Law:Title 2. Public Education. Subtitle D. Educators And School District Employees And Volunteers (Texas)

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Subtitle D. Educators And School District Employees And Volunteers

Contents

Chapter 21. Educators

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  21.001.  Definition.

In this chapter, "commissioner" includes a person designated by the commissioner.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.002.  Teacher Employment Contracts.

(a) A school district shall employ each classroom teacher, principal, librarian, nurse, or counselor under:

(1)  a probationary contract, as provided by Subchapter C;

(2)  a continuing contract, as provided by Subchapter D; or

(3)  a term contract, as provided by Subchapter E.

(b)  A district is not required to employ a person other than an employee listed in Subsection (a) under a probationary, continuing, or term contract.

(c)  Each board of trustees shall establish a policy designating specific positions of employment, or categories of positions based on considerations such as length of service, to which continuing contracts or term contracts apply.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.003.  Certification Required.

(a) A person may not be employed as a teacher, teacher intern or teacher trainee, librarian, educational aide, administrator, educational diagnostician, or counselor by a school district unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit issued as provided by Subchapter B.

(b)  A person may not be employed by a school district as an audiologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, physician, nurse, school psychologist, associate school psychologist, social worker, or speech language pathologist unless the person is licensed by the state agency that licenses that profession. A person may perform specific services within those professions for a school district only if the person holds the appropriate credential from the appropriate state agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 82, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  21.0031.  Failure To Obtain Certification; Contract Void.

(a) An employee's probationary, continuing, or term contract under this chapter is void if the employee:

(1)  does not hold a certificate or permit issued by the State Board for Educator Certification; or

(2)  fails to fulfill the requirements necessary to extend the employee's temporary or emergency certificate or permit.

(b)  After an employee receives notice that the employee's contract is void under Subsection (a):

(1)  a school district may:

(A)  terminate the employee;

(B)  suspend the employee with or without pay; or

(C)  retain the employee for the remainder of the school year on an at-will employment basis in a position other than classroom teacher at the employee's existing rate of pay or at a reduced rate; and

(2)  the employee is not entitled to the minimum salary prescribed by Section 21.402.

(c)  A school district's decision under Subsection (b) is not subject to appeal under this chapter, and the notice and hearing requirements of this chapter do not apply to the decision.

(d)  This section does not affect the rights and remedies of a party in an at-will employment relationship.

(e)  This section does not apply to a certified teacher assigned to teach a subject for which the teacher is not certified.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 181, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.004.  Teacher Recruitment Program.

(a) To the extent that funds are available, the agency, the State Board for Educator Certification, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall develop and implement programs to identify talented students and recruit those students and persons, including high school and undergraduate students, mid-career and retired professionals, honorably discharged and retired military personnel, and members of underrepresented gender and ethnic groups, into the teaching profession.

(b)  From available funds, the agency, the State Board for Educator Certification, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall develop and distribute materials that emphasize the importance of the teaching profession and inform individuals about state-funded loan forgiveness and tuition assistance programs.

(c)  The commissioner, in cooperation with the commissioner of higher education and the executive director of the State Board for Educator Certification, shall annually identify the need for teachers in specific subject areas and geographic regions and among underrepresented groups. The commissioner shall give priority to developing and implementing recruitment programs to address those needs from the agency's discretionary funds.

(d)  The agency, the State Board for Educator Certification, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall encourage the business community to cooperate with local schools to develop recruiting programs designed to attract and retain capable teachers, including programs to provide summer employment opportunities for teachers.

(e)  The agency, the State Board for Educator Certification, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shall encourage major education associations to cooperate in developing a long-range program promoting teaching as a career and to assist in identifying local activities and resources that may be used to promote the teaching profession.

(f)  Funds received for teacher recruitment programs may be used only to publicize and implement the programs.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1590, Sec. 7, eff. June 19, 1999.



Section  21.005.  High-quality Teachers. The Commissio

ner may by rule establish a statewide standard to be used to certify each school district that is preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers in a manner consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L. No. 107-110).

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1212, Sec. 5, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  21.006.  Requirement To Report Misconduct.

(a) In this section, "abuse" has the meaning assigned by Section 261.001, Family Code, and includes any sexual conduct involving an educator and a student or minor.

(b)  In addition to the reporting requirement under Section 261.101, Family Code, the superintendent or director of a school district, regional education service center, or shared services arrangement shall notify the State Board for Educator Certification if the superintendent or director has reasonable cause to believe that:

(1)  an educator employed by or seeking employment by the district, service center, or shared services arrangement has a criminal record;

(2)  an educator's employment at the district, service center, or shared services arrangement was terminated based on a determination that the educator:

(A)  abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor;

(B)  possessed, transferred, sold, or distributed a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq., and its subsequent amendments;

(C)  illegally transferred, appropriated, or expended funds or other property of the district, service center, or shared services arrangement;

(D)  attempted by fraudulent or unauthorized means to obtain or alter a professional certificate or license for the purpose of promotion or additional compensation; or

(E)  committed a criminal offense or any part of a criminal offense on school property or at a school-sponsored event;

(3)  the educator resigned and reasonable evidence supports a recommendation by the superintendent or director to terminate the educator based on a determination that the educator engaged in misconduct described by Subdivision (2); or

(4)  the educator engaged in conduct that violated the assessment instrument security procedures established under Section 39.0301.

(c)  The superintendent or director must notify the State Board for Educator Certification by filing a report with the board not later than the seventh day after the date the superintendent or director first learns about an alleged incident of misconduct described by Subsection (b). The report must be:

(1)  in writing; and

(2)  in a form prescribed by the board.

(d)  The superintendent or director shall notify the board of trustees or governing body of the school district, regional education service center, or shared services arrangement and the educator of the filing of the report required by Subsection (c).

(e)  A superintendent or director who in good faith and while acting in an official capacity files a report with the State Board for Educator Certification under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

(f)  The State Board for Educator Certification shall determine whether to impose sanctions against a superintendent or director who fails to file a report in violation of Subsection (c).

(g)  The State Board for Educator Certification shall propose rules as necessary to implement this section.

(h)  The name of a student or minor who is the victim of abuse or unlawful conduct by an educator must be included in a report filed under this section, but the name of the student or minor is not public information under Chapter 552, Government Code.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 374, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 511, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1312, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 21.007.  Notice On Certification Record Of Alleged Misconduct.

(a) In this section, "board" means the State Board for Educator Certification.

(b)  The board shall adopt a procedure for placing a notice of alleged misconduct on an educator's public certification records.  The procedure adopted by the board must provide for immediate placement of a notice of alleged misconduct on an educator's public certification records if the alleged misconduct presents a risk to the health, safety, or welfare of a student or minor as determined by the board.

(c)  The board must notify an educator in writing when placing a notice of an alleged incident of misconduct on the public certification records of the educator.

(d)  The board must provide an opportunity for an educator to show cause why the notice should not be placed on the educator's public certification records.  The board shall propose rules establishing the length of time that a notice may remain on the educator's public certification records before the board must:

(1)  initiate a proceeding to impose a sanction on the educator on the basis of the alleged misconduct; or

(2)  remove the notice from the educator's public certification records.

(e)  If it is determined that the educator has not engaged in the alleged incident of misconduct, the board shall immediately remove the notice from the educator's public certification records.

(f)  The board shall propose rules necessary to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1372, Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 2007.



Subchapter B. Certification Of Educators

Section  21.031.  Purpose.

(a) The State Board for Educator Certification is established to recognize public school educators as professionals and to grant educators the authority to govern the standards of their profession. The board shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators.

(b)  In proposing rules under this subchapter, the board shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.032.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "board" means the State Board for Educator Certification.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.033.  State Board For Educator Certification.

(a) The State Board for Educator Certification is composed of 14 members. The commissioner of education shall appoint an employee of the agency to represent the commissioner as a nonvoting member. The commissioner of higher education shall appoint an employee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to represent the commissioner as a nonvoting member. The governor shall appoint a dean of a college of education in this state as a nonvoting member. The remaining 11 members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, as follows:

(1)  four members must be teachers employed in public schools;

(2)  two members must be public school administrators;

(3)  one member must be a public school counselor; and

(4)  four members must be citizens, three of whom are not and have not, in the five years preceding appointment, been employed by a public school district or by an educator preparation program in an institution of higher education and one of whom is not and has not been employed by a public school district or by an educator preparation program in an institution of higher education.

(b)  Appointments to the board shall be made without regard to the race, color, disability, sex, religion, age, or national origin of the person appointed.

(c)  A board member is immune from civil suit for any act performed in good faith in the execution of duties as a board member.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1174, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1170, Sec. 12.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.034.  Terms; Vacancy.

(a) The board members appointed by the governor hold office for staggered terms of six years with the terms of one-third of the members expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year. A member appointed by the commissioner of education or the commissioner of higher education serves at the will of the appointing commissioner.

(b)  In the event of a vacancy during a term of a member appointed by the governor, the governor shall appoint a replacement who meets the qualifications of the vacated office to fill the unexpired portion of the term.

(c)  A vacancy arises if a member appointed by the governor no longer qualifies for the office to which the member was appointed.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section 21.035.  Administration By Agency.

The Texas Education Agency shall provide the board's administrative functions and services.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1112, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1227, Sec. 1.04, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 921, Sec. 4.002, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  21.036.  Officers.

The board shall elect one of its members to serve as presiding officer for a term of two years. The presiding officer is entitled to vote on all matters before the board. The board may elect other officers from among its membership.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1174, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 1997.



Section  21.037.  Compensation.

A board member may not receive compensation for serving on the board. A member is entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred in performing functions as a member of the board, subject to any applicable limitation on reimbursement provided by the General Appropriations Act.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.038.  Meetings.

(a) The board shall meet at least once in each quarter of the calendar year.

(b)  The board may meet at other times at the call of the presiding officer or as provided by the rules of the board.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.040.  General Powers And Duties Of Board.

The board shall:

(1)  supervise the executive director's performance;

(2)  approve an operating budget for the board and make a request for appropriations;

(3)  appoint the members of any advisory committee to the board;

(4)  for each class of educator certificate, appoint an advisory committee composed of members of that class to recommend standards for that class to the board;

(5)  provide to its members and employees, as often as necessary, information regarding their qualifications for office or employment under this chapter and their responsibilities under applicable laws relating to standards of conduct for state officers or employees;

(6)  develop and implement policies that clearly define the respective responsibilities of the board and the board's staff;

(7)  file annually with the governor and the presiding officer of each house of the legislature a complete and detailed written report, in the form and within the time provided by the General Appropriations Act, accounting for all funds received and disbursed by the board during the preceding fiscal year; and

(8)  execute interagency contracts to perform routine administrative functions.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.041.  Rules; Fees.

(a) The board may adopt rules as necessary for its own procedures.

(b)  The board shall propose rules that:

(1)  provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of this subchapter in a manner consistent with this subchapter;

(2)  specify the classes of educator certificates to be issued, including emergency certificates;

(3)  specify the period for which each class of educator certificate is valid;

(4)  specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate;

(5)  provide for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to Section 21.052;

(6)  provide for special or restricted certification of educators, including certification of instructors of American Sign Language;

(7)  provide for disciplinary proceedings, including the suspension or revocation of an educator certificate, as provided by Chapter 2001, Government Code;

(8)  provide for the adoption, amendment, and enforcement of an educator's code of ethics;

(9)  provide for continuing education requirements; and

(10)  provide for certification of persons performing appraisals under Subchapter H.

(c)  The board shall propose a rule adopting a fee for the issuance and maintenance of an educator certificate that, when combined with any fees imposed under Subsection (d), is adequate to cover the cost of administration of this subchapter.

(d)  The board may propose a rule adopting a fee for the approval or renewal of approval of an educator preparation program, or for the addition of a certificate or field of certification to the scope of a program's approval.  A fee imposed under this subsection may not exceed the amount necessary, as determined by the board, to provide for the administrative cost of approving, renewing the approval of, and appropriately ensuring the accountability of educator preparation programs under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 723, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.042.  Approval Of Rules.

The State Board for Educator Certification must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the State Board of Education for review. The State Board of Education may reject a proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the board present and voting. If the State Board of Education fails to reject a proposal before the 90th day after the date on which it receives the proposal, the proposal takes effect as a rule of the State Board for Educator Certification as provided by Chapter 2001, Government Code. The State Board of Education may not modify a rule proposed by the State Board for Educator Certification.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.043.  Access To Peims Data.

The agency shall provide the board with access to data obtained under the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS).

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.044.  Educator Preparation.

The board shall propose rules establishing the training requirements a person must accomplish to obtain a certificate, enter an internship, or enter an induction-year program. The board shall specify the minimum academic qualifications required for a certificate.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section 21.045.  Accountability System For Educator Preparation Programs.

(a) The board shall propose rules establishing standards to govern the approval and continuing accountability of all educator preparation programs based on the following information that is disaggregated with respect to sex and ethnicity:

(1)  results of the certification examinations prescribed under Section 21.048(a);

(2)  performance based on the appraisal system for beginning teachers adopted by the board;

(3)  achievement, including improvement in achievement, of students taught by beginning teachers for the first three years following certification, to the extent practicable; and

(4)  compliance with board requirements regarding the frequency, duration, and quality of structural guidance and ongoing support provided by field supervisors to beginning teachers during their first year in the classroom.

(b)  Each educator preparation program shall submit data elements as required by the board for an annual performance report to ensure access and equity.  At a minimum, the annual report must contain the performance data from Subsection (a), other than the data required for purposes of Subsection (a)(3), and the following information, disaggregated by sex and ethnicity:

(1)  the number of candidates who apply;

(2)  the number of candidates admitted;

(3)  the number of candidates retained;

(4)  the number of candidates completing the program;

(5)  the number of candidates employed in the profession after completing the program;

(6)  the number of candidates retained in the profession; and

(7)  any other information required by federal law.

(c)  The board shall propose rules establishing performance standards for the Accountability System for Educator Preparation for accrediting educator preparation programs.  At a minimum, performance standards must be based on Subsection (a).  The board may propose rules establishing minimum standards for approval or renewal of approval of:

(1)  educator preparation programs; or

(2)  certification fields authorized to be offered by an educator preparation program.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 723, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 21.0451.  Sanctions Under Accountability System For Educator Preparation Programs.

(a) The board shall propose rules for the sanction of educator preparation programs that do not meet accountability standards and shall annually review the accreditation status of each educator preparation program.  The rules:

(1)  shall provide for the assignment of the following accreditation statuses:

(A)  not rated;

(B)  accredited;

(C)  accredited-warned;

(D)  accredited-probation; and

(E)  not accredited-revoked;

(2)  may provide for the agency to take any necessary action, including one or more of the following actions:

(A)  requiring the program to obtain technical assistance approved by the agency or board;

(B)  requiring the program to obtain professional services under contract with another person;

(C)  appointing a monitor to participate in and report to the board on the activities of the program; and

(D)  if a program has been rated as accredited-probation under the Accountability System for Educator Preparation for a period of at least one year, revoking the approval of the program and ordering the program to be closed, provided that the board or agency must provide the opportunity for a hearing before the effective date of the closure; and

(3)  shall provide for the agency to revoke the approval of the program and order the program to be closed if the program has been rated as accredited-probation under the Accountability System for Educator Preparation for three consecutive years, provided that the board or agency must provide the opportunity for a hearing before the effective date of the closure.

(b)  Any action authorized or required to be taken against an educator preparation program under Subsection (a) may also be taken with regard to a particular field of certification authorized to be offered by an educator preparation program.

(c)  A permissive revocation under Subsection (a)(2) or required revocation under Subsection (a)(3) must be effective for a period of at least two years.  After two years, the program may seek renewed approval to prepare educators for state certification.

(d)  The costs of technical assistance required under Subsection (a)(2)(A) or the costs associated with the appointment of a monitor under Subsection (a)(2)(C) shall be paid by the sponsor of the educator preparation program.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 723, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 21.0452.  Consumer Information Regarding Educator Preparation Programs.

(a) To assist persons interested in obtaining teaching certification in selecting an educator preparation program and assist school districts in making staffing decisions, the board shall make information regarding educator programs in this state available to the public through the board's Internet website.

