Chapter 227. Provisions for Educator Preparation Candidates

Subchapter B. Preliminary Evaluation of Certification Eligibility


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter B issued under the Texas Education Code, 21.041(b)(1) and (4), and Texas Occupations Code, 53.105.


227.101. Purpose.

(a)  This subchapter provides rules for the implementation of a preliminary criminal history evaluation as provided in the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 53, Subchapter D.

(b)  The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1)  Criminal history--Criminal history record information that relates to convictions and deferred adjudications.

(2)  Ineligibility--Unsuitability for certification, based on any of the grounds described in 249.12(b) of this title (relating to Administrative Denial; Appeal), as determined by the Texas Education Agency staff.

(3)  Reasonably available--Provided in writing to Texas Education Agency staff by a requestor.

(4)  Requestor--A person making a request for preliminary criminal history evaluation pursuant to this subchapter.

(5)  Texas Education Agency staff--Staff of the Texas Education Agency assigned by the commissioner of education to perform the State Board for Educator Certification's administrative functions and services.

(c)  A person who is enrolled or planning to enroll in a State Board for Educator Certification-approved educator preparation program or planning to take a certification examination may request a preliminary criminal history evaluation letter regarding the person's potential ineligibility for certification due to a conviction or deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense.

Source: The provisions of this 227.101 adopted to be effective October 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 9501.


227.103. Application.

(a)  A request for preliminary criminal history evaluation must be preceded by payment of the required criminal history evaluation fee specified in 230.101(a)(20) of this title (relating to Schedule of Fees for Certification Services).

(b)  A request for preliminary criminal history evaluation must include the following:

(1)  a signed and dated application, in the form provided on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website, containing contact information and the date and description of each offense requested to be evaluated;

(2)  an attached statement of the circumstances upon which the arrest is based and the disposition relating to each offense to be evaluated;

(3)  court documentation relating to each offense, including, at a minimum, the formal disposition of the offense(s) and related charge(s) (e.g., Judgment, Order of Probation, Sentence, Deferred Adjudication Order, etc.); and

(4)  a copy of the receipt for the request for preliminary criminal history evaluation fee.

(c)  All required documents and information specified in subsection (b) of this section must be provided with the request for preliminary criminal history evaluation. Any documents or information not provided in the original request will not be considered reasonably available.

(d)  The preliminary criminal history evaluation will be based solely on the application and court or law enforcement documents provided. Any information not provided by the requestor shall be considered not reasonably available at the time of the request and may be considered at the time the requestor subsequently applies for a certificate issued by the State Board for Educator Certification. Additional documentation that should be provided, if possible, includes the following:

(1)  the formal charge(s) (e.g., indictment, information, or complaint);

(2)  evidence that the condition(s) of the court have been met (e.g., completion of probation, receipt for restitution, etc.); and

(3)  any available law enforcement report(s) describing the offense or the investigation of the offense.

(e)  The application, the statement of circumstances, the required court documentation, and a copy of the receipt for the request for preliminary criminal history evaluation fee must be submitted to the TEA division responsible for educator investigations by United States certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address provided on the application or by facsimile to the facsimile number provided on the application.

(f)  A request for preliminary criminal history evaluation is incomplete unless it includes a copy of the receipt for the request for preliminary criminal history evaluation fee, a completed application, a statement of circumstances, and the required court documentation. The TEA staff will take no action on a request that is incomplete.

(g)  All documents submitted in connection with a request for preliminary criminal history evaluation, whether complete or incomplete, will not be returned to the requestor. All documents will be retained or destroyed by the TEA in accordance with the TEA records retention schedule.

Source: The provisions of this 227.103 adopted to be effective October 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 9501; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238.


227.105. Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation Letter.

(a)  Within 90 calendar days of receipt of a complete request for a preliminary criminal history evaluation, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff will notify the requestor, by email to the email address provided on the requestor's application, of the TEA's determination with regard to the requestor's potential ineligibility based on the matters described in the request for preliminary criminal history evaluation.

(b)  The preliminary criminal history evaluation letter will be strictly limited to the facts stated and the documents submitted by the requestor, as of the date of the request. Any documents or information not provided by the requestor will not be considered reasonably available for purposes of evaluating the request. In the event that the requestor subsequently applies for certification by the State Board for Educator Certification, complete fingerprint-based national criminal history information will be required. The TEA staff may conduct a criminal history investigation at that time regarding the offense(s) that were the subject of the request, based on any misstatements, incomplete information, or missing documentation in the request for preliminary criminal history evaluation; additional or subsequent criminal history or inappropriate conduct; or changed circumstances.

(c)  The preliminary criminal history evaluation letter relates only to whether the specific information submitted constitutes grounds for ineligibility. The evaluation letter is not a guarantee of educator certification, admission to an educator preparation program, or employment as an educator.

Source: The provisions of this 227.105 adopted to be effective October 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 9501; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238.


227.107. Fee for Request for Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation.

(a)  The fee to request a preliminary criminal history evaluation under this subchapter shall be in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of administration of the evaluation process and as provided in 230.101 of this title (relating to Schedule of Fees for Certification Services).

(b)  A new fee will be required to reactivate a request that is incomplete because of failure to submit the required documentation within 90 calendar days of receipt by the Texas Education Agency of the initial fee.

Source: The provisions of this 227.107 adopted to be effective October 28, 2010, 35 TexReg 9501; amended to be effective February 28, 2016, 41 TexReg 1238.


For more information, email sbecrules@tea.texas.gov.