DFE(LEGAL) - TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT: RESIGNATION
Resignation without Consent (Unilateral Resignation)
An educator employed under a probationary contract for the following school year, or under a term or continuing contract, may relinquish the position and leave district employment at the end of the school year without penalty by filing a written resignation with a board or a board's designee not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year.
A written resignation mailed by prepaid certified or registered mail to a board president or a board's designee at the post office address of the district is considered filed at the time of mailing.
Education Code 21.105(a), .160(a), .210(a)
An unequivocal resignation filed not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year is effective upon filing with a district and the district cannot reject such a resignation. The resignation cannot be withdrawn by the teacher based on an argument that the district has not accepted the resignation. Fantroy v. Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist., Tex. Comm'r of Educ. Decision. No. 034-R8-0206 (Mar. 5, 2009); Garcia v. Miles Indep. Sch. Dist., Tex. Comm'r of Educ. Decision No. 055-Rl-503 (Nov. 30, 2006).
Resignation with Consent
The educator may resign, with the consent of the board or the board's designee, at any other time. Education Code 21.105(b), .160(b), .210(b)
Sanctions for Abandonment of Contract
On written complaint by a district, the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) may impose sanctions against an educator who is employed under a probationary contract, or under a continuing or term contract, for the following school year, and who:
- Fails without good cause to comply with the resignation deadline or the provision regarding resignation by consent; and
- Fails without good cause to perform the contract.
Education Code 21.105(c), .160(c), .210(c)
Acceptance or approval of a resignation indicates consent to abandonment of contract. Quitman Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Wilkerson, Tex. Comm'r of Educ. Decision No. 142-TTC-698 (Dec. 2, 1999); Houston Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Johnson, Tex. Comm'r of Educ. Decision No. 054-TTC-1196 (Sept. 28, 1998)
Notice to Teacher
If a district submits a complaint regarding a teacher to SBEC, the district shall promptly notify the teacher of the complaint. The notice must include:
- The basis of the complaint;
- Information regarding how the teacher may contact SBEC; and
- A reminder that the teacher should verify that the teacher's mailing address on file with SBEC is current.
Before imposing sanctions against a teacher for abandonment of contract, SBEC:
- Must consider any mitigating factors relevant to the teacher's conduct; and
- May consider alternatives to sanctions, including additional continuing education or training.
If a teacher files a written resignation after the 45th day but not later than the 30th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year, SBEC may not suspend or revoke the teacher's certificate.
Education Code 21.105(d)–(f), .160(d)–(f), .210(d)–(f)
SBEC shall not pursue sanctions against an educator who is alleged to have abandoned his or her contract unless a board:
- Submits a written complaint within 30 calendar days after the effective date of the educator's separation from employment from the district. Unless the district and the educator have a written agreement to the contrary, the effective date of separation from employment is the first day that, without district permission, the educator fails to appear for work under the contract.
- Renders a finding that good cause did not exist under Education Code 21.105(c)(2) (probationary contract), 21.160(c)(2) (continuing contract), or 21.210(c)(2) (term contract). This finding constitutes prima facie evidence of the educator's lack of good cause but is not a conclusive determination.
- Submits the following required attachments to the written complaint:
- The educator's resignation letter, if any;
- The agreement with the educator regarding the effective date of separation from employment, if any;
- The educator's contract; and
- Board meeting minutes indicating a finding of "no good cause." If the board does not meet within 30 calendar days of the educator's separation from employment, the minutes may be submitted within ten calendar days after the next board meeting.
19 TAC 249.14(j)
SBEC may consider the following factors when an educator is reported to have abandoned a contract in violation of Education Code 21.105(c), 21.160(c), or 21.210(c):
- Serious illness or health condition of the educator or close family member of the educator;
- Relocation to a new city as a result of change in employer of the educator's spouse or partner who resides with the educator; or
- Significant change in the educator's family needs that requires the educator to relocate or to devote more time than allowed by current employment.
SBEC may consider the following factors when seeking, proposing, or making a decision regarding an educator who has abandoned a contract in violation of Education Code 21.105(c), 21.160(c), or 21.210(c):
- Educator gave written notice to school district 30 days or more in advance of the first day of instruction for which the educator will not be present;
- Educator assisted school district in finding a replacement educator to fill the position;
- Educator continued to work until the school district hired a replacement educator;
- Educator assisted in training the replacement educator;
- Educator showed good faith in communications and negotiations with school district; or
- Educator provided lesson plans for classes following educator's resignation.
19 TAC 249.17(d)
Required Report to SBEC
A superintendent shall report the educator's resignation to SBEC if the conditions set forth at Education Code 21.006 exist. [See DHB] Education Code 21.006
A superintendent of a district, including a district of innovation, shall complete an investigation of an educator that involves evidence that the educator may have abused or otherwise committed an unlawful act, was involved in a romantic relationship with, or solicited or engaged in sexual contact with a student or minor, despite the educator's resignation from employment before completion of the investigation. Education Code 21.006(b-1); 19 TAC 249.14(d)(3)(C)
Report by Principal
A person who serves as a principal in a district, including a district of innovation, must notify the superintendent, and may be subject to sanctions for failure to do so, not later than the seventh business day after the date of an educator's resignation following an alleged incident of misconduct described by Education Code 21.006(b) [see DP]. Education Code 21.006(b-2); 19 TAC 249.14(e)