What You Need To Know About Your New Position

The beginning of the school year is a time fraught with teacher reassignments.  Due to changing student populations and the program needs of districts, teachers are frequently moved between grade-levels and campuses.

The Commissioner of Education has ruled on two (2) cases which highlight the flexibility districts have in reassigning personnel.  In Murillo v. Laredo ISD, a middle school principal was reassigned as the Human Resources Coordinator.  Her contract stated that it was “For Professional Employee” but did not further specify any duties.  In McCoy v. Kermit ISD, McCoy signed a contract titled “For Certified Administrator.”  McCoy had been employed as a principal who was then reassigned to an assistant principal position.  In both cases, the Commissioner upheld the reassignments.

The cases specifically addressed Texas Education Code §21.206, which states that an employee who holds a Chapter 21 contract cannot be reassigned to a new position for the school year unless the position is within the “same professional capacity.”  Unfortunately, the Texas Education Code does not specifically define “same professional capacity.”  It is reasonable to assume, however, that by using the term “same professional capacity,” rather than “exact same position,” the Legislature intended to allow school districts flexibility in personnel assignments while discouraging districts from contractual violations.

Some factors to be considered in determining whether a reassignment is valid include, but are not limited to, differences in authority, duties, and salary and/or benefits.  The most important factor, however, is the contract.  The more specific the professional capacity is described on the contract, the less flexibility the district has in reassigning an employee.