Educators, Admin and Faculty


Under Texas Law, the term “teacher” encompasses various roles, including Principal, Supervisor, Classroom Teacher, School Counselor, School Nurse, or any other full-time professional employee mandated to hold a certificate issued by the State Board for Educator Certification.

There has been a significant shift in public opinion about teachers over the past decade. Once celebrated as the best and brightest in our communities, teachers were viewed as mentors and guides for a new generation.

Unfortunately, due to budget cuts and negative press reports about teacher misconduct, teachers are now experiencing a different public perception. This shift has led to increased pressure and a more adversarial stance towards their jobs as a whole.

Our firm recognizes teachers’ vital roles in shaping future generations and preparing them to become responsible members of society.

We understand the challenges that teachers face in the current times and appreciate the dedication and hard work they put in to make their classrooms successful.

In Texas, public school teachers have certain constitutional rights that protect them from arbitrary actions taken by the state. As public entities, Texas public schools are bound by certain constitutional restrictions that limit the state’s actions against their employees.

These protections include the right to due process, which means that teachers have the right to receive a notice of termination and a hearing to determine the validity of any case brought against them.

Additionally, teachers are protected from arbitrary dismissal based on personal or political reasons and from irrational punishments such as salary reduction or demotion.

Texas Educators and Administrators

Educators in Texas have the right to receive a certain level of due process before they can be terminated. The level of due process that an educator is entitled to depends on the type of contract they have with the school district.

There are three types of teacher contracts in the state of Texas:

  • Probationary Contract
  • Term Contract
  • Continuing Contract

Probationary Contracts

A teacher is employed under a probationary contract if the teacher is new to a district or was previously employed and returns to the district after a two-year lapse. However, a district may employ an experienced teacher or principal on a term contract. A probationary contract can run up to four years, but at the end of the fourth year, the school district has to terminate the teacher or convert the teacher to a term or continuing contract.

A probationary contract teacher is entitled to most of the rights and privileges of employment that term or continuing teachers have, i.e., state minimum salary schedule, duty-free lunch, personal leave days, planning and prep time, right to resign without board approval if done in writing at least 45 days before the first day of instruction, etc.

A probationary contract teacher can be proposed for termination during the contract term for good cause or due to reduction-in-force. If a probationary contract teacher is proposed for termination during the contract term, the teacher is entitled to the same type of Subchapter F proceeding that the continuing and term contract teacher gets i.e. request a hearing before an independent hearing officer. The probationary teacher must request a hearing from the commissioner of education within 15 days. If the proposed termination is due to a declared financial exigency, the district must apply the procedures applicable to end-of-term discharge.

Unlike a term or continuing contract teacher, a probationary contract teacher discharged at the end of the term cannot appeal the decision to the local board. That decision is final. The probationary contract teacher does not have the right of appeal to the local board as term or continuing contract teachers have. The district must, however, inform the teacher of the intention to non-renew the teacher at least 10 days before the last day of instruction. If the school district fails to notify the teacher within 10 days, the teacher’s probationary is automatically renewed.

A probationary contract teacher may only challenge the termination of an end-of-term probationary contract by filing a grievance if the district failed to follow proper procedure (as set out in state law or the district’s own policy) or the dismissal was for an improper reason.

Continuing Contracts

A continuing contract is indefinite and ceases only if the employee resigns, retires, or is lawfully dismissed. A continuing contract is very similar to a tenured position. Continuing contracts are the rarest form of teacher contracts in Texas.

A teacher with a continuing contract can only be dismissed during the contract term and for good cause as determined by the district. The dismissed teacher is entitled to a fair, impartial hearing before an independent hearing examiner. This type of hearing is commonly called a “Subchapter F” hearing, referring to Chapter 21, subchapter F of the Texas Education Code.

