Board Operating Procedures
Board Operating Policies and Procedures
Below are the State Board for Educator Certification Operating Rules that were last amended on August 7, 2015
The State Board for Educator Certification (the Board) adopts and implements the Board Operating Policies and Procedures to achieve the following purposes:
1. To outline the Board’s general powers and duties under chapter 21, subchapter B, of the Texas Education Code, and other applicable laws;
2. To establish procedural rules governing the Board pursuant to section 21.041(a) of the Texas Education Code;
3. To apprise board members of the standards of conduct and conflict of interest provisions applicable to their conduct pursuant to chapter 572 of the Texas Government Code; and
4. To adopt policies that clearly define the responsibilities of the Board and TEA staff.
In exercising its powers and fulfilling its duties the Board shall strive to:
1. Establish major visionary guiding policies and procedures;
2. Establish the vision and goals that define the results that the Board seeks to achieve;
3. Serve as a link between the Board and state policy makers;
4. Accept accountability for its decisions and actions;
5. Establish an effective relationship with TEA staff;
6. Maintain objectivity in reviewing the facts during the decision-making process;
7. Act in the best interest of school children, their parents, professional educators, and the public;
8. Continually learn and be willing to take risks to improve the educational system within the boundaries of statutory authority; and
9. Review the Board Operating Policies and Procedures annually.
These Board Operating Policies and Procedures apply to all activities conducted by the Board.
D. Responsibility for Implementation
The Board and its officers are responsible for ensuring the implementation and adherence to the Board Operating Policies and Procedures.
E. Nondiscrimination Policy
The Board shall comply fully with the nondiscrimination provisions of state and federal law, rules, and regulations. The Board shall ensure that no person shall be excluded from consideration for appointment as an officer or committee member of the Board, or be denied benefits of, or participation in, any program or activity overseen by the Board, on the grounds of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or veteran status, in violation of law.
II. THE BOARD
A. Powers and Duties
1. Authority. The Powers and Duties of the Board are set out in subchapter B, chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code. Other duties of the Board may be included in provisions of the Texas Government Code and General Appropriations Act.
2. Signature Authority for Disciplinary Orders. The Chairperson may sign on behalf of a majority of the Board a decision or order issued in a disciplinary case or other matter arising under 19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 249, relating to Board disciplinary proceedings, including enforcement of the educator's code of ethics. Members of the majority, however, retain discretion to sign any decision or order.
3. Communications. The Chairperson officially represents the Board in communicating policy and procedures. However, this provision does not prohibit other Board members from commenting publicly about the Board in their individual capacities or otherwise expressing personal opinions about the Board.
4. Purpose. The primary purposes of the Board, as set out in section 21.031 of the Education Code, are as follows:
The Board is established to recognize public school educators as professionals and to grant educators the authority to govern the standards of their profession. The board shall regulate and oversee all aspects of the certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct of public school educators. In proposing rules under this subchapter, the board shall ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse student population of this state.
B. Board Composition
The Number, Term, Qualifications and Method of Appointment of the Board are provided in subchapter B, chapter 21, of the Texas Education Code.
• The Board is composed of 15 members. The commissioner of education shall appoint an employee of the agency to represent the commissioner as a non-voting member. The commissioner of higher education shall appoint an employee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to represent the commissioner as a non-voting member. The governor shall appoint a dean of a college of education in this state as a non-voting member, and appoint a person who has experience working for and knowledge of an alternative educator preparation program as a non-voting member. The remaining 11 members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate, as follows:
a. four members must be teachers employed in public schools;
b. two members must be public school administrators;
c. one member must be a public school counselor; and
d. four members must be citizens, three of whom are not and have not, in the five years preceding appointment, been employed by a public school district or by an educator preparation program in an institution of higher education and one of whom is not and has not been employed by a public school district or by an educator preparation program in an institution of higher education.
1. The Board members appointed by the governor hold office for staggered terms of six years with terms of one-third of the members expiring on February 1 of each odd-numbered year.
2. A member appointed by the commissioner of education or commissioner of higher education serves at the will of the commissioner.
3. In the event of a vacancy during a term of a member appointed by the governor, the governor shall appoint a replacement who meets the qualifications of the vacated office to fill the unexpired portion of the term.
D. New Member Orientation
A new appointee to the Board shall be given an orientation to the activities of the Board.
