TEA conducts a national criminal history check on all applicants for certification. Texas Education Code (TEC) §22.0831 states "The board shall review the national criminal history record information of a person who has not previously submitted fingerprints to the department or been subject to a national criminal history record information review."
- Will having a criminal history prevent me from becoming certified?
- Will TEA provide an opinion about my eligibility if I am not currently an applicant for certification?
- What are my privacy rights as a noncriminal justice applicant?
1. Will having a criminal history prevent me from becoming certified?
Possibly. Criminal histories are evaluated on a case by case basis by considering the following factors:
- the nature and seriousness of the crime;
- the relationship of the crime to the purposes that certification is required to become a professional educator;
- the extent to which certification might offer an opportunity to engage in further criminal activity of the same type as that in which the person previously had been involved;
- the relationship of the crime to the ability, capacity, or fitness required to perform the duties of a professional educator;
- the extent of the applicant's past criminal activity;
- the age of the person when the crime was committed;
- the amount of time that has elapsed since the person's last criminal activity;
- the conduct and work activity of the person before and after the criminal activity;
- if the person has completed the terms of their probation or deferred adjudication;
- the evidence of rehabilitation; and
- other evidence, including letters of recommendation.
2. Will TEA provide an opinion about my eligibility if I am not currently an applicant for certification?
Yes. As a service, TEA will provide a Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation for a non-refundable fee. For more information review the FAQs for the Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation.
3. What are my privacy rights as a noncriminal justice applicant?
You are afforded certain privacy rights if you are the subject of a national fingerprint-based criminal history record check for a noncriminal justice purpose (such as an applicant for educator certification). Review your privacy rights at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/cc/library/noncriminal-justice-applicants-privacy.