What is the Pre-Employment Affidavit the Texas Education Code Requires for Some Educator Positions

The Texas Board of Education (TEA) licenses teachers and other educators nationwide. The TEA also monitors these professionals for compliance with TEA rules and applicable state laws. Violating these rules or laws can result in disciplinary proceedings before the TEA’s State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) and endanger your professional license. A teaching license defense lawyer can represent your interests in these disciplinary proceedings and help you resolve them as positively as possible.

Situations in Which Pre-Employment Affidavits Are Mandatory

Tex. Ed. Code Sec. 21.009 requires applicants for certain educator positions to complete pre-employment affidavits stating whether they ever have been charged with or adjudicated for having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. These positions include the following:

  • teacher
  • teacher intern or trainee
  • librarian
  • educational aide
  • administrator
  • educational diagnostician
  • school counselor
  • audiologist
  • occupational therapist
  • physical therapist
  • physician
  • nurse
  • school psychologist
  • licensed professional counselor
  • marriage and family therapist
  • social worker
  • speech-language pathologist

However, the pre-employment affidavit requirement is inapplicable to substitute teachers or substitutes in any of the above positions. The pre-employment affidavit requirement applies to these positions at all school districts, districts of innovation, open-enrollment charter schools, private schools, regional education service centers, or shared services arrangements. 

Complying with the Pre-Employment Affidavit

All applicants for positions at the types of schools listed above must complete pre-employment affidavits on forms adopted for use by the TEA. Any applicant who discloses an inappropriate relationship with a minor must provide all relevant facts concerning the charge, adjudication, or conviction. If the incident resulted in a charge, the applicant must disclose whether the charge was determined to be true or false. If an applicant discloses a charge, the entity is not precluded from employing the applicant if it determines that the charge was false.

Understanding Adjudications, Convictions, and Charges

According to the approved pre-employment affidavit forms adopted by the TEA, an adjudication and conviction is a “conviction, plea of guilty or no contest (nolo contendre), probation, suspension, or deferred adjudication.” On the other hand, a charge is a “formal criminal charge as documented by a primary charging instrument (a complaint, information, or indictment) under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.” 

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Defining the Inappropriate Relationship

The TEA pre-employment affidavit forms also define an “inappropriate relationship” as the crime of improper relationship between educator and student in Tex. Pen. Code Sec. 21.12. However, an inappropriate relationship can also constitute any other relationship that the SBEC deems inappropriate.  

Under Tex. Pen. Code Sec. 21.12, an employee of a public or private primary or secondary school commits the crime of improper relationship between educator and student if the employee does any of the following:

  1. Engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school at which the employee works;
  2. Holds one of the positions listed above, regardless of whether the employee holds the appropriate certificate, permit, license, or credential for the position, and engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with a person the employee knows is:
    1. Enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school other than a school described by Subdivision (1); or
    2. A student participant in an educational activity that is sponsored by a school district or a public or private primary or secondary school, if students enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school are the primary participants in the activity; or
    3. Engages in conduct described by Section 33.021 (online solicitation of a minor), with a person described by Subdivision (1), or a person the employee knows is a person described by Subdivision (2)(A) or (B), regardless of the age of that person.

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Consequences of Violating the Pre-Employment Affidavit Mandate

If the entity determines that an employee fails to disclose information they were required to disclose in a pre-employment affidavit, they have grounds to terminate their employment. Therefore, applicants must fully disclose all relevant information on the pre-employment affidavit. 

Likewise, the SBEC may revoke the certificate of a school administrator if it determines that it is reasonable to believe the following:

  • The administrator employed an applicant for one of the positions subject to the pre-employment affidavit requirement; and
  • The administrator was aware that the applicant had been adjudicated for or convicted of having an inappropriate relationship with a minor.


Understanding and complying with the pre-employment affidavit requirement mandated by Tex. Ed. Code Sec. 21.009 is crucial for individuals seeking educator positions in Texas. This requirement, applicable to various educator roles across different educational institutions, serves as a protective measure to ensure the safety and well-being of students. Adhering to the disclosure obligations outlined in the pre-employment affidavit fulfills legal obligations and maintains integrity within the education system. Failure to disclose pertinent information may result in severe consequences, including termination of employment or revocation of professional certificates. Therefore, applicants must meticulously adhere to the requirements outlined by the Texas Board of Education to safeguard their careers and uphold the standards of professionalism and accountability within the educational landscape.

We Will Represent Your Interests Before the TEA

The experienced teaching license defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP, will advocate on your behalf in your disciplinary proceedings to help you avoid or minimize negative sanctions against your license. We can investigate your pending complaint, assess the allegations against you and the evidence supporting them, explore all potential options, and arrive at the defense that is most likely to be effective in your case. Together, we will work to resolve your complaint and protect your professional license. Call us at (512) 515-9518 or contact us online.

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