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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

DATE: October 5, 2007


SUBJECT: New Information on Senate Bill 9 (SB 9)

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is preparing to implement procedures related to the implementation of Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) also known as the “Fingerprinting Bill” which was passed by the 80th Legislature. The implementation of SB 9 will require cooperation between the TEA and the Department of Public Safety, Independent School Districts, Regional Service Centers and Charter Schools. TEA is currently working with these partners to develop the processes for implementing the requirements of SB 9.

SB 9 authorizes and requires greatly expanded criminal history information reviews for most classes of educators and school employees, including national criminal history background checks based on the submission of fingerprints for all certified and currently employed educators, as well as all substitute teachers, whether or not certified, by September 1, 2011, certain charter school employees, and all non-certified school employees hired after January 1, 2008.

In addition, SB 9 creates a criminal history information clearinghouse to facilitate access to criminal history information and to provide updates of any subsequent criminal history, and provides that, based on a review of that information, TEA will certify to districts whether certain charter school employees, substitute teachers, and non-certified school employees are employable under the standards imposed by the bill.

At this time it is important that you have the following information that includes the submission of information to TEA:

  • Beginning January 1, 2008 and continuing through September 1, 2011, the TEA will contact school districts systematically according to a schedule established by TEA to obtain required information for certified employees and substitute teachers. Employee information will be submitted in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and uploaded into the SBEC Online system. The submission of employee information to the TEA will be an ongoing process; as your district hires new employees you will be responsible for uploading employee information into SBEC Online to determine if the employee requires fingerprinting. Additional information regarding this process will be forthcoming.
  • The fingerprinting process and criminal history information reviews for non-certified new hires begins effective January 1, 2008. The district will be responsible for submitting the required information to the TEA for any non-certified new hires employed after January 1, 2008. Specific information requirements will be forthcoming.
  • In an effort to have clear communication with your district regarding the process and the district’s responsibilities, please designate a contact person to correspond with us for all matters related to the implementation of SB 9. Please email the name, phone number and email address of your designee to SB9@tea.state.tx.us as soon as possible.
  • The attached user agreement, which is to be printed, filled out and faxed, must be completed for each school district employee authorized to access SBEC Online to update or view fingerprinting information related to SB 9. There will be two levels of access: 1) upload and update access and 2) read-only access to reference SBEC Online to view employees fingerprint statuses.
  • The Department of Public Safety will contact your district in the near future providing you with information that will assist you in the process.

Additional information will be communicated to your district regarding the submission of employee information through SBEC Online, and the implementation of Senate Bill 9 in the near future. Please also refer to the Senate Bill 9 FAQ document found on the SBEC website http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/ under the ‘Fingerprinting’ link for further information.

Contact Information
Texas Education Agency
Department of Educator Quality and Standards, Raymond F. Glynn, Ed.D., Associate Commissioner
Division of Investigations, Doug Phillips, Director
(512) 936-8210

TEA Homepage

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