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MN Teacher tenure act: Employment; contracts; termination (excerpts)
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004

Table of Contents
Excerpts from 122A.40 Employment; contracts; termination.
Minnesota Teacher Tenure Act
http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/122A

Subd. 5. (a) Probationary period defined, and termination of employment during probationary period (1 to 3 years);

Subd. 7  Termination of contract after probationary period.

Subd. 9.    Grounds for termination.  A continuing contract may be terminated, effective at the close of the school year, upon any of the following grounds:

Subd. 11.    Unrequested leave of absence.  The board may place on unrequested leave of absence, without pay or fringe benefits, as many teachers as may be necessary because of discontinuance of position, lack of pupils, financial limitations, or merger of classes caused by consolidation of districts...

Subd. 13.    Immediate discharge.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), a board may discharge a continuing-contract teacher, effective immediately, upon any of the following grounds:

Subd. 14.    Hearing procedures.  Any hearing held pursuant to this section must be held upon appropriate and timely notice to the teacher, and any hearing held pursuant to subdivision 9 or 13 must be private or public at the discretion of the teacher.  A hearing held pursuant to subdivision 11 must be public and may be consolidated by the school board.  At the hearing, the board and the teacher may each be represented by counsel at each party's own expense, and such counsel may examine and cross-examine witnesses and present arguments.  The board must first present evidence to sustain the grounds for termination or discharge and then receive evidence presented by the teacher.  Each party may then present rebuttal evidence. Dismissal of the teacher must be based upon substantial and competent evidence in the record...  
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"Subd. 5.    Probationary period. (a) The first three consecutive years of a teacher's first teaching experience in  Minnesota in a single district is deemed to be a probationary period of employment, and after completion thereof, the  probationary period in each district in which the teacher is  thereafter employed shall be one year...  

...(b), during the probationary period any annual contract with any teacher may or may not be renewed as the school board shall see fit.  However, the board must give any such teacher whose contract it declines to renew for the following school year written notice to that effect before July 1.  If the teacher requests reasons for any nonrenewal of a teaching contract, the board must give the teacher its reason in writing, including a statement that appropriate supervision was furnished describing the nature and the extent of such supervision furnished the teacher during the employment by the board, within ten days after receiving such request.  The school board may, after a hearing held upon due notice, discharge a teacher during the probationary period for cause, effective immediately, under section 122A.44...

Subd. 7.    Termination of contract after probationary period.  (a) A teacher who has completed a probationary period in any district, and who has not been discharged or advised of a refusal to renew the teacher's contract under subdivision 5, shall elect to have a continuing contract with such district where contract terms and conditions, including salary and salary increases, are established based either on the length of the school calendar or an extended school calendar under section 120A.415.  Thereafter, the teacher's contract must remain in full force and effect, except as modified by mutual consent of the board and the teacher, until terminated by a majority roll call vote of the full membership of the board prior to April 1 upon one of the grounds specified in subdivision 9 or July 1 upon one of the grounds specified in subdivision 10 or 11, or until the teacher is discharged pursuant to subdivision 13, or by the written resignation of the teacher submitted prior to April 1.

...Before a teacher's contract is terminated by the board, the board must notify the teacher in writing and state  its ground for the proposed termination in reasonable detail together with a statement that the teacher may make a written request for a hearing before the board within 14 days after receipt of such notification...

...If no hearing is requested within such period, it shall be deemed acquiescence by the teacher to the board's action...

Subd. 9.    Grounds for termination.  A continuing contract may be terminated, effective at the close of the school year, upon any of the following grounds:

(a) Inefficiency;

(b) Neglect of duty, or persistent violation of school laws, rules, regulations, or directives;

(c) Conduct unbecoming a teacher which materially impairs the teacher's educational effectiveness;

(d) Other good and sufficient grounds rendering the teacher unfit to perform the teacher's duties.

A contract must not be terminated upon one of the grounds specified in clause (a), (b), (c), or (d), unless the teacher fails to correct the deficiency after being given written notice of the specific items of complaint and reasonable time within which to remedy them.  

Subd. 11.    Unrequested leave of absence.  The board may place on unrequested leave of absence, without pay or fringe benefits, as many teachers as may be necessary because of discontinuance of position, lack of pupils, financial limitations, or merger of classes caused by consolidation of districts.  The unrequested leave is effective at the close of the school year.  In placing teachers on unrequested leave, the board is governed by the following provisions:

(a) The board may place probationary teachers on unrequested leave first in the inverse order of their employment.  A teacher who has acquired continuing contract rights must not be placed on unrequested leave of absence while probationary teachers are retained in positions for which the teacher who has acquired continuing contract rights is licensed;

(b) Teachers who have acquired continuing contract rights shall be placed on unrequested leave of absence in fields in which they are licensed in the inverse order in which they were employed by the school district.  In the case of equal seniority, the order in which teachers who have acquired continuing contract rights shall be placed on unrequested leave of absence in fields in which they are licensed is negotiable;

