724 S.W.2d 387 (1987)

STATE of Texas et al., Appellants, v. PROJECT PRINCIPLE, INC., Appellee.

Supreme Court of Texas.
February 18, 1987.

On July 3, 1984, the state legislature passed into law House Bill 72 called the TECAT (Texas Examination for Current Administrators and Teachers). The bill contained numerous educational reforms, including additional school funding, school finance reform, teacher salary increases, and teacher competency testing. The law required teachers to periodically be tested to certify that the teacher was still able to meet, the standards of practice that were required at the time of their initial certification to become a teacher. The group Project Principle, which was made up of teachers, administrators and others who opposed the law, claiming it was unconstitutional.


The Texas Supreme Court ruled against the claims of Project Principle, which was arguing that it was a fundamental right to be able to teach. The court decided that there were no violations that would keep the law from being put into action and issued a ruling that allowed it implementation.

Impact on Teaching:
This case is important to education, because it serves rights to our students to have an up-to-date teacher with maintained certification. The requirement of Texas to have their teachers periodically tested was not done in malice, but just to make sure that everyone is keeping their skills up to par. The gaining of teacher certification is a license, not a contract. So in that manner, the periodic testing is not unconstitutional; it ensures that students will be taught from well knowledgeable teachers with current certifications. This case proved that having certification does not grant you rights; it is just a license.

Quiz question:
T/F: Obtaining teacher certification is a binding contract with yourself and the state. Answer: false. The certification is only a license not a contract.

Jasmine Rutledge
Danielle Gouch