for its investigations unit.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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