Appeals to the Commissioner of Education
If you are an educator that received a notice of contract termination, non-renewal, suspension without pay and would like to request a hearing or file an appeal to the Commissioner of Education OR you are a parent/student that would like to file an appeal of a local ISD grievance decision, refer to the information on this page.
2020 Independent Hearing Examiner Application and Recertifications
The Texas Education Agency is seeking qualified attorneys to act as Independent Hearing Examiners in local school district employment hearings. The Independent Hearing Examiner will preside over hearings involving a nonrenewal or termination of educator employment contracts. The examiner will issue a recommendation for the school district's board of trustees to consider. Hearing requests are assigned on a regional basis. Hearing examiner are paid by the school district and may charge $125 an hour, up to $10,000, plus allowable expenses. The number of assignments an examiner will receive varies from year to year and region to region. There is one mandatory training session that will take place in Austin for qualifying attorneys. The mandatory Annual Independent Hearing Training Course will be held February 19, 2020. To be considered as an Independent Hearing Examiner you are required to complete specific continuing legal education requirement throughout the year. Selected hearing examiners will be required to submit a national criminal history check as a condition of certification. For additional information, interested attorneys may review TEC Chapter21, Subchapter F and 19 TAC Chapter 157, specifically Subchapters D and DD. The application must be filed no later than October 31, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. Application must be faxed, mailed, overnight mail, or hand delivery. No emails are accepted. The fax number is (512) 475-3662, Attention Christina Eischens, Hearings and Appeals Division. For questions, you may contact Mrs. Eischens at (512) 463-0489 or email at Christina.Eischens@tea.state.tx.us.
To search for decisions issued by the commissioner and recommendations issued by an independent hearing examiner, search the commissioner's decisions and local hearing recommendations database.
How to Request Assignment of an Independent Hearing Examiner
If you are an educator and you received a notice from your school board that your contract has been proposed for termination, non-renewed, or suspended without pay, you have the option to request for assignment of an independent hearing examiner with the Commissioner of Education. You must file a written request not later than the 15th calendar day after the date you receive written notice.
Please also refer to the step by step instructions for hearings before an Independent Hearing Examiner.
If you would like to file a complaint against an Independent Hearing Examiner, you may download and complete the form and submit it to our office. Please click here complaint form.
How to File an Appeal before the Commissioner of Education
If you filed a parent, student or educator grievance with the school board and a final decision has been reached, you may file an appeal in writing to the Commissioner of Education. You have 45 calendar days from the date you were notified of the school board decision to file a Petition for Review with the Commissioner of Education. Please refer to the instructions for filing a Chapter 7.057 petition for review.
If you are a teacher and your contract has been terminated, non-renewed, or you have been suspended without pay by your district's school board, you may file an appeal in writing to the Commissioner of Education. You have 20 calendar days after the decision of the school board of trustees has communicated to you, to file a Petition for Review with the Commissioner of Education. Please refer to the instructions for filing a Chapter 21 Petition for Review.
Email submission of documents is not permitted.
TEA does not provide forms or pleading examples due the variety of cases that are filed.
For information on Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 21 teacher contracts and Texas Administrative Code Chapter 157 refer to the following:
- Probationary contracts: Subchapter C and G.
- Continuing contracts: Subchapter D and G and Texas Education Code, Chapter 21, section 21.159.
- Term contracts: Subchapters E and G.
- Specific appeals to the Commissioner: Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 157 BB.
- Texas Education Code, Hearings Before Examiner: Texas Education Code, Chapter 21, Subchapter F and Hearings Conducted by an Independent Hearing Examiner.
- Ch. 7.057 appeal grievance decision to the Commission of Education: Texas Education Code 7.057 and Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 157, Subchapter AA, BB.
- Ch 7.057 Petition for Review requirements: Petition for Review
- Ch. 21 Appeal: Texas Education Code, Chapter 21
- Ch. 21 Petition for Review requirements: Petition for Review
- Appeals to Travis County District Court: Texas Education Code, Section 7.057(d).
- Judicial Appeals: Texas Education Code, Section 21.307 and the Government Code, Section 2001.171
- Certification criteria for Independent Hearing Examiners: Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 157, Subchapter D
- TEA Administrative Rules: Texas Administrative Code.
For questions related to hearings and appeals, please contact Christina Eischens, Office of the General Counsel, Division of Hearings and Appeals at (512) 463-0489.
Texas Education Agency
Office of the General Counsel, Division of Hearings and Appeals
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Fax: (512) 475-3662
For questions, please contact Christina Eischens, Office of the General Counsel, Division of Hearings and Appeals at (512) 463-0489.