33-515. Issuance of renewable contracts. (1) During the third full year of continuous employment by the same school district, including any specially chartered district, each certificated employee named in subsection (32) of section 33-1001, Idaho Code, and each school nurse and school librarian shall be evaluated for a renewable contract and shall, upon having been offered a contract for the next ensuing year, and upon signing and timely returning a contract for a fourth full year, be placed on a renewable contract status with said school district entitling such individual to the right to automatic renewal of contract, subject to the provisions included in this chapter, provided that instructional staff who have not obtained a professional endorsement under section 33-1201A, Idaho Code, may not be placed on a renewable contract status, provided however, if the career ladder pursuant to section 33-1004B, Idaho Code, is not funded, then a professional endorsement shall not be required.
(2) At least once annually, the performance of each renewable contract certificated employee, school nurse, or school librarian shall be evaluated according to criteria and procedures established by the board of trustees in accordance with general guidelines approved by the state board of education. Such an evaluation shall be completed no later than June 1 of each year. The evaluation shall include a minimum of two (2) documented observations, one (1) of which shall be completed prior to January 1 of each year.
(3) Any contract automatically renewed under the provisions of this section may be renewed for a shorter term, longer term or the same length of term as stated in the current contract and at a greater, lesser or equal salary as that stated in the current contract. Absent the board’s application of a formal reduction in force, renewals of standard teacher contracts may be for a shorter term, longer term or the same length of term as stated in the current standard teacher contract and at a greater, lesser or equal salary, and shall be uniformly applied to all employees based upon the district’s adopted salary schedule to the extent allowable in section 33-1004E, Idaho Code.
(a) Contracts issued pursuant to this section shall be issued on or before the first day of July each year.
(b) At the discretion of the board, the district may issue letters of intent for employment for the next ensuing school year to renewable contract status employees during May of each school year. Such letter of intent shall not state a specific duration of the contract or salary/benefits term for the next ensuing school year.
(c) Unless otherwise negotiated and ratified by both parties pursuant to sections 33-1271, et seq., Idaho Code, standard teacher renewals for terms shorter in length than that stated in the current standard contract of renewable certificated employees, should be considered and implemented only after the district has determined that the salary-based apportionment reimbursement that it estimates it will receive for the ensuing school year is less than the sum the district would otherwise be paying for salaries for certificated professional employees.
(4) Nothing in this section shall prevent the board of trustees from offering a renewed contract increasing the salary of any certificated person, or from reassigning an administrative employee to a nonadministrative position with appropriate reduction of salary from the preexisting salary level. In the event the board of trustees reassigns an administrative employee to a nonadministrative position, the board shall give written notice to the employee that contains a statement of the reasons for the reassignment. The employee, upon written request to the board, shall be entitled to an informal review of that decision. The process and procedure for the informal review shall be determined by the local board of trustees.
(5) Before a board of trustees can determine not to renew for reasons of an unsatisfactory report of the performance of any certificated person whose contract would otherwise be automatically renewed, such person shall be entitled to a reasonable period of probation. This period of probation shall be preceded by a written notice from the board of trustees with reasons for such probationary period and with provisions for adequate supervision and evaluation of the person’s performance during the probationary period. Such period of probation shall not affect the person’s renewable contract status. Consideration of probationary status for certificated personnel is consideration of the status of an employee within the meaning of section 74-206, Idaho Code, and may be held in executive session. If the consideration results in probationary status, the individual on probation shall not be named in the minutes of the meeting. A record of the decision shall be placed in the teacher’s personnel file.
(6) If the board of trustees takes action to immediately discharge or discharge upon termination of the current contract a certificated person whose contract would otherwise be automatically renewed, the action of the board shall be consistent with the procedures specified in section 33-513(5), Idaho Code, and furthermore, the board shall notify the employee in writing whether there is just and reasonable cause not to renew the contract or to reduce the salary of the affected employee, and if so, what reasons it relied upon in that determination.
(7) If the board of trustees takes action after the declaration of a financial emergency pursuant to section 33-522, Idaho Code, and such action is directed at more than one (1) certificated employee, and if mutually agreed to by both parties, a single informal review shall be conducted. Without mutual consent of both parties, the board of trustees shall use the following procedure to conduct a single due process hearing within sixty-seven (67) days of the declaration of financial emergency pursuant to section 33-522(2), Idaho Code, or on or before June 22, whichever shall occur first:
(a) The superintendent or any other duly authorized administrative officer of the school district may recommend the change in the length of the term stated in the current contract or reduce the salary of any certificated employee by filing with the board of trustees written notice specifying the purported reasons for such changes.
