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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 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, the commissioner of education, or the school superintendent or director under the circumstances and in the manner required by the TEC, §21.006, §21.0062, §22.093, 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 Part 2 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 inappropriate communication with a student as described in §247.2(3)(I) of this title (relating to Code of Ethics and Standard Practices for Texas Educators), inappropriate professional educator-student relationships and boundaries as described in §247.2(3)(H) of this title, or otherwise 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 employee or applicant was employed in a public school and on the registry of persons who are not eligible to be employed under TEC, §22.092, 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 when the person knew or should have known through a criminal history record information review that the employee or applicant had been placed on community supervision or 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 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.


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