Maintaining your certification

How to stay up-to-date with SBEC

Once you have received your certification, your relationship with the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) remains active. There are still certain things that you have to do to remain certified:
  • Avoiding disciplinary certification sanctions.
  • Updating your contact information.
  • Obtaining required professional development.
  • Renewing your certificate.

Avoiding disciplinary action

An educator is required to comply with the expectations of the profession, as set out in the Educators’ Code of Ethics. Failure to do so can result in SBEC’s taking action to sanction the educator. This sanction can take the form of a reprimand or a suspension or revocation of the educator’s certification.

Updating your contact information

SBEC rules require all certified educators to maintain current contact information in their SBEC file. It is critical that all educators keep their contact info up-to-date: SBEC is required to notify educators if allegations have been made against them in order to give the educators a chance to defend themselves. SBEC is also prohibited from sanctioning educators without providing them the opportunity to defend themselves. But—SBEC is only required to send this notice to the address that the educator has on file at SBEC.

The disciplinary rules also allow SBEC to sanction an educator who fails to respond to a notice of an allegation. This is called a default judgment and is generally considered final and binding, unless the educator can show good cause as to why she failed to respond. Not receiving a notice because your address wasn’t current is not considered good cause. So, if an educator moves and does not provide the new address to SBEC, the educator might be sanctioned for something she did not do and have no way of either combatting the sanction or having the sanction removed.

Obtaining your professional development

Beginning in 1999, educators have been required to obtain continuing professional education (CPE) credit to maintain their certification. The amount of CPE required varies depending on the type of certificate. CPE can be obtained through authorized providers in the form of seminars or webinars. Additionally, educators are allowed to claim credit for time they spend studying on their own.

Educators should check the TEA website for the latest and most accurate information as to how many hours they are required to obtain, what activities can be counted and what records are needed to verify CPE credit.

Renewing your certificate

Beginning in 1999, SBEC moved from issuing lifetime certificates to issuing five-year renewable certificates. This means that educators are required to apply for certificate renewal every five years.

To renew a certificate, an educator must:
  • Hold a valid certificate.
  • Have been fingerprinted and successfully undergone a national criminal background check.
  • Not be in default on a student loan or in arrears in child support.
  • Complete the required number of CPE hours.
Educators can begin the renewal process six months before their certificates expire. You must use TEA’s online renewal system to renew your certification. Be aware that technical issues can arise and that changes to personal information, such as a name change, can delay the renewal process. That’s why it’s best to apply for renewal well before your certificate’s expiration date.

Educators should be aware that maintaining a valid certificate is usually a condition of continued employment with their school district. As such, an expired certificate can result in serious employment consequences. However, educators should also be aware that the Texas Education Code prohibits an employing district from terminating a certified educator because of an expired certificate if the educator applied to renew her certification before it expired or has requested an extension to renew or extend her certificate, and if the educator, within 10 days of her employment contract becoming void due to the expiration, applies for certificate renewal.  

 


The legal information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for individual legal advice or the provision of legal services. Accessing this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Individual legal situations vary greatly and readers should consult directly with an attorney. Eligible ATPE members should contact the ATPE Member Legal Services Department using our online contact form