If there are specific details or assistance you seek regarding our legal services, Contact Here

Term Contracts

A term contract is set for a definite amount of time, usually one or two years. A term contract may not exceed five school years and is the most widely used contract for experienced teachers. The local school board renews a term contract.

A teacher with a term contract can be terminated during the contract term for good cause as determined by the school district or as a result of reduced personnel.

If a term contract teacher is proposed for termination during the contract term, the teacher is entitled to the same type of Subchapter F proceeding that the continuing contract teacher gets i.e. request a hearing before an independent hearing officer. If the termination is due to a declared financial exigency, the district must apply the procedures applicable to end-of-term discharge.If a term contract teacher is proposed for nonrenewal at the end of the contract term, the teacher is entitled to written notice from the school district’s Board of Trustees of the proposed nonrenewal at least 10 days before the last day of instruction. If the board does not provide this notice in a timely manner, the teacher’s contract is automatically renewed for the next school year. Upon receipt of the notice, the term contract teacher has 15 days to request a hearing concerning the nonrenewal.

Teacher Misconduct, Discipline, and Certification

Because of a teacher’s unique position, teachers could be accused of violating the Texas Educators Code of Conduct for conduct that did not even occur on school grounds or for conduct unrelated to students.  Violating the Texas Educators Code of Conduct could lead to suspending or revoking the teacher’s license to teach. Therefore, not only can a teacher face disciplinary actions for job-related issues, but a teacher can also face disciplinary action for specific personal and family issues, thereby subjecting the teacher to administrative, civil, and criminal liability all at once.

Once the school district becomes aware of the violation, the school district places the teacher on administrative leave and makes a mandatory report to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) of such violation. This is known as the Mandatory Report.

Once TEA receives this referral, TEA issues an investigation notice to the teacher informing the teacher about the allegations and potential legal proceedings against the teacher. The teacher is then invited to a preliminary meeting with the investigator. If the investigator finds the allegations unfounded, he closes the case, and that’s the end of the matter.

In reality, the investigators always find good cause to refer the matter to the legal division for prosecution. The legal division will then initiate legal proceedings against the teacher by filing a Petition with the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) to sanction the teacher for code of ethics violations. Sanctions can vary from a suspension of a teacher’s certificate or the revocation of a certificate.

We have successfully represented teachers at the investigative and prosecutorial levels, negotiated resolutions, and helped them retain their teaching licenses.

If there are specific details or assistance you seek regarding our legal services, please contact us. Schedule a Consultation Interview

We understand that you are nervous about the allegations against you. But there is hope!  We can help!

Click here to see some of the notable victories we have achieved on behalf of our clients. It’s important to recognize that individual outcomes may vary, but our consistent track record is a testament to our capabilities.

Our firm has experience in the following matters:

  • Allegations of Hitting/ Fighting Students
  • Allegations of inappropriate contact with students
  • Allegations of grooming students
  • Misappropriation of Funds
  • Allegations of Verbally Assaulting and Abusing Students
  • Allegations of Inappropriate Use of Social Media (Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook)
  • Substance Abuse Issues
  • Failure to Report Arrests
  • Lying on Applications for Employment
  • Procedural Violations

Legal Checklist for Teachers

To help you get started, please review the checklist below. If you answer “YES” to any of the following questions, you need to consult with an education attorney.

  • Have you experienced workplace friction or hostilities?
  • Have you experienced unnecessary warnings, write-ups, or growth plans?
  • Have you been suspended without pay?
  • Is there an open investigation against you?
  • Has a parent or student filed a complaint/grievance against you?
  • Have you received the notice of non-renewal?
  • Have you received a notice of investigation from the Texas Education Agency?
  • Have you received a Petition filed against you from the State Board of Educator Certification?