(b)  The board shall make available at least the following information regarding each educator preparation program:

(1)  the information specified in Sections 21.045(a) and (b);

(2)  in addition to any other appropriate information indicating the quality of persons admitted to the program, the average academic qualifications possessed by persons admitted to the program, including:

(A)  average overall grade point average and average grade point average in specific subject areas; and

(B)  average scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the American College Test (ACT), or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), as applicable;

(3)  the degree to which persons who complete the program are successful in obtaining teaching positions;

(4)  the extent to which the program prepares teachers, including general education teachers and special education teachers, to effectively teach:

(A)  students with disabilities; and

(B)  students of limited English proficiency, as defined by Section 29.052;

(5)  the activities offered by the program that are designed to prepare teachers to:

(A)  integrate technology effectively into curricula and instruction, including activities consistent with the principles of universal design for learning; and

(B)  use technology effectively to collect, manage, and analyze data to improve teaching and learning for the purpose of increasing student academic achievement;

(6)  the perseverance of beginning teachers in the profession, as determined on the basis of the number of beginning teachers who maintain status as active contributing members in the Teacher Retirement System of Texas for at least three years after certification in comparison to similar programs;

(7)  the results of exit surveys given to program participants on completion of the program that involve evaluation of the program's effectiveness in preparing participants to succeed in the classroom; and

(8)  the results of surveys given to school principals that involve evaluation of the program's effectiveness in preparing participants to succeed in the classroom, based on experience with employed program participants.

(c)  For purposes of Subsection (b)(7), the board shall require an educator preparation program to distribute an exit survey that a program participant must complete before the participant is eligible to receive a certificate under this subchapter.

(d)  For purposes of Subsections (b)(7) and (8), the board shall develop surveys for distribution to program participants and school principals.

(e)  The board may develop procedures under which each educator preparation program receives a designation or ranking based on the information required to be made available under Subsection (b).  If the board develops procedures under this subsection, the designation or ranking received by each program must be included in the information made available under this section.

(f)  In addition to other information required to be made available under this section, the board shall provide information identifying employment opportunities for teachers in the various regions of this state.  The board shall specifically identify each region of this state in which a shortage of qualified teachers exists.

(g)  The board may require any person to provide information to the board for purposes of this section.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 723, Sec. 2, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.046.  Qualifications For Certification As Superintendent Or Principal.

(a) The qualifications for superintendent must permit a candidate for certification to substitute management training or experience for part of the educational experience.

(b)  The qualifications for certification as a principal must be sufficiently flexible so that an outstanding teacher may qualify by substituting approved experience and professional training for part of the educational requirements. Supervised and approved on-the-job experience in addition to required internship shall be accepted in lieu of classroom hours. The qualifications must emphasize:

(1)  instructional leadership;

(2)  administration, supervision, and communication skills;

(3)  curriculum and instruction management;

(4)  performance evaluation;

(5)  organization; and

(6)  fiscal management.

(c)  Because an effective principal is essential to school improvement, the board shall ensure that:

(1)  each candidate for certification as a principal is of the highest caliber; and

(2)  multi-level screening processes, validated comprehensive assessment programs, and flexible internships with successful mentors exist to determine whether a candidate for certification as a principal possesses the essential knowledge, skills, and leadership capabilities necessary for success.

(d)  In creating the qualifications for certification as a principal, the board shall consider the knowledge, skills, and proficiencies for principals as developed by relevant national organizations and the State Board of Education.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.047.  Centers For Professional Development Of Teachers.

(a) The board may develop the process for the establishment of centers for professional development through institutions of higher education for the purpose of integrating technology and innovative teaching practices in the preservice and staff development training of public school teachers and administrators. An institution of higher education with a teacher education program may develop a center through a collaborative process involving public schools, regional education service centers, and other entities or businesses. A center may contract with other entities to develop materials and provide training.

(b)  On application by a center, the board shall make grants to the center for its programs from funds derived from gifts, grants, and legislative appropriations for that purpose. The board shall award the grants on a competitive basis according to requirements established by the board rules.

(c)  A center may develop and implement a comprehensive field-based educator preparation program to supplement the internship hours required in Section 21.050. This comprehensive field-based teacher program must:

(1)  be designed on the basis of current research into state-of-the-art teaching practices, curriculum theory and application, evaluation of student outcomes, and the effective application of technology; and

(2)  have rigorous internal and external evaluation procedures that focus on content, delivery systems, and teacher and student outcomes.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.048.  Certification Examinations.

(a) The board shall propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the board.

(b)  The board may not administer a written examination to determine the competence or level of performance of an educator who has a hearing impairment unless the examination has been field tested to determine its appropriateness, reliability, and validity as applied to, and minimum acceptable performance scores for, persons with hearing impairments.

(c)  An educator who has a hearing impairment is exempt from taking a written examination for a period ending on the first anniversary of the date on which the board determines, on the basis of appropriate field tests, that the examination complies with the standards specified in Subsection (b). On application to the board, the board shall issue a temporary exemption certificate to a person entitled to an exemption under this subsection.

(c-1)  The results of an examination administered under this section are confidential and are not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code, unless:

(1)  the disclosure is regarding notification to a parent of the assignment of an uncertified teacher to a classroom as required by Section 21.057; or

(2)  the educator has failed the examination more than five times.

(d)  In this section:

(1)  "Hearing impairment" means a hearing impairment so severe that the person cannot process linguistic information with or without amplification.

(2)  "Reliability" means the extent to which an experiment, test, or measuring procedure yields the same results on repeated trials.

(3)  "Validity" means being:

(A)  well-grounded or justifiable;

(B)  relevant and meaningful;

(C)  correctly derived from premises or inferences; and

(D)  supported by objective truth or generally accepted authority.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1372, Sec. 4, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  21.0481.  Master Reading Teacher Certification.

(a) To ensure that there are teachers with special training to work with other teachers and with students in order to improve student reading performance, the board shall establish a master reading teacher certificate.

(b)  The board shall issue a master reading teacher certificate to each eligible person.

(c)  To be eligible for a master reading teacher certificate, a person must:

(1)  hold a reading specialist certificate issued under this subchapter and satisfactorily complete a course of instruction as prescribed under Subdivision (2)(B); or

(2)  hold a teaching certificate issued under this subchapter and:

(A)  have at least three years of teaching experience;

(B)  satisfactorily complete a knowledge-based and skills-based course of instruction on the science of teaching children to read that includes training in:

(i)  effective reading instruction techniques, including effective techniques for students whose primary language is a language other than English;

(ii)  identification of dyslexia and related reading disorders and effective reading instruction techniques for students with those disorders; and

(iii)  effective professional peer mentoring techniques;

(C)  perform satisfactorily on the master reading teacher certification examination prescribed by the board; and

(D)  satisfy any other requirements prescribed by the board.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 931, Sec. 2, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  21.0482.  Master Mathematics Teacher Certification.

(a) To ensure that there are teachers with special training to work with other teachers and with students in order to improve student mathematics performance, the board shall establish:

(1)  a master mathematics teacher certificate to teach mathematics at elementary school grade levels;

(2)  a master mathematics teacher certificate to teach mathematics at middle school grade levels; and

(3)  a master mathematics teacher certificate to teach mathematics at high school grade levels.

(b)  The board shall issue the appropriate master mathematics teacher certificate to each eligible person.

(c)  To be eligible for a master mathematics teacher certificate, a person must:

(1)  hold a teaching certificate issued under this subchapter;

(2)  have at least three years of teaching experience;

(3)  satisfactorily complete a knowledge-based course of instruction on the science of teaching children mathematics that includes training in mathematics instruction and professional peer mentoring techniques that, through scientific testing, have been proven effective;

(4)  perform satisfactorily on the appropriate master mathematics teacher certification examination prescribed by the board; and

(5)  satisfy any other requirements prescribed by the board.

(d)  The course of instruction prescribed under Subsection (c)(3) shall be developed by the board in consultation with mathematics and science faculty members at institutions of higher education.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 834, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.0483.  Master Technology Teacher Certification.

(a) To ensure that there are teachers with special training to work with other teachers and with students in order to increase the use of technology in each classroom, the board shall establish a master technology teacher certificate.

(b)  The board shall issue a master technology teacher certificate to each eligible person.

(c)  To be eligible for a master technology teacher certificate, a person must:

(1)  hold a technology applications or Technology Education certificate issued under this subchapter, satisfactorily complete the course of instruction prescribed under Subdivision (2)(B), and satisfactorily perform on the examination prescribed under Subdivision (2)(C); or

(2)  hold a teaching certificate issued under this subchapter and:

(A)  have at least three years of teaching experience;

(B)  satisfactorily complete a knowledge-based and skills-based course of instruction on interdisciplinary technology applications and the science of teaching technology that includes training in:

(i)  effective technology instruction techniques, including applications designed to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities;

(ii)  classroom teaching methodology that engages student learning through the integration of technology;

(iii)  digital learning competencies, including Internet research, graphics, animation, website mastering, and video technologies;

(iv)  curriculum models designed to prepare teachers to facilitate an active student learning environment; and

(v)  effective professional peer mentoring techniques;

(C)  satisfactorily perform on an examination administered at the conclusion of the course of instruction prescribed under Paragraph (B); and

(D)  satisfy any other requirements prescribed by the board.

(d)  The board may provide technology applications training courses under Subsection (c)(2)(B) in cooperation with:

(1)  regional education service centers; and

(2)  other public or private entities, including any state council on technology.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1301, Sec. 2, eff. June 16, 2001. Renumbered from Education Code Sec. 21.0482 by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, Sec. 2(12), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 831, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2008.



Section  21.0484.  Master Science Teacher Certification.

(a) To ensure that there are teachers with special training to work with other teachers and with students in order to improve student science performance, the board shall establish:

(1)  a master science teacher certificate to teach science at elementary school grade levels;

(2)  a master science teacher certificate to teach science at middle school grade levels; and

(3)  a master science teacher certificate to teach science at high school grade levels.

(b)  The board shall issue the appropriate master science teacher certificate to each eligible person.

(c)  To be eligible for a master science teacher certificate, a person must:

(1)  hold a teaching certificate issued under this subchapter;

(2)  have at least three years of teaching experience;

(3)  satisfactorily complete a knowledge-based course of instruction on the science of teaching children science that includes training in science instruction and professional peer mentoring techniques that, through scientific testing, have been proven effective;

(4)  perform satisfactorily on the appropriate master science teacher certification examination prescribed by the board; and

(5)  satisfy any other requirements prescribed by the board.

(d)  The course of instruction prescribed under Subsection (c)(3) shall be developed by the board in consultation with science faculty members at institutions of higher education.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 430, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.049.  Alternative Certification.

(a) To provide a continuing additional source of qualified educators, the board shall propose rules providing for educator certification programs as an alternative to traditional educator preparation programs. The rules may not provide that a person may be certified under this section only if there is a demonstrated shortage of educators in a school district or subject area.

(b)  The board may not require a person employed as a teacher in an alternative education program under Section 37.008 or a juvenile justice alternative education program under Section 37.011 for at least three years to complete an alternative educator certification program adopted under this section before taking the appropriate certification examination.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 609, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.050.  Academic Degree Required For Teaching Certificate; Internship.

(a) A person who applies for a teaching certificate for which board rules require a bachelor's degree must possess a bachelor's degree received with an academic major or interdisciplinary academic major, including reading, other than education, that is related to the curriculum as prescribed under Subchapter A, Chapter 28.

(b)  The board may not require more than 18 semester credit hours of education courses at the baccalaureate level for the granting of a teaching certificate. The board shall provide for a minimum number of semester credit hours of internship to be included in the hours needed for certification. The board may propose rules requiring additional credit hours for certification in bilingual education, English as a second language, early childhood education, or special education.

(c)  A person who receives a bachelor's degree required for a teaching certificate on the basis of higher education coursework completed while receiving an exemption from tuition and fees under Section 54.214 may not be required to participate in any field experience or internship consisting of student teaching to receive a teaching certificate.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 524, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 74, Sec. 2, eff. May 14, 2001.



Section  21.051.  Options For Field Experience And Internships.

The board shall propose rules providing flexible options for persons for any field experience or internship required for certification.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.052.  Certification Of Educators From Outside The State.

(a) The board may issue a certificate to an educator who applies for a certificate and:

(1)  holds:

(A)  a degree issued by an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency or group that is recognized by a nationally recognized accreditation board; or

(B)  a degree issued by an institution located in a foreign country, if the degree is equivalent to a degree described by Paragraph (A);

(2)  holds an appropriate certificate or other credential issued by another state or country; and

(3)  performs satisfactorily on:

(A)  the examination prescribed under Section 21.048; or

(B)  if the educator holds a certificate or other credential issued by another state or country, an examination similar to and at least as rigorous as that described by Paragraph (A) administered to the educator under the authority of that state.

(b)  For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), a person is considered to hold a certificate or other credential if the credential is not valid solely because it has expired.

(c)  The board may issue a temporary certificate under this section to an educator who holds a degree required by Subsection (a)(1) and a certificate or other credential required by Subsection (a)(2) but who has not satisfied the requirements prescribed by Subsection (a)(3).  Subject to Subsection (d), the board may specify the term of a temporary certificate issued under this subsection.

(d)  A temporary certificate issued under Subsection (c) to an educator employed by a school district that has constructed or expanded at least one instructional facility as a result of increased student enrollment due to actions taken under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (10 U.S.C. Section 2687) may not expire before the first anniversary of the date on which the board completes the review of the educator's credentials and informs the educator of the examination or examinations under Section 21.048 on which the educator must perform successfully to receive a standard certificate.

(e)  An educator who has submitted all documents required by the board for certification and who receives a certificate as provided by Subsection (a) must perform satisfactorily on the examination prescribed under Section 21.048 not later than the first anniversary of the date the board completes the review of the educator's credentials and informs the educator of the examination or examinations under Section 21.048 on which the educator must perform successfully to receive a standard certificate.

(f)  The board shall post on the board's Internet website the procedures for obtaining a certificate under Subsection (a).

(g)  The commissioner shall provide guidance to school districts that employ an educator certified as provided by Subsection (a) on procedures to classify the educator as a highly qualified teacher in a manner consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 6301 et seq.).

(h)  This subsection applies only to an applicant who holds a certificate or other credential issued by another state in mathematics, science, special education, or bilingual education, or another subject area that the commissioner determines has a shortage of teachers.  In any state fiscal year, the board shall accept or reject, not later than the 14th day after the date the board receives the completed application, at least 90 percent of the applications the board receives for a certificate under this subsection, and shall accept or reject all completed applications the board receives under this subsection not later than the 30th day after the date the board receives the completed application.  An applicant under this subsection must submit:

(1)  a letter of good standing from the state in which the teacher is certified on a form determined by the board;

(2)  information necessary to complete a national criminal history record information review; and

(3)  an application fee as required by the board.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1306, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1013, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.053.  Presentation And Recording Of Certificates.

(a) A person who desires to teach in a public school shall present the person's certificate for filing with the employing district before the person's contract with the board of trustees of the district is binding.

(b)  An educator who does not hold a valid certificate may not be paid for teaching or work done before the effective date of issuance of a valid certificate.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.054.  Continuing Education.

(a) The board shall propose rules establishing a process for identifying continuing education courses and programs that fulfill educators' continuing education requirements.

(b)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 596, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 675, Sec. 2, eff. June 17, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 596, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895, Sec. 67(a), eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.055.  School District Teaching Permit.

(a) As provided by this section, a school district may issue a school district teaching permit and employ as a teacher a person who does not hold a teaching certificate issued by the board.

(b)  To be eligible for a school district teaching permit under this section, a person must hold a baccalaureate degree. This subsection does not apply to a person who will teach only career and technology education.

(c)  Promptly after employing a person under this section, a school district shall send to the commissioner a written statement identifying the person, the person's qualifications as a teacher, and the subject or class the person will teach. The person may teach the subject or class pending action by the commissioner.

(d)  Not later than the 30th day after the date the commissioner receives the statement under Subsection (c), the commissioner may inform the district in writing that the commissioner finds the person is not qualified to teach. The person may not teach if the commissioner finds the person is not qualified. If the commissioner fails to act within the time prescribed by this subsection, the district may issue to the person a school district teaching permit and the person may teach the subject or class identified in the statement.

(e)  A person authorized to teach under this section may not teach in another school district unless that district complies with this section. A school district teaching permit remains valid unless the district issuing the permit revokes it for cause.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.056.  Additional Certification.

The board by rule shall provide for a certified educator to qualify for additional certification to teach at a grade level or in a subject area not covered by the educator's certificate upon satisfactory completion of an examination or other assessment of the educator's qualification.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1356, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  21.057.  Parental Notification.

