Hearings and Appeals
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.
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.
Independent Hearing Examiners
Information on the certification criteria for Independent Hearing Examiners can be found in Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 157, subchapter D.
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 request an 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 hearing 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. If you have a continuing contract you must notify the board of trustees not later than the 10th day after the date you receive notice. Texas Education Code, Chapter 21, section 21.159.
Please also refer to Texas Education Code, Chapter 21, Subchapter F, Hearings Conducted by an Independent Hearing Examiner, and instructions for hearings before an Independent Hearing Examiner.
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 decision has been reached, you may file an appeal in writing to the commissioner of education. Please refer to Texas Education Code 7.057. If you believe your appeal is governed by this statue, you have 45 calendar days from the date you were notified of the decision, to file a Petition for Review in writing with the commissioner. Please refer to Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 157, Subchapter AA, BB, and the instructions for filing a Chapter 7.057 petition for review.
Texas Education Code, Section 7.057(a) says:
A person may appeal in writing to the commissioner if the person is aggrieved by:
(1) the school laws of this state; or
(2) actions or decisions of any school district board of trustees that violate:
(A) the school laws of this state; or
(B) a provision of a written employment contract between the school district and a school district employee, if a violation causes or would cause monetary harm to the employee.
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, please refer to Texas Education Code, Chapter 21. If you believe your appeal is governed by Texas Education Code Chapter 21, you have 20 calendar days after the decision of the school board of trustees has communicated to you, to file a Petition for Review to the commissioner of education. Other timelines may be included in the statue. Please refer to the instructions for filing a Chapter 21 Petition for Review.
Once you have determined the type of case you will filing, please refer to Chapter 157 Texas Administrative Code, Subchapter AA.
Email submission of documents is not permitted. Please refer to Chapter 157 regarding the filing procedure on the above mentioned link.
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, refer to the following:
- Probationary contracts: Subchapter C and G.
- Continuing contracts: Subchapter D and G.
- Term contracts: Subchapters E and G.
- Specific appeals to the commissioner: Texas Administrative Code, chapter 157 BB.
- TEA administrative rules: Texas Administrative Code.
- Appeals to district court in Travis County: Texas Education Code, section 7.057(d).
- Judicial Appeals: Texas Education Code, section 21.307 and the Government Code, Section 2001.171
For questions related to hearings and appeals, please contact Christina Eischens, Legal Services Division of Hearings and Appeals at (512) 463-0489.
Texas Education Agency
Legal Services, Division of Hearings and Appeals
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Fax: (512) 475-3662
For questions, please contact Christina Eischens, Legal Services Division of Hearings and Appeals at 512-463-0489.