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Ask HR Services: Five-of-Eight Rule

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Can I keep an administrator on a probationary contract for more than one year if they meet the five-of-eight rule?

No. An individual employed as a teacher in public education for five of the preceding eight years may only be employed on a probationary contract for one year.  The definition of “teacher” in this situation is broad and includes administrators, librarians, counselors, nurses, and other professional positions that require certification from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). 

The five-of-eight rule does not require five years of experience in the same professional capacity, rather it encompasses years of instructional service in public elementary or secondary schools as a “teacher,” as defined above. After an employee who meets the five-of-eight rule is employed for one full school year on a probationary contract, the district must either offer the employee a term contract for the following school year or terminate or nonrenew the individual’s employment.     

Keep in mind that a partial year of employment does not count as a full probationary year.  Employees hired for a partial year may be offered a probationary contract the following school year to serve one full probationary year. Additionally, some districts exempt themselves from the five-of-eight years provision in Texas Education Code (TEC) through their District of Innovation (DOI) plan, providing flexibility for the length of time an individual may be employed on a probationary contract.  

For more information on contracts, check out the following HRX articles: 

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Shannon Burns
Shannon Burns
HR Consultant

Shannon Burns joined HR Services in 2023 as an HR consultant. She has 22 years of experience in public school districts serving as an executive director of human resources, special programs coordinator, campus administrator, and teacher.

Burns earned her master’s degree from Texas A&M in Kingsville and her superintendent certificate from The University of Texas at Tyler.

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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