State Board for Educator Certification news: “Do Not Hire List,” removing penalties for student loan defaults, and keeping “good cause” exceptions for contract abandonment

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) met today to discuss proposed amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 249, Disciplinary Proceedings, Sanctions, and Contested Cases.

The proposed amendments will implement recent laws passed by the 86th Texas Legislature—House Bill 3, and Senate Bills 1230, 1476, and 37. The amendments pertain to new misconduct reporting requirements for administrators and add individuals on the registry of persons ineligible to work in public schools to the list of people that must be fired or refused employment. 

The amendments also remove the reference to student loan default as a ground for discipline by the SBEC—something Texas AFT was successful fighting for.

Changes to the rules on contract abandonment originally included a staff recommendation to remove a “good cause” exception that allows SBEC the discretion to weigh circumstances on a case-by-case basis when an educator abandons their contract. Texas AFT testified against this move, which would affect any educator deemed to abandon a contract, without allowing the board to determine if mitigating factors warrant the educator keeping their certification. We thank the board for listening to and agreeing with Texas AFT’s points made in testimony that removing this discretion and automatically removing a person’s certification would eliminate any need for an SBEC to weigh in on each case. SBEC voted to pull out the contract abandonment portion of the proposed amendments for further review by staff and stakeholders.