Oregon Statutes - Chapter 342 - Teachers and Other School Personnel - Section 342.895 - Contract teachers; procedure for dismissal or contract nonextension; appeal.

(1) Contract teachers shall be employed by a school district pursuant to two-year employment contracts.

(2) Authority to dismiss or not extend a contract teacher is vested in the district school board subject to the provisions of the fair dismissal and contract extension procedures of ORS 342.805 to 342.937 and only after recommendation of the dismissal or nonextension of contract is given to the district school board by the superintendent.

(3)(a) At least 20 days before recommending to a board the dismissal of the contract teacher, the district superintendent shall give written notice to the contract teacher by certified mail or delivered in person of the intention to make a recommendation to dismiss the teacher. The notice shall set forth the statutory grounds upon which the superintendent believes such dismissal is justified, and shall contain a plain and concise statement of the facts relied on to support the statutory grounds for dismissal. If the statutory grounds specified are those specified in ORS 342.865 (1)(a), (c), (d), (g) or (h), then evidence shall be limited to those allegations supported by statements in the personnel file of the teacher on the date of the notice to recommend dismissal, maintained as required in ORS 342.850. Notice shall also be sent to the district school board and to the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board. A copy of ORS 342.805 to 342.937 shall also be sent to the contract teacher.

(b) If, after the 20-day notice required by paragraph (a) of this subsection, the district school board takes action to approve the recommendation for dismissal from the superintendent, the dismissal takes effect on or after the date of the district school boardís action, as specified by the board. Notice of the boardís action shall be given to the contract teacher as soon as practicable by certified mail, return receipt requested or in the manner provided by law for the service of a summons in a civil action.

(4)(a) Upon recommendation of the district superintendent, the district school board may extend a contract teacherís employment for a new two-year term by providing written notice to the teacher no later than March 15 of the first year of the contract. Any new contract that extends the teacherís employment for a new term shall replace any prior contracts.

(b) If the district school board does not extend a contract teacherís contract by March 15 of the first year of the contract, the district superintendent, or the superintendentís designee, shall place the teacher on a program of assistance for improvement. The district superintendent or the superintendentís designee may, in addition, place any other teacher on a program of assistance for improvement if in the judgment of the district superintendent or designee a program of assistance for improvement is needed.

(c) Provided that the district school board has not extended the teacherís contract for a new two-year term, the district board, upon recommendation of the superintendent, may elect by written notice to the teacher no later than March 15 of the second year of the teacherís contract not to extend the teacherís contract based on any ground specified in ORS 342.865. A contract teacher whose contract is not extended may appeal the nonextension to the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board.

(5) Notwithstanding ORS 243.650 to 243.782 or the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement entered into after August 15, 1997, no grievance or other claim of violation of applicable evaluation procedures, or fundamental unfairness in a program of assistance for improvement, shall be filed while a teacher is on a program of assistance. All statutes of limitation and grievance timelines shall be tolled while the subject claims are held in abeyance under this moratorium provision. Except as provided in this subsection, the moratorium and tolling period ends on the date the program of assistance for improvement is completed, not to exceed one year, after which any claims subject to this provision may be pursued as otherwise provided by law or contract. In the case of a contract teacher who does not receive contract extension by March 15 of the first year of the teacherís contract, the moratorium period shall last until the teacher receives notice of contract extension or nonextension and no later than March 15 of the following school year, or until the teacher receives notice of dismissal. A contract teacher who is dismissed or receives notice of contract nonextension, and who appeals to the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board, may raise any claims subject to this moratorium provision before the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board, which shall have jurisdiction to decide such claims. If the teacher does raise claims covered by this moratorium provision in an appeal to the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board, such appeal shall be the teacherís sole and exclusive remedy. If a contract teacher does not appeal a contract nonextension or dismissal to the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board but instead pursues contract grievances to arbitration alleging a violation of evaluation procedures or fundamental unfairness in a program of assistance for improvement, the arbitrator shall not have authority to award reinstatement of the contract teacher, but may award other remedies including but not limited to back pay, front pay, compensatory damages and such further relief as the arbitrator deems appropriate. A program of assistance for improvement shall not be technically construed, and no alleged error or unfairness in a program of assistance shall cause the overturning of a dismissal, nonextension of contract, nonrenewal of contract or other disciplinary actions unless the contract teacher suffered a substantial and prejudicial impairment in the teacherís ability to comply with school district standards.

(6) No teacher may be dismissed, laid off or caused to suffer nonextension or nonrenewal of a contract based upon the teacherís salary placement or other compensation. [1965 c.608 §11; 1971 c.570 §7; 1973 c.298 §5; 1977 c.881 §5; 1979 c.668 §3; 1997 c.864 §12]

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Last modified: August 7, 2008