Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1437
– Teacher, discharged, procedure
SENATE BILL NO. 1437
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S1437......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
PUBLIC SCHOOLS - TEACHERS - Amends existing law relating to professional
personnel in the public school system to revise the procedure required of a
board of trustees to discharge a certificated professional employee during
the term of a contract and to provide for judicial review of a board's
02/20 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/21 Rpt prt - to Educ
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2008
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1437
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM; AMENDING SEC-
3 TION 33-513, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE THE PROCEDURE REQUIRED OF A BOARD OF
4 TRUSTEES TO DISCHARGE A CERTIFICATED PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEE DURING THE TERM
5 OF A CONTRACT, TO PROVIDE FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW OF A BOARD'S DECISION AND TO
6 MAKE TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS.
7 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
8 SECTION 1. That Section 33-513, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
9 amended to read as follows:
10 33-513. PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL. The board of trustees of each school dis-
11 trict including any specially chartered district, shall have the following
12 powers and duties:
13 1. To employ professional personnel, on written contract in form approved
14 by the state superintendent of public instruction, conditioned upon a valid
15 certificate being held by such professional personnel at the time of entering
16 upon the duties thereunder. Should the board of trustees fail to enter into
17 written contract for the employment of any such person, the state superintend-
18 ent of public instruction shall withhold ensuing apportionments until such
19 written contract be entered into. When the board of trustees has delivered a
20 proposed contract for the next ensuing year to any such person, such person
21 shall have a period of time to be determined by the board of trustees in its
22 discretion, but in no event less than ten (10) days from the date the contract
23 is delivered, in which to sign the contract and return it to the board. Deliv-
24 ery of a contract may be made only in person or by certified mail, return
25 receipt requested. When delivery is made in person, delivery of the contract
26 must be acknowledged by a signed receipt. When delivery is made by certified
27 mail, delivery must be acknowledged by the return of the certified mail
28 receipt from the person to whom the contract was sent. Should the person will-
29 fully refuse to acknowledge receipt of the contract or the contract is not
30 signed and returned to the board in the designated period of time, the board
31 may declare the position vacant.
32 The board of trustees shall withhold the salary of any teacher who does
33 not hold a teaching certificate valid in this state. It shall not contract to
34 require any teacher to make up time spent in attending any meeting called by
35 the state board of education or by the state superintendent of public instruc-
36 tion; nor while attending regularly scheduled official meetings of the state
37 teachers ' association.
38 2. In the case of school districts other than elementary school dis-
39 tricts, to employ a superintendent of schools for a term not to exceed three
40 (3) years, who shall be the executive officer of the board of trustees with
41 such powers and duties as the board may prescribe. The superintendent shall
42 also act as the authorized representative of the district whenever such is
43 required, unless some other person shall be named by the board of trustees to
1 act as its authorized representative. The board of trustees shall conduct an
2 annual, written formal evaluation of the work of the superintendent of the
3 district. The evaluation shall indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the
4 superintendent's job performance in the year immediately preceding the evalua-
5 tion and areas where improvement in the superintendent's job performance, in
6 the view of the board of trustees, is called for.
7 3. To employ through written contract principals who shall hold a valid
8 certificate appropriate to the position for which they are employed, who shall
9 supervise the operation and management of the school in accordance with the
10 policies established by the board of trustees and who shall be under the
11 supervision of the superintendent.
12 4. To employ assistant superintendents and principals for a term not to
13 exceed two (2) years. Service performed under such contract shall be included
14 in meeting the provisions of section 33-515, Idaho Code, as a teacher and per-
15 sons eligible for a renewable contract as a teacher shall retain such eligi-
17 5. To suspend, grant leave of absence, place on probation or discharge
18 certificated professional personnel for a material violation of any lawful
19 rules or regulations of the board of trustees or of the state board of educa-
20 tion, or for any conduct which could constitute grounds for revocation of a
21 teaching certificate. Any certificated professional employee, except the
22 superintendent, may be discharged during a contract term under the following
24 (a) The superintendent or any other duly authorized administrative offi-
25 cer of the school district may recommend the discharge of any certificated
26 employee by filing with the board of trustees written notice specifying
27 the alleged reasons for discharge.
28 (b) Upon receipt of such notice the board acting through their its duly
29 authorized administrative official, shall give the affected employee writ-
30 ten notice of the allegations and the recommendation of discharge, along
31 with written notice of a hearing before the board prior to any determina-
32 tion by the board of the truth of the allegations.
