Hearings & Appeals, Ch. 21, Subchapter G, Sec. 21.301 Appeal to Commissioner
Pursuant to Texas Education Code Ch. 21, Subchapter G, Sec. 21.301 not later than the 20th day after the date the board of trustees or board subcommittee announces its decision under Tex. Educ. Code § 21.259 or the board advises the teacher of its decision not to renew the teacher’s contract under Tex. Educ. Code § 21.208, the teacher may appeal the decision by filing a petition for review with the commissioner.
A teacher who is aggrieved by a decision of a board of trustees on the nonrenewal of the teacher's term contract may appeal to the commissioner for a review of the decision of the board of trustees in accordance with the provisions of Texas Education Code Ch. 21, Subchapter G. (Tex. Educ. Code § 21.209)
A petition for review must be filed with the hearings and appeals division not later than 20 calendar days after the date the board of trustees or the board subcommittee announces its decision to not renew the teacher’s contract. Failure to timely file a petition for review will result in the dismissal of the hearing. The mailbox rule does not apply to filings under this section. A petition for review may not be amended or supplemented after the deadline for filing a petition for review. (Tex. Admin. Code § 157.1072(c))
Per Tex. Admin. Code § 157.1072(c) a petition for review shall contain the following in numbered paragraphs:
- A description of the challenged ruling, action, or failure to act complained of;
- The date of the challenged ruling, action, or failure to act;
- A precise description of the action the petitioner wants the commissioner to take on the petitioner's behalf;
- A statement of jurisdiction and the legal basis for the claim;
- The name, mailing address, telephone number of the petitioner's party representative during business hours, and facsimile number, if any; and
- The name, mailing address, and business telephone of the respondent or the respondent's representative, and facsimile number, if any.
The Petition for Review must be filed with TEA’s Division of Hearings & Appeals, by electronic filing system https://form.jotform.com/200514538968159, email to Christina.Eischens@tea.texas.gov, mail or hand delivery to 1701 N. Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701 or by fax to (512) 475-3662.
Every pleading, plea, motion, or correspondence filed with TEA’s Hearings and Appeals Division shall be served on all parties or the party’s representatives and must contain a certificate of service. (Tex. Admin. Code § 157.1050)
Upon receipt of the Petition for Review the hearings and appeals division will issue an acknowledgment letter providing parties notice that the case has been docketed. This correspondence will also contain the date Respondent’s answer and local record are due as well as the briefing deadlines.
Respondent must file an answer along with the local record within 20 calendar days from the date the Petition for Review is filed. (Tex. Educ. Code § 21.301(b) and Tex. Admin. Code § 157.1072(d) and (e)).
Petitioner’s Brief will be due 21 calendar days prior to the Commissioner’s Decision deadline.
Petitioner's brief shall contain the following:
- Statement of the case. The brief must state concisely the nature of the case, the course of proceedings, and the school district's disposition of the case. The statement should be supported by record references, should seldom exceed one-half page, and should not discuss the facts.
- Issues presented. The brief must state concisely all issues or points presented for review. The statement of an issue or point will be treated as covering every subsidiary question that is fairly included. However, an issue that is not so identified is waived.
- Statement of facts. The brief must state concisely and without argument the facts pertinent to the issues or points presented. The commissioner will accept as true the facts stated unless another party contradicts them. The statement must be supported by record references.
- Argument. The brief must contain a clear and concise argument for the contentions made with appropriate citations to authorities and to the record.
- Prayer. The brief must contain a short conclusion that clearly states the nature of the relief sought.
Respondent’s Brief will be due 14 calendar days prior to the Commissioner’s Decision deadline. Respondent's brief shall conform to the requirements of the petitioner's brief, except that the respondent's brief need not include a statement of the case, statement of the issues presented, or a statement of the facts, unless the respondent is dissatisfied with that portion of the petitioner's brief. (Tex. Admin. Code § 157.1058)
Petitioner’s Reply Brief will be due 7 calendar days prior to the Commissioner’s Decision deadline.
The Commissioner will issue a decision not later than 30 calendar days after the last day on which a response to the Petition for Review may be filed. (Tex. Educ. Code § 21.304(b)).
A Motion for Rehearing may be filed no later than 20 calendar days after the date the party receives the commissioner’s decision. (Tex. Educ. Code §21.3041). A request for rehearing is not required for a party to appeal the commissioner's decision to the district court. (Tex. Educ. Code § 21.307 and Tex. Admin. Code § 157.072(j)).
Either party may appeal the Commissioner’s Decision to the District Court. An appeal must be filed no later than 30 calendar days after the party receives notice of the Commissioner’s Decision or the date on which the request for rehearing is denied by order of the commissioner or by operation of law. (Tex. Educ. Code § 21.307 and Texas Govt. Code, § 2001.171)
Pursuant to Tex. Admin. Code § 157.1072 All hearings under this section shall be decided upon a substantial evidence review of the record created before an independent hearing examiner or the board of trustees except that the administrative law judge may take evidence of procedural irregularities that are not reflected in the local record that occurred at a hearing before an independent hearing examiner.
For questions, please contact Christina Eischens, Office of the General Counsel, Division of Hearings and Appeals at Christina.Eischens@tea.texas.gov or (512) 463-0489.