Texas Education Code 11.202 superficially seems to give principals hiring authority:
(b) Each principal shall: (1) except as provided by Subsection (d),
approve all teacher and staff appointments for that principal's campus
from a pool of applicants selected by the district or of applicants
who meet the hiring requirements established by the district, based on
criteria developed by the principal after informal consultation with
Subsection (d) says that
The superintendent or the person designated by the superintendent has
final placement authority for a teacher transferred because of
enrollment shifts or program changes in the district.
For the sake of comparison, that section also says that the principals shall
(6) recommend to the superintendent the termination or suspension of
an employee assigned to the campus or the nonrenewal of the term
contract of an employee assigned to the campus
The point here is that the law does not state that the principal makes hiring recommendations to the superintendent.
The superintendent's duties are spelled out in TEC 11.201
(d) The duties of the superintendent include:
(2) except as provided by Section 11.202, assuming administrative
authority and responsibility for the assignment, supervision, and
evaluation of all personnel of the district other than the
that is, the duties of the superintendent do not include the duties of the principal, but does include "initiating the termination or suspension of an employee or the nonrenewal of an employee's term contract" (which the principal may recommend). The enumerated duties of the superintendent do not include approving / disapproving the hiring of teachers.
At the top of the hierarchy is the board of trustees of the district. The board has broad powers per TEC 11.151, including that
(b) The trustees as a body corporate have the exclusive power and duty
to govern and oversee the management of the public schools of the
district. All powers and duties not specifically delegated by statute
to the agency or to the State Board of Education are reserved for the
trustees, and the agency may not substitute its judgment for the
lawful exercise of those powers and duties by the trustees.
The list of duties in TEC 11.1151 includes certain things that the board shall do, which includes one employment related thing:
(14) make decisions relating to terminating the employment of district
employees employed under a contract to which Chapter 21 applies,
including terminating or not renewing an employment contract to which
that chapter applies
and in addition, they may
(4) enter into contracts as authorized under this code or other law
and delegate contractual authority to the superintendent as
Being hired is entering into a contract.
Unfortunately, TEC 11.1513 states more clearly what a school district's employment policy must be:
(a) The employment policy must provide that:...
(2) the superintendent has sole authority to make recommendations to
the board regarding the selection of all personnel other than the
superintendent, except that the board may delegate final authority for
those decisions to the superintendent; and
(3) each principal must approve each teacher or staff appointment to
the principal's campus as provided by Section 11.202.
(b) The board of trustees may accept or reject the superintendent's
recommendation regarding the selection of district personnel and shall
include the board's acceptance or rejection in the minutes of the
So in fact a chain of approvals from principal to board is required, in order to be hired.