DEFINITION OF “TEACHER”
As used in this policy, the term “teacher” means a principal, supervisor, classroom teacher, counselor, or other full-time professional employee who is required to hold a certificate issued under Subchapter B, Chapter 21, except the term does not include a superintendent, a professional licensed to provide direct services to students, or any employee who does not provide direct and regular services to students at the school.
DEFINITION OF “DAY”
The definition of “day” means calendar day unless otherwise defined in law or Board policy.
In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by this policy, the day of the aggrieved act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall not be counted for any purpose in any time period of five days or less in this policy (or applicable law). The day on which a grievance is filed is not to be counted in calculating the designated period of time. If a complaint is received by mail, the date of the filing is the date of the postmark.
Texas Rules of Court, Part I, Rule 4.
GROUNDS FOR NONRENEWAL
The Board may terminate a term contract for a financial exigency that requires a reduction in personnel. Education Code 21.211(a) [See CEA]
Before making a decision not to renew a term contract, the Board shall consider the most recent evaluations if the evaluations are relevant to the reason for the Board’s action. Education Code 21.203(a)
In the case of a classroom teachers, the School shall use the teacher’s consecutive appraisals from more than one year, if available, in making employment decisions. Education Code 21.352(e)
REASONS FOR NONRENEWAL OF TEACHER CONTRACT
The recommendation to the Board and its decision not to renew a contract under this policy shall not be based on a teacher’s exercise of Constitutional rights, or based unlawfully on an employee’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age.
Reasons for proposed nonrenewal of a professional certified employee’s contract, other than contracts issued in accordance with Education Code 30.024(b), shall be:
- Deficiencies pointed out in observation reports, appraisals or evaluations, supplemental memoranda, or other communications of which the professional has notice, whether the communication was directed to such person.
- Failure to fulfill duties or responsibilities.
- Incompetency or inefficiency in the performance of duties.
- Inability to maintain discipline in any situation in which the employee is responsible for the oversight and supervision of students.
- Insubordination or failure to comply with official directives.
- Failure to comply with Board policies or administrative regulations.
- Excessive absences.
- Conducting personal business during school hours when it results in neglect of duties.
- Reduction in force because of decline in TSBVI enrollment, financial exigency, or a change in programs.
- Drunkenness or excessive use of alcoholic beverages; or possession, use, or being under the influence of alcohol or alcoholic beverages while on school property, while working in the scope of the employee’s duties, or while attending any school activity.
- The illegal possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, hallucinogens, or other substances regulated by state statutes.
- Conviction of a felony, or any crime involving moral turpitude.
- Failure to report within seven days any arrest, indictment, conviction, no contest or guilty plea, or other adjudication for any misdemeanor offense contained in Texas Penal Code Title V or Title VI, classified as a crime “against the person” or a crime “against the family”, any felony offense, or any offense whether a misdemeanor or felony which involves either the use of or possession of, or related to, alcohol or any illegal drug. [See Policy DBAA]
- Use of a computer, school mail, or any other means of communication in a manner that is harassing, offensive, or disruptive to school operations.
- Failure to meet the School’s standards of professional conduct.
- Misappropriation of public funds.
- Theft of School property.
- Failure to comply with reasonable School requirements regarding advanced course work or professional improvement and growth.
- Disability, not otherwise protected by law, that prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of the job.
- Any activity, school-connected or otherwise, that because of the publicity given it or knowledge of it among students, faculty, and community, impairs or diminishes the employee’s effectiveness in the School.
- Any breach by the employee of an employment contract or any reason specified in the employee’s employment contract.
- Failure to maintain an effective working relationship or maintain good rapport with parents, the community, or colleagues.
- A significant lack of student progress attributable to the educator.
- Behavior that presents a danger of physical harm to a student or to other individuals.
- Assault on a person on school property or at a school-related function, or on an employee, student, or student’s parent regardless of time or place.
- Use of profanity in the course of performing any duties of employment, whether on or off school premises, in the presence of students, staff, or members of the public, if reasonably characterized as unprofessional.
