process allows for an applicant, candidate, employee or former employee of an
EPP, a cooperating teacher, a mentor, or an administrator in a school district,
charter school, or private school to submit a complaint about an EPP for
investigation and resolution.
The complaint process
allows individuals to seek redress in areas where they feel that the program
did not fulfill requirements for certification or for actions that the
individual feels are wrong. Educator
preparation programs may also file a complaint about the actions of other EPP programs
when it involves a candidate’s transfer into or out of a program.
Not all complaints fall under the authority of TEA. TEA
has jurisdiction to investigate allegations of noncompliance regarding specific
laws and rules, generally related to state and federal requirements. Complaints
may address educator preparation program requirements listed in Texas
Administrative Code (TAC) §§ 227, 228, 229, ethics (TAC 247), fingerprinting
(TAC §§227, 232) and certification (TAC §§230, 231, 232, 239, 241, 242). TEA staff and the SBEC do not have jurisdiction over complaints
related to contractual arrangements with an EPP, commercial issues, obtaining a
higher grade or credit for training, or seeking reinstatement to an EPP.
Filing a Complaint
All complaints filed with the TEA must be in writing. We
do not accept complaints by phone or complaints that are submitted anonymously. A person or
entity may file a written complaint with TEA by filling out the complaint form online or by mailing or faxing a hard
copy to the address on the form.
To adequately review and address a complaint, TEA needs
specific details. We must be able to identify a clear violation of TAC and
determine whether the agency has authority to act upon the allegation.
Complaints submissions should include the following:
reasons you believe the issues raised in your complaint are valid. You
should also indicate how you believe that TEA can assist you with this
to support your claim when possible. For example, if you refer in your
complaint to an educator preparation program policy, include a copy of the
policy with your complaint. Helpful documentation might include letters or
e-mails exchanged between the parties.
the Complaint Is Filed
Texas Education Agency staff will send confirmation of a
complaint within 30 days of receiving the submission. Remember, information the
public sends to TEA by email may not be secure. Do not email sensitive
information to TEA. The agency will remove confidential or sensitive
information when replying by email. TEA will maintain confidentiality of
information to the extent the law allows.
TEA staff will record all complaints in the TEA
complaints tracking system. Each complaint, no matter the severity, shall be
assigned a tracking number. The
complaint will be forwarded to the division responsible for educator
preparation for further action, including assessing the complaint, providing a
severity status and prioritizing the complaint accordingly, and determining
jurisdiction. If TEA staff determines
that the complaint is not within the State Board for Educator Certification's
(SBEC) jurisdiction, TEA staff shall notify the complainant that the
complaint will be closed without action for lack of jurisdiction. If TEA staff determines the complainant knew
or should have known about the events giving rise to a complaint more than two
years before the earliest date the complainant filed a complaint with either
TEA staff or the EPP, TEA staff will notify the complainant that the complaint
will be closed without action. If a
complainant has not exhausted all applicable complaint and appeal procedures
that the EPP has established to address complaints, TEA staff may delay
initiating an investigation until the EPP's complaint and appeal process is
completion of an investigation, TEA staff will notify both the individual and
the EPP in writing of the findings of the investigation. If TEA staff finds
that a violation occurred, the notice will specify the statute and/or rule that
was alleged to have been violated. Each
party will have ten business days to present additional evidence or to dispute
the findings of the investigation.
reviewing any additional evidence, if TEA staff finds that no violation has
occurred, the complaint will be closed and TEA staff will notify both parties
in writing. After reviewing any additional evidence,
if TEA staff finds that the EPP has violated SBEC rules and/or TEC, Chapter 21,
additional actions will be taken against the EPP.
The final disposition of
the complaint will be recorded in the TEA complaints tracking system.