In Texas, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) oversees all aspects of the preparation, certification and standards of conduct of public school educators. It conducts investigations into teachers for alleged misconduct and has the power to discipline them. Punishment can range from a reprimand to license revocation in the worst cases.
While the SBEC doesn’t directly terminate teachers, Texas state law prohibits teachers who lose or surrender their licenses from teaching at a public school. Depending on the alleged misconduct, the SBEC could prohibit a teacher under investigation from teaching until the investigation concludes. But Texas teachers should know that an investigation doesn’t automatically lead to termination.
What kinds of misconduct would lead to lead to disciplinary action? The SBEC states:
- Code of Ethics violations;
- Contract abandonment;
- Conviction of a crime directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession School or educational activities in violation of law;
- Failure to cooperate with a Board investigation;
- Failure to report or hindering the reporting of child abuse or the known criminal history of an educator as required by law and Board rules;
- Unworthiness of instruction or supervision the youth of the state; or
- Violation of the security or integrity of a state assessment.
A teacher convicted of a crime “directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession” should expect to lose or surrender his license. The SBEC defines such crimes thus:
- Any crime for which the underlying facts would support a felony conviction for possession, transfer, sale, distribution, or conspiracy to possess, transfer, sell or distribute any controlled substance;
- Crimes involving an attempt by fraudulent or unauthorized means to obtain or alter any certificate or permit that would entitle a person to hold or obtain a position as an educator;
- Crimes involving moral turpitude;
- Crimes involving sexual or physical abuse of a minor or student or other illegal conduct with a minor or student;
- Crimes involving school property or funds;
- Crimes that occur wholly or in part on school property or at a school-sponsored activity; or
- Two or more crimes committed within a 12-month period that involve public intoxication, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or disorderly conduct.
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with the SBEC, you should immediately seek professional counsel. We are experienced license defense attorneys, and we know how to navigate the complaint process against your teaching license. Call us now at 512-717-5432 to defend the license you worked so hard to obtain.