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What Texas Educators Need to Know about Reassignments

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 8/16/2017

Television commercials are full of sales on kids’ clothes. High school marching bands are starting morning practice. It’s starting to look a lot like the new school year is around the corner.

Another thing that sometimes comes with the new year is a new assignment. Sometimes the change to a new grade or new campus is at the request of the educator, but other times, it comes as a rude shock.

If you get reassigned, you may be wondering if your district is allowed to reassign you without your consent. It may seem unfair, but the answer is yes.

Nearly all teacher and administrator contracts include a paragraph allowing the district to reassign the educator at the district’s discretion as long as the new assignment also falls within the “professional capacity” stated in the contract. The “professional capacity” is found at the very beginning of the contract, usually stated as “Classroom Teacher” or “Administrator,” or something similarly broad. This often gives districts broad discretion to change assignments. Districts have even broader ability to reassign non-contract staff as there is no general restriction on job assignments.

Is there anything you can do if you feel you’ve been unfairly reassigned? Maybe. While the general rule is that reassignments are permitted, it is also true that individual circumstances sometimes create an exception. For example, generally a teacher cannot be reassigned outside of his or her certification area. A paraprofessional generally should not be reassigned to a position that he or she cannot perform due to a disability.

If you are an eligible ATPE member who has been notified that you have been reassigned and want to know more, you can contact the ATPE Member Legal Services Department by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-777-2873 (ATPE) between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Or you may use our confidential, electronic submission system. Read more about reassignments in ATPE’s online Legal Guide.

Not an ATPE member? With ATPE membership, you get access to our top-notch legal team, outstanding benefits and resources, influence at the Capitol, and liability and employment rights defense coverage* to protect your career.

Join today to become part of the state’s largest and most trusted educator group.

*Eligibility, terms, limits, and exclusions apply.