(a) A school district that assigns an inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher to the same classroom for more than 30 consecutive instructional days during the same school year shall provide written notice of the assignment to a parent or guardian of each student in that classroom.

(b)  The superintendent of the school district shall provide the notice required by Subsection (a) not later than the 30th instructional day after the date of the assignment of the inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher.

(c)  The school district shall:

(1)  make a good-faith effort to ensure that the notice required by this section is provided in a bilingual form to any parent or guardian whose primary language is not English;

(2)  retain a copy of any notice provided under this section; and

(3)  make information relating to teacher certification available to the public on request.

(d)  For purposes of this section, "inappropriately certified or uncertified teacher":

(1)  includes:

(A)  an individual serving on an emergency certificate issued under Section 21.041(b)(2); or

(B)  an individual who does not hold any certificate or permit issued under this chapter and is not employed as specified by Subdivision (2)(E); and

(2)  does not include an individual:

(A)  who is a certified teacher assigned to teach a class or classes outside his or her area of certification, as determined by rules proposed by the board in specifying the certificate required for each assignment;

(B)  serving on a certificate issued due to a hearing impairment under Section 21.048;

(C)  serving on a certificate issued pursuant to enrollment in an approved alternative certification program under Section 21.049;

(D)  certified by another state or country and serving on a certificate issued under Section 21.052;

(E)  serving on a school district teaching permit issued under Section 21.055; or

(F)  employed under a waiver granted by the commissioner pursuant to Section 7.056.

(e)  This section does not apply if a school is required in accordance with Section 1111(h)(6)(B)(ii), No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 6311), and its subsequent amendments, to provide notice to a parent or guardian regarding a teacher who is not highly qualified, provided the school provides notice as required by that Act.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 680, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1027, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  21.058.  Revocation Of Certificate And Termination Of Employment Based On Conviction Of Certain Offenses.

(a) This section applies only:

(1)  to conviction of a felony offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or an offense on conviction of which a defendant is required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; and

(2)  if the victim of the offense is under 18 years of age.

(b)  Notwithstanding Section 21.041(b)(7), not later than the fifth day after the date the board receives notice under Article 42.018, Code of Criminal Procedure, of the conviction of a person who holds a certificate under this subchapter, the board shall:

(1)  revoke the certificate held by the person; and

(2)  provide to the person and to any school district or open-enrollment charter school employing the person at the time of revocation written notice of:

(A)  the revocation; and

(B)  the basis for the revocation.

(c)  A school district or open-enrollment charter school that receives notice under Subsection (b) of the revocation of a certificate issued under this subchapter shall:

(1)  immediately remove the person whose certificate has been revoked from campus or from an administrative office, as applicable, to prevent the person from having any contact with a student; and

(2)  as soon as practicable, terminate the employment of the person in accordance with the person's contract and with this subchapter.

(d)  A person whose certificate is revoked under Subsection (b) may reapply for a certificate in accordance with board rules.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 920, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section 21.059.  Extension Of Certain Deadlines For Active Duty Military Personnel.

A person who holds a certificate or permit under this subchapter who is a member of the state military forces or a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and who is ordered to active duty by proper authority is entitled to an additional amount of time, equal to the total number of years or parts of years that the educator serves on active duty, to complete:

(1)  any continuing education requirements; and

(2)  any requirements relating to renewal or extension of the person's certificate or permit.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 675, Sec. 3, eff. June 17, 2005.



Section 21.060.  Eligibility Of Persons Convicted Of Certain Offenses.

The board may suspend or revoke the certificate or permit held by a person under this subchapter, impose other sanctions against the person, or refuse to issue a certificate or permit to a person under this subchapter if the person has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense relating to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession, including:

(1)  an offense involving moral turpitude;

(2)  an offense involving a form of sexual or physical abuse of a minor or student or other illegal conduct in which the victim is a minor or student;

(3)  a felony offense involving the possession, transfer, sale, or distribution of or conspiracy to possess, transfer, sell, or distribute a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, or by 21 U.S.C. Section 801 et seq.;

(4)  an offense involving the illegal transfer, appropriation, or use of school district funds or other district property; or

(5)  an offense involving an attempt by fraudulent or unauthorized means to obtain or alter a professional certificate or license issued under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1372, Sec. 5, eff. June 15, 2007.



Subchapter C. Probationary Contracts

Section  21.101.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "teacher" means a principal, supervisor, classroom teacher, counselor, or other full-time professional employee who is required to hold a certificate issued under Subchapter B or a nurse. The term does not include a superintendent or a person who is not entitled to a probationary, continuing, or term contract under Section 21.002, an existing contract, or district policy.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.102.  Probationary Contract.  

/p> (a) Except as provided by Section 21.202(b), a person who is employed as a teacher by a school district for the first time, or who has not been employed by the district for two consecutive school years subsequent to August 28, 1967, shall be employed under a probationary contract.  A person who previously was employed as a teacher by a district and, after at least a two-year lapse in district employment returns to district employment, may be employed under a probationary contract.

(b)  A probationary contract may not be for a term exceeding one school year. The probationary contract may be renewed for two additional one-year periods, for a maximum permissible probationary contract period of three school years, except that the probationary period may not exceed one year for a person who has been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the eight years preceding employment by the district.

(c)  An employment contract may not extend the probationary contract period beyond the end of the third consecutive school year of the teacher's employment by the school district unless, during the third year of a teacher's probationary contract, the board of trustees determines that it is doubtful whether the teacher should be given a continuing contract or a term contract. If the board makes that determination, the district may make a probationary contract with the teacher for a term ending with the fourth consecutive school year of the teacher's employment with the district, at which time the district shall:

(1)  terminate the employment of the teacher; or

(2)  employ the teacher under a continuing contract or a term contract as provided by Subchapter D or E, according to district policy.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 440, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1232, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 5.002, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  21.103.  Probationary Contract: Termination.

(a) The board of trustees of a school district may terminate the employment of a teacher employed under a probationary contract at the end of the contract period if in the board's judgment the best interests of the district will be served by terminating the employment. The board of trustees must give notice of its decision to terminate the employment to the teacher not later than the 45th day before the last day of instruction required under the contract. The board's decision is final and may not be appealed.

(b)  If the board of trustees fails to give the notice of its decision to terminate the teacher's employment within the time prescribed by Subsection (a), the board must employ the probationary teacher in the same capacity under:

(1)  a probationary contract for the following school year, if the teacher has been employed by the district under a probationary contract for less than three consecutive school years; or

(2)  a continuing or term contract, according to district policy, if the teacher has been employed by the district under a probationary contract for three consecutive school years.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.104.  Discharge During Year Or Suspension Without Pay Under Probationary Contract.

(a) A teacher employed under a probationary contract may be discharged at any time for good cause as determined by the board of trustees, good cause being the failure to meet the accepted standards of conduct for the profession as generally recognized and applied in similarly situated school districts in this state.

(b)  In lieu of discharge, a school district may suspend a teacher without pay for good cause as specified by Subsection (a) for a period not to extend beyond the end of the current school year.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.105.  Resignations Under Probationary Contract.

(a) A teacher employed under a probationary contract for the following school year may relinquish the position and leave the employment of the district at the end of a school year without penalty by filing with the board of trustees or its designee a written resignation not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year. A written resignation mailed by prepaid certified or registered mail to the president of the board of trustees or the board's designee at the post office address of the district is considered filed at the time of mailing.

(b)  A teacher employed under a probationary contract may resign, with the consent of the board of trustees or the board's designee, at any other time.

(c)  On written complaint by the employing district, the State Board for Educator Certification may impose sanctions against a teacher employed under a probationary contract who:

(1)  resigns;

(2)  fails without good cause to comply with Subsection (a) or (b); and

(3)  fails to perform the contract.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.106.  Return To Probationary Status.

(a) In lieu of discharging a teacher employed under a continuing contract, terminating a teacher employed under a term contract, or not renewing a teacher's term contract, a school district may, with the written consent of the teacher, return the teacher to probationary contract status.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), a teacher may agree to be returned to probationary contract status only after receiving written notice that the board of trustees of the school district has proposed discharge, termination, or nonrenewal.

(c)  A teacher returned to probationary contract status must serve a new probationary contract period as provided by Section 21.102 as if the teacher were employed by the district for the first time.

(d)  A teacher may agree to be returned to probationary contract status after receiving written notice of the superintendent's intent to recommend discharge, termination, or nonrenewal. Notice under this subsection must inform the teacher of the school district's offer to return the teacher to probationary contract status, the period during which the teacher may consider the offer, and the teacher's right to seek counsel. The district must provide the teacher at least three business days after the date the teacher receives notice under this subsection to agree to be returned to probationary contract status. This subsection does not require a superintendent to provide notice of an intent to recommend discharge, termination, or nonrenewal.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 507, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter D. Continuing Contracts

Section  21.151.  Definition. In

this subchapter, "teacher" has the meaning assigned by Section 21.101.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.152.  Continuing Contract.

A continuing contract must be in writing and must include the terms of employment prescribed by this subchapter and any other appropriate provisions consistent with this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.153.  Conversion Of Probationary Contract To Continuing Contract.

(a) A school district that employs a teacher under a probationary contract for the third or, if permitted, fourth consecutive year of service and that elects to employ the teacher in future years under a continuing contract shall notify the teacher in writing of the teacher's election to continuing contract status. The teacher must, not later than the 30th day after the date of notification, file with the superintendent of the school district written notification of the teacher's acceptance of the continuing contract, beginning with the school year following the conclusion of the teacher's period of probationary contract employment.

(b)  If the teacher fails to accept the contract within the period prescribed by Subsection (a), the teacher is considered to have refused to accept the contract.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.154.  Status Under Continuing Contract.

Each teacher employed under a continuing contract is entitled to continue in the teacher's position or a position with the school district for future school years without the necessity for annual nomination or reappointment until the person:

(1)  resigns;

(2)  retires under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas;

(3)  is released from employment by the school district at the end of a school year because of necessary reduction of personnel as provided by Section 21.157;

(4)  is discharged for good cause as defined by Section 21.156 and in accordance with the procedures provided by this chapter;

(5)  is discharged for a reason stated in the teacher's contract that existed on or before September 1, 1995, and in accordance with the procedures prescribed by this chapter; or

(6)  is returned to probationary status, as authorized by Section 21.106.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.155.  Administrative Personnel Under Continuing Contract.

The district may grant to a person who has served as principal or in another administrative position for which certification is required, at the completion of the person's service in that capacity, a continuing contract to serve as a teacher if the person qualifies for that position under criteria adopted by the board of trustees. The period of service in an administrative capacity is construed as contract service as a teacher within the meaning of this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.156.  Discharge Or Suspension Without Pay Under Continuing Contract.

(a) A teacher employed under a continuing contract may be discharged at any time for good cause as determined by the board of trustees, good cause being the failure to meet the accepted standards of conduct for the profession as generally recognized and applied in similarly situated school districts in this state.

(b)  In lieu of discharge, a school district may suspend a teacher without pay for good cause as specified by Subsection (a) for a period not to extend beyond the end of the current school year.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.157.  Necessary Reduction Of Personnel.

A teacher employed under a continuing contract may be released at the end of a school year and the teacher's employment with the school district terminated at that time because of a necessary reduction of personnel by the school district, with those reductions made in the reverse order of seniority in the specific teaching fields.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.158.  Notice Under Continuing Contract.

(a) Before a teacher employed under a continuing contract may be discharged, suspended without pay, or released because of a necessary reduction of personnel, the board of trustees must notify the teacher in writing of the proposed action and the grounds for the action.

(b)  A teacher who is discharged or suspended without pay for actions related to the inability or failure of the teacher to perform assigned duties is entitled, as a matter of right, to a copy of each evaluation report or any other written memorandum that concerns the fitness or conduct of the teacher, by requesting in writing a copy of those documents.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.159.  Hearing Under Continuing Contract. (a)

If the teacher desires to protest the proposed action under Section 21.156 or 21.157, the teacher must notify the board of trustees in writing not later than the 10th day after the date the teacher receives the notice under Section 21.158.

(b)  A teacher who notifies the board of trustees within the time prescribed by Subsection (a) is entitled to a hearing as provided by Subchapter F.

(c)  If the teacher does not request a hearing within the time prescribed by Subsection (a), the board of trustees shall:

(1)  take the appropriate action; and

(2)  notify the teacher in writing of the action not later than the 30th day after the date the board sent the notice of the proposed action under Section 21.158.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.160.  Resignation Under Continuing Contract.

(a) A teacher employed under a continuing contract may relinquish the position and leave the employment of the district at the end of a school year without penalty by filing with the board of trustees or its designee a written resignation not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year. A written resignation mailed by prepaid certified or registered mail to the president of the board of trustees or the board's designee at the post office address of the district is considered filed at time of mailing.

(b)  A teacher employed under a continuing contract may resign, with the consent of the board of trustees or the board's designee, at any other time.

(c)  On written complaint by the employing district, the State Board for Educator Certification may impose sanctions against a teacher who is employed under a continuing contract that obligates the district to employ the person for the following school year and who:

(1)  resigns;

(2)  fails without good cause to comply with Subsection (a) or (b); and

(3)  fails to perform the contract.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Subchapter E. Term Contracts

Section  21.201.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Teacher" means a superintendent, principal, supervisor, classroom teacher, counselor, or other full-time professional employee who is required to hold a certificate issued under Subchapter B or a nurse. The term does not include a person who is not entitled to a probationary, continuing, or term contract under Section 21.002, an existing contract, or district policy.

(2)  "School district" means any public school district in this state.

(3)  "Term contract" means any contract of employment for a fixed term between a school district and a teacher.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.202.  Probationary Contract Required.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), before a teacher may be employed under a term contract, the teacher must be employed under a probationary contract for the period provided by Subchapter C.

(b)  A school district may employ a person as a principal or classroom teacher under a term contract if the person has experience as a public school principal or classroom teacher, respectively, regardless of whether the person is being employed by the school district for the first time or whether a probationary contract would otherwise be required under Section 21.102.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1232, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.203.  Employment Policies.

(a) Except as provided by Section 21.352(c), the employment policies adopted by a board of trustees must require a written evaluation of each teacher at annual or more frequent intervals. The board must consider the most recent evaluations before making a decision not to renew a teacher's contract if the evaluations are relevant to the reason for the board's action.

(b)  The employment policies must include reasons for not renewing a teacher's contract at the end of a school year.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 244, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  21.204.  Term Contract.

(a) A term contract must be in writing and must include the terms of employment prescribed by this subchapter.

(b)  The board of trustees may include in the contract other provisions that are consistent with this subchapter.

(c)  Each contract under this subchapter is subject to approval by the board of trustees.

(d)  The board of trustees shall provide each teacher with a copy of the teacher's contract with the school district and, on the teacher's request, a copy of the board's employment policies. If the district has an Internet website, the district shall place the board's employment policies on that website. At each school in the district, the board shall make a copy of the board's employment policies available for inspection at a reasonable time on request.

(e)  A teacher does not have a property interest in a contract beyond its term.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 484, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.205.  Term Of Contract.

Once a teacher has completed the probationary contract period, the term of a contract under this subchapter may not exceed five school years.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.206.  Notice Of Contract Renewal Or Nonrenewal.

(a) Not later than the 45th day before the last day of instruction in a school year, the board of trustees shall notify in writing each teacher whose contract is about to expire whether the board proposes to renew or not renew the contract.

(b)  The board's failure to give the notice required by Subsection (a) within the time specified constitutes an election to employ the teacher in the same professional capacity for the following school year.

(c)  This section does not apply to a term contract with a superintendent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.207.  Hearing Under Term Contract.

(a) If the teacher desires a hearing after receiving notice of the proposed nonrenewal, the teacher shall notify the board of trustees in writing not later than the 15th day after the date the teacher receives the notice of the proposed action. The board shall provide for a hearing to be held not later than the 15th day after the date the board receives the request for a hearing unless the parties agree in writing to a different date. The hearing must be closed unless the teacher requests an open hearing.

(b)  The hearing must be conducted in accordance with rules adopted by the board. The board may use the process established under Subchapter F.

(c)  At the hearing, the teacher may:

(1)  be represented by a representative of the teacher's choice;

(2)  hear the evidence supporting the reason for nonrenewal;

(3)  cross-examine adverse witnesses; and

(4)  present evidence.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.208.  Decision Of Board.