• New Member Orientation shall include the following topics:
a. Board mission, goals, objectives, and strategic plan;
b. Board organization, function, and powers and duties;
c. Board member responsibilities, including the proper role of the member in policy making, deliberations, communications, and relations with the administrative staff of the Texas Education Agency;
d. Standards of conduct as public officials;
e. Board meetings and other Board functions;
f. Legislative and rule-making processes;
g. Texas open government laws, including information regarding mandatory training in open meetings and public information as required by the chapters 551 and 552 of the Texas Government Code;
h. Disciplinary proceedings and code-of-ethics enforcement laws, including pertinent Board rules and the Texas Administrative Procedure Act;
i. Texas Education Agency staff functions (certification, accountability, professional discipline, recruitment & retention, general administration); and
j. Travel reimbursement/per diem procedures and state regulations.
III. OFFICERS OF THE BOARD
A. Election and Service of Board Members
The Board shall elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary, as authorized by section 21.036 of the Education Code. Officers shall serve for a term of two years, or until a successor has been duly elected in the event of a vacated position. Elections shall take place at the last regularly scheduled board meeting of each odd-numbered calendar year. The officer-elect assumes office at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the following calendar year.
1. Chairperson. The Board shall elect one of its members to serve as Chairperson. The Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer of the Board.
2. Vice-Chairperson. The Board shall elect one of its members to serve as Vice-Chairperson. In the event of absence or disability of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer of the Board and carry out all duties of the Chairperson during that absence or disability. In case of vacancy of the office of Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall serve as presiding officer of the Board and carry out all duties of the Chairperson until the position of Chairperson is filled.
3. Secretary. The Board shall elect one of its members to serve as Secretary. In the event of absence or disability of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary shall serve as presiding officer of the Board and carry out all duties of the Chairperson during that absence or disability. In case of vacancy of the office of Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson, the Secretary shall serve as presiding officer of the Board and carry out all duties of the Chairperson until the position of Chairperson is filled.
B. Board Member Compensation
A board member receives no compensation for service on the Board. A board member is entitled to reimbursement for expenses incurred in performing board member duties, as provided by subchapter B, chapter 21 of the Education Code and other applicable law.
C. Board Member Conduct
Board members shall adhere to the standards of conduct and conflict of interest provisions set out in section 572.051 of the Texas Government Code and other applicable law. Pursuant to that section, a Board member must adhere to the following:
1. Not accept or solicit any gift, favor, or service that might reasonably tend to influence the Board member in the discharge of official duties or that the Board member knows or should know is being offered with the intent to influence the Board member’s official conduct;
2. Not accept other employment or engage in a business or professional activity that the Board member might reasonably expect would require or induce the Board member to disclose confidential information acquired by reason of the official position;
3. Not accept other employment or compensation that could reasonably be expected to impair the Board member’s independence of judgment in the performance of the Board member’s official duties;
4. Not make personal investments that could reasonably be expected to create a substantial conflict between the Board member’s private interest and the public interest;
5. Not intentionally or knowingly, solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the Board member’s official powers or performed the officer's or employee's official duties in favor of another;
6. Complete the financial disclosure statement, as required by chapter 572 of the Texas Government Code;
7. Complete the open government training as required by Government Code section 552.012;
8. Be mindful of the Open Meetings Act when communicating with other Board members outside of a posted meeting of the Board; or
9. Seek counsel when presented with a situation that the Board member feels may raise a conflict of interest.
D. Board Member Participation
To facilitate open discussion and united representation of the Board, the Board agreed to the following:
1. Not participate in stakeholder meetings;
2. Not attend a conference as a Board representative;
3. Not participate in educator preparation program monitoring visits.
4. Make all requests to staff for information between board meetings through the associate commissioner copying the chair.
IV. MEETINGS OF THE BOARD
A. Meetings of the Board
1. Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the Board shall be held at such intervals as may be determined by the Board. The Board shall meet at least once per quarter of the calendar year on dates determined by the Board. In setting its meetings, the Board shall attempt to avoid scheduling conflicts with meetings of the State Board of Education.
2. Emergency Meetings. An Emergency Meeting of the Board may be called by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson. Notice of such meeting shall be communicated in the manner most likely to give the greatest amount of notice to the members. Every meeting notice to Board members shall contain the meeting time, place, day, and general nature of the business to be transacted.
