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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 7STATE BOARD FOR EDUCATOR CERTIFICATION
CHAPTER 249DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS, SANCTIONS, AND CONTESTED CASES
SUBCHAPTER BENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AND GUIDELINES
RULE §249.15Disciplinary Action by State Board for Educator Certification

(a) Pursuant to this chapter, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) may take any of the following actions:

  (1) place restrictions on the issuance, renewal, or holding of a certificate, either indefinitely or for a set term;

  (2) issue an inscribed or non-inscribed reprimand;

  (3) suspend a certificate for a set term or issue a probated suspension for a set term;

  (4) revoke or cancel, which includes accepting the surrender of, a certificate without opportunity for reapplication for a set term or permanently;

  (5) impose any additional conditions or restrictions upon a certificate that the SBEC deems necessary to facilitate the rehabilitation and professional development of the educator or to protect students, parents of students, school personnel, or school officials; or

  (6) impose an administrative penalty of $500-$10,000 on a superintendent or director who fails to file timely a report required under §249.14(d) of this title (relating to Complaint, Required Reporting, and Investigation; Investigative Notice; Filing of Petition) or on a principal who fails to timely notify a superintendent or director as required under §249.14(e) of this title under the circumstances and in the manner required by the Texas Education Code (TEC), §21.006.

(b) The SBEC may take any of the actions listed in subsection (a) of this section based on satisfactory evidence that:

  (1) the person has conducted school or education activities in violation of law;

  (2) the person is unworthy to instruct or to supervise the youth of this state;

  (3) the person has violated a provision of the Educators' Code of Ethics;

  (4) the person has failed to report or has hindered the reporting of child abuse pursuant to the Texas Family Code, §261.001, or has failed to notify the SBEC or the school superintendent or director under the circumstances and in the manner required by the TEC, §21.006, and §249.14(d)-(f) of this title;

  (5) the person has abandoned a contract in violation of the TEC, §§21.105(c), 21.160(c), or 21.210(c);

  (6) the person has failed to cooperate with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in an investigation;

  (7) the person has failed to provide information required to be provided by §229.3 of this title (relating to Required Submissions of Information, Surveys, and Other Data);

  (8) the person has violated the security or integrity of any assessment required by the TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, as described in subsection (g) of this section or has committed an act that is a departure from the test administration procedures established by the commissioner of education in Chapter 101 of this title (relating to Assessment);

  (9) the person has committed an act described in §249.14(k)(1) of this title, which constitutes sanctionable Priority 1 conduct, as follows:

    (A) any conduct constituting a felony criminal offense;

    (B) indecent exposure;

    (C) public lewdness;

    (D) child abuse and/or neglect;

    (E) possession of a weapon on school property;

    (F) drug offenses occurring on school property;

    (G) sale to or making alcohol or other drugs available to a student or minor;

    (H) sale, distribution, or display of harmful material to a student or minor;

    (I) certificate fraud;

    (J) state assessment testing violations;

    (K) deadly conduct; or

    (L) conduct that involves soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct or a romantic relationship with a student or minor;

  (10) the person has committed an act that would constitute an offense (without regard to whether there has been a criminal conviction) that is considered to relate directly to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession, as described in §249.16(c) of this title (relating to Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, and Texas Education Code, Chapter 21). Such offenses indicate a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of a student or minor, parent of a student, fellow employee, or professional colleague; interfere with the orderly, efficient, or safe operation of a school district, campus, or activity; or indicate impaired ability or misrepresentation of qualifications to perform the functions of an educator and include, but are not limited to:

    (A) offenses involving moral turpitude;

    (B) offenses involving any form of sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a student or minor or other illegal conduct with a student or minor;

    (C) offenses involving any felony possession or conspiracy to possess, or any misdemeanor or felony transfer, sale, distribution, or conspiracy to transfer, sell, or distribute any controlled substance defined in the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 481;

    (D) offenses involving school property or funds;

    (E) offenses involving any attempt by fraudulent or unauthorized means to obtain or alter any certificate or permit that would entitle any person to hold or obtain a position as an educator;

    (F) offenses occurring wholly or in part on school property or at a school-sponsored activity; or

    (G) felony offenses involving driving while intoxicated (DWI);

  (11) the person has intentionally failed to comply with the reporting, notification, and confidentiality requirements specified in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, §15.27(a), relating to student arrests, detentions, and juvenile referrals for certain offenses;

  (12) the person has failed to discharge an employee or to refuse to hire an applicant when the person knew that the employee or applicant had been adjudicated for or convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor in accordance with the TEC, §21.009(e), or knew or should have known through a criminal history record information review that the employee or applicant had been convicted of an offense in accordance with the TEC, §22.085;

  (13) the person assisted another educator, school employee, contractor, or agent in obtaining a new job as an educator or in a school, apart from the routine transmission of administrative and personnel files, when the educator knew or had probable cause to believe that such person engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a minor or student;

  (14) the person is a superintendent of a school district or the chief operating officer of an open-enrollment charter school who falsely or inaccurately certified to the commissioner of education that the district or charter school had complied with the TEC, §22.085; or

  (15) the person has failed to comply with an order or decision of the SBEC.