(a) If the teacher does not request a hearing, the board of trustees shall:

(1)  take the appropriate action to renew or not renew the teacher's contract; and

(2)  notify the teacher in writing of that action not later than the 30th day after the date the notice of proposed nonrenewal was sent to the teacher.

(b)  If the teacher requests a hearing, following the hearing the board of trustees shall:

(1)  take the appropriate action to renew or not renew the teacher's contract; and

(2)  notify the teacher in writing of that action not later than the 15th day after the date on which the hearing is concluded.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.209.  Appeal.

A teacher who is aggrieved by a decision of a board of trustees on the nonrenewal of the teacher's term contract may appeal to the commissioner for a review of the decision of the board of trustees in accordance with the provisions of Subchapter G. The commissioner may not substitute the commissioner's judgment for that of the board of trustees unless the board's decision was arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, or not supported by substantial evidence.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.210.  Resignation Under Term Contract.

(a) A teacher employed under a term contract with a school district may relinquish the teaching position and leave the employment of the district at the end of a school year without penalty by filing a written resignation with the board of trustees or the board's designee not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year. A written resignation mailed by prepaid certified or registered mail to the president of the board of trustees or the board's designee at the post office address of the district is considered filed at the time of mailing.

(b)  A teacher employed under a term contract may resign, with the consent of the board of trustees or the board's designee, at any other time.

(c)  On written complaint by the employing district, the State Board for Educator Certification may impose sanctions against a teacher who is employed under a term contract that obligates the district to employ the person for the following school year and who:

(1)  resigns;

(2)  fails without good cause to comply with Subsection (a) or (b); and

(3)  fails to perform the contract.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.211.  Termination Or Suspension.

(a) The board of trustees may terminate a term contract and discharge a teacher at any time for:

(1)  good cause as determined by the board; or

(2)  a financial exigency that requires a reduction in personnel.

(b)  For a good cause, as determined by the board, the board of trustees may suspend a teacher without pay for a period not to extend beyond the end of the school year:

(1)  pending discharge of the teacher; or

(2)  in lieu of terminating the teacher.

(c)  A teacher who is not discharged after being suspended without pay pending discharge is entitled to back pay for the period of suspension.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.212. 

 APPLICABILITY OF

Subchapter

TO SUPERINTENDENTS. (a) The board of trustees of a school district may choose to not renew the employment of a superintendent employed under a term contract, effective at the end of the contract period. If a majority of the board of trustees determines that the term contract of the superintendent should be considered for nonrenewal, the board shall give the superintendent written notice, containing reasonable notice of the reason for the proposed nonrenewal, not later than the 30th day before the last day of the contract term.

(b)  If the board of trustees fails to give notice of the proposed nonrenewal within the time specified by Subsection (a), the board of trustees shall employ the superintendent in the same professional capacity for the following school year.

(c)  If the superintendent, not later than the 15th day after receiving notice of the board's proposed action, does not request a hearing with the board of trustees under Section 21.207, the board of trustees shall:

(1)  take the appropriate action; and

(2)  notify the superintendent in writing of the action not later than the 30th day after the date the board sends the notice of the proposed nonrenewal.

(d)  The board of trustees shall adopt policies that establish reasons for nonrenewal. This section does not prohibit a board of trustees from discharging a superintendent for good cause during the term of a contract.

(e)  A superintendent employed under a term contract may leave the employment of the district at the end of a school year without penalty by filing a written resignation with the board of trustees. The resignation must be addressed to the board and filed not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year. A superintendent may resign, with the consent of the board of trustees, at any other time.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.213. 

 NONAPPLICABILITY OF

Subchapter

. Except as provided by Section 21.202, this subchapter does not apply to a teacher employed under a probationary contract in accordance with Subchapter C or a continuing contract in accordance with Subchapter D.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Subchapter F. Hearings Before Hearing Examiners

Section  21.251.  Applicability.

(a) This subchapter applies if a teacher requests a hearing after receiving notice of the proposed decision to:

(1)  terminate the teacher's continuing contract at any time;

(2)  terminate the teacher's probationary or term contract before the end of the contract period; or

(3)  suspend the teacher without pay.

(b)  This subchapter does not apply to:

(1)  a decision to terminate a teacher's employment at the end of a probationary contract; or

(2)  a decision not to renew a teacher's term contract, unless the board of trustees of the employing district has decided to use the process prescribed by this subchapter for that purpose.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.252.  Certification Of Hearing Examiners.

(a) The State Board of Education, in consultation with the State Office of Administrative Hearings, by rule shall establish criteria for the certification of hearing examiners eligible to conduct hearings under this subchapter. A hearing examiner certified under this subchapter must be licensed to practice law in this state.

(b)  The commissioner shall certify hearing examiners according to the criteria established under Subsection (a). A person certified as a hearing examiner or the law firm with which the person is associated may not serve as an agent or representative of:

(1)  a school district;

(2)  a teacher in any dispute with a school district; or

(3)  an organization of school employees, school administrators, or school boards.

(c)  The commissioner shall set hourly rates of compensation for a hearing examiner and shall set a maximum amount of compensation a hearing examiner may receive for a hearing.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.253.  Request For Hearing.

(a) A teacher must file a written request for a hearing under this subchapter with the commissioner not later than the 15th day after the date the teacher receives written notice of the proposed action. The teacher must provide the district with a copy of the request and must provide the commissioner with a copy of the notice.

(b)  The parties may agree in writing to extend by not more than 10 days the deadline for requesting a hearing.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 12, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  21.254.  Assignment Of Hearing Examiner.

(a) The commissioner shall maintain a list of the names of all persons who have been certified as hearing examiners. The list shall be initially prepared in a random order, and subsequent additions to the list shall be added chronologically.

(b)  The commissioner shall assign the hearing examiner for a particular case by selecting the next person named on the list who resides within reasonable proximity to the district as determined by the commissioner. The commissioner may not change the order of names once the order is established under this section, except that once each hearing examiner on the list has been assigned to a case, the names shall be randomly reordered.

(c)  If a hearing examiner is not selected by the parties to a pending case under Subsection (e), the commissioner shall assign a hearing examiner to the case not earlier than the sixth business day and not later than the 10th business day after the date on which the commissioner receives the request for a hearing. When a hearing examiner has been assigned to a case, the commissioner shall immediately notify the parties.

(d)  The parties may agree to reject a hearing examiner for any reason and either party is entitled to reject the assigned hearing examiner for cause. A rejection must be in writing and filed with the commissioner not later than the third day after the date of notification of the hearing examiner's assignment. If the parties agree to reject the hearing examiner or if the commissioner determines that one party has good cause to reject the hearing examiner, the commissioner shall assign another hearing examiner as provided by Subsection (b). If neither party makes a timely rejection, the assignment is final.

(e)  After the teacher receives the notice of the proposed action, the parties by agreement may select a hearing examiner from the list maintained by the commissioner under Subsection (a) or a person who is not certified to serve as a hearing examiner. A person who is not a certified hearing examiner may be selected only if the person is licensed to practice law in this state. If the parties agree on a hearing examiner, the parties shall, before the date the commissioner is permitted to assign a hearing examiner, notify the commissioner in writing of the agreement, including the name of the hearing examiner selected.

(f)  After the teacher receives the notice of the proposed action, the teacher and the district may agree in writing that the decision of the hearing examiner will be final and nonappealable on all or some issues.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  21.255.  Hearings Before Hearing Examiner.

(a) The hearing examiner may issue subpoenas at the request of either party for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents at the hearing and may administer oaths, rule on motions and the admissibility of evidence, maintain decorum by closing the hearing or taking other appropriate action, schedule and recess the proceedings, and make any other orders as provided by rules adopted by the commissioner. The hearing examiner may issue a subpoena for the attendance of a person who is not an employee of the district only if the party requesting the issuance of the subpoena shows good cause for the subpoena. The hearing must be held within the geographical boundaries of the school district or at the regional education service center that serves the district.

(b)  A hearing examiner may allow either party to take one or more depositions or to use other means of discovery before the hearing. The hearing examiner, at the request of either party, may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents at the deposition. The hearing examiner may issue a subpoena for the deposition of any person who is not an employee of the district only if the party requesting the issuance of the subpoena shows good cause for the subpoena. The deposition must be held within the geographical boundaries of the school district or at the regional education service center that serves the district.

(c)  A procedure specified in this section may be changed or eliminated by written agreement of the teacher and the school district after the teacher receives the written notice of the proposed action.

(d)  If the hearing examiner is unable to continue presiding over a case at any time before issuing a recommendation or decision, the parties shall request the assignment of another hearing examiner under Section 21.254 who, after a review of the record, shall perform any remaining functions without the necessity of repeating any previous proceedings.

(e)  The school district shall bear the cost of the services of the hearing examiner and certified shorthand reporter at the hearing and the production of any original hearing transcript. Each party shall bear its respective costs, including the cost of discovery, if any, and attorney's fees.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.256.  Conduct Of Hearing.

(a) A hearing under this subchapter must be private unless the teacher requests in writing that the hearing be public, except that a hearing examiner may close a hearing if necessary to maintain decorum.

(b)  The hearing is not subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(c)  At the hearing, a teacher has the right to:

(1)  be represented by a representative of the teacher's choice;

(2)  hear the evidence on which the charges are based;

(3)  cross-examine each adverse witness; and

(4)  present evidence.

(d)  The Texas Rules of Evidence apply at the hearing.  A certified shorthand reporter shall record the hearing.

(e)  The hearing shall be conducted in the same manner as a trial without a jury in a district court of this state. The hearing examiner's findings of fact and conclusions of law shall be presumed to be based only on admissible evidence.

(f)  To protect the privacy of a witness who is a child, the hearing examiner may:

(1)  close the hearing to receive the testimony of the witness; or

(2)  order that the testimony or a statement of the witness be presented using the procedures prescribed by Article 38.071, Code of Criminal Procedure.

(g)  An evaluation or appraisal of the teacher is presumed to be admissible at the hearing.

(h)  At the hearing, the school district has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 5.003, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section  21.257.  Recommendation Of Hearing Examiner.

(a) Not later than the 60th day after the date on which the commissioner receives a teacher's written request for a hearing, the hearing examiner shall complete the hearing and make a written recommendation that:

(1)  includes proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law; and

(2)  may include a proposal for granting relief.

(b)  The proposed relief under Subsection (a)(2) may include reinstatement, back pay, or employment benefits but may not include attorney's fees or other costs associated with the hearing or appeals from the hearing.

(c)  The parties may agree in writing to extend by not more than 45 days the right to a recommendation by the date prescribed by Subsection (a). A hearing under this section may not be held on a Saturday, Sunday, or a state or federal holiday, unless all parties agree.

(d)  The hearing examiner shall send a copy of the recommendation to each party, the president of the board of trustees, and the commissioner.

(e)  A hearing examiner who fails to timely issue a written recommendation or decision may not be assigned by the commissioner to conduct additional hearings for a period not to exceed one year.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 3, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  21.258.  Consideration Of Recommendation By Board Of Trustees Or Board Subcommittee.

(a) The board of trustees or a subcommittee designated by the board shall consider the recommendation and record of the hearing examiner at the first board meeting for which notice can be posted in compliance with Chapter 551, Government Code, following the issuance of the recommendation. The meeting must be held not later than the 20th day after the date that the president of the board receives the hearing examiner's recommendation and the record of the hearing.

(b)  At the meeting, the board of trustees or board subcommittee shall consider the hearing examiner's recommendation and shall allow each party to present an oral argument to the board or subcommittee. The board by written policy may limit the amount of time for oral argument. The policy must provide equal time for each party.

(c)  The board of trustees or board subcommittee may obtain advice concerning legal matters from an attorney who has not been involved in the proceedings.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.259.  Decision Of Board Of Trustees Or Board Subcommittee.

(a) Not later than the 10th day after the date of the board meeting under Section 21.258, the board of trustees or board subcommittee shall announce a decision that:

(1)  includes findings of fact and conclusions of law; and

(2)  may include a grant of relief.

(b)  The board of trustees or board subcommittee may adopt, reject, or change the hearing examiner's:

(1)  conclusions of law; or

(2)  proposal for granting relief.

(c)  The board of trustees or board subcommittee may reject or change a finding of fact made by the hearing examiner only after reviewing the record of the proceedings before the hearing examiner and only if the finding of fact is not supported by substantial evidence.

(d)  The board of trustees or board subcommittee shall state in writing the reason and legal basis for a change or rejection made under this section.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.260.  Recording Of Board Meeting And Announcement. A C

ertified shorthand reporter shall record the oral argument under Section 21.258 and the announcement of the decision under Section 21.259. The school district shall bear the cost of the services of the certified shorthand reporter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Subchapter G. Appeals To Commissioner Of Education

Section  21.301.  Appeal To Commissioner.

(a) Not later than the 20th day after the date the board of trustees or board subcommittee announces its decision under Section 21.259 or the board advises the teacher of its decision not to renew the teacher's contract under Section 21.208, the teacher may appeal the decision by filing a petition for review with the commissioner.

(b)  The school district must file a response not later than the 20th day after the date the petition for review is filed. The record of the local hearing must be filed with the district's response or be filed alone within the period for a response if the district does not file a response. A school district's filing of the record with the commissioner under this subsection is not an offense under Section 551.146, Government Code.

(c)  The commissioner shall review the record of the hearing before the hearing examiner and the oral argument before the board of trustees or board subcommittee. Except as provided in Section 21.302, the commissioner shall consider the appeal solely on the basis of the local record and may not consider any additional evidence or issue. The commissioner, on the motion of a party or on the commissioner's motion, may hear oral argument. The commissioner shall accept written argument.

(d)  In conducting a hearing under this section, the commissioner has the same authority relating to discovery and conduct of a hearing as a hearing examiner has under Subchapter F.

(e)  The commissioner may adopt rules governing the conduct of an appeal to the commissioner. An appeal to the commissioner under this section is not subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code.

(f)  The commissioner may obtain advice concerning legal matters from the chief legal officer of the agency if the chief legal officer has not been involved in the proceedings.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 895, Sec. 2, eff. June 14, 2001.



Section  21.302.  Evidentiary Hearing Before Commissioner.

(a) If a party alleges that procedural irregularities that are not reflected in the local record occurred at the hearing before the hearing examiner, the commissioner may hold a hearing for the presentation of evidence on that issue. The party alleging that procedural irregularities occurred shall identify the specific alleged defect and its claimed effect on the board's or board subcommittee's decision. The commissioner may make appropriate orders consistent with rules adopted by the commissioner. The commissioner's determination on any alleged procedural irregularities is final and may not be appealed.

(b)  A hearing under this section shall be recorded by a certified shorthand reporter.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.303.  Determination By Commissioner.

(a) If the board of trustees decided not to renew a teacher's term contract, the commissioner may not substitute the commissioner's judgment for that of the board of trustees unless the decision was arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful or is not supported by substantial evidence.

(b)  If the board of trustees terminated a teacher's probationary, continuing, or term contract during the contract term or suspended a teacher without pay, the commissioner may not substitute the commissioner's judgment for that of the board unless:

(1)  if the board accepted the hearing examiner's findings of fact without modification, the decision is arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful or is not supported by substantial evidence; or

(2)  if the board modified the hearing examiner's findings of fact, the decision is arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful or the hearing examiner's original findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence.

(c)  The commissioner may not reverse a decision of a board of trustees based on a procedural irregularity or error by a hearing examiner, the board of trustees, or a board subcommittee unless the commissioner determines that the irregularity or error was likely to have led to an erroneous decision by the board or board subcommittee.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.304.  Decision Of Commissioner.

(a) The commissioner's decision must be in writing and must include findings of fact and conclusions of law. The commissioner may adopt by reference and incorporate findings of fact or conclusions of law from the local record.

(b)  The commissioner must issue a decision not later than the 30th day after the last day on which a response to the petition for review may be filed under Section 21.301(b). If the commissioner fails to issue a decision within that time, the decision of the board is affirmed.

(c)  The commissioner shall send a copy of the decision to each party or the party's representative by certified mail. The commissioner shall keep a record of the mailing. A party is presumed to be notified of the decision on the date the decision is received, as indicated by the certified mail return receipt.

(d)  The commissioner shall maintain and index decisions of the commissioner issued under this section with the recommendations or decisions of the hearing examiner.

(e)  If the commissioner reverses the action of the board of trustees, the commissioner shall order the school district to reinstate the teacher and to pay the teacher any back pay and employment benefits from the time of discharge or suspension to reinstatement.

