On February 6, 2023, the independent hearing examiner recommended that Mr. Cortinas’s employment be terminated. On February 22, 2023, the school board voted to accept that recommendation and terminate the man’s employment as an administrator with the district. Mr. Cortinas filed an appeal with T.E.A. on March 23, 2023.
Too late. The Commissioner dismissed the appeal because it was untimely. You have 20 days to appeal that kind of decision and the 20 days expired on March 14th.
The argument in the case was over when those 20 days began. Strange but true: the rules are different for nonrenrewals vs. terminations. In the case of a nonrenewal the board is required to give written notice of its decision to the teacher, and the 20 days does not start until written notice is delivered. On a termination, however, the 20 days begins when the board “announces” its decision. This typically happens when the board takes its vote to terminate in open session. That’s what happened here.
It's Cortinas v. Manor ISD, Docket No. 030-R2-03-2023, decided by the Commissioner on April 26, 2023. I’m pleased to let you know that Christine Badillo and David Holmes from our firm handled this one for the district.
DAWG BONE: IN A TERMINATION CASE, THE 20 DAYS STARTS WHEN THE BOARD ANNOUNCES THE DECISION.
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