3. Special meetings of the Board. Special meetings of the board may be held at times and places as ordered by the board during a regular meeting, or special meetings may be called by the chair of the board to be held at a time and place the chair shall designate.
4. Notice. The Chairperson shall designate a location for each Board meeting. Notice of the meetings, including the location shall be posted pursuant to the requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act. All meetings shall be open to the public, except executive sessions as discussed below. Notice to the public of emergency meetings shall be given pursuant to the Open Meetings Act.
5. Agendas. The Chairperson shall determine the agenda for a Board meeting. Any member of the Board may request that an item be placed on the agenda. The Chairperson makes the final determination as to whether to place an item on the agenda unless a majority of the Board members request to add an item or otherwise amend the agenda. If an item is removed from the agenda, the Board Chairperson will timely inform other Board members the reason for removing an agenda item after it has been posted. Final approval of the agenda lies with the Board Chairperson. Board members shall receive the agenda and supporting materials for an upcoming meeting at least ten calendar days before the meeting. In the event the agenda and/or supporting materials cannot be delivered at least ten calendar days prior to the meeting the Commissioner or Commissioner’s designee shall notify the Board’s Chairperson as to the reason why.
6. Quorum/Action. At each regular or emergency meeting, the Chairperson shall certify a quorum is present in order to conduct official business of the Board. A quorum of the board is a majority of the number of members fixed by statute, including non-voting members. Accordingly, eight members is a quorum of the board for all purposes. However, the Texas Open Meetings Act prohibits less than a quorum of members from discussing or deliberating official business of the Board. A majority of members present, whether or not they comprise a quorum, may adjourn the meeting from time to time. A majority shall mean, for all purposes, more than half of the votes cast, ignoring abstentions.
7. Rules Governing Board Action. The Board Operating Policies and Procedures shall govern the action of the Board. In the event that the policies and procedures do not specify how an action shall be conducted, the Board may refer to the Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised Edition.
8. Recordation of Meetings. All or any part of the public meeting may be recorded by any person in attendance by means of tape recorder, video camera, or any other means of sonic or visual reproduction unless determined by the Chairperson to be disruptive of the meeting. The Chairperson shall determine the location of any such equipment and the manner in which the recordings are conducted.
9. Webcast. Regular and special meetings of the full board may be webcast, whenever feasible, for people interested in watching meetings from a computer or device. Should technical difficulties prevent webcasting, the Board meeting will continue.
10. Public Comment
(1) Opportunity for public comment shall be provided at each regularly scheduled meeting of the Board and its standing committees. This policy excludes special and ad hoc committee meetings.
(2) The presiding officer of the board or committee shall take appropriate action to avoid unduly repetitive comment and to assure that different members of the public with differing points of view have reasonable access to the board or committee. The presiding officer shall strive to ensure that representatives from both sides of an issue are able to address the board or committee.
(3) The board shall not allow public comment regarding individual agreed orders.
(1) Non-Agenda and Consent Items
i. The Board shall allocate up to thirty (30) minutes at the beginning of each regularly scheduled meeting of the full board for public comment on non-agenda and consent agenda items.
ii. Each speaker shall have three minutes, unless the Board extends the time. Comment invited by board members shall not be counted against the speaker’s time.
iii. The presiding officer shall announce in open session which registered speakers, if any, shall not be heard and the basis for this determination. The Board may not overrule a decision with regard to a non-agenda or consent item.
iv. Appropriate physical arrangements for taking comment shall be provided.
(2) Agenda Items
i. Each speaker shall have three minutes, unless the Board extends the time. Comment invited by board members shall not be counted against the speaker’s time on agenda items.
ii. The Board shall allocate up to 30 minutes, total time, to public comment on each agenda item; however, the Board may, by majority, vote to adjust the total time allocated to public comment on agenda items. The presiding officer retains discretion to determine which speakers shall be heard if the number of speakers exceeds or is expected to exceed the time allocated for public comment, giving priority to new speakers and alternating comment by viewpoint.
iii. Appropriate physical arrangements for taking comment shall be provided.