(f)  Instead of reinstating a teacher under Subsection (e), the school district may pay the teacher one year's salary to which the teacher would have been entitled from the date on which the teacher would have been reinstated.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.3041.  Rehearing By Commissioner.

(a) Not later than the 20th day after the date the party or the party's representative receives notice of the commissioner's decision under Section 21.304, the party may file a request for rehearing.

(b)  A request for rehearing is not required for a party to appeal the commissioner's decision under Section 21.307.

(c)  A request for rehearing is denied by operation of law if the commissioner does not issue an order before the 45th day after the date the party or the party's representative receives notice of the commissioner's decision.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 4, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  21.305.  Costs On Appeal To Commissioner.

(a) If a teacher appeals the decision of the board of trustees or board subcommittee, the school district shall bear the cost of preparing the original transcripts of:

(1)  the hearing before the hearing examiner; and

(2)  the oral argument before the board of trustees or board subcommittee.

(b)  Each party shall bear the cost of any copy of the transcript requested by that party.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.306.  Ex Parte Communications Prohibited.

The commissioner and the staff of the agency may not communicate with any party or any party's representative in connection with any issue of fact or law except on notice and opportunity for each party to participate.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.307.  Judicial Appeals.

(a) Either party may appeal the commissioner's decision to:

(1)  a district court in the county in which the district's central administrative offices are located; or

(2)  if agreed by all parties, a district court in Travis County.

(b)  An appeal under this section must be perfected not later than the 30th day after:

(1)  the date the party or the party's representative receives notice of the commissioner's decision or the date on which the decision of the board of trustees is affirmed by operation of law if the commissioner fails to issue a decision within the required period; or

(2)  if a request for rehearing is filed under Section 21.3041, the date on which the request is denied by order of the commissioner or by operation of law under Section 21.3041(c).

(c)  The commissioner and each party to the appeal to the commissioner must be made a party to an appeal under this section.

(d)  The perfection of an appeal under this section does not affect the enforcement of the commissioner's decision.

(e)  The court shall, under the substantial evidence rule, review the evidence on the evidentiary record made at the local level and any evidence taken by the commissioner but may not take additional evidence.

(f)  The court may not reverse the decision of the commissioner unless the decision was not supported by substantial evidence or unless the commissioner's conclusions of law are erroneous.

(g)  The court may not reverse a decision of the commissioner based on a procedural irregularity or error by a hearing examiner, a board of trustees or board subcommittee, or the commissioner unless the court determines that the irregularity or error was likely to have led to an erroneous decision by the commissioner.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 5, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter H. Appraisals And Incentives

Section  21.351.  Recommended Appraisal Process And Performance Criteria.

(a) The commissioner shall adopt a recommended appraisal process and criteria on which to appraise the performance of teachers. The criteria must be based on observable, job-related behavior, including:

(1)  teachers' implementation of discipline management procedures; and

(2)  the performance of teachers' students.

(b)  The commissioner shall solicit and consider the advice of teachers in developing the recommended appraisal process and performance criteria.

(c)  Under the recommended appraisal process, an appraiser must be the teacher's supervisor or a person approved by the board of trustees. An appraiser who is a classroom teacher may not appraise the performance of another classroom teacher who teaches at the same school campus at which the appraiser teaches, unless it is impractical because of the number of campuses or unless the appraiser is the chair of a department or grade level whose job description includes classroom observation responsibilities.

(d)  Under the recommended appraisal process, appraisal for teachers must be detailed by category of professional skill and characteristic and must provide for separate ratings for each category. The appraisal process shall guarantee a conference between the teacher and the appraiser. The conference shall be diagnostic and prescriptive with regard to remediation needed in overall performance and by category.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.352.  Local Role.

(a) In appraising teachers, each school district shall use:

(1)  the appraisal process and performance criteria developed by the commissioner; or

(2)  an appraisal process and performance criteria:

(A)  developed by the district- and campus-level committees established under Section 11.251;

(B)  containing the items described by Sections 21.351(a)(1) and (2); and

(C)  adopted by the board of trustees.

(b)  The board of trustees may reject an appraisal process and performance criteria developed by the district- and campus-level committees but may not modify the process or criteria.

(c)  Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, appraisal must be done at least once during each school year. A teacher may be appraised less frequently if the teacher agrees in writing and the teacher's most recent evaluation rated the teacher as at least proficient, or the equivalent, and did not identify any area of deficiency. A teacher who is appraised less frequently than annually must be appraised at least once during each period of five school years. The district shall maintain a written copy of the evaluation of each teacher's performance in the teacher's personnel file. Each teacher is entitled to receive a written copy of the evaluation on its completion. After receiving a written copy of the evaluation, a teacher is entitled to a second appraisal by a different appraiser or to submit a written rebuttal to the evaluation to be attached to the evaluation in the teacher's personnel file. The evaluation and any rebuttal may be given to another school district at which the teacher has applied for employment at the request of that district.

(d)  A teacher may be given advance notice of the date or time of an appraisal, but advance notice is not required.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 244, Sec. 2, eff. June 18, 2003.



Section  21.353.  Appraisal On Basis Of Classroom Teaching Performance.

A teacher who directs extracurricular activities in addition to performing classroom teaching duties shall be appraised only on the basis of classroom teaching performance and not on performance in connection with the extracurricular activities.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.354.  Appraisal Of Administrators.

(a) The commissioner shall adopt a recommended appraisal process and criteria on which to appraise the performance of various classifications of school administrators. The criteria must be based on job-related performance.

(b)  The commissioner may solicit and consider the advice of teachers and administrators in developing the appraisal process and performance criteria.

(c)  Each school district shall appraise each administrator annually using either:

(1)  the commissioner's recommended appraisal process and performance criteria; or

(2)  an appraisal process and performance criteria:

(A)  developed by the district in consultation with the district- and campus-level committees established under Section 11.251; and

(B)  adopted by the board of trustees.

(d)  Funds of a school district may not be used to pay an administrator who has not been appraised under this section in the preceding 15 months.

(e)  The appraisal of a principal shall include consideration of the performance of a principal's campus on the student achievement indicators established under Section 39.053 and the campus's objectives established under Section 11.253, including performance gains of the campus and the maintenance of those gains.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895, Sec. 21, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.355.  Confidentiality.

A document evaluating the performance of a teacher or administrator is confidential.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.356.  Evaluation Of School Counselors.

The commissioner shall develop and periodically update a job description and an evaluation form for use by school districts in evaluating school counselors. The commissioner shall consult with state guidance counselor associations in the development and modification of the job description and the evaluation form.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.357.   Performance Incentives.

(a) The commissioner shall design an objective system to evaluate principals that:

(1)  is based on types of information available as of January 1, 1995, through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) and the state's public school accountability system;

(2)  focuses on gain at a principal's campus and includes a statistical analysis comparing current campus performance to previous performance; and

(3)  does not include subjective items.

(b)  From funds appropriated for that purpose, the commissioner may award performance incentives to principals identified through the evaluation system as high-performing. Based on available appropriations, for each fiscal year, a performance incentive may not exceed:

(1)  $5,000, for a principal ranked in the top quartile; or

(2)  $2,500, for a principal ranked in the second quartile.

(c)  A performance incentive awarded to a principal under this section must be distributed to the principal's school and used in the manner determined by the campus-level committee established under Section 11.253 in accordance with the requirements of Section 39.264(a).

(d)  The commissioner shall develop a study on establishing an incentive grant program for all classes of educators, to be reported to the legislature no later than December 1, 1998. The study shall focus on developing objective methods for the issuance of grants in the areas of student performance, continuing education, and professional duties performed by teachers in addition to classroom duties.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 824, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895, Sec. 22, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter I. Duties And Benefits

Section  21.401.  Minimum Service Required.

(a) A contract between a school district and an educator must be for a minimum of 10 months' service.

(a-1)  to (a-4) Expired.

(b)  An educator employed under a 10-month contract must provide a minimum of 187 days of service.

(c)  The commissioner, as provided by Section 25.081(b), may reduce the number of days of service required by this section. A reduction by the commissioner does not reduce an educator's salary.

(d)  Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a contract between a school district and an educational diagnostician.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 592, Sec. 1.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 949, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 1.30, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 82, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



For expiration of Subsections (c-1), (c-2), and (c-3), see Subsection (c-3).

Section  21.402.  Minimum Salary Schedule For Certain Professional Staff.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (d), (e), or (f), a school district must pay each classroom teacher, full-time librarian, full-time counselor certified under Subchapter B, or full-time school nurse not less than the minimum monthly salary, based on the employee's level of experience in addition to other factors, as determined by commissioner rule, determined by the following formula:

MS = SF x FS

where:

"MS" is the minimum monthly salary;

"SF" is the applicable salary factor specified by Subsection (c); and

"FS" is the amount, as determined by the commissioner under Subsection (b), of state and local funds per weighted student, including funds provided under Section 42.2516, available to a district eligible to receive state assistance under Section 42.302 with a maintenance and operations tax rate per $100 of taxable value equal to the product of the state compression percentage, as determined under Section 42.2516, multiplied by $1.50, except that the amount of state and local funds per weighted student does not include the amount attributable to the increase in the guaranteed level made by Chapter 1187, Acts of the 77th Legislature, Regular Session, 2001.

(b)  Not later than June 1 of each year, the commissioner shall determine the amount of state and local funds per weighted student available, for purposes of Subsection (a), to a district described by that subsection for the following school year.

(c)  The salary factors per step are as follows:

Years Experience 0 1 2 3 4
Salary Factor .6226 .6360 .6492 .6627 .6909
Years Experience 5 6 7 8 9
Salary Factor .7192 .7474 .7737 .7985 .8220
Years Experience 10 11 12 13 14
Salary Factor .8441 .8650 .8851 .9035 .9213
Years Experience 15 16 17 18 19
Salary Factor .9380 .9539 .9687 .9828 .9963
Years Experience 20 and over
Salary Factor 1.009

(c-1)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, each school district shall increase the monthly salary of each classroom teacher, full-time speech pathologist, full-time librarian, full-time counselor certified under Subchapter B, and full-time school nurse by the greater of:

(1)  $80; or

(2)  the maximum uniform amount that, when combined with any resulting increases in the amount of contributions made by the district for social security coverage for the specified employees or by the district on behalf of the specified employees under Section 825.405, Government Code, may be provided using an amount equal to the product of $60 multiplied by the number of students in weighted average daily attendance in the school during the 2009-2010 school year.

(c-2)  An increase in salary under Subsection (c-1) does not include:

(1)  any amount an employee would have received for the 2009-2010 or 2010-2011 school year, as applicable, under the district's salary schedule for the 2008-2009 school year, if that schedule had been in effect for the 2009-2010 or 2010-2011 school year, including any local supplement and any money representing a career ladder supplement the employee would have received in the 2009-2010 or 2010-2011 school year; or

(2)  any part of the salary to which an employee is entitled under Subsection (a).

(c-3)  Subsections (c-1) and (c-2) and this subsection expire September 1, 2011.

(d)  A classroom teacher, full-time speech pathologist, full-time librarian, full-time counselor certified under Subchapter B, or full-time school nurse employed by a school district in the 2010-2011 school year is, as long as the employee is employed by the same district, entitled to a salary that is at least equal to the salary the employee received for the 2010-2011 school year.

(e)  If the minimum monthly salary determined under Subsection (a) for a particular level of experience is less than the minimum monthly salary for that level of experience in the preceding year, the minimum monthly salary is the minimum monthly salary for the preceding year.

(f)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a teacher or librarian who received a career ladder supplement on August 31, 1993, is entitled to at least the same gross monthly salary the teacher or librarian received for the 1994-1995 school year as long as the teacher or librarian is employed by the same district.

(g)  The commissioner may adopt rules to govern the application of this section, including rules that:

(1)  require the payment of a minimum salary under this section to a person employed in more than one capacity for which a minimum salary is provided and whose combined employment in those capacities constitutes full-time employment; and

(2)  specify the credentials a person must hold to be considered a speech pathologist or school nurse under this section.

(h)  In this section, "gross monthly salary" must include the amount a teacher or librarian received that represented a career ladder salary supplement under Section 16.057, as that section existed January 1, 1993.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 592, Sec. 1.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 1.30, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1156, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1187, Sec. 2.01, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.05, eff. May 31, 2006.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  21.403.  Placement On Minimum Salary Schedule.

(a) A teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse shall advance one step on the minimum salary schedule under Section 21.402 for each year of experience as a teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse until step 20 is reached.

(b)  For each year of work experience required for certification in a career or technological field, up to a maximum of two years, a certified career or technology education teacher is entitled to salary step credit as if the work experience were teaching experience.

(c)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for determining the experience for which a teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse is to be given credit in placing the teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse on the minimum salary schedule. A district shall credit the teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse for each year of experience without regard to whether the years are consecutive.

(d)  As long as a teacher or librarian who received a career ladder supplement is employed by the same school district, the teacher or librarian is entitled to:

(1)  placement on the minimum salary schedule at the step above the step on which the teacher would otherwise be placed, if the teacher or librarian received a career ladder supplement for level two of the career ladder on August 31, 1993; or

(2)  placement on the minimum salary schedule at the step two steps above the step on which the teacher would otherwise be placed, if the teacher or librarian received a career ladder supplement for level three of the career ladder on August 31, 1993.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 921, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 1.31, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 21.4031.  Professional Staff Service Records.

(a) In this section:

(1)  "Salary schedule" means the minimum salary schedule under Section 21.402 or a comparable salary schedule used by a school district that specifies salary amounts based on an employee's level of experience.

(2)  "Service record" means a school district document  that indicates the total years of service provided to the district by a classroom teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse.

(b)  On request by a classroom teacher, librarian, counselor, or nurse or by the school district employing one of those individuals, a school district that previously employed the individual shall provide a copy of the individual's service record to the school district employing the individual.  The district must provide the copy not later than the 30th day after the later of:

(1)  the date the request is made; or

(2)  the date of the last day of the individual's service to the district.

(c)  If a school district fails to provide an individual's service record as required by Subsection (b), the agency shall, to the extent that information is available to the agency, provide the employing school district with information sufficient to enable the district to determine proper placement of the individual on the district's salary schedule.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 370, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.404.  Planning And Preparation Time.

Each classroom teacher is entitled to at least 450 minutes within each two-week period for instructional preparation, including parent-teacher conferences, evaluating students' work, and planning. A planning and preparation period under this section may not be less than 45 minutes within the instructional day. During a planning and preparation period, a classroom teacher may not be required to participate in any other activity.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.405.  Duty-free Lunch.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (c), each classroom teacher or full-time librarian is entitled to at least a 30-minute lunch period free from all duties and responsibilities connected with the instruction and supervision of students. Each school district may set flexible or rotating schedules for each classroom teacher or full-time librarian in the district for the implementation of the duty-free lunch period.

(b)  The implementation of this section may not result in a lengthened school day.

(c)  If necessary because of a personnel shortage, extreme economic conditions, or an unavoidable or unforeseen circumstance, a school district may require a classroom teacher or librarian entitled to a duty-free lunch to supervise students during lunch. A classroom teacher or librarian may not be required to supervise students under this subsection more than one day in any school week. The commissioner by rule shall prescribe guidelines for determining what constitutes a personnel shortage, extreme economic conditions, or an unavoidable or unforeseen circumstance for purposes of this subsection.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.406.  Denial Of Compensation Based On Absence For Religious Observance Prohibited.

A school district may not deny an educator a salary bonus or similar compensation given in whole or in part on the basis of educator attendance because of the educator's absence from school for observance of a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.407.  Requiring Or Coercing Teachers To Join Groups, Clubs, Committees, Or Organizations: Political Affairs.

(a) A school district board of trustees or school district employee may not directly or indirectly require or coerce any teacher to join any group, club, committee, organization, or association.

(b)  A school district board of trustees or school district employee may not directly or indirectly coerce any teacher to refrain from participating in political affairs in the teacher's community, state, or nation.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.408.  Right To Join Or Not To Join Professional Association.

This chapter does not abridge the right of an educator to join any professional association or organization or refuse to join any professional association or organization.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.409.  Leave Of Absence For Temporary Disability.

(a) Each full-time educator employed by a school district shall be given a leave of absence for temporary disability at any time the educator's condition interferes with the performance of regular duties. The contract or employment of the educator may not be terminated by the school district while the educator is on a leave of absence for temporary disability. "Temporary disability" in this section includes the condition of pregnancy.

