Contract and At-Will Employment
In Texas, most workers are hired at-will, meaning they are employed at the will of the employer, and they may quit or be fired at any time. In Texas school districts, however, most professional employees, including all full-time classroom teachers, are employed by written employment contracts. The following are resources related to contracts, including contracts governed by Texas Education Code chapter 21; at-will employment; and ending employment, including contract nonrenewal, termination, suspension, reduction in force, and resignation.
Your local school board policy manual contains TASB's (LEGAL) reference policies and board-adopted (LOCAL) policies. Your district may also have relevant administrative regulations. For more information on contracts, see district policy and regulations at the following codes:
||Other Types of Contracts|
- TASB Legal Services developed and maintains Model School District Educator Contracts for term, probationary, and noncertified employees. These contracts are available to members of HR Services in the HR Library and to subscribers of the Legal Research Library behind myTASB at no additional charge. They are also available for sale on CD in the TASB Store.
- The TASB HR Library, available behind myTASB for members of HR Services, collects information and resources on contracts and assignments.
- For information relating to superintendent contracts, see eSource at Governance – Superintendent.
For more information on at-will employment, see district policy and regulations at the following codes:
||Substitute, Temporary, and Part-Time Positions|
- The TASB HR Library, available behind myTASB for members of HR Services, collects information and resources on at-will employment under the heading Employment, including information on noncontract/at-will employment, substitute teachers, and independent contractors.
For more information on ending employment, see district policy and regulations at the following codes:
||Termination of Employment|
||Suspension/Termination During Probationary Contract|
||Termination at End of Probationary Year|
||Return To Probationary Status|
||Suspension/Termination During Term Contract|
||Nonrenewal of Term Contract|
||Suspension/Termination During Continuing Contract|
||Hearings Before Hearing Examiner|
||Reduction in Force|
- TASB Legal Services' Exit Incentives—Points to Consider provides an overview of legal issues relating to early resignation notice incentives and standard exit incentives, including a form for early resignation notice incentives.
- TASB Legal Services' article Resignations by Certified Personnel explains the legal principles governing resignations of contract employees and explains when and how a resignation can be withdrawn.
- TASB Legal Services' article Post-Season Postings: Dealing with Ineffective Coaches discusses districts' employment options with respect to coaches.
- For subscribers, the TASB Legal Services' Legal Research Library behind myTASB contains a number of relevant resources, including a Good Cause Index, information on TEA's independent hearing examiners, and an archive of commissioner decisions dating back to 1995.
- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) Office of Legal Services Teacher FAQs document answers frequently asked questions about resignation and nonrenewal.
- The TEA Office of Legal Services Hearings and Appeals Web Site provides information about local hearings before hearing examiners, appeals to the commissioner, and judicial appeals.
- The TEA Local Hearing Decisions Web Site provides a searchable database of local hearing examiner decisions.
- The TEA Frequently Asked Questions--Superintendent Reporting Web Site answers questions about the requirement that superintendents report educator misconduct that results in termination or resignation.
- The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Especially for Texas Employers Web Site provides general information for employers in Texas about employee termination and post-employment issues.
- The TWC Rapid Response Program Web Site provides information to assist laid-off employees.