33 (c) The hearing shall be scheduled to take place not less than six (6)
34 days nor more than twenty-one (21) days after receipt of the notice by the
35 employee. The date provided for the hearing may be changed by mutual con-
37 (d) The hearing shall be public unless the employee requests in writing
38 that it be in executive session, and shall be held within the boundaries
39 of the school district.
40 (e) The board shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The
41 hearing officer appointed by the board shall have the power to subpoena
42 witnesses, administer oaths, and examine such of the books, papers and
43 records of the parties to the hearing as relate to the questions in dis-
44 pute. The district court, in and for the county in which the hearing is
45 held, shall have the power to enforce by proper proceedings the attendance
46 and testimony of witnesses, and production and examination of books,
47 papers and records.
48 (f) All testimony at the hearing shall be given under oath or affirma-
49 tion. Any member of the board, or the clerk of the board, may The hearing
50 officer shall administer oaths to witnesses or affirmations by witnesses.
51 ( fg) The employee may be represented by legal counsel and/or by a repre-
52 sentative of a local or state teachers association.
53 (g) The chairman of the board or the designee of the chairman shall con-
54 duct the hearing.
55 (h) The board shall cause an electronic record of the hearing to be made
1 or shall employ a competent reporter to take stenographic or stenotype
2 notes of all the testimony at the hearing. A transcript of the hearing
3 shall be provided at cost by the board upon request of the employee.
4 (i) At the hearing the superintendent or other duly authorized adminis-
5 trative officer shall present evidence to substantiate the allegations
6 contained in such notice.
7 (j) The employee may produce evidence to refute the allegations. Any wit-
8 ness presented by the superintendent or by the employee shall be subject
9 to cross-examination by the other party, or by the hearing officer. The
10 board may also examine witnesses and be represented by counsel.
11 (k) The affected employee parties may file written briefs and arguments
12 with the hearing officer and the board within three (3) days after the
13 close of the hearing or such other time as may be agreed upon by the
14 affected employee and the board.
15 (l) Within fifteen (15) days following the close of the hearing, the
16 hearing officer shall provide written recommendations to the board, and
17 the board shall determine and, acting through their its duly authorized
18 administrative official, shall notify the employee in writing whether the
19 evidence presented at the hearing established the truth of the allegations
20 and whether the employee is to be retained, immediately discharged, or
21 discharged upon termination of the current contract.
22 (m) The decision of the board shall be final and binding, unless the
23 employee seeks judicial review of the board's decision by filing a peti-
24 tion in the district court in the county in which the hearing was held
25 within twenty-one (21) days of the board's decision.
26 (n) Judicial review shall be conducted by the court without a jury. Judi-
27 cial review of issues of fact shall be confined to the record before the
28 board, supplemented only by additional evidence allowed by the court upon
29 good cause shown by the parties. The court shall not substitute its judg-
30 ment for that of the board as to the weight of evidence on questions of
32 (o) The court shall affirm the board's decision, unless the court finds
33 that the board's findings, inferences or decisions are:
34 (i) In violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;
35 (ii) In excess of the statutory authority of the board;
36 (iii) Made upon unlawful procedure;
37 (iv) Not supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole;
39 (v) Arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion.
40 (p) If the board's decision is not affirmed, it shall be set aside, in
41 whole or in part, and remanded for further proceedings as necessary. Not-
42 withstanding the provisions of paragraph (o) of this subsection 5., the
43 board's decision shall be affirmed, unless substantial rights of the
44 employee have been prejudiced.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to both streamline and
professionalize the process of dismissing a public school teacher
working under a continuing contract. Under this legislation,
school districts would be required to hire a hearing officer to
conduct the dismissal hearing with the board. The hearing
officer would be vested with the authority to issue subpoenas, to
ensure that all pertinent information is presented, and would
make a written recommendation to the school board as to whether
the teacher should be dismissed. If the teacher appeals the
board's decision to district court, the judicial review would be
No fiscal impact to the state. For school districts, it is
anticipated that the cost of hiring a hearing officer would be
more than offset, in most cases, by the reduction in attorney
costs that would accrue as a result of the limitations on the
scope of any potential appeal to district court, and by any
reduction in the number of cases being appealed.
Name: Senator John Goedde
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1437