If you answered Yes to the above checklist,  please contact us

Due Process for Teachers

Teachers who are accused of misconduct or wrongdoing have certain Due Process rights. It is crucial that the accused teacher’s perspective is heard and heard effectively. As soon as you are called in for an investigation, you have the right to have an attorney present to represent you. Don’t let the administration control the narrative. Contact our office today for assistance

Mandatory Reporting

Effective September 1, 2019, and per the new Texas Education Code (TEC) TEC §21.006 and §22.093, superintendents or directors of school districts, districts of innovation, charter schools, regional education service centers, and shared services arrangements are required to report to the Texas Commissioner of Education when any certified or non-certified employee resigns or is terminated, and there is evidence that the employee: abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor, or was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor.

The new TEC §21.0062 also requires a chief administrative officer of a private school to notify SBEC if a private school educator resigns or is terminated following an incident of misconduct.

All required reports must be submitted within seven business days after an individual has been terminated or resigned.

College Professors: Pre-Tenure Review and Tenure Denials

A tenured post is an indefinite academic appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances, such as financial exigency or program discontinuation. Tenure is granted after a thorough review of the faculty’s qualifications and achievements. The awarding of tenure is a prerogative of the university’s Board of Trustees. The tenure decision is a judgment about a faculty member’s potential for continued teaching effectiveness, intellectual and scholarly growth, and student involvement/service to the University and community based on his/her record during the probationary period.

Education law issues don’t just affect students and parents. College faculty can also benefit from legal representation to uphold their rights. Concerns can arise over denial of tenure, termination of tenure, freedom of speech and retaliation for speaking out, and other work-related issues. An education attorney can help prepare a defense against large institutions to protect faculty rights.

Our firm has experience working with faculty to appeal the denial of tenure, so if you believe that you have been unfairly denied tenure or have been subjected to a post-tenure review process motivated by bias or budget targets, our firm is available to discuss your situation. Contact us.

Tenure and Promotion Appeals Process

A formal appeal comprises a written statement by a tenure‐track faculty member regarding receipt of written notification from the College Tenure and Promotion Committee of a decision not to recommend the granting of tenure and/or promotion.

For some universities, a tenure candidate must meet with the provost before filing an appeal. The purpose of this meeting is for the candidate to seek the provost’s guidance and to allow for informal mediation, if possible. However, meeting with the provost does not prevent the candidate from meeting the deadlines for appeal submission.

A tenure candidate may appeal the tenure denial on the basis of; inadequate consideration, if the candidate can show proof of a procedural flaw or irregularity in the handling of the portfolio, or that the tenure and/or promotion recommendation was unduly influenced by failure of the Departmental Review. The appeal process varies for universities and may be outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

Upon receipt of the appeal, the provost shall convene the Hearing Committee by presenting a copy of the appeal to the chair of the Hearing Committee. Generally, the Hearing Committee is prohibited from substituting its own judgment for that of members of the College Tenure and Promotion Committee on the merits of the candidate’s portfolio. The standard of review varies from university to university and it is imperative that a candidate retain an attorney before submitting an appeal to the provost.

If the Hearing Committee determines by majority vote that a claim of inadequate consideration has been established by the evidence, it shall document the respects in which it believes that consideration may have been inadequate and shall forward its recommendations to the provost’s office.

Upon receipt of the recommendations, the provost shall recommend to the College Tenure and Promotion Committee that it assess the merits once again, this time remedying the inadequacies of its prior consideration.

Exhaust Administrative Remedies

For all education-related legal matters, specific processes must be followed. Before teachers or faculty can file a lawsuit in court, all administrative remedies, including grievances, hearings, department decision reviews, and appeals processes, will need to be exhausted.

An education attorney working on behalf of the faculty must first try to resolve the dispute through all the college standard policies and procedures. This is called Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies. Filing a lawsuit is the last resort to pursue when an issue remains unresolved after all attempts at resolution have failed.

Case Evaluation

Get A Case

Give us a little information about your situation and schedule a case evaluation.
Please note, the case evaluation will not, itself, result in legal advice and no advice will be provided unless and until we enter into an attorney-client relationship.