Six teachers employed by a Texas school district had previously taught in private schools and colleges in the Philippines.

The school district initially included their years of teaching in the Philippines when calculating their years of service for salary purposes. However, they were later informed that those years of service would no longer be included. The district’s compensation guidelines said that years of service for salary purposes would be determined in accordance with TEA policies and regulations.

The teachers filed grievances, arguing that the district’s change was improper because it did not consider all of their prior years of experience. The district denied the grievances, and the teachers appealed to the Texas commissioner of education.
The commissioner granted the teachers’ appeals, holding that the district should have considered the prior years of teaching at private schools and colleges in the Philippines when calculating their salaries.

The commissioner’s rules that govern years of creditable service state that years of teaching experience in foreign private schools and colleges will be recognized if the entities are accredited by the relevant foreign government. Teaching experience at private schools and universities in the United States also counts toward years of creditable service, provided that the schools meet accreditation standards outlined in the commissioner’s rules.

Here, all of the schools and colleges at which the teachers worked were accredited by the Philippine government. Therefore, they were entitled to have those years of service considered when calculating their creditable service and salary.