What is a service record?
A service record is the official document used to record years of service claimed for salary increment purposes. Service records transfer with public school personnel throughout their career, logging years of service, roles and responsibilities, and days worked (service time). The years of service often aligns with a payroll salary scale based on creditable years of service, and for employees in TRS positions, the years of service align with TRS retirement eligibility.
How much time does a charter school have to complete a service record once it is requested?
The district must provide the copy not later than the 30th day after the later of:
- the date the request is made; or
- the date of the last day of the individual’s service to the district.
If a school district fails to provide an individual’s service record as required by Subsection (b), the agency shall, to the extent that information is available to the agency, provide the employing school district with information sufficient to enable the district to determine proper placement of the individual on the district’s salary schedule.
This is in accordance with TEC 21.4031.
Is there a minimum length of time the district must keep a copy of a service record?
A legible copy of the service record must be kept by the employing school district for 75 years from the date of separation. The original signed service record should be given to the employee or sent to the next ISD or charter school once employment is terminated.
Can a scanned version of the original service record be sent to another school district or charter school and be considered official?
Yes. A scanned version of the original service record may be considered official if sent directly from one employing district to another employing district.
Is a digital signature on a service record valid?
A service record with a digital signature is only valid for the intended recipient as recorded on the service record. A digital version that includes information from previous employing districts is acceptable if the most recent school district is the designated recipient of the information from the previous districts. The digital service record will not be official if the recipient is the educator; however, upon request the district will provide a copy to the educator in accordance with the TEC, §21.4031(b).
I need a copy of a new hire’s service record. The charter school they previously worked at is no longer in operation. How can their service record be obtained?
If the former school was not taken over by another charter or school district, then the employee or an employing district representative will need to contact the Region 13 Educational Service Center, who is the custodian of records for closed public charter schools in Texas. Using the Programs & Services option, the employee or district representative must submit a Charter School Personnel Records Request. https://www4.esc13.net/charters/personnel-records-request/
The form must be completed and signed by the employee requesting records or a representative of a school district/charter school, requesting a copy of a personnel file for an employee new to the school district/charter school. This is a FERPA requirement.
How much detail should I place on the service record?
As much as you can! Notes are your friend. This will help you and future districts understand why you made certain decisions. All documents and forms should be attached to the educators’ service record as well.
Does TEA have an updated Service Record Template? How do I complete it?
Yes, it can be found at https://tea.texas.gov/Texas_Educators/Salary_and_Service_Record under the Service Record Information section and downloaded as a word doc. While this template is titled “Teacher Service Record”, it is to be used for all service creditable positions. Also, pages 3-4 of this document provide detailed instructions for completing the service record.
Common Questions from Employees
How can I find out how many years of service I have towards retirement?
You must contact the Teacher Retirement System of Texas for information about retirement. This is the official record and appropriate source for retirement related questions.
My service record shows ‘0’ for my first year of service even though I have completed that first year. Why isn’t it changed to a ‘1’?
The service record reflects the service that you begin the year with. The next year will reflect that you begin that year with 1 year of completed service, and so on.
I believe there is an error on my service record. It is not matching with my TRS record and/or it just does not look right to me. What do I do?
The district that you believe made the error must be contacted, and they should investigate the potential error and remedy as appropriate if found to be an actual error.