A teacher who was employed by a school district under a term contract signed a memorandum of understanding with the district that specified that he would be paid an additional amount in exchange for giving up his conference period. The district attempted to lower the teacher’s salary, saying that the memorandum of understanding was an agreement for supplemental duties and that the teacher had volunteered to give up his planning time to teach the additional class. The teacher filed a grievance. The school district’s board of trustees denied the grievance and the teacher appealed to the commissioner of education.

The commissioner of education held that a school district may not require a teacher to teach a class during planning and preparation time. Teachers are entitled to a planning and preparation time under Chapter 21 of the Education Code, and all teachers who perform classroom teaching duties are required to be employed under a contract that complies with Chapter 21 of the Education Code. There is no exception to this requirement for teaching duties performed during planning and preparation time. Therefore, a school district may not assign a teacher to teach a class during their planning and preparation time, even if the teacher agrees to do so in exchange for additional compensation.