(b) Upon receipt of such notice, the board of trustees, acting through its duly authorized administrative official, shall give the affected employees written notice of the reductions and the recommendation of the change in the length of the term stated in the current contract or the reduction of salary, along with written notice of a hearing before the board of trustees prior to any determination by the board of trustees.
(c) The hearing shall be scheduled to take place not less than six (6) days nor more than fourteen (14) days after receipt of the notice by the employees. The date provided for the hearing may be changed by mutual consent.
(d) The hearing shall be open to the public.
(e) All testimony at the hearing shall be given under oath or affirmation. Any member of the board, or the clerk of the board of trustees, may administer oaths to witnesses or affirmations by witnesses.
(f) The employees may be represented by legal counsel and/or by a representative of a local or state education association.
(g) The chairman of the board of trustees or the designee of the chairman shall conduct the hearing.
(h) The board of trustees shall cause an electronic record of the hearing to be made or shall employ a competent reporter to take stenographic or stenotype notes of all the testimony at the hearing. A transcript of the hearing shall be provided at cost by the board of trustees upon request of the employee.
(i) At the hearing, the superintendent or other duly authorized administrative officer shall present evidence to substantiate the reduction contained in such notice.
(j) The employees may produce evidence to refute the reduction. Any witness presented by the superintendent or by the employees shall be subject to cross-examination. The board of trustees may also examine witnesses and be represented by counsel.
(k) The affected employees may file written briefs and arguments with the board of trustees within three (3) days after the close of the hearing or such other time as may be agreed upon by the affected employees and the board of trustees.
(l) Within seven (7) days following the close of the hearing, the board of trustees shall determine and, acting through its duly authorized administrative official, shall notify the employees in writing whether the evidence presented at the hearing established the need for the action taken.
The due process hearing pursuant to this subsection shall not be required if the board of trustees and the local education association reach an agreement on issues agreed upon pursuant to section 33-522(3), Idaho Code.
(8) If the board of trustees, for reasons other than unsatisfactory service, for the ensuing contract year, determines to change the length of the term stated in the current contract, reduce the salary or not renew the contract of a certificated person whose contract would otherwise be automatically renewed, nothing herein shall require a probationary period.
(9) If the board of trustees, for reasons other than unsatisfactory service, for the ensuing contract year, determines to change the length of the term stated in the current contract or reduce the salary of a certificated person whose contract would otherwise be automatically renewed, nothing herein shall require any individualized due process proceeding. In such circumstance, the board shall hold a single informal review for all impacted employees. The process and procedure for the single informal review shall be determined by the local board of trustees.
[(33-515), 33-1212, added 1963, ch. 13, sec. 154, p. 27; am. 1973, ch. 126, sec. 2, p. 238; am. 1981, ch. 140, sec. 1, p. 242; am. 1982, ch. 86, sec. 1, p. 159; am. 1983, ch. 83, sec. 2, p. 172; am. 1983, ch. 212, sec. 1, p. 588; am. and redesig. 1984, ch. 286, sec. 10, p. 666; am. 1988, ch. 118, sec. 2, p. 217; am. 1999, ch. 208, sec. 1, p. 556; am. 2000, ch. 264, sec. 1, p. 741; am. 2000, ch. 266, sec. 4, p. 751; am. 2003, ch. 299, sec. 5, p. 823; am. 2006, ch. 244, sec. 4, p. 744; am. 2009, ch. 171, sec. 2, p. 543; am. 2013, ch. 298, sec. 3, p. 788; am. 2013, ch. 353, sec. 2, p. 955; am. 2014, ch. 144, sec. 1, p. 387; am. 2015, ch. 141, sec. 63, p. 424; am. 2015, ch. 229, sec. 14; am. 2015, ch. 344, sec. 1, p. 1298; am. 2016, ch. 191, sec. 3, p. 531; am. 2016, ch. 245, sec. 11, p. 655; am. 2019, ch. 328, sec. 7, p. 977.]