The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) has been responsible for disciplining educators for misconduct since March 31, 1999. Below you will find FAQs about conduct and criminal activity, disciplinary action, and filing an allegation of misconduct against an educator.
To efficiently administer and implement the SBEC’s purpose, the TEA staff sets priorities for the investigation of complaints based on the severity and immediacy of the allegations and the likelihood of harm posed by the subject of the investigation. Not all complaints will be investigated by Educator Investigations’ staff. If you have not already done so, you should share your concerns with your local school board, and district administrators. This may offer you the best option to resolve your concerns.
- What conduct can lead to disciplinary action by SBEC?
- What crimes does SBEC consider to be directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession?
- What disciplinary action can SBEC take?
- Does SBEC only investigate and discipline teachers?
- How does an individual file an allegation of misconduct against an educator?
- What information must be included in the letter?
- Does SBEC accept and consider anonymous complaints?
1. What conduct can lead to disciplinary action by SBEC?
SBEC may take disciplinary action against an educator for the following reasons:
- School or educational activities in violation of law;
- An educator who is unworthy to instruct or supervise the youth of the state;
- Code of Ethics violations;
- 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;
- Contract abandonment;
- Failure to cooperate with a Board investigation;
- Conviction of a crime directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession or
- Violation of the security or integrity of a state assessment.
The above list is not exclusive. SBEC may take disciplinary action against an educator on other grounds or measures available by law.
2. What crimes does SBEC consider to be directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the education profession?
The following crimes are directly related to the duties and responsibilities or the educator profession:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude;
- Crimes involving sexual or physical abuse of a minor or student or other illegal conduct with a minor or student;
- Solicited or engaged in sexual conduct or a romantic relationship with a student or minor;
- 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 school property or funds;
- 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 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.
3. What disciplinary action can SBEC take?
SBEC may take the following action against an educator's certificate:
- Require a person to withdraw from an educator preparation program;
- Place restrictions on the issuance, renewal, or holding of a certificate, either indefinitely or for a set term;
- Issue a non-inscribed reprimand, which is a formal, unpublished censure that does not appear on the face of the educator's official certification records;
- Issue an inscribed reprimand, which is a formal, published censure that appears on the face of the educator's official certification records;
- Suspend a certificate for a set term or
- Revoke or cancel, which includes accepting the surrender of a certificate without opportunity for reapplication for a set term or permanently.
4. Does SBEC only investigate and discipline teachers?
No. SBEC can investigate and discipline anyone who holds a certificate issued under Chapter 21, Subchapter B of the Texas Education Code. This includes teachers, librarians, counselors, educational diagnosticians, administrators, and paraprofessionals. Additionally, the Board may investigate and take disciplinary action against applicants for certification, examinees taking certification exams, anyone in an educator preparation program and persons erroneously issued a certificate.
5. How does an individual file an allegation of misconduct against an educator?
Mail your complaint of misconduct to the TEA main address:
Allegation of Misconduct
Texas Education Agency
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701-1494
Fax: (512) 475-3665
6. What information must be included in the letter?
The letter must identify the certified educator against whom the complaint is being filed, provide specific information about the nature and substance of the alleged misconduct, state the names and addresses of any witnesses, as well as the name and address of the individual filing the complaint.
7. Does SBEC accept and consider anonymous complaints?
SBEC will not consider complaints that do not include the name and address of the individual filing the complaint.