Summary Contract Renewal and Non-renewal  

I.   Probationary – End of Term

  • Renew: Automatically renewed if not given notice in the time frame required under state law.
  • Termination: Notice must be given by the 10th calendar day before the last day of instruction required by the contract.
  • Standard of review – None. No specific reason for termination is required.  Whatever decision the board makes is final and may not be appealed.  A probationary teacher can be non-renewed for any reason—good, bad, or no reason at all at the end of the year.
  • Do not get a board hearing.
 

II.  Term Contracts – End of Term

  • Renew: Automatically renewed if not given notice in the time frame required under state law.
  • Nonrenewal: Notice must be given by the 10th calendar day before the last day of instruction required by the contract.
  • School Board Policy must contain a statement of all of the reasons why a teacher’s contract might not be renewed.
  • The Board must consider the most recent evaluations before making a decision not to renew a teacher’s contract if the evaluations are relevant to the reason for the board’s actions.
  • Teacher has 15 days to request a hearing.
  • Board gets to decide whether the board or independent hearing examiner hears case.

III. Continuing Contract

  • There is no non-renewal because there is no end to the term of the contract.
  • Termination: The contract continues until the teacher quits the district or the district gives notice of intent to terminate the teacher.
  • Teacher is able to request an independent hearing examiner.

IV.  Under both term and continuing contracts…

  • Procedural compliance with non-renewal requirements is absolutely required, i.e. must not send letter of non-renewal before nonrenewal.
  • Teacher may appeal to the Commissioner of Education.
  • Can use evidence from prior years – no years beyond the terms of the contract. For continuing contracts, this can go back to the time the contract was issued.  For a one-year contract, evidence from that year can be presented.
  • Burden of proof is on administration. Commissioner reviews under “substantial evidence.” Substantial evidence means that the Commissioner may not substitute his judgment for that of the board of trustees unless the board’s decision was arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, or not supported by substantial evidence.  Board reviews under the “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
  Very, Very Important : By law, the teacher on a continuing contract has only 10 days to appeal.  A teacher on a term contract has 15 days to ask for a hearing after receiving notice from the Board that his/her contract will not be renewed.  Best advice:  As soon as you receive information that your contract is in danger, call your association.  All days are calendar days.  Weekends and holidays count.