(c) The TEA staff may commence a contested case to take any of the actions listed in subsection (a) of this section by serving a petition to the certificate holder in accordance with this chapter describing the SBEC's intent to issue a sanction and specifying the legal and factual reasons for the sanction. The certificate holder shall have 30 calendar days to file an answer as provided in §249.27 of this title (relating to Answer).

(d) Upon the failure of the certificate holder to file a written answer as required by this chapter, the TEA staff may file a request for the issuance of a default judgment from the SBEC imposing the proposed sanction in accordance with §249.35 of this title (relating to Disposition Prior to Hearing; Default).

(e) If the certificate holder files a timely answer as provided in this section, the case will be referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for hearing in accordance with the SOAH rules; the Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001; and this chapter.

(f) The provisions of this section are not exclusive and do not preclude consideration of other grounds or measures available by law to the SBEC or the TEA staff, including student loan default or child support arrears. The SBEC may request the Office of the Attorney General to pursue available civil, equitable, or other legal remedies to enforce an order or decision of the SBEC under this chapter.

(g) The statewide assessment program as defined by the TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, is a secure testing program.

  (1) Procedures for maintaining security shall be specified in the appropriate test administration materials.

  (2) Secure test materials must be accounted for before, during, and after each test administration. Only authorized personnel may have access to secure test materials.

  (3) The contents of each test booklet and answer document are confidential in accordance with the Texas Government Code, Chapter 551, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Individual student performance results are confidential as specified under the TEC, §39.030(b).

  (4) Violation of security or confidential integrity of any test required by the TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, shall be prohibited. A person who engages in conduct prohibited by this section may be subject to sanction of credentials, including any of the sanctions provided by subsection (a) of this section.

  (5) Charter school test administrators are not required to be certified; however, any irregularity in the administration of any test required by the TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, would cause the charter itself to come under review by the commissioner of education for possible sanctions or revocation, as provided under the TEC, §12.115(a)(4).

  (6) Conduct that violates the security and confidential integrity of a test is evidenced by any departure from the test administration procedures established by the commissioner of education. Conduct of this nature may include, but is not limited to, the following acts and omissions:

    (A) viewing a test before, during, or after an assessment unless specifically authorized to do so;

    (B) duplicating secure examination materials;

    (C) disclosing the contents of any portion of a secure test;

    (D) providing, suggesting, or indicating to an examinee a response or answer to a secure test item or prompt;

    (E) changing or altering a response or answer of an examinee to a secure test item or prompt;

    (F) aiding or assisting an examinee with a response or answer to a secure test item or prompt;

    (G) fraudulently exempting or preventing a student from the administration of a required state assessment;

    (H) encouraging or assisting an individual to engage in the conduct described in paragraphs (1)-(7) of this subsection; or

    (I) failing to report to an appropriate authority that an individual has engaged in conduct outlined in paragraphs (1)-(8) of this subsection.

  (7) Any irregularities in test security or confidential integrity may also result in the invalidation of student results.

  (8) The superintendent and campus principal of each school district and chief administrative officer of each charter school and any private school administering the tests as allowed under the TEC, §39.033, shall develop procedures to ensure the security and confidential integrity of the tests specified in the TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, and shall be responsible for notifying the TEA in writing of conduct that violates the security or confidential integrity of a test administered under the TEC, Chapter 39, Subchapter B. A person who fails to report such conduct as required by this subsection may be subject to any of the sanctions provided by subsection (a) of this section.


Source Note: The provisions of this §249.15 adopted to be effective March 31, 1999, 24 TexReg 2304; amended to be effective December 16, 2007, 32 TexReg 9112; amended to be effective June 21, 2009, 34 TexReg 3944; amended to be effective December 19, 2011, 36 TexReg 8533; amended to be effective October 17, 2013, 38 TexReg 7113; amended to be effective December 28, 2014, 39 TexReg 10010; amended to be effective October 8, 2015, 40 TexReg 6892; amended to be effective May 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 3310; amended to be effective March 8, 2018, 43 TexReg 1275; amended to be effectiveOctober21, 2018, 43 TexReg 6841

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