(b)  A request for a leave of absence for temporary disability must be made to the superintendent of the school district. The request must be accompanied by a physician's statement confirming inability to work and must state the date requested by the educator for the leave to begin and the probable date of return as certified by the physician.

(c)  The board of trustees of a school district may adopt a policy providing for placing an educator on leave of absence for temporary disability if, in the board's judgment and in consultation with a physician who has performed a thorough medical examination of the educator, the educator's condition interferes with the performance of regular duties. A policy adopted under this subsection must reserve to the educator the right to present to the board testimony or other information relevant to the educator's fitness to continue the performance of regular duties.

(d)  The educator must notify the superintendent of the desire to return to active duty not later than the 30th day before the expected date of return. The notice must be accompanied by a physician's statement indicating the educator's physical fitness for the resumption of regular duties.

(e)  An educator returning to active duty after a leave of absence for temporary disability is entitled to an assignment at the school where the educator formerly taught, subject to the availability of an appropriate teaching position. In any event, the educator must be placed on active duty not later than the beginning of the next term.

(f)  The length of a leave of absence for temporary disability shall be granted by the superintendent as required by the individual educator. The board of trustees of a school district may establish a maximum length for a leave of absence for temporary disability, but the maximum length may not be less than 180 days.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.410.  Master Reading Teacher Grant Program.

(a) The commissioner shall establish a master reading teacher grant program to encourage teachers to:

(1)  become certified as master reading teachers; and

(2)  work with other teachers and with students in order to improve student reading performance.

(b)  From funds appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants to school districts as provided by this section to pay stipends to selected certified master reading teachers who teach at high-need campuses.

(c)  The commissioner shall annually identify each high-need campus in a school district using criteria established by the commissioner by rule, including performance on the reading assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023. The commissioner shall also use the criteria to rank campuses in order of greatest need.

(d)  A school district may apply to the commissioner for grants for each high-need campus identified by the commissioner to be used to pay stipends to certified master reading teachers in accordance with this section. Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), each grant is in the amount of $5,000. The commissioner shall approve the application if the district:

(1)  applies within the period and in the manner required by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(2)  agrees to use each grant only for the purpose of paying a year-end stipend to a master reading teacher:

(A)  who holds a certificate issued under Section 21.0481;

(B)  who teaches in a position prescribed by the district at a high-need campus identified by the commissioner;

(C)  whose primary duties include:

(i)  teaching reading; and

(ii)  serving as a reading teaching mentor to other teachers for the amount of time and in the manner established by the district and by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(D)  who satisfies any other requirements established by rule adopted by the commissioner.

(e)  Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), a stipend under Subsection (d)(2) is in the amount of $5,000.

(f)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for the distribution of grants to school districts following the year of the initial grant. A district that has been approved for a grant to pay a stipend to a certified master reading teacher is not required to reapply for a grant for two consecutive school years following the year of the intitial grant if the district:

(1)  continues to pay a stipend as provided by Subsection (g); and

(2)  notifies the commissioner in writing, within the period and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, that the circumstances on which the grant was based have not changed.

(g)  The commissioner shall reduce payments to a school district proportionately to the extent a teacher does not meet the requirements under Subsection (d)(2) for the entire school year. A district that employs more certified master reading teachers than the number of grants available under this section shall select the certified master reading teachers to whom to pay stipends based on a policy adopted by the board of trustees of the district, except that a district shall pay a stipend for two additional consecutive school years to a teacher the district has selected for and paid a stipend for a school year, who remains eligible for a stipend under Subsection (d)(2), and for whom the district receives a grant under this section for those years. A decision of the district under this subsection is final and may not be appealed. The district may not apportion among teachers a stipend paid for with a grant the district receives under this section. The district may use local money to pay additional stipends in amounts determined by the district.

(h)  A grant a school district receives under this section is in addition to any funding the district receives under Chapter 42. The commissioner shall distribute funds under this section with the Foundation School Program payment to which the district is entitled as soon as practicable after the end of the school year as determined by the commissioner. A district to which Chapter 41 applies is entitled to the grants paid under this section. The commissioner shall determine the timing of the distribution of grants to a district that does not receive Foundation School Program payments.

(i)  This section does not create a property right to a grant or stipend. A school district is entitled to a grant to carry out the purposes of this section only to the extent the commissioner makes the grant in accordance with this section and only to the extent sufficient state funds are appropriated for those purposes. If state funds are appropriated but are insufficient to fully fund a grant, the commissioner shall reduce the grant paid to each district and the district shall reduce the stipend the district pays to each teacher under this section proportionately so that each selected teacher receives the same amount of money.

(j)  A decision of the commissioner concerning the amount of money to which a school district is entitled under this section is final and may not be appealed. Each district shall, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the commissioner, provide to the commissioner proof acceptable to the commissioner of the master reading teacher certification of a teacher to whom the district is paying a stipend under this section.

(k)  The commissioner may audit the expenditure of money appropriated for purposes of this section. A district's use of the money appropriated for purposes of this section shall be verified as part of the district audit under Section 44.008.

(l)  A stipend a teacher receives under this section is not considered in determining whether the district is paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402.

(m)  The commissioner may adopt other rules as necessary to implement this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 931, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.



Section  21.411.  Master Mathematics Teacher Grant Program.

(a) The commissioner shall establish a master mathematics teacher grant program to encourage teachers to:

(1)  become certified as master mathematics teachers; and

(2)  work with other teachers and with students in order to improve student mathematics performance.

(b)  From funds appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants to school districts as provided by this section to pay stipends to selected certified master mathematics teachers who teach at high-need campuses.

(c)  The commissioner shall annually identify each high-need campus in a school district using criteria established by the commissioner by rule, including performance on the mathematics assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023. The commissioner shall also use the criteria to rank campuses in order of greatest need.

(d)  A school district may apply to the commissioner for grants for each high-need campus identified by the commissioner to be used to pay stipends to certified master mathematics teachers in accordance with this section. Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), each grant is in the amount of $5,000. The commissioner shall approve the application if the district:

(1)  applies within the period and in the manner required by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(2)  agrees to use each grant only for the purpose of paying a year-end stipend to a master mathematics teacher:

(A)  who holds the appropriate certificate issued under Section 21.0482;

(B)  who teaches in a position prescribed by the district at a high-need campus identified by the commissioner;

(C)  whose primary duties include:

(i)  teaching mathematics; and

(ii)  serving as a mathematics teaching mentor to other teachers for the amount of time and in the manner established by the district and by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(D)  who satisfies any other requirements established by rule adopted by the commissioner.

(e)  Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), a stipend under Subsection (d)(2) is in the amount of $5,000.

(f)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for the distribution of grants to school districts following the year of the initial grant. A district that has been approved for a grant to pay a stipend to a certified master mathematics teacher is not required to reapply for a grant for two consecutive school years following the year of the initial grant if the district:

(1)  continues to pay a stipend as provided by Subsection (g); and

(2)  notifies the commissioner in writing, within the period and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, that the circumstances on which the grant was based have not changed.

(g)  The commissioner shall reduce payments to a school district proportionately to the extent a teacher does not meet the requirements under Subsection (d)(2) for the entire school year. A district that employs more certified master mathematics teachers than the number of grants available under this section shall select the certified master mathematics teachers to whom to pay stipends based on a policy adopted by the board of trustees of the district, except that a district shall pay a stipend for two additional consecutive school years to a teacher the district has selected for and paid a stipend for a school year, who remains eligible for a stipend under Subsection (d)(2), and for whom the district receives a grant under this section for those years. A decision of the district under this subsection is final and may not be appealed. The district may not apportion among teachers a stipend paid for with a grant the district receives under this section. The district may use local money to pay additional stipends in amounts determined by the district.

(h)  A grant a school district receives under this section is in addition to any funding the district receives under Chapter 42. The commissioner shall distribute funds under this section with the Foundation School Program payment to which the district is entitled as soon as practicable after the end of the school year as determined by the commissioner. A district to which Chapter 41 applies is entitled to the grants paid under this section. The commissioner shall determine the timing of the distribution of grants to a district that does not receive Foundation School Program payments.

(i)  This section does not create a property right to a grant or stipend. A school district is entitled to a grant to carry out the purposes of this section only to the extent the commissioner makes the grant in accordance with this section and only to the extent sufficient state funds are appropriated for those purposes. If state funds are appropriated but are insufficient to fully fund a grant, the commissioner shall reduce the grant paid to each district and the district shall reduce the stipend the district pays to each teacher under this section proportionately so that each selected teacher receives the same amount of money.

(j)  A decision of the commissioner concerning the amount of money to which a school district is entitled under this section is final and may not be appealed. Each district shall, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the commissioner, provide to the commissioner proof acceptable to the commissioner of the master mathematics teacher certification of a teacher to whom the district is paying a stipend under this section.

(k)  The commissioner may audit the expenditure of money appropriated for purposes of this section. A district's use of the money appropriated for purposes of this section shall be verified as part of the district audit under Section 44.008.

(l)  A stipend a teacher receives under this section is not considered in determining whether the district is paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402.

(m)  The commissioner may adopt other rules as necessary to implement this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 834, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.412.  Master Technology Teacher Grant Program.

(a) The commissioner shall establish a master technology teacher grant program to encourage teachers to:

(1)  become certified as master technology teachers; and

(2)  work with other teachers and with students in order to increase the use of technology in each classroom.

(b)  From funds appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants to school districts as provided by this section to pay stipends to selected certified master technology teachers. The commissioner shall give preference to teachers who teach at high-need campuses.

(c)  The commissioner shall annually identify each high-need campus in a school district using criteria established by the commissioner by rule. The commissioner shall also use the criteria to rank campuses in order of greatest need.

(d)  A school district may apply to the commissioner for grants to be used to pay stipends to certified master technology teachers in accordance with this section. Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), each grant is in the amount of $5,000. The commissioner shall approve the application if the district:

(1)  applies within the period and in the manner required by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(2)  agrees to use each grant only for the purpose of paying a year-end stipend to a master technology teacher:

(A)  who holds a certificate issued under Section 21.0483;

(B)  who teaches in a position prescribed by the district;

(C)  whose primary duties include serving as a technology training mentor to other teachers for the amount of time and in the manner established by the district and by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(D)  who satisfies any other requirements established by rule adopted by the commissioner.

(e)  Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), a stipend under Subsection (d)(2) is in the amount of $5,000.

(f)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for the distribution of grants to school districts in years following the year of the initial grant. A district that has been approved for a grant to pay a stipend to a certified master technology teacher is not required to reapply for a grant for two consecutive school years following the year of the initial grant if the district:

(1)  continues to pay a stipend as provided by Subsection (g); and

(2)  notifies the commissioner in writing, within the period and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, that the circumstances on which the grant was based have not changed.

(g)  The commissioner shall reduce payments to a school district proportionately to the extent a teacher does not meet the requirements under Subsection (d)(2) for the entire school year. A district that employs more certified master technology teachers than the number of grants available under this section shall select the certified master technology teachers to whom to pay stipends based on a policy adopted by the board of trustees of the district, except that a district shall pay a stipend for two additional consecutive school years to a teacher the district has selected for and paid a stipend for a school year, who remains eligible for a stipend under Subsection (d)(2), and for whom the district receives a grant under this section for those years. A decision of the district under this subsection is final and may not be appealed. The district may not apportion among teachers a stipend paid for with a grant the district receives under this section. The district may use local money to pay additional stipends in amounts determined by the district.

(h)  A grant a school district receives under this section is in addition to any funding the district receives under Chapter 42. The commissioner shall distribute funds under this section with the Foundation School Program payment to which the district is entitled as soon as practicable after the end of the school year as determined by the commissioner. A district to which Chapter 41 applies is entitled to the grants paid under this section. The commissioner shall determine the timing of the distribution of grants to a district that does not receive Foundation School Program payments.

(i)  This section does not create a property right to a grant or stipend. A school district is entitled to a grant to carry out the purposes of this section only to the extent the commissioner makes the grant in accordance with this section and only to the extent sufficient state funds are appropriated for those purposes. If state funds are appropriated but are insufficient to fully fund a grant, the commissioner shall determine the method of distributing the funds.

(j)  A decision of the commissioner concerning the amount of money to which a school district is entitled under this section is final and may not be appealed. Each district shall, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the commissioner, provide to the commissioner proof acceptable to the commissioner of the master technology teacher certification of a teacher to whom the district is paying a stipend under this section.

(k)  The commissioner may audit the expenditure of money appropriated for purposes of this section. A district's use of the money appropriated for purposes of this section shall be verified as part of the district audit under Section 44.008.

(l)  A stipend a teacher receives under this section is not considered in determining whether the district is paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402.

(m)  The commissioner may adopt other rules as necessary to implement this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1301, Sec. 1, eff. June 16, 2001. Renumbered from Education Code Sec. 21.411 and amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1275, Sec. 2(13), 3(5), eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.413.  Master Science Teacher Grant Program.

(a) The commissioner shall establish a master science teacher grant program to encourage teachers to:

(1)  become certified as master science teachers; and

(2)  work with other teachers and with students in order to improve student science performance.

(b)  From funds appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall make grants to school districts as provided by this section to pay stipends to selected certified master science teachers who teach at high-need campuses.

(c)  The commissioner shall annually identify each high-need campus in a school district using criteria established by the commissioner by rule, including performance on the science assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023. The commissioner shall also use the criteria to rank campuses in order of greatest need.

(d)  A school district may apply to the commissioner for grants for each high-need campus identified by the commissioner to be used to pay stipends to certified master science teachers in accordance with this section. Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), each grant is in the amount of $5,000. The commissioner shall approve the application if the district:

(1)  applies within the period and in the manner required by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(2)  agrees to use each grant only for the purpose of paying a year-end stipend to a master science teacher:

(A)  who holds the appropriate certificate issued under Section 21.0484;

(B)  who teaches in a position prescribed by the district at a high-need campus identified by the commissioner;

(C)  whose primary duties include:

(i)  teaching science; and

(ii)  serving as a science teaching mentor to other teachers for the amount of time and in the manner established by the district and by rule adopted by the commissioner; and

(D)  who satisfies any other requirements established by rule adopted by the commissioner.

(e)  Unless reduced under Subsection (g) or (i), a stipend under Subsection (d)(2) is in the amount of $5,000.

(f)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for the distribution of grants to school districts following the year of the initial grant. A district that has been approved for a grant to pay a stipend to a certified master science teacher is not required to reapply for a grant for two consecutive school years following the year of the initial grant if the district:

(1)  continues to pay a stipend as provided by Subsection (g); and

(2)  notifies the commissioner in writing, within the period and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, that the circumstances on which the grant was based have not changed.

(g)  The commissioner shall reduce payments to a school district proportionately to the extent a teacher does not meet the requirements under Subsection (d)(2) for the entire school year. A district that employs more certified master science teachers than the number of grants available under this section shall select the certified master science teachers to whom to pay stipends based on a policy adopted by the board of trustees of the district, except that a district shall pay a stipend for two additional consecutive school years to a teacher the district has selected for and paid a stipend for a school year, who remains eligible for a stipend under Subsection (d)(2), and for whom the district receives a grant under this section for those years. A decision of the district under this subsection is final and may not be appealed. The district may not apportion among teachers a stipend paid for with a grant the district receives under this section. The district may use local money to pay additional stipends in amounts determined by the district.

(h)  A grant a school district receives under this section is in addition to any funding the district receives under Chapter 42. The commissioner shall distribute funds under this section with the Foundation School Program payment to which the district is entitled as soon as practicable after the end of the school year as determined by the commissioner. A district to which Chapter 41 applies is entitled to the grants paid under this section. The commissioner shall determine the timing of the distribution of grants to a district that does not receive Foundation School Program payments.

(i)  This section does not create a property right to a grant or stipend. A school district is entitled to a grant to carry out the purposes of this section only to the extent the commissioner makes the grant in accordance with this section and only to the extent sufficient state funds are appropriated for those purposes. If state funds are appropriated but are insufficient to fully fund a grant, the commissioner shall reduce the grant paid to each district and the district shall reduce the stipend the district pays to each teacher under this section proportionately so that each selected teacher receives the same amount of money.

(j)  A decision of the commissioner concerning the amount of money to which a school district is entitled under this section is final and may not be appealed. Each district shall, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the commissioner, provide to the commissioner proof acceptable to the commissioner of the master science teacher certification of a teacher to whom the district is paying a stipend under this section.

