724 S.W.2d 387 (Tex. 1987), C-5340, State v. Project Principle, Inc.

Docket Nº:C-5340.
Citation:724 S.W.2d 387
Party Name:STATE of Texas et al., Appellants, v. PROJECT PRINCIPLE, INC., Appellee.
Case Date:February 18, 1987
Court:Supreme Court of Texas
 
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Page 387

724 S.W.2d 387 (Tex. 1987)

STATE of Texas et al., Appellants,

v.

PROJECT PRINCIPLE, INC., Appellee.

No. C-5340.

Supreme Court of Texas.

February 18, 1987

Page 388

Jim Mattox, Atty. Gen., Leslie L. McCollom and Kevin T. O'Hanlon, Assts., Atty. Gens. Office, Austin, for appellants.

Page 389

Jaime Omar Garza, Alice, David Garza, C. Allen Ramirez, Rio Grande City, for appellee.

CAMPBELL, Justice.

This is a direct appeal from a temporary injunction prohibiting enforcement of Tex.Educ.Code § 13.047 (Vernon Supp.1987) on the ground that the statute is unconstitutional. Section 13.047 provides that public school educators, to retain their teaching certificates, must successfully complete an examination known as the Texas Examination for Current Administrators and Teachers, or TECAT. We hold the statute is constitutional and we reverse the judgment of the trial court and dissolve that court's injunction.

This court has jurisdiction of this cause under Tex.Gov't Code § 22.001(c) (Vernon Pamph.1987). That section provides for a direct appeal from a temporary or permanent injunction order based on the constitutionality of a state statute.

Project Principle, a non-profit corporation with membership comprised of certified public school teachers and administrators, alleged that section 13.047 is unconstitutional. We must determine whether the trial court's injunction properly rests on any of the alleged constitutional violations: (1) that section 13.047 violates article I, section 16 of the state constitution which prohibits any law impairing obligations under a contract or any law which is retroactive; (2) that section 13.047 violates federal and state guarantees of due process; (3) that section 13.047 violates the equal protection clause of the Texas Constitution, article I, section 3; and (4) that the State Board of Education suspended the operation of a general law in its implementation of the TECAT, thus violating article I, section 28 of the Texas Constitution.

THE TECAT

On July 3, 1984, the state legislature passed into law House Bill 72. The bill contained numerous educational reforms, including additional school funding, school finance reform, teacher salary increases, and teacher competency testing. The bill is codified as Tex.Educ.Code § 13.047, and it provides in part as follows:

(a) The State Board of Education shall require satisfactory performance on an examination prescribed by the board as a condition to continued certification for each teacher and administrator who has not taken a certification examination under Section 13.032(e) of this code.

(b) The board shall prescribe an examination designed to test knowledge appropriate to teach primary grades and an examination designed to test knowledge appropriate to teach secondary grades. The secondary teacher examination must test the knowledge of each examinee in the subject areas ... in which the examinee is certified to teach and is teaching. If a teacher is not tested in an area of certification, the teacher must take the examination for that area within three years after beginning to teach that subject. The administrator examinations must test administrative skills, knowledge in subject areas, and other matters that the board considers appropriate. The examinations must also test the ability of the examinee to read and write with sufficient skill and understanding to perform satisfactorily as a...

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