- Falsification of records or other documents related to the School’s activities.
- Falsification or omission of required information on an employment application.
- Misrepresentation of facts to a supervisor or other TSBVI official in the conduct of TSBVI business.
- Failure to fulfill the requirements for certification, including passing certification examinations required by state law for the employee’s assignment and the requirement to obtain visually handicapped endorsement within the required timeline.
- Failure to achieve or maintain “highly qualified” status as required for the employee’s assignment.
- Failure to fulfill the requirements of a deficiency plan under an Emergency Permit, a Special Assignment Permit, or a Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit.
- Abandonment of contract with the School.
- Any attempt to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from the child’s parent or from other School personnel.
- The solicitation, encouragement, insinuation, or consummation of an inappropriate written, verbal, or physical relationship with a student.
- Violation of the privacy rights of students under the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
- Any reason that makes the employment relationship void or voidable, such as a violation of federal, state, or local law.
- Reasons constituting good cause for dismissing the employee during the contract term.
NOTICE TO TEACHERS
Not later than the tenth day before the last day of instruction in a school year, the Board shall notify in writing each employee whose contract is about to expire whether the Board proposes to renew or not renew the contract.
The notice must be delivered personally by hand delivery to the employee on the campus. If the employee is not present on the campus on the date that hand delivery is attempted, the notice must be mailed by prepaid certified mail or delivered by express delivery service to the employee’s address of record with the School. Notice that is postmarked on or before the tenth day before the last day of instruction is considered timely for these purposes.
Failure to Provide Timely Notice
The Board’s failure to give notice of a proposed renewal or nonrenewal constitutes an election to employ the teacher in the same professional capacity for the following school year.
Education Code 21.206
REQUEST FOR HEARING
If the teacher desires a hearing after receiving notice of the proposed nonrenewal, the employee shall notify the Board in writing not later than the 15th day after:
- The date the teacher receives hand delivery of the notice of proposed nonrenewals;
- or The date the notice is delivered to the teacher’s address of record with the School, if the notice is mailed by prepaid certified mail or delivered by express delivery service.
The Board shall provide for a hearing to be held not later than the 15th day after receiving written notice from the teacher requesting a hearing, unless the parties agree in writing to a different date. The hearing shall be closed unless the employee requests an open hearing and shall be conducted in accordance with rules adopted by the School.
Education Code 21.207(a)
At the hearing before the Board the teacher may:
- Be represented by a representative of the teacher’s choice;
- Hear the evidence supporting the reason for nonrenewal;
- Cross-examine adverse witnesses; and
- Present evidence.
Education Code 21.207(c)
To evaluate the evidence put before it, the Board shall use the preponderance of the evidence standard of review. Whitaker v. Marshall Indep. Sch. Dist., Tex. Comm’r. of Educ. Decision No. 112-R1-598 (1998)
Following the hearing, the Board shall take the appropriate action and notify the employee in writing of that action within 15 days following the conclusion of the hearing. Education Code 21.208
The Board may use the process described at DFD. Education Code 21.207(b)
If the teacher fails to request a hearing, the Board shall take the appropriate action and notify the teacher in writing of that action not later than the 30th calendar day after the date the notice of proposed nonrenewal was sent. Education Code 21.208
A teacher aggrieved by a decision of the Board to nonrenew a term contract may appeal to the commissioner for a review of the Board’s decision. Education Code 21.209
CONTRACTS NOT COVERED BY EDUCATION CODE CHAPTER 21
When the Board enters into a contract under Education Code 30.024(b) with any employee except for a teacher, as that term is defined in that subsection, that contract shall not be subject to the provisions of Education Code Chapter 21 or this policy.
Amended: 11/11/83, 6/29/84, 11/9/84, 7/12/85, 1/23/87, 5/29/87, 1/14/88, 6/1/89, 1/26/90, 11/30/90, 5/30/91, 9/27/91, 5/26/94, 11/17/95, 5/24/96, 3/21/97, 1/28/00, 7/26/02, 4/1/05, 4/5/13, 4/4/14, 10/3/14, 11/21/14