(3) Committee Comment
i. Public comment to a committee shall be limited to items posted for action or discussion.
ii. Each speaker shall have three minutes, unless the committee extends the time. Comment invited by committee members shall not be counted against the speaker’s time.
iii. Appropriate physical arrangements for taking comment shall be provided.
c. Registering to Provide Comment
(1) Pre-registration. Speakers may register during regular business hours until two business days preceding the meeting. The speaker is required to use the form adopted by the board, which is available on the TEA’s website.
i. The speaker must provide his or her name, organizational affiliation, if any, and indicate which agenda item or topic shall be addressed. A separate form shall be submitted for each agenda item or topic on which the speaker shall testify. Additionally, the registrant shall disclose his or her viewpoint on the item or topic, as well as whether he or she, and the organization represented, if any, is a lobbyist registered with the Texas Ethics Commission. The date and time the registration was received shall be noted.
ii. If all information required by this operating procedure is not provided on the form, the presiding officer may disallow the comment.
iii. A person may register only one person, either himself or herself, or another person. Organizations are encouraged to register only one person per item. Registrants are encouraged to bring twenty (20) written copies of comment.
iv. A registrant offering written materials in lieu of oral comment shall provide the materials to staff for distribution. Written comment shall not exceed three pages of double-spaced text and shall be attached to a completed registration form. Written comment may be submitted in person at the meeting or by mail, fax, or electronic mail, as specified on the registration form. Written materials offered in lieu of oral comment should be submitted two business days before the meeting to ensure that members have had an opportunity to consider it, but must be submitted no later than 30 minutes prior to the meeting. Board minutes shall reflect the name of the registrant, affiliation if any, and the item or topic addressed. Copies of the written comment shall be provided to all board members but shall not be attached to the board minutes.
(2) Late registration at the board meeting. Late registration for providing oral or written comment will be accepted up to 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the board meeting.
11. Oral Argument Regarding Educator Disciplinary Cases
a. Oral argument to the Board is not an evidentiary hearing and may not include presentation of new facts or testimony.
b. Oral argument is strictly confined to matters contained in the record before the State Office of Administrative Hearings and legal challenges to the Proposal for Decision, including the proposed sanction.
c. Oral argument shall be presented by up to two individuals authorized by the party. Presenters may be a licensed attorney representing the party, an authorized party representative or the party.
d. The authorized individual or individuals representing the party may present oral argument for a period not to exceed ten minutes in total. Responses to questions of Board members shall not be counted against the party’s time.
e. The Board’s attorney shall assist the Board in implementing this procedure.
f. The party, authorized party representative, or licensed attorney representing the party shall notify the Administrative Liaison to the Board of the intent to present oral argument to the Board by facsimile to (512) 463-8762. Notification must be made four calendar days before the board meeting and include all proposed speakers.
12. Motions for Rehearing
a. In accordance with Texas Government Code §2001.146(d) the Board may resolve motions for rehearing outside a formal hearing using suitable means of communication.
b. Motions for rehearing and responses to motions for rehearing shall be submitted to the Administrative Liaison to the Board by facsimile to (512) 463-8762 or by personal delivery in accordance with timelines established under Texas Government Code §2001.146.
c. The Administrative Liaison to the Board shall submit copies of the motions and replies to the Board’s legal counsel. The Board’s legal counsel shall submit copies of the motion and replies to each Board member in a separate email using authorized email addresses. The Board’s legal counsel shall include a brief reminder of the procedures and timeframes in the correspondence.
d. Board members shall direct questions regarding motions and replies to the Board’s legal counsel and not to TEA staff, and shall not confer with each other regarding motions and replies.
e. Each board member shall send an individual email to the Board’s legal counsel indicating approval or denial of the motion for rehearing to the Board’s legal counsel within the time frame established under Texas Government Code §2001.146. Failure to respond within the appropriate time frame shall be considered a denial of the request.
f. For purposes of IV.A.6, all members shall be deemed present to conduct business and a majority needed to grant a motion for rehearing shall be an affirmative vote from 6 voting members.
g. At the conclusion of the appropriate time period or receipt of answers from all voting members, the Board’s legal counsel shall inform the Board members of the Board’s final disposition of the motion. The Administrative Liaison to the Board shall inform the parties of the final disposition of the motion for rehearing.
h. If a motion for rehearing is granted, the Board shall take up the matters addressed in the motion or motions for rehearing at the next meeting of the Board unless alternative meeting dates are otherwise determined. The Board’s order granting the motion for rehearing shall include notice of the time when the matters subject to the approved motion for rehearing will be considered by the Board.
i. The Board may utilize any lawful means to resolve motions for rehearing at their discretion.
B. Executive Sessions
Executive Sessions of the Board are closed meetings of the Board which may be held as authorized by the Open Meetings Act.
