Texas Teachers Serving on Governing Bodies, Proposition 11 (2001)
The Texas Teachers Serving on Governing Bodies Amendment, also known as Proposition 11, was on the November 6, 2001 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure allowed current and retired public school teachers and retired public school administrators to receive compensation for serving on the governing bodies of school districts, cities, towns or other local governmental districts.
|Texas Proposition 11 (2001)|
Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas
Text of measure
The ballot title voters saw on their ballot read as:
|“||The constitutional amendment to allow current and retired public school teachers and retired public school administrators to receive compensation for serving on the governing bodies of school districts, cities, towns, and other local governmental districts, including water districts.||”|
The full text of the measure can be read here.
Proposition 11 amended Section 40 of Article 16 of the Texas Constitution.
The state government provided an explanation of Proposition 11 which read as follows:
|“||Section 40, Article XVI, Texas Constitution, prohibits a person from
holding more than one civil office of emolument at a time. A civil office of emolument is a public office for which the person who holds the office receives compensation. The general rule in Section 40 against dual officeholding was amended in 1972 by the addition of a provision that permits state employees or other persons who receive all or part of their compensation directly or indirectly from state funds to serve as members of the governing bodies of school districts, cities, towns, and other local governmental districts if the persons do not receive a salary for serving on the governing bodies.
In addition to Section 40, the common-law doctrine of incompatibility prohibits certain dual officeholding: a person may not hold two offices where one might impose its policies on the other or subject the other to control in some other way, and an officer may not hold employment subordinate to the officer’s office. For example, under the doctrine of incompatibility, a member of the board of trustees of a school district may not be a teacher in that district, because the board controls many aspects of the employer-employee relationship and teachers are subordinate to the board.
The Texas attorney general ruled in 1999 that Section 40 does not prohibit a public school teacher from serving as a county commissioner and receiving a salary for that service, because a county is not a “local governmental district” within the meaning of Section 40. Earlier attorney general opinions have stated that a person who receives retirement benefits from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas does not hold a civil office of emolument, but neither the attorney general nor the courts have ever discussed whether a retired teacher or retired school administrator receives all or part of the person’s “compensation” from the state.
In 1999, the voters decisively rejected a more broadly written proposed amendment of Section 40 that would have removed the language that prohibits a state employee or other person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from the state from receiving a salary for serving on the governing body of a local government. 
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas
As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.
- Texas 2001 ballot measures
- 2001 ballot measures
- List of Texas ballot measures
- History of direct democracy in Texas
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "Constitutional amendment election dates," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876," accessed January 14, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments: November 6, 2001, Election," September 2001
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
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