Superintendent Reporting Requirements

 

Effective September 1, 2019, and in accordance with the new Texas Education Code (TEC) §22.093, superintendents or directors of school districts, districts of innovation, charter schools, regional education service centers, and shared services arrangements are required to report to the commissioner when any non-certified employee resigns or is terminated and there is evidence that the employee:

  • Abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor; or
  • Was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor

Superintendents or directors are still required to report certified educators to the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) under TEC §21.006 and Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §249.14. The new TEC §21.0062 also requires a chief administrative officer of a private school to notify SBEC if a private school educator resigns or is terminated following an incident of misconduct.

All required reports must be submitted within seven business days after an individual has been terminated or resigned. To simplify the reporting process, superintendents, directors, and chief administrative officers should send all reports to the TEA Division of Educator Investigations.


How to Submit a Report


Send reports on official school letterhead to the attention of the Director of Educator Investigations via fax to 512-936-8404 or by mail to 1701 N. Congress Ave., 5th Floor, Austin, TX, 78701. Please do not email.

Your report must include the following information: 

  • A summary of the factual circumstances underlying the report;
  • The name of the individual reported and any aliases;
  • The reported individual's certificate number, if any, or social security number and date of birth;
  • The reported individual's last known mailing address and home and daytime phone numbers;
  • The names and any available contact information of any alleged victims;
  • The names and any available contact information of any relevant witnesses to the circumstances requiring the report;
  • The employment status of the individual, including any information about termination or notice of resignation;
  • The name and contact information of the law enforcement or other agency involved in the review of allegations.

 

Frequently Asked Questions  

1.  What kind of misconduct must be reported?

The type of misconduct that must be reported will depend on certificate status and whether the individual is employed at a public school or private school.

Certificate Holders - If an individual holds an SBEC certificate and is employed by a public school, a superintendent or director must report the following allegations of misconduct:

  • Abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor;
  • Was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor;
  • Possessed, transferred, sold, or distributed a controlled substance;
  • Illegally transferred, appropriated, or expended school funds or property;
  • Attempted by fraudulent means to obtain or alter any certificate to gain employment or additional compensation;
  • Committed a criminal offense on school property or at a school-sponsored event;
  • The reported criminal history, when that information is obtained by a means other than through the DPS FACT Clearinghouse.

Non-Certified Employees - If an individual does not hold an SBEC certificate and is employed by a public school, a superintendent or director must report the following allegations of misconduct:

  • Abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor;
  • Was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor;
  • The reported criminal history, when that information is obtained by a means other than through the DPS FACT Clearinghouse.

Private School Educators - If an individual is a private school educator, a chief administrative officer must report the following allegations of misconduct:

  • Abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act with a student or minor;
  • Was involved in a romantic relationship with or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor;
  • A criminal record that the private school obtained.

2.  How long does a superintendent, director, or chief administrative officer have to make a report?

A superintendent, director, or chief administrative officer must make a report not later than seven business days after he or she first becomes aware of a reported criminal history or a termination or resignation and there is evidence of misconduct listed in FAQ #1.

Please be aware that a settlement with a departing employee does not alter the superintendent, director, or chief administrator’s responsibility to report the information.

3.  Is a superintendent, director, or chief administrative officer required to wait until and individual has resigned or been terminated to submit a report?

No. A person who serves as the superintendent, director, or chief operating officer may report evidence of misconduct at any time if that the person believes in good faith that an individual may be subject to SBEC sanctions or placement on the Registry of Individuals Not Eligible for Employment, also referred to as the Do Not Hire Registry.

4.  What if the misconduct did not result in an arrest?  

A superintendent, director, or chief administrate officer must report any allegation of misconduct listed under FAQ #1 upon an individual resigning or being terminated from employment.

5.  Is a superintendent or director required to complete an investigation if the educator resigns before the district or charter school completes its investigation?

Yes. A superintendent of a school district or director of charter school must complete an investigation that involves evidence that the educator may have abused a student or minor, or that the educator may have been involved in a romantic relationship or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor. TEC §21.006(b-1) and TEC §22.093(d). 

A chief administrative officer of a private school must submit any evidence of misconduct collected. TEC §21.0062(c)

6.  What are the consequences for failing to report this information?

The State Board for Educator Certification may sanction a certificate holder who fails to report the required information. Possible sanctions include reprimand, suspension, or revocation of certificate.  In addition, the SBEC may impose an administrative penalty of not less than $500 and not more than $10,000.  There are also criminal penalties if the superintendent or director had an intent to conceal the information.

7.  Define “Educator” for Private schools. 

For Private schools, “educator" means a person employed by or seeking employment in a private school for a position in which the person would be required to hold a certificate issued under Subchapter B if the person were employed by a school district.

8. Are school staff required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)?

State law requires professionals, including teachers, school nurses, SBEC certificate holders, who suspect child abuse or neglect to report those suspicions to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) or to a local law enforcement agency within 48 hours. Child abuse prevention, reporting and training may be found on the TEA website.