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Should I stay or should I go?

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 4/27/2022

This is the time of year teachers and other certified educators receive their contracts for the next school year. After the challenges of the past year, we are hearing that more educators than usual are unsure about whether they want to return to the same job in the fall and are thus unsure whether they should sign and return their contract for next school year.

This is actually one of the places where teachers generally have an advantage over the school district. Even if a teacher is not sure they want to return next school year, they can still go ahead and sign and return their contract—giving them the legal job protection that comes from having a signed contract. Teachers are generally still free, should they decide they want to go a different direction, to resign from their contract—without risking penalty—as long as they give the district notice of their resignation at least 45 calendar days before the first instructional day of the new school year. The only real exception to this would be a teacher who had entered into a specific agreement to remain at the district for some set period of time in exchange for something, such as a signing bonus or training. In those extremely limited circumstances, the agreement they have entered could provide some type of penalty—usually a financial penalty. But again, these circumstances are rare, and any teacher who has entered into such an agreement should know about it. For the vast majority of teachers, there is no penalty if the resignation, addressed to the superintendent and mailed certified mail, return receipt requested, is received by the district administration by the deadline.

So go ahead and sign that contract when it is offered to you. Doing so just puts you in the driver’s seat, being able to choose for yourself—should I stay or should I go?