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.

Contracts
At-Will Employment
Ending Employment

Contracts

Related Policies

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:

 

DC Employment Practices
DCA Probationary Contracts
DCB  Term Contracts
DCC Continuing Contracts
DCE Other Types of Contracts

 

TASB Resources

  • 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.
  • 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.

     

At-Will Employment

Related Policies

For more information on at-will employment, see district policy and regulations at the following codes:

 

DC Employment Practices
DCD At-Will Employment
DPB Substitute, Temporary, and Part-Time Positions

 

TASB Resources

  • 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.


Ending Employment

Related Policies

For more information on ending employment, see district policy and regulations at the following codes:

 

DF Termination of Employment
DFAA Suspension/Termination During Probationary Contract
DFAB Termination at End of Probationary Year
DFAC Return To Probationary Status
DFBA Suspension/Termination During Term Contract
DFBB Nonrenewal of Term Contract
DFCA Suspension/Termination During Continuing Contract
DFD Hearings Before Hearing Examiner
DFE Resignation
DFF Reduction in Force
DFFA Financial Exigency
DFFB Program Change
DFFC Continuing Contracts

 

TASB Resources

  • TASB Legal Services' article Reductions in Force provides a basic overview of the legal and policy concerns pertaining to reductions 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.
  • 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.

Other Resources

  • The Texas Education Agency (TEA) Office of Legal Services Teacher FAQs document answers questions about resignation and nonrenewal.
  • The TEA Office of Legal Services Hearings and Appeals Website provides information about local hearings before hearing examiners, appeals to the commissioner, and judicial appeals.
  • The TEA Local Hearing Decisions Website provides a searchable database of local hearing examiner decisions.
  • The TEA Superintendent Reporting—FAQs Website answers questions about the requirement that superintendents report educator misconduct that results in termination or resignation.