A federal judge has ruled that the state of Texas violated a new provision of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act in refusing to recognize an Air Force wife's out-of-state school counselor credentials — a rejection that prevented her from getting a permanent job in the state.
As the first-ever decision on a law that required states to recognize occupational licenses issued elsewhere, the case has widespread implications for the estimated 255,000 active-duty military spouses who require professional credentials to work in education, medicine, real estate, the beauty industry and more.
Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. Texas Western District Court ruled Monday that Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath, the Texas Education Agency and the State Board for Educator Certification violated the SCRA when they required Hannah Magee Portee to comply with state requirements that she used her counseling licenses continuously in the previous two years to qualify for state certification.
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Portee earned school counseling licenses in Missouri and Ohio and worked as a substitute and elementary school counselor in those states in 2022 before marrying her husband and moving to Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas last January on orders.
The state would not provide her a Texas license based on her other two licenses and asked her to take the Texas…