Q: Are districts required to conduct ethics training for their staff?
A: No. Districts are not required to provide ethics training. However, most districts provide annual training at the beginning of the year to ensure all staff understand expectations and conduct themselves professionally and to explain any changes or updates to policy and procedures. Topics typically covered include standards of conduct, the Educators’ Code of Ethics, appropriate student and staff relationships and communications, and use of social media.
Certification programs typically include ethics training in program requirements, but the annual training allows HR to make sure all staff are up to speed with this training in case it wasn’t covered in as much detail in their original certification process.
Certification renewal requirements
Texas Education Code § 21.054 requires certified employees with renewable certificates to complete 150–200 hours of continuing education every five years professional on ethics and standards of conduct. This includes superintendents, principals, school counselors, school librarians/learning resource specialists, educational diagnosticians, reading specialists, and master teachers. Detailed certificate renewal requirements information is available on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.
There are other resources for districts to use when putting together an ethics training program, including free video modules from TEA and online professional development courses from organizations like ProEthica, Study.com, and Professional Boundaries.
You can find a list of training requirements in the TASB School Law eSource chart Required Training for School Employees.
Zach DiSchiano is a communications specialist at TASB HR Services. Send Zach an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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