Paperwork Reduction Act

Sylvia Ortiz was directed by her principal to produce a written summary of what she learned from two rapport-building exercises and a reflection on how students responded to the activities. Ortiz argued that requiring her to write these reports violated Texas Education Code section 11.164, which limits a district’s ability to require classroom teachers to prepare written information.

The commissioner noted that Section 11.164 states that a classroom teacher may not be required to prepare any written information other than what is specifically identified in the statute. Plano ISD argued that the statute permits the district to require a teacher to prepare any information specifically required by law, rule, or regulation. The district further argued that the directive given to Ortiz was issued pursuant to TEA’s rule on Teachers in Need of Assistance, which states that an intervention plan may be developed at any time at the discretion of the certified appraiser when the certified appraiser has documentation that would potentially produce an evaluation rating of “below expectations” or “unsatisfactory.” 19 Tex. Admin. Code  150.1004(f).

The commissioner held that an intervention plan under Section 150.1004(f) is discretionary, and therefore is not required by rule. Because it is not required, such an intervention plan is not exempted from the prohibition of Section 11.164. The commissioner issued a proposal for decision on May 10, 2013. LAF filed a brief in support of the district arguing that the commissioner’s interpretation of the statute was inconsistent with its legislative intent, hinders compliance with appraisal system rules, and handicaps an appraiser’s ability to ensure students are provided an optimal educational opportunity. Ortiz v. Plano Indep. Sch. Dist., Docket No. 014-R10-10-2012 (Tex. Comm’r of Educ.). LAF’s Attorney: Kelli H. Karczewski, Karczewski | Bradshaw, L.L.P., Nacogdoches.