You don’t have a contract until the board says you have a contract….

Mr. Bieze thought he had a contract with Manor ISD.  There was an email from an employee in the HR Department stating “You have been offered the position of Detective Sergeant” with the district’s newly created police department.  On top of that, he was given two written contracts, one for 2019-20 and one for 2020-21. Each contract was entitled Administrator Contract and contained the signatures of a board member and the district’s superintendent.  However, the school board did not approve the contract, the district did not hire the man, and the Commissioner has ruled that he did not have a valid contract. 

This is an old lesson: you don’t have a contract until the board says you have a contract. 

There are some exceptions to that general rule. The board can delegate final hiring authority to the superintendent.  In this case, after a careful review of board policy DC Local and the minutes of two board meetings, the Commissioner concluded that the Manor ISD had never delegated to the superintendent the authority to hire police officers.  What about the signature on the contracts of a board member? The Commissioner noted that there was no evidence in the record that the board had delegated its authority to a single board member. 

Delegation of authority generally has to be explicit, meaning there should be a motion, a second and a vote of the board at a duly called board meeting.

This one is Jimenez and Bieze v. Manor ISD, decided by the Commissioner on September 16, 2021.  It’s Docket No. 015-R10-12-2020.   


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Tomorrow: Toolbox 4.1!