Q&A: Penalty-Free Resignation Date

May 06, 2022 • Karen Dooley

Penalty-Free Resignation Date Q&A

Implementation of House Bill (HB) 2519, passed during the Regular Session of the 87th Texas Legislature, continues to cause confusion for school districts as they begin to calculate the penalty-free resignation date (PFRD) for this school year.

This Q&A is written to address some of the most common questions HR Services continues to receive.

Q: Did the PFRD change?

A: The PFRD has not changed. It is still 45 days before the first day of instruction. HB 2519 changed the action the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) can take against an educator who resigns between the 44th and 30th day prior to the first day of instruction without good cause. In the past, an educator’s certificate could be suspended. Suspension is no longer an available action, although SBEC may still take other action such as an inscribed reprimand.  

Q: How do I determine the first day of instruction?

A: The first day of instruction varies from school district to school district. It is the first day of school for students in your school district.

Q: Are the 45 days business days or calendar days?

A: The 45 days are calendar days. If the 45th day falls on a weekend or a holiday, for the employee’s benefit, best practice would be to set the PFRD forward on the next business day. For example, if the PFRD is Saturday, the district should move it to the following Monday so the actual day the resignation is submitted is a business day. 

Q: Did any other changes occur during the rule changes for HB 2519?

A: Yes. SBEC adopted one additional good cause reason for contract abandonment. If the educator has “reasonable belief” they had written permission from the school district administration to resign, it is considered good cause. Three mitigating factors listed below were also added.

  • The educator changed careers within the field of education
    •  to a position that required a different class of educator certification as defined in TAC §230.33(b);
    • to a position with a higher level of authority within the principal class of certificate; or
    • to a position in an open-enrollment charter school or a district of innovation that is equivalent to a position described above.
  • The educator had a reduction in base pay, excluding stipends, as compared to the educator’s base pay for the prior year at the same school district.
  • The educator resigned due to working conditions that reasonably posed an immediate threat of significant physical harm to the educator.

Resources

HRX articles written on this topic include:


Karen Dooley is a senior HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email at karen.dooley@tasb.org.


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Tagged: "Educator contracts", "Employment law", "Teacher contracts", Termination