(a) The commissioner shall maintain a list of the names of all persons who have been certified as hearing examiners. The list shall be initially prepared in a random order, and subsequent additions to the list shall be added chronologically. (b) The commissioner shall assign the hearing examiner for a particular case by selecting the next person named on the list who resides within reasonable proximity to the district as determined by the commissioner. The commissioner may not change the order of names once the order is established under this section, except that once each hearing examiner on the list has been assigned to a case, the names shall be randomly reordered. (c) If a hearing examiner is not selected by the parties to a pending case under Subsection (e), the commissioner shall assign a hearing examiner to the case not earlier than the sixth business day and not later than the 10th business day after the date on which the commissioner receives the request for a hearing. When a hearing examiner has been assigned to a case, the commissioner shall immediately notify the parties. (d) The parties may agree to reject a hearing examiner for any reason and either party is entitled to reject the assigned hearing examiner for cause. A rejection must be in writing and filed with the commissioner not later than the third day after the date of notification of the hearing examiner's assignment. If the parties agree to reject the hearing examiner or if the commissioner determines that one party has good cause to reject the hearing examiner, the commissioner shall assign another hearing examiner as provided by Subsection (b). If neither party makes a timely rejection, the assignment is final. (e) After the teacher receives the notice of the proposed action, the parties by agreement may select a hearing examiner from the list maintained by the commissioner under Subsection (a) or a person who is not certified to serve as a hearing examiner. A person who is not a certified hearing examiner may be selected only if the person is licensed to practice law in this state. If the parties agree on a hearing examiner, the parties shall, before the date the commissioner is permitted to assign a hearing examiner, notify the commissioner in writing of the agreement, including the name of the hearing examiner selected. (f) After the teacher receives the notice of the proposed action, the teacher and the district may agree in writing that the decision of the hearing examiner will be final and nonappealable on all or some issues.
Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 201, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003
Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 902, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 2003.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995.