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Required Criminal Background Check

The following is required under Texas law.

Candidates must undergo a criminal history background check prior to clinical teaching as a student and prior to employment as an educator. Applicants for a Texas educator certificate also must submit to the criminal history review. An individual who has been convicted of an offense may be ineligible for issuance of a certificate upon completion of the Educator Preparation Program.

A person has the right to request a “Preliminary Criminal History Evaluation” from TEA regarding the person’s potential ineligibility for certification due to a conviction or deferred adjudication for a felony or misdemeanor offense. Rules relating to “Eligibility of Persons with Criminal History for a Certificate” are prescribed in 19 TAC §249.16.

Sources: Texas Occupations Code Chapter 53, Texas Education Code Chapter 22.0831 and 22.0835 and 19 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 227, Subchapter B

Disciplinary Information

Information about conduct that can lead to disciplinary action and criminal activity considered directly related to the education profession is available for your review in the following links:

Fingerprinting for Certificate Applicants

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) requires all applicants to submit fingerprints for a national criminal history background check. The fingerprinting process is initiated once an applicant applies and makes the payment for certification through the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS). At the time applicants pay for certification, they will be prompted to pay for the fingerprint background check. More information regarding the requirement for a certificate applicant to submit fingerprints can be found here.

Required Social Security Number

Candidates are required to have a valid United States Social Security number to get fingerprinted for the issuance of a certificate. The fingerprinting process cannot be completed without a valid Social Security number, and an application for teacher certification cannot be processed without completion of the fingerprinting process. More information regarding the requirements for a Social Security number can be found here.