(k)  The commissioner may audit the expenditure of money appropriated for purposes of this section. A district's use of the money appropriated for purposes of this section shall be verified as part of the district audit under Section 44.008.

(l)  A stipend a teacher receives under this section is not considered in determining whether the district is paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402.

(m)  The commissioner may adopt other rules as necessary to implement this section.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 430, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.414.  Classroom Supply Reimbursement Program.  

/p> (a) The commissioner shall establish a reimbursement program under which the commissioner provides funds to a school district for the purpose of reimbursing classroom teachers in the district who expend personal funds on classroom supplies. A school district must match any funds provided to the district under the reimbursement program with local funds to be used for the same purpose.

(b)  The commissioner shall adopt rules for the local allocation of funds provided to a school district under the reimbursement program. A school district shall allow each classroom teacher in the district who is reimbursed under the reimbursement program to use the funds in the teacher's discretion, except that the funds must be used for the benefit of the district's students. A school district may not use funds received under the reimbursement program to replace local funds used by the district for the same purpose.

(c)  The commissioner shall identify state and federal funds available for use under the reimbursement program, including funds subject to the Education Flexibility Partnership Act of 1999 (20 U.S.C. Section 5891a et seq.), and its subsequent amendments, as well as consolidated administrative funds.

(d)  The commissioner shall establish the reimbursement program for implementation beginning not later than the 2005-2006 school year. The commissioner may implement the reimbursement program only if funds are specifically appropriated by the legislature for the program or if the commissioner identifies available funds, other than general revenue funds, that may be used for the program.

(e) Expired.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 17, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 263, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 2003.

Renumbered from Education Code, Section 21.413 by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 23.001(12), eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 21.415.  Employment Contracts.

(a) A school district shall provide in employment contracts that qualifying employees may receive an incentive payment under an awards program established under Subchapter O if the district participates in the program.

(b)  The district shall indicate that any incentive payment distributed is considered a payment for performance and not an entitlement as part of an employee's salary.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.06, eff. May 31, 2006.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter J. Staff Development

Section  21.451.  Staff Development Requirements.

(a) The staff development provided by a school district must be:

(1)  conducted in accordance with standards developed by the district; and

(2)  designed to improve education in the district.

(b)  The staff development must be predominantly campus-based, related to achieving campus performance objectives established under Section 11.253, and developed and approved by the campus-level committee established under Section 11.251.

(c)  A school district may use district-wide staff development developed and approved through the district-level decision process under Section 11.251.

(d)  The staff development:

(1)  may include training in:

(A)  technology;

(B)  conflict resolution; and

(C)  discipline strategies, including classroom management, district discipline policies, and the student code of conduct adopted under Section 37.001 and Chapter 37; and

(2)  subject to Subsection (e), must include training based on scientifically based research, as defined by Section 9101, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Section 7801), that:

(A)  relates to instruction of students with disabilities; and

(B)  is designed for educators who work primarily outside the area of special education.

(3) Expired.

(e)  A school district is required to provide the training described by Subsection (d)(2) to an educator who works primarily outside the area of special education only if the educator does not possess the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the individualized education program developed for a student receiving instruction from the educator.  A district may determine the time and place at which the training is delivered.

(f)  In developing or maintaining the training required by Subsection (d)(2), a school district must consult with persons with expertise in research-based practices for students with disabilities.  Persons who may be consulted under this subsection include colleges, universities, private and nonprofit organizations, regional education service centers, qualified district personnel, and any other persons identified as qualified by the district.  This subsection applies to all training required by Subsection (d)(2), regardless of whether the training is provided at the campus or district level.

(g)  The staff development may include instruction as to what is permissible under law, including opinions of the United States Supreme Court, regarding prayer in public school.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.06, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 766, Sec. 1, eff. June 13, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 495, Sec. 1.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 740, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 21.4511.  Professional Development Activities For Teachers And Administrators.

(a) From funds appropriated for that purpose in an amount not to exceed $2.5 million each year, the commissioner may develop and award grants to school districts, regional education service centers, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education for establishing and providing technical assistance and professional development activities in the staff development training of public school teachers and administrators.

(b)  The training under this section shall include training relating to implementing curriculum and instruction that is aligned with the foundation curriculum described by Section 28.002(a)(1) and standards and expectations for college readiness, as determined by State Board of Education rule under Section 28.008(d).

(c)  The commissioner may give preference to a school district, regional education service center, or institution of higher education conducting professional development activities under this section that applies for a grant in partnership with a state or national organization that has demonstrated success in the development and implementation of high school reform strategies.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058, Sec. 4, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section  21.452.  Developmental Leaves Of Absence.

(a) The board of trustees of a school district may grant a developmental leave of absence for study, research, travel, or another suitable purpose to an employee who:

(1)  is employed in a position requiring a permanent teaching certificate; and

(2)  has served in the same school district at least five consecutive school years.

(b)  The board may grant a developmental leave of absence for one school year at one-half salary or for one-half of a school year at full salary paid to the employee in the same manner, on the same schedule, and with the same deductions as if the employee were on full-time duty.

(c)  An employee on developmental leave continues to be a member of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and is entitled to participate in programs, hold memberships, and receive benefits afforded by employment in the school district.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.



Section  21.453.  Staff Development Account.

(a) The staff development account is an account in the general revenue fund. The account consists of gifts, grants, donations, appropriations for the purpose of staff development under this subchapter, and any other money transferred by law to the account. Funds in the account may be used only as provided by this section.

(b)  The commissioner may allocate funds from the account to regional education service centers to provide staff development resources to school districts that:

(1)  are rated academically unacceptable;

(2)  have one or more campuses rated as academically unacceptable; or

(3)  are otherwise in need of assistance as indicated by the academic performance of students, as determined by the commissioner.

(c)  A school district that receives resources under this section must pay to the commissioner for deposit in the account an amount equal to one-half of the cost of the resources provided to the district.

(d)  The commissioner may adopt rules governing the allocation and use of funds under this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 931, Sec. 3, eff. Aug. 30, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 3.04, eff. May 31, 2006.



Section  21.454.  Mathematics Training.

(a) The commissioner shall develop training materials and other teacher training resources for a school district to use in assisting mathematics teachers in developing:

(1)  expertise in the appropriate mathematics curriculum; and

(2)  comprehension of the instructional approaches that, through scientific testing, have been proven effective in improving student mathematics skills.

(b)  The commissioner shall develop materials and resources under this section in consultation with appropriate faculty members at institutions of higher education.

(c)  The commissioner shall make the training materials and other teacher training resources required under Subsection (a) available to mathematics teachers through a variety of mechanisms, including distance learning, mentoring programs, small group inquiries, computer-assisted training, and mechanisms based on trainer-of-trainer models.

(d)  The commissioner shall use funds appropriated for the purpose to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 834, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 21.4541.  Mathematics Instructional Coaches Pilot Program.

(a) From funds appropriated for that purpose, the  commissioner by rule shall establish a pilot program under which participating school districts and campuses receive grants to provide assistance in developing the content knowledge and instructional expertise of teachers who instruct students in mathematics at the middle school, junior high school, or high school level.

(b)  A school district or campus is eligible to participate in the pilot program under this section if the district or campus meets the eligibility criteria established as provided by Section 39.408.

(c)  A grant awarded under this section may be used to support intensive instructional coaching and professional development from a service provider approved by the commissioner.  Approved service providers may include:

(1)  academies and training centers established in conjunction with a Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (T-STEM) center;

(2)  regional education service centers;

(3)  institutions of higher education; and

(4)  private organizations with significant experience in providing mathematics instruction, as determined by the commissioner.

(d)  An instructional coaching or professional development program supported by a grant under this section must demonstrate significant past effectiveness in improving mathematics instruction in middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools serving a significant number of students identified as students at risk of dropping out of school, as described by Section 29.081(d).  An instructional coaching or professional development program may include:

(1)  providing classes to teachers on effective mathematics instruction;

(2)  providing tutoring or mentoring to teachers regarding effective mathematics instruction;

(3)  providing incentives to teachers to participate in the program; or

(4)  engaging in any other activities determined by the commissioner as likely to improve the instructional skills of teachers providing mathematics instruction.

(e)  The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to implement the pilot program.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058, Sec. 4, eff. June 15, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895, Sec. 23, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.455.  Professional Development Institutes In Mathematics.

(a) The commissioner shall develop and make available professional development institutes for teachers who provide instruction in mathematics to students at the fifth through eighth grade levels.

(b)  A professional development institute developed under this section must address:

(1)  the underlying mathematical skills required to be taught at the relevant grade levels; and

(2)  mathematical instruction techniques that, through scientific testing, have been proven effective.

(c)  The commissioner shall develop professional development institutes under this section in consultation with mathematics and science faculty members at institutions of higher education.

(d)  The commissioner shall adopt criteria for selection of teachers authorized to attend a professional development institute developed under this section.

(e)  From funds appropriated for the purpose, the commissioner shall pay a stipend to each teacher who completes a professional development institute developed under this section. The commissioner shall determine the amount of the stipend paid under this subsection.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 834, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section 21.4551.  Teacher Reading Academies.

(a) The commissioner shall develop and make available reading academies for teachers who provide instruction to students at the sixth through eighth grade levels.

(b)  A reading academy developed under this section must include training in:

(1)  for a teacher providing instruction in reading to students at the seventh or eighth grade level:

(A)  administration of the reading instrument required by Section 28.006(c-1); and

(B)  interpretation of the results of the reading instrument required by Section 28.006(c-1) and strategies, based on scientific research regarding effective reading instruction, for long-term intensive intervention to target identified student needs in word recognition, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension;

(2)  for a teacher providing instruction in reading to students at the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade level:

(A)  strategies to be implemented in English language arts and other subject areas for multisyllable word reading, vocabulary development, and comprehension of expository and narrative text;

(B)  an adaptation framework that enables teachers to respond to differing student strengths and needs, including adaptations for students of limited English proficiency or students receiving special education services under Subchapter A, Chapter 29;

(C)  collaborative strategies to increase active student involvement and motivation to read; and

(D)  other areas identified by the commissioner as essential components of reading instruction; and

(3)  for a teacher providing instruction in mathematics, science, or social studies to students at the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade level:

(A)  strategies for incorporating reading instruction into the curriculum for the subject area taught by the teacher; and

(B)  other areas identified by the commissioner.

(c)  The commissioner by rule shall require a teacher to attend a reading academy if the teacher provides instruction in reading, mathematics, science, or social studies to students at the sixth, seventh, or eighth grade level at a campus that fails to satisfy any standard under Section 39.054(d) on the basis of student performance on the reading assessment instrument administered under Section 39.023(a) to students in any grade level at the campus.

(d)  The commissioner shall adopt criteria for selection of teachers, other than teachers described by Subsection (c), who may attend a reading academy.

(e)  From funds appropriated for that purpose, a teacher who attends a reading academy is entitled to receive a stipend in the amount determined by the commissioner.  A stipend received under this subsection is not considered in determining whether a district is paying the teacher the minimum monthly salary under Section 21.402.

(f)  On request of the commissioner, regional education service centers shall assist the commissioner and agency with training and other activities relating to the development and operation of reading academies.  The commissioner may seek additional assistance from other public and private providers.

(g) Expired.

(1) Expired.

(2) Expired.

(h) Expired.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1058, Sec. 4, eff. June 15, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 895, Sec. 24, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section  21.456.  Science Training.

(a) The commissioner shall develop and have approved by the board training materials and other teacher training resources for a school district to use in assisting science teachers in developing:

(1)  expertise in the appropriate science curriculum; and

(2)  comprehension of the instructional approaches that, through scientific testing, have been proven effective in improving student science skills.

(b)  To the extent practicable, the training materials and other teacher training resources required under Subsection (a) shall address instructional approaches designed to reduce any identified disparities in student science performance between groups of students.

(c)  The commissioner shall develop materials and resources under this section in consultation with appropriate faculty members at institutions of higher education.

(d)  The commissioner shall make the training materials and other teacher training resources required under Subsection (a) available to science teachers through a variety of mechanisms, including distance learning, mentoring programs, small group inquiries, computer-assisted training, and mechanisms based on trainer-of-trainer models.

(e)  The commissioner shall use funds appropriated for the purpose to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 430, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  21.457.  Training For Teachers Of Students Of Limited English Proficiency.

The commissioner shall develop and make available training materials and other teacher training resources to assist teachers in developing the expertise required to enable students of limited English proficiency to meet state performance expectations.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1212, Sec. 6, eff. June 20, 2003.

Renumbered from Education Code, Section 21.456 by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 728, Sec. 23.001(13), eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 21.458.  Mentors.

(a) Each school district may assign a mentor teacher to each classroom teacher who has less than two years of teaching experience in the subject or grade level to which the teacher is assigned.  A teacher assigned as a mentor must:

(1)  to the extent practicable, teach in the same school;

(2)  to the extent practicable, teach the same subject or grade level, as applicable; and

(3)  meet the qualifications prescribed by commissioner rules adopted under Subsection (b).

(b)  The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to administer this section, including rules concerning the duties and qualifications of a teacher who serves as a mentor.  The rules concerning qualifications must require that to serve as a mentor a teacher must:

(1)  complete a research-based mentor and induction training program approved by the commissioner;

(2)  complete a mentor training program provided by the district; and

(3)  have at least three complete years of teaching experience with a superior record of assisting students, as a whole, in achieving improvement in student performance.

(c)  From the funds appropriated to the agency for purposes of this section, the commissioner shall adopt rules and provide funding to school districts that assign mentor teachers under this section.  Funding provided to districts under this section may be used only for providing:

(1)  mentor teacher stipends;

(2)  scheduled time for mentor teachers to provide mentoring to assigned classroom teachers; and

(3)  mentoring support through providers of mentor training.

(d)  In adopting rules under Subsection (c), the commissioner shall rely on research-based mentoring programs that, through external evaluation, have demonstrated success.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.07, eff. May 31, 2006.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 796, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Section 21.459.  Bible Course Training.

(a) The commissioner shall develop and make available training materials and other teacher training resources for a school district to use in assisting teachers of elective Bible courses in developing:

(1)  expertise in the appropriate Bible course curriculum;

(2)  understanding of applicable supreme court rulings and current constitutional law regarding how Bible courses are to be taught in public schools objectively as a part of a secular program of education;

(3)  understanding of how to present the Bible in an objective, academic manner that neither promotes nor disparages religion, nor is taught from a particular sectarian point of view;

(4)  proficiency in instructional approaches that present course material in a manner that respects all faiths and religious traditions, while favoring none; and

(5)  expertise in how to avoid devotional content or proselytizing in the classroom.

(b)  The commissioner shall develop materials and resources under this section in consultation with appropriate faculty members at institutions of higher education.

(c)  The commissioner shall make the training materials and other teacher training resources required under Subsection (a) available to Bible course teachers through access to in-service training.

(d)  The commissioner shall use funds appropriated for the purpose to administer this section.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 856, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.



Section 21.463.  Resources For Teachers Of Students With Special Health Needs.

The agency, in coordination with the Health and Human Services Commission, shall establish and maintain an Internet website to provide resources for teachers who teach students with special health needs.  The agency shall include on the website information about:

(1)  the treatment and management of chronic illnesses and how such illnesses impact a student's well-being or ability to succeed in school; and

(2)  food allergies that are common among students, including information about preventing exposure to a specific food when necessary to protect a student's health and information about treating a student suffering from an allergic reaction to a food.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 628, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Subchapter K. Texas Troops To Teachers Program

Section  21.501.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "program" means the Texas Troops to Teachers Program.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.502.  Establishment Of Program.

The agency shall establish a program to:

(1)  assist persons who have served in the armed forces of the United States and are separated from active duty to obtain certification as an elementary or secondary school teacher in this state; and

(2)  facilitate the employment of those persons by school districts that have a shortage of teachers.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.503.  Eligibility.

A person is eligible for the program if the person:

(1)  has served in the armed forces of the United States;

(2)  is honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty on or after October 1, 1990, after at least six years of continuous active duty service immediately before the discharge, retirement, or release;

(3)  has received a baccalaureate or advanced degree from a public or private institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting agency or group that is recognized by a nationally recognized accreditation board; and

(4)  satisfies any other criteria for selection jointly prescribed by the agency and the State Board for Educator Certification.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.504.  Information And Applications.

(a) The agency shall develop an application for the program.