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of clause (b), a teacher is not entitled to exercise any seniority when that exercise results in that teacher being retained by the district in a field for which the teacher holds only a provisional license, as defined by the board of teaching, unless that exercise of seniority results in the placement on unrequested leave of absence of another teacher who also holds a provisional license in the same field.  The provisions of this clause do not apply to vocational education licenses;

(d) Notwithstanding clauses (a), (b) and (c), if the placing of a probationary teacher on unrequested leave before a teacher who has acquired continuing rights, the placing of a teacher who has acquired continuing contract rights on unrequested leave before another teacher who has acquired continuing contract rights but who has greater seniority, or the restriction imposed by the provisions of clause (c) would place the district in violation of its affirmative action program, the district may retain the probationary teacher, the teacher with less seniority, or the provisionally licensed teacher;

(e) Teachers placed on unrequested leave of absence must be reinstated to the positions from which they have been given leaves of absence or, if not available, to other available positions in the school district in fields in which they are licensed.  Reinstatement must be in the inverse order of placement on leave of absence.  A teacher must not be reinstated to a position in a field in which the teacher holds only a provisional license, other than a vocational education license, while another teacher who holds a nonprovisional license in the same field remains on unrequested leave.  The order of reinstatement of teachers who have equal seniority and who are placed on unrequested leave in the same school year is negotiable;

(f) Appointment of a new teacher must not be made while there is available, on unrequested leave, a teacher who is properly licensed to fill such vacancy, unless the teacher fails to advise the school board within 30 days of the date of notification that a position is available to that teacher who may return to employment and assume the duties of the position to which appointed on a future date determined by the board;

(g) A teacher placed on unrequested leave of absence may engage in teaching or any other occupation during the period of this leave;

(h) The unrequested leave of absence must not impair the continuing contract rights of a teacher or result in a loss of credit for previous years of service;

(i) The unrequested leave of absence of a teacher who is placed on unrequested leave of absence and who is not reinstated shall continue for a period of five years, after which the right to reinstatement shall terminate.  The teacher's right to reinstatement shall also terminate if the teacher fails to file with the board by April 1 of any year a written statement requesting reinstatement;

(j) The same provisions applicable to terminations of probationary or continuing contracts in subdivisions 5 and 7 must apply to placement on unrequested leave of absence;

(k) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to impair the rights of teachers placed on unrequested leave of absence to receive unemployment benefits if otherwise eligible.

Subd. 13.    Immediate discharge.  (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), a board may discharge a continuing-contract teacher, effective immediately, upon any of the following grounds:

(1) immoral conduct, insubordination, or conviction of a felony;
(2) conduct unbecoming a teacher which requires the immediate removal of the teacher from classroom or other duties;

(3) failure without justifiable cause to teach without first securing the written release of the school board;

(4) gross inefficiency which the teacher has failed to correct after reasonable written
notice;

(5) willful neglect of duty; or

(6) continuing physical or mental disability subsequent to a 12 months leave of absence and inability to qualify for reinstatement in accordance with subdivision 12.

For purposes of this paragraph, conduct unbecoming a teacher includes an unfair discriminatory practice described in section 363A.13.  

Prior to discharging a teacher under this paragraph, the board must notify the teacher in writing and state its ground for the proposed discharge in reasonable detail.  Within ten days after receipt of this notification the teacher may make a written request for a hearing before the board and it shall be granted before final action is taken.  The board may, however, suspend a teacher with pay pending the conclusion of such hearing and determination of the issues raised in the hearing after charges have been filed which constitute ground for discharge.  

(b) A board must discharge a continuing-contract teacher, effective immediately, upon receipt of notice under section 122A.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), that the teacher's license has been revoked due to a conviction for child abuse or sexual abuse.  

Subd. 14.    Hearing procedures.  Any hearing held pursuant to this section must be held upon appropriate and timely notice to the teacher, and any hearing held pursuant to subdivision 9 or 13 must be private or public at the discretion of the teacher.  A hearing held pursuant to subdivision 11 must be public and may be consolidated by the school board.  At the hearing, the board and the teacher may each be represented by counsel at each party's own expense, and such counsel may examine and cross-examine witnesses and present arguments.  The board must first present evidence to sustain the grounds for termination or discharge and then receive evidence presented by the teacher.  Each party may then present rebuttal evidence. Dismissal of the teacher must be based upon substantial and competent evidence in the record.  All witnesses shall be sworn upon oath administered by the presiding officer of the board. The clerk of the board shall issue subpoenas for witnesses or the production of records pertinent to the grounds upon the request of either the board or the teacher.  The board must employ a court reporter to record the proceedings at the hearing, and either party may obtain a transcript of the hearing at its own expense.