During the thick of hiring season, school districts often have questions about posting job vacancies.
The most common question is whether there is a legal requirement to post all positions. School districts are the only entities required to post positions requiring educator certification or a professional license (see TASB Policy DC (LEGAL)). Any other requirement will be addressed in the educational entity’s hiring policy.
Most policies establish general guidelines for advertising employment opportunities and posting vacancies with a commitment to equal employment opportunities and recruiting well-qualified candidates. It is acceptable to only post the position internally. When a broader applicant pool is desired, a vacancy can be posted internally and externally concurrently. This allows qualified employees who apply to be considered with other applicants.
School district requirements
School districts are required to post a position requiring a certificate from the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) or a professional license provided by Texas Education Code (TEC) §21.003 for at least 10 school days prior to filling the position. Vacancies must be posted on the district’s website or optionally at physical locations (e.g., bulletin boards at the central administration building or central offices of each campus).
There are two exceptions to the posting requirement. Posting is not required for a position that affects the safety and security of students, as determined by the board. In addition, if a district cannot wait 10 days to fill a position held by a teacher during the school year, the district need not post the position for 10 school days but must post the notice as soon as possible after the vacancy occurs. The district is also exempted from providing current district employees a reasonable opportunity to apply for the position if the district must fill a position in less than 10 school days (TEC §11.1513(d)). In this context, teacher is defined by TEC §21.201 as a superintendent, principal, supervisor, classroom teacher, counselor, or other full-time professional employee who is required to hold a certificate.
While not specifically addressed in law, there is an argument that reassignments by the superintendent to positions that are within the same professional capacity do not fall within the posting requirement. For example, a vacancy created by the resignation of a campus principal may result in multiple reassignments of other principals. Arguably, because only one position will need to be filled after the superintendent’s reassignments, the only vacancy that internal candidates need to know of is the one that is not filled after the reassignments are completed. Since 2005, when this provision became law, this interpretation has not been challenged, so there is no legal authority to support this interpretation.
EEO and Title IX compliance
Employers usually include a nondiscrimination statement on job postings. This is often referred to as the “Equal Opportunity Employer” (EEO) notice.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title IX) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities and requires education entities that receive federal financial assistance to provide notice of nondiscrimination to all applicants for employment that includes specific language. In addition, the name, title, office address, email address, and telephone number of the designated and authorized Title IX coordinator(s) must be included. Employers using an electronic application system may include the required notice on the system access page or vacancy listing page. If paper applications are used, the notice should be included on the application and vacancy notice.
Additional information on posting vacancies and sample nondiscrimination statements are available in HR Library topic Posting Vacancies and on the sample vacancy announcements and employment applications in the Recruiting and Hiring section (member login required).
Providing an opportunity for current employees and applicants to apply for vacant positions demonstrates fair hiring practices. Considering current employees for vacancies provides an opportunity for career advancement and increases retention. Posting externally expands recruitment efforts and enhances the pool of qualified applicants.
Cheryl Hoover is an HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Cheryl an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay up to date with all the latest HR news and trends by joining the HRX mailing list!