(b)  The agency and the State Board for Educator Certification shall distribute the applications and information regarding the program.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.505.  Selection Of Participants.

(a) The agency shall select persons to participate in the program on the basis of applications submitted to the agency.

(b)  Each application must be submitted:

(1)  in the form and contain the information the agency requires; and

(2)  in a timely manner.

(c)  An application is considered to be submitted in a timely manner for purposes of Subsection (b)(2) if the application is submitted:

(1)  not later than October 5, 1999, in the case of an applicant discharged, retired, or released from active duty before January 19, 1999; or

(2)  except as provided by Subdivision (1), not later than the first anniversary of the date of the applicant's discharge, retirement, or release from active duty.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.506.  Limitation On Implementation.

The agency may not select a person to participate in the program unless the agency has sufficient state appropriations to pay the stipend provided by Section 21.509 at the time of the selection.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.507.  Preferences.

(a) In selecting persons to participate in the program, the agency shall give preference to a person who:

(1)  has significant educational or military experience in science, mathematics, or engineering and agrees to seek employment as a teacher in one of those subjects in a public elementary or secondary school in this state; or

(2)  has significant educational or military experience in a field other than science, mathematics, or engineering identified by the agency as a field important for state educational objectives and agrees to seek employment as a teacher in a subject related to that field in a public elementary or secondary school in this state.

(b)  The commissioner shall determine the level of experience considered significant for purposes of this section.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.508.  Agreement.

A person selected to participate in the program must enter into a written agreement with the agency under which the person agrees to:

(1)  obtain, within the period the agency by rule requires, certification as an elementary or secondary school teacher in this state; and

(2)  accept, during the first school year that begins after the date the person becomes certified, an offer of full-time employment as an elementary or secondary school teacher with a school district in this state.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.509.  Stipend.

The agency shall pay to each participant in the program a stipend of $5,000.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  21.510.  Reimbursement.

(a) A participant in the program who fails to obtain certification or employment as required in the agreement under Section 21.508 or who voluntarily leaves or is terminated for cause from the employment after teaching in a public elementary or secondary school in this state for less than five school years shall reimburse the agency for the portion of the stipend that bears the same ratio to the amount of the stipend as the unserved portion of required service bears to the five years of required service.

(b)  The obligation to reimburse the agency under this section is, for all purposes, a debt to the state. A discharge in bankruptcy under Title 11, United States Code, does not release a participant from the obligation to reimburse the agency. The amount owed bears interest at the rate equal to the highest rate being paid by the United States on the day the reimbursement is determined to be due for securities that have maturities of 90 days or less, and the interest accrues from the day the participant receives notice of the amount due.

(c)  For purposes of this section, a participant in the program is not considered to be in violation of an agreement under Section 21.508 during any period in which the participant:

(1)  is pursuing a full-time course of study related to the field of teaching at a public or private institution of higher education approved by the State Board for Educator Certification;

(2)  is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States;

(3)  is temporarily totally disabled for a period not to exceed three years as established by sworn affidavit of a qualified physician;

(4)  is unable to secure employment for a period not to exceed one year because of care required by a disabled spouse;

(5)  is seeking and unable to find full-time employment as a teacher in a public elementary or secondary school for a single period not to exceed 27 months; or

(6)  satisfies the provisions of any additional reimbursement exception adopted by the agency.

(d)  A participant is excused from reimbursement under Subsection (a) if:

(1)  the participant becomes permanently totally disabled as established by sworn affidavit of a qualified physician; or

(2)  the agency waives reimbursement in the case of extreme hardship to the participant.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section 21.511.  Rules.

The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.07(a), eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 87, Sec. 7.001, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter L. Teach For Texas Pilot Program Relating To Alternative Certification

Section  21.551.  Purposes.

The purposes of the alternative certification Teach for Texas Pilot Program are to:

(1)  attract to the teaching profession persons who have expressed interest in teaching and to support the certification of those persons as teachers;

(2)  recognize the importance of the certification process governed by the State Board for Educator Certification under Subchapter B, which requires verification of competence in subject area and professional knowledge and skills;

(3)  encourage the creation and expansion of educator preparation programs that recognize the knowledge and skills gained through previous educational and work-related experiences and that are delivered in a manner that recognizes individual circumstances, including the need to remain employed full-time while enrolled in the Teach for Texas Pilot Program; and

(4)  provide annual stipends to postbaccalaureate teacher certification candidates.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1590, Sec. 8, eff. June 19, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 21.501 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(16), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.552.  Program Established. The

State Board for Educator Certification by rule shall establish the Teach for Texas Pilot Program consistent with the purposes provided by Section 21.551.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1590, Sec. 8, eff. June 19, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 21.502 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(16), eff. Sept. 1, 2001. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.002(4), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.553.  Financial Incentives.

(a) The pilot program must offer to participants financial incentives, including tuition assistance and loan forgiveness. In offering a financial incentive, the State Board for Educator Certification shall:

(1)  require a contract between each participant who accepts a financial incentive and the State Board for Educator Certification under which the participant is obligated to teach in a public school in this state for a stated period after certification;

(2)  provide financial incentives in proportion to the length of the period the participant is obligated by contract to teach after certification; and

(3)  give special financial incentives to a participant who agrees in the contract to teach in an underserved area.

(b)  Financial incentives may be paid only from funds appropriated specifically for that purpose and from gifts, grants, and donations solicited or accepted by the State Board for Educator Certification for that purpose.

(c)  The State Board for Educator Certification shall propose rules establishing criteria for awarding financial incentives under this section, including criteria for awarding financial incentives if there are more participants than funds available to provide the financial incentives.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1590, Sec. 8, eff. June 19, 1999. Renumbered from Sec. 21.503 by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 21.001(16), eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter M. Careers To Classrooms Program

Section  21.601.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Institution of higher education" has the meaning assigned by 20 U.S.C. Section 1001 and its subsequent amendments.

(2)  "Program" means the Careers to Classrooms Program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.602.  Establishment Of Program.

The agency shall establish a program to:

(1)  assist persons in obtaining certification in this state as elementary or secondary school teachers or educational aides; and

(2)  facilitate the employment of those persons by school districts in this state that:

(A)  receive grants under 20 U.S.C. Section 6311 et seq. and its subsequent amendments on the basis of having in the district concentrations of children who are educationally disadvantaged; and

(B)  have a shortage of:

(i)  qualified teachers, particularly science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering teachers; or

(ii)  educational aides.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.603.  Eligibility.

A person is eligible for the program if:

(1)  in the case of a person planning to become certified in this state as a public elementary or secondary school teacher, the person has received a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an institution of higher education; and

(2)  in the case of a person planning to become certified in this state as an educational aide, the person has received an associate, baccalaureate, or advanced degree from an institution of higher education.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.604.  Information And Applications.

(a) The agency shall develop an application for the program.

(b)  The agency and the State Board for Educator Certification shall distribute the applications and information regarding the program.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.605.  Selection Of Participants.

(a) The agency shall select persons to participate in the program on the basis of applications submitted to the agency.

(b)  Each application must be submitted:

(1)  in the form and contain the information the agency requires; and

(2)  in a timely manner.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.606.  Preferences.

(a) In selecting persons to participate in the program who are planning to become certified in this state as teachers, the agency shall give preference to a person who:

(1)  has substantial, demonstrated career experience in science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering and agrees to seek employment as a teacher in one of those subjects in a public elementary or secondary school in this state; or

(2)  has substantial, demonstrated career experience in a field other than science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering that is identified by the agency as a field important for state educational objectives and agrees to seek employment as a teacher in a subject related to that field in a public elementary or secondary school in this state.

(b)  The commissioner shall determine the level of experience considered substantial for purposes of this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.607.  Agreement.

(a) A person selected to participate in the program who is planning to become certified as a teacher must enter into a written agreement with the agency under which the person agrees to:

(1)  obtain, within the period the agency by rule requires, certification in this state as an elementary or secondary school teacher; and

(2)  accept, during the first school year that begins after the date the person becomes certified, an offer of full-time employment for at least two school years as an elementary or secondary school teacher with a school district described by Sections 21.602(2)(A) and (B)(i).

(b)  A person selected to participate in the program who is planning to become certified as an educational aide must enter into a written agreement with the agency under which the person agrees to:

(1)  obtain, within the period the agency by rule requires, certification in this state as an educational aide; and

(2)  accept, during the first school year that begins after the date the person becomes certified, an offer of full-time employment for at least two school years as an educational aide with a school district described by Sections 21.602(2)(A) and (B)(ii).

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.608.  Stipend.

The agency shall pay to each participant in the program a stipend equal to the lesser of:

(1)  $5,000; or

(2)  an amount equal to the total costs of the type described by Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (8), and (9), 20 U.S.C. Section 1087ll, and its subsequent amendments, incurred by the person while obtaining certification in this state as a teacher or educational aide and employment as a teacher or educational aide at a public elementary or secondary school in this state.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.609.  Reimbursement.

(a) A participant in the program who fails to obtain certification or employment as required by the agreement under Section 21.607 or who voluntarily leaves or is terminated for cause from employment after teaching in a public elementary or secondary school in this state for less than two school years shall reimburse the agency for the portion of the stipend that bears the same ratio to the amount of the stipend as the unserved portion of required service bears to the two school years of required service.

(b)  The obligation to reimburse the agency under this section is, for all purposes, a debt to the state. A discharge in bankruptcy under Title 11, United States Code, does not release a participant from the obligation to reimburse the agency. The amount owed bears interest at the rate equal to the highest rate being paid by the United States on the day the reimbursement is determined to be due for securities that have maturities of 90 days or less, and the interest accrues from the day the participant receives notice of the amount due.

(c)  For purposes of this section, a participant in the program is not considered to be in violation of an agreement under Section 21.607 during any period in which the participant:

(1)  is pursuing a full-time course of study related to the field of teaching at an institution of higher education approved by the State Board for Educator Certification;

(2)  is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States;

(3)  is temporarily totally disabled for a period not to exceed three years as established by affidavit of a qualified physician;

(4)  is unable to secure employment for a period not to exceed one year because of care required by a disabled spouse;

(5)  is seeking and unable to find full-time employment as a teacher in a public elementary or secondary school for a single period not to exceed 27 months; or

(6)  satisfies the provisions of any additional reimbursement exception adopted by the agency.

(d)  A participant is excused from reimbursement under Subsection (a) if the participant becomes permanently totally disabled as established by affidavit of a qualified physician. The agency may waive reimbursement for some or all of the amount owed in the case of extreme hardship to the participant.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.610.  Grants To Facilitate Placement.

(a) The agency may enter into an agreement as prescribed by Subsection (b) with a school district described by Section 21.602(2) that first employs as a full-time elementary or secondary school teacher or educational aide after certification a person participating in the program.

(b)  An agreement under this section must provide that:

(1)  the school district agrees to employ the person full-time for at least two school years at a specified salary in a district school that:

(A)  serves a concentration of children who are educationally disadvantaged; and

(B)  has an exceptional need for teachers or educational aides, as applicable; and

(2)  the state shall pay the district for that person $5,000 each year for not more than two years.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Section  21.611.  Rules.

The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 808, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.



Subchapter O. Educator Excellence Awards Program

Section 21.701.  Definition.

In this subchapter, "program" means the educator excellence awards program.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.



Section 21.702.  Educator Excellence Awards Program. (a)

The commissioner by rule shall establish an educator excellence awards program under which school districts, in accordance with local awards plans approved by the commissioner, receive program grants from the agency for the purpose of providing awards to district employees in the manner provided by Section 21.705.

(b)  In establishing the program, the commissioner shall adopt program guidelines in accordance with this subchapter for a school district to follow in developing a local awards plan under Section 21.704.

(c)  In adopting rules under this section, the commissioner shall include rules governing eligibility for and participation by an open-enrollment charter school in the program.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.



Section 21.703.  Educator Excellence Fund; Amount Of Grant Award.

(a) Each state fiscal year, the commissioner shall deposit an amount determined by the General Appropriations Act to the credit of the educator excellence fund in the general revenue fund.  Each state fiscal year, the agency shall use funds in the educator excellence fund to provide a qualifying school district a grant in an amount determined by:

(1)  dividing the amount of money available for distribution in the educator excellence fund by the total number of students in average daily attendance in qualifying districts for that fiscal year; and

(2)  multiplying the amount determined under Subdivision (1) by the number of students in average daily attendance in the district.

(b) Expired.

(1) Expired.

(2) Expired.

(c) Expired.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 21.704.  Local Awards Plans.

(a) A district-level committee for a school district that intends to participate in the program, such as the district-level planning and decision-making committee established under Subchapter F, Chapter 11, shall develop a local awards plan for the district.  The local awards plan may provide for all campuses in the district to participate in the program or only certain campuses selected by the district-level committee.  A majority of classroom teachers assigned to a campus that is selected by the district-level committee to participate in the program must approve participation to be included in the local awards plan.

(b)  Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 105(a)(2), eff. September 1, 2009.

(c)  A school district shall submit a local awards plan to the agency for approval.  The plan must be submitted together with evidence of significant teacher involvement in the development of the plan.

(c-1)  A local awards plan must provide for teachers and principals eligible to receive awards under the plan to be notified of the specific criteria and any formulas on which the awards will be based before the beginning of the period on which the awards will be based.

(d)  The agency may approve only a local awards plan that meets program guidelines adopted by the commissioner under Section 21.702 and that satisfies this section and Section 21.705.

(e)  The agency shall make model local awards plans available to school districts that wish to participate in the program.

(f)  A school district whose local awards plan is approved by the agency to receive a program grant under this subchapter may renew the plan for three consecutive school years without resubmitting the plan to the agency for approval.  A school district may amend a local awards plan for approval by the agency for each school year the district receives a program grant.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 105(a)(2), eff. September 1, 2009.



Text of section as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1262, Sec. 1

For text of section as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 13, see other Sec. 21.705.

Section 21.705.  Award Payments.

A school district must use at least 60 percent of grant funds awarded to the district under this subchapter to directly award classroom teachers who effectively improve student achievement as determined by meaningful, objective measures.  The remaining funds must be used only to:

(1)  provide stipends to effective mentors or teacher coaches;

(2)  provide stipends to classroom teachers who are certified in a subject that is designated by the commissioner as commonly experiencing a critical shortage of teachers;

(3)  provide stipends to classroom teachers who are certified under Subchapter B in the main subject area in which they teach;

(4)  provide stipends to classroom teachers with proven records of success for improving student performance who are assigned to campuses at which the district has experienced difficulty assigning or retaining teachers;

(5)  provide stipends to classroom teachers who hold postgraduate degrees;

(6)  provide stipends to classroom teachers who hold advanced certification from an organization that certifies at least 2,500 teachers in the United States each year based on the teachers' satisfaction, through study, expert evaluation, self-assessment, and peer review, of high and rigorous standards for accomplished teaching;

(7)  provide awards to principals who effectively increase student performance as determined by objective measures;

(8)  provide awards to other campus employees who demonstrate excellence;  or

(9)  implement the components of a Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), including:

(A)  an instructionally focused accountability system;  and

(B)  the adjustment of teaching schedules to permit ongoing applied professional growth.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1262, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.



Text of section as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 13

For text of section as amended by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1262, Sec. 1, see other Sec. 21.705.

Section 21.705.  Award Payments.

A school district must use at least 60 percent of grant funds awarded to the district under this subchapter to directly award classroom teachers and principals who effectively improve student achievement as determined by meaningful, objective measures.  The remaining funds must be used only to:

(1)  provide teacher induction and mentoring support, including stipends to effective mentors or teacher coaches;

(2)  provide stipends to classroom teachers who are certified in a subject that is designated by the commissioner as commonly experiencing a critical shortage of teachers;

(3)  provide stipends to classroom teachers who are certified under Subchapter B in the main subject area in which they teach;

(4)  provide stipends to recruit and retain classroom teachers and principals with proven records of success for improving student performance who are assigned to campuses at which the district has experienced difficulty assigning or retaining teachers;

(5)   provide awards to other campus employees who demonstrate excellence;

(6)  implement the components of a Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), including:

(A)  an instructionally focused accountability system; and

(B)  the adjustment of teaching schedules to permit ongoing applied professional growth; or

(7)  provide funding for previously developed incentive programs.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1262, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1328, Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 21.707.  Rules.

The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to administer this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2006, 79th Leg., 3rd C.S., Ch. 5, Sec. 4.08, eff. May 31, 2006.


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