V. BOARD COMMITTEES
The Board may establish regular, standing, temporary, or advisory committees as it may deem appropriate to perform such functions as it may designate.
A. Board Committees
The Board Chairperson shall appoint an appropriate number of members to serve on the committees, including one to serve as presiding officer. The Board has established the following standing committees:
1. Legislative Committee. This committee is established to monitor and review bills that affect the Board and to propose legislative recommendations to the Board for consideration.
B. Advisory Committees
1. The Board may establish advisory committees and shall approve advisory committee members but may not serve as an ex officio member.
2. An advisory committee may adopt its own rules for internal governance, as long as those rules do not conflict with the Board Operating Policies and Procedures.
3. Reimbursement of Advisory Committee Members. TEA is prohibited from paying fees and expenses to advisory committee members unless specifically authorized by the provisions of the General Appropriations Act.
4. The Board has established the following Advisory Committee:
• Educator Preparation Advisory Committee. The purpose of this committee is to advise the agency and the Board on matters relating to the educator preparation programs in Texas. The committee shall reflect the proportionate representation of the various types of programs that have been approved by the Board, and reflect the diverse population of Texas.
VI. BOARD RULES
A. Rule Making Authority. The Board shall adopt rules as required by section 21.041 of the Texas Education Code.
B. Rule Making Process. The Board shall approve a rule making process to be followed by the Board for proposing and adopting new rules, amendments, and repeals. The Board, by majority vote, may agree to a departure from the approved rule making process as allowed by law. A copy of the rule making process shall be incorporated herein and published as part of the Board's operating policies and procedures, as Table 1. The Board shall enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with TEA to perform administrative functions related to the adoption, amendment, repeal of the Board’s rules. Upon adoption, that Memorandum of Agreement shall be incorporated herein and published as a part of the Board’s operating policies and procedures, as Table 2.
C. Rule Review Process. In accordance with Texas Government Code, §2001.039, the Board shall review its rules every four years to ensure that statutory authority and reason for the rules continue to exist.
D. Stakeholder Participation in Rule Making. As part of the Board’s rulemaking process, stakeholder input shall be sought on draft Board rules, as appropriate.
E. Filing Non-Substantive Rule Corrections with the Secretary of State. The Commissioner of Education or the Commissioner’s designee may approve and file with the Secretary of State non-substantive corrections to the Board’s rules. Non-substantive rule corrections may include typographical, grammatical, referencing, or spelling errors and technical edits to comply with Texas Register style and format requirements.
VII. CONTRACTS AND MEMORANDA OF AGREEMENT
A. Contracts. The Board shall execute interagency contracts to perform routine administrative functions and may execute other contracts as allowed by law.
B. Delegation. The Chairperson of the Board may execute contracts on behalf of the Board and may delegate this authority to another member of the Board.
C. Memorandum of Agreement. The Board shall enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Texas Education Agency to provide administrative services and perform ministerial functions required by law.
A. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Board shall be the official fiscal year of the State of Texas. It shall begin on September 1 and end on August 31 of each year.
B. Minutes. Minutes of the Board meetings shall be prepared and maintained, as required in the Open Meetings Act.
1. Minutes shall be approved by the Board.
2. Before the Board approves the minutes of the last meeting, the minutes shall be sent to each member of the Board for review, comment, and correction prior to approval.
3. Minutes are available for public review as authorized by the Open Meetings Act. All books and records of the Board shall be stored according to the records retention schedules as set forth by the State Library and Archives Commission.
IX. POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: GUIDELINES
A. Effective Date of Policies and Procedures. These policies and procedures and any amendments to them shall become effective only upon approval of the Board.
B. Amendments to Policies and Procedures. Any of these policies and procedures may be altered, amended, or repealed, and new policies and procedures may be adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the Board.
C. These Board Operating Policies and Procedures create no substantive or procedural rights. They are guidelines for the Board’s internal governance only.
D. The Board Operating Policies and Procedures shall be reviewed annually.
Source: The Board initially adopted these policies and procedures in October 1996. They were amended on the following dates: September 1997, May 2000, May 2002, August 2004, December 2004, January 2005, March 4, 2005, July 28, 2006, January 11, 2008, March 7, 2008, May 9, 2008, July 25, 2008, October 10, 2008, February 6, 2009, June 18, 2009, May 2013, February 14, 2014 and August 7, 2015.