Barton v. State Bd. for Educator Certification

In Barton v. State Bd. for Educator Certification, 382 S.W.3d 405 (Tex. App.--Texarkana 2012, pet. denied), the Texarkana court of appeals overturned an agency's reprimand of a school principal because the order was inconsistent with the original allegations. See 382 S.W.3d at 411-12. The State Board of Educator Certification alleged that Barton, a school principal, had impermissibly unilaterally changed students' individual educational plans without advance notice to parents. Id. at 412. Barton argued that IEPs could be amended by agreement, that the parents were orally notified of proposed changes, and that the parents agreed to the changes made. Id. The Board nevertheless reprimanded Barton because she had not given written notice to the parents, and the trial court affirmed. Id. at 407. The court of appeals reversed, first finding that the Board had not pled that Barton was required to give written notice and that Barton was not given an opportunity to defend against that alleged failure, and then concluding that the Board could not reprimand Barton on such unnoticed grounds. Id. at 412-14.