Probationary contracts

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SUBCHAPTER C. PROBATIONARY CONTRACTS


§ 21.101. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "teacher" means a principal, supervisor, classroom teacher, counselor, or other full-time professional employee who is required to hold a certificate issued under Subchapter B or a nurse. The term does not include a superintendent or a person who is not entitled to a probationary, continuing, or term contract under Section 21.002, an existing contract, or district policy.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995.


§ 21.102. PROBATIONARY CONTRACT.


Text of subsec. (a) as amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., Ch. 440, § 1.


(a) A person who is employed as a teacher by a school district for the first time, or who has not been employed by the district for two consecutive school years subsequent to August 28, 1967, shall be employed under a probationary contract. A person who previously was employed as a teacher by a district and, after at least a two-year lapse in district employment returns to district employment, may be employed under a probationary contract.


Text of subsec. (a) as amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., Ch. 1232, § 1.


(a) Except as provided by Section 21.202(b), a person who is employed as a teacher by a school district for the first time, or who has not been employed by the district for two consecutive school years subsequent to August 28, 1967, shall be employed under a probationary contract.


(b) A probationary contract may not be for a term exceeding one school year. The probationary contract may be renewed for two additional one-year periods, for a maximum permissible probationary contract period of three school years, except that the probationary period may not exceed one year for a person who has been employed as a teacher in public education for at least five of the eight years preceding employment by the district.


© An employment contract may not extend the probationary contract period beyond the end of the third consecutive school year of the teacher’s employment by the school district unless, during the third year of a teacher’s probationary contract, the board of trustees determines that it is doubtful whether the teacher should be given a continuing contract or a term contract. If the board makes that determination, the district may make a probationary contract with the teacher for a term ending with the fourth consecutive school year of the teacher’s employment with the district, at which time the district shall:


(1) terminate the employment of the teacher; or


(2) employ the teacher under a continuing contract or


a term contract as provided by Subchapter D or E, according to district policy.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 440, § 1, eff. June 20, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1232, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.


§ 21.103. PROBATIONARY CONTRACT:


TERMINATION. (a) The board of trustees of a school district may terminate the employment of a teacher employed under a probationary contract at the end of the contract period if in the board’s judgment the best interests of the district will be served by terminating the employment. The board of trustees must give notice of its decision to terminate the employment to the teacher not later than the 45th day before the last day of instruction required under the contract. The board’s decision is final and may not be appealed.


(b) If the board of trustees fails to give the notice of its decision to terminate the teacher’s employment within the time prescribed by Subsection (a), the board must employ the probationary teacher in the same capacity under:


(1) a probationary contract for the following school year, if the teacher has been employed by the district under a


probationary contract for less than three consecutive school years;


or


(2) a continuing or term contract, according to district policy, if the teacher has been employed by the district under a probationary contract for three consecutive school years.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, § 2.05, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.


§ 21.104. DISCHARGE DURING YEAR OR SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY UNDER PROBATIONARY CONTRACT. (a) A teacher employed under a probationary contract may be discharged at any time for good cause as determined by the board of trustees, good cause being the failure to meet the accepted standards of conduct for the profession as generally recognized and applied in similarly situated school districts in this state.


(b) In lieu of discharge, a school district may suspend a teacher without pay for good cause as specified by Subsection (a) for a period not to extend beyond the end of the current school year.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995.


§ 21.105. RESIGNATIONS UNDER PROBATIONARY CONTRACT. (a) A teacher employed under a probationary contract for the following school year may relinquish the position and leave the employment of the district at the end of a school year without penalty by filing with the board of trustees or its designee a written resignation not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year. A written resignation mailed by prepaid certified or registered mail to the president of the board of trustees or the board’s designee at the post office address of the district is considered filed at the time of mailing.


(b) A teacher employed under a probationary contract may resign, with the consent of the board of trustees or the board’s designee, at any other time.


© On written complaint by the employing district, the State Board for Educator Certification may impose sanctions against a teacher employed under a probationary contract who:


(1) resigns;


(2) fails without good cause to comply with Subsection


(a) or (b); and


(3) fails to perform the contract.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995.


§ 21.106. RETURN TO PROBATIONARY STATUS. (a) In lieu of discharging a teacher employed under a continuing contract, terminating a teacher employed under a term contract, or not renewing a teacher’s term contract, a school district may, with the written consent of the teacher, return the teacher to probationary contract status.


(b) Except as provided by Subsection (d), a teacher may agree to be returned to probationary contract status only after receiving written notice that the board of trustees of the school district has proposed discharge, termination, or nonrenewal.


(c) A teacher returned to probationary contract status must serve a new probationary contract period as provided by Section 21.102 as if the teacher were employed by the district for the first time.


(d) A teacher may agree to be returned to probationary contract status after receiving written notice of the superintendent’s intent to recommend discharge, termination, or nonrenewal. Notice under this subsection must inform the teacher of the school district’s offer to return the teacher to probationary contract status, the period during which the teacher may consider the offer, and the teacher’s right to seek counsel. The district must provide the teacher at least three business days after the date the teacher receives notice under this subsection to agree to be returned to probationary contract status. This subsection does not require a superintendent to provide notice of an intent to recommend discharge, termination, or nonrenewal.


Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995.


Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 507, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.