California Education Code Section 44948.5

CA Educ Code § 44948.5 (2017)  

(a) This section applies only to (1) probationary employees of a school district with an average daily attendance of less than 250 pupils, or (2) those persons currently employed as probationary employees whose probationary period commenced prior to the 1983–84 fiscal year.

(b) No later than March 15 and before a probationary employee is given notice by the governing board that his or her services will not be required for the ensuing year for reasons other than those specified in Section 44955, the governing board and the employee shall be given written notice by the superintendent of the district or his or her designee, or, in the case of a district which has no superintendent, by the clerk or secretary of the governing board, that it has been recommended that the notice be given to the employee, and stating the reasons therefor.

If the probationary employee has been in the employ of the district for less than 45 days on March 15, the giving of the notice may be deferred until the 45th day of employment and all time period and deadline dates prescribed by this subdivision shall be coextensively extended.

Until the employee has requested a hearing as provided in subdivision (c) or has waived his or her right to a hearing, the notice and the reasons therefor shall be confidential and shall not be divulged by any person, except as may be necessary in the performance of duties. However, the violation of this requirement of confidentiality, in and of itself, shall not in any manner be construed as affecting the validity of any hearing conducted pursuant to this section.

(c) The employee may request a hearing to determine if there is cause for not reemploying him or her for the ensuing year. A request for a hearing shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the person who sent the notice pursuant to subdivision (b), on or before a date specified in that subdivision, which shall not be less than seven days after the date on which the notice is served upon the employee. If an employee fails to request a hearing on or before the date specified, his or her failure to do so shall constitute a waiver of his or her right to a hearing. The notice provided for in subdivision (b) shall advise the employee of the provisions of this subdivision.

(d) In the event a hearing is requested by the employee, the proceeding shall be conducted and a decision made in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code and the governing board shall have all the power granted to an agency therein, except that all of the following shall apply:

(1) The respondent shall file his or her notice of defense, if any, within five days after service upon him or her of the accusation and he or she shall be notified of this five-day period for filing in the accusation.

(2) The discovery authorized by Section 11507.6 of the Government Code shall be available only if request is made therefor within 15 days after service of the accusation, and the notice required by Section 11505 of the Government Code shall so indicate.

(3) The hearing shall be conducted by an administrative law judge who shall prepare a proposed decision, containing findings of fact and a determination as to whether the charges sustained by the evidence are related to the welfare of the schools and the pupils thereof. The proposed decision shall be prepared for the governing board and shall contain a determination as to the sufficiency of the cause and a recommendation as to disposition. However, the governing board shall make the final determination as to the sufficiency of the cause and disposition. None of the findings, recommendations, or determinations contained in the proposed decision prepared by the administrative law judge shall be binding on the governing board. Nonsubstantive procedural errors committed by the school district or governing board of the school district shall not constitute cause for dismissing the charges unless the errors are prejudicial errors. Copies of the proposed decision shall be submitted to the governing board and to the employee on or before May 7 of the year in which the proceeding is commenced. All expenses of the hearing, including the cost of the administrative law judge, shall be paid by the governing board from the district funds.

The board may adopt from time to time such rules and procedures not inconsistent with provisions of this section as may be necessary to effectuate this section.

(e) The governing board’s determination not to reemploy a probationary employee for the ensuing school year shall be for cause only. The determination of the governing board as to the sufficiency of the cause pursuant to this section shall be conclusive, but the cause shall relate solely to the welfare of the schools and the pupils thereof. The decision made after the hearing shall be effective on May 15 of the year the proceeding is commenced.

(f) Notice to the probationary employee by the governing board that his or her service will not be required for the ensuing year, shall be given no later than May 15.

(g) If a governing board notifies a probationary employee that his or her services will not be required for the ensuing year, the board shall, within 10 days after delivery to it of the employee’s written request, provide the employee with a statement of its reasons for not reemploying him or her for the ensuing school year.

(h) Any notice or request shall be deemed sufficient when it is delivered in person to the employee to whom it is directed, or when it is deposited in the United States registered mail, postage prepaid and addressed to the last known address of the employee.

(i) In the event that the governing board does not give notice provided for in subdivision (e) on or before May 15, the employee shall be deemed reemployed for the ensuing school year.

(j) If after request for hearing pursuant to subdivision (c) any continuance is granted pursuant to Section 11524 of the Government Code, the dates prescribed in subdivisions (d), (e), (f), and (i) which occur on or after the date of granting the continuance shall be extended for a period of time equal to the continuance.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 324, Sec. 5.)

Last modified: October 25, 2018