Q. Can school administrators change teacher work hours during the school year?
A. The short answer is yes, subject to any restrictions enacted through local agreements, policies, or regulations. TASB’s Model Term Contract used by most Texas school districts includes the following language related to work hours:
“2. Term. You will be employed on a ____-month basis for the 20__-20___ school year(s), according to the hours and dates set by the District as they exist or may hereafter be amended.
State law regulates only minimum days of employment and gives teachers the right to a minimum amount of planning and preparation time and duty-free lunch time during the school day. Otherwise, there are no state restrictions on work hours during the day for teachers.
The 84th Texas Legislature changed student instructional requirements from annual days to annual minutes and provided a new avenue for more scheduling flexibility to districts. Districts that apply for and receive a “District of Innovation Status” from TEA can further modify duty calendars and hours to support instructional programming needs.