SBOE finally approves amendments to contract abandonment rules

Teacher with dress shirt and tie holding books and standing in front of a classroom whiteboard.

After months of negotiations and several rounds of Texas AFT testimony, the State Board of Education (SBOE) last week gave final approval to revised State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rules related to contract abandonment and to HB 2519, which allows flexibility when teachers resign 30 to 45 days prior to the first day of instruction.

Under the current rules, teachers who resign with fewer than 45 days of notice prior to the first day of instruction without “good cause” or “mitigating factors,” and without the consent of the school district, are subject to certification sanction by SBEC. Typically, SBEC would issue a one-year suspension for educators in this situation.

Under the new rules, which go into effect March 3, 2022, SBEC will consider new “mitigating factors” to provide a lower sanction or no sanction at all. These factors are:

  • An educator has changed to a position requiring a different class of educator certification;
  • An educator resigned due to working conditions “that reasonably posed an immediate threat of significant physical harm to the educator”; or
  • An educator experiences a reduction in base pay, excluding stipends, compared to the educator’s base pay for the prior year at the same school district.

Stay tuned for a Texas AFT webinar to discuss in detail what these rules mean for educators.