SECOND REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 2463
95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES DIECKHAUS (Sponsor), NIEVES, EMERY, JONES (89), KOENIG, McNARY, SCHARNHORST AND ALLEN (Co-sponsors).
5441L.03I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To repeal sections 160.045, 168.102, and 168.221, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof nineteen new sections relating to teacher continuing contracts.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Sections 160.045, 168.102 and 168.221, RSMo, are repealed and nineteen new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 160.045, 168.102, 168.221, 168.1000, 168.1002, 168.1004, 168.1006, 168.1008, 168.1010, 168.1012, 168.1014, 168.1016, 168.1018, 168.1020, 168.1022, 168.1024, 168.1026, 168.1028, and 168.1030, to read as follows:
160.045. 1. Each public school shall develop standards for teaching no later than June 30, 2010. The standards shall be applicable to all public schools, including public charter schools operated by the board of a school district.
2. Teaching standards for purposes of teacher evaluation under section 168.1026 shall [include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Students actively participate and are successful in the learning process;
(2) Various forms of assessment are used to monitor and manage student learning;
(3) The teacher is prepared and knowledgeable of the content and effectively maintains students' on-task behavior;
(4) The teacher uses professional communication and interaction with the school community;
(5) The teacher keeps current on instructional knowledge and seeks and explores changes in teaching behaviors that will improve student performance; and
(6) The teacher acts as a responsible professional in the overall mission of the school.
3. The department may provide assistance to public schools in developing these standards upon request] be the Teacher Advancement Program standards contained in the "framework for teaching" rubric as developed by Charlotte Danielson.
168.102. Sections 168.102 to 168.130 shall be known and may be cited as the "Teacher Tenure Act" and shall become effective July 1, 1970, and remain in effect until June 30, 2011.
168.221. 1. The first five years of employment of all teachers entering the employment of the metropolitan school district for teachers hired prior to July 1, 2011, shall be deemed a period of probation during which period all appointments of teachers shall expire at the end of each school year. During the probationary period any probationary teacher whose work is unsatisfactory shall be furnished by the superintendent of schools with a written statement setting forth the nature of his incompetency. If improvement satisfactory to the superintendent is not made within one semester after the receipt of the statement, the probationary teacher shall be dismissed. The semester granted the probationary teacher in which to improve shall not in any case be a means of prolonging the probationary period beyond five years and six months from the date on which the teacher entered the employ of the board of education. The superintendent of schools on or before the fifteenth day of April in each year shall notify probationary teachers who will not be retained by the school district of the termination of their services. Any probationary teacher who is not so notified shall be deemed to have been appointed for the next school year. Any principal who prior to becoming a principal had attained permanent employee status as a teacher shall upon ceasing to be a principal have a right to resume his or her permanent teacher position with the time served as a principal being treated as if such time had been served as a teacher for the purpose of calculating seniority and pay scale. The rights and duties and remuneration of a teacher who was formerly a principal shall be the same as any other teacher with the same level of qualifications and time of service.
2. After completion of satisfactory probationary services, appointments of teachers shall become permanent, subject to removal for any one or more causes herein described and to the right of the board to terminate the services of all who attain the age of compulsory retirement fixed by the retirement system. In determining the duration of the probationary period of employment in this section specified, the time of service rendered as a substitute teacher shall not be included.
3. No teacher whose appointment has become permanent may be removed except for one or more of the following causes: immorality, inefficiency in line of duty, violation of the published regulations of the school district, violation of the laws of Missouri governing the public schools of the state, or physical or mental condition which incapacitates him for instructing or associating with children, and then only by a vote of not less than a majority of all the members of the board, upon written charges presented by the superintendent of schools, to be heard by the board after thirty days' notice, with copy of the charges served upon the person against whom they are preferred, who shall have the privilege of being present, together with counsel, offering evidence and making defense thereto. Notifications received by an employee during a vacation period shall be considered as received on the first day of the school term following. At the request of any person so charged the hearing shall be public. The action and decision of the board upon the charges shall be final. Pending the hearing of the charges, the person charged may be suspended if the rules of the board so prescribe, but in the event the board does not by a majority vote of all the members remove the teacher upon charges presented by the superintendent, the person shall not suffer any loss of salary by reason of the suspension. Inefficiency in line of duty is cause for dismissal only after the teacher has been notified in writing at least one semester prior to the presentment of charges against him by the superintendent. The notification shall specify the nature of the inefficiency with such particularity as to enable the teacher to be informed of the nature of his inefficiency.
4. No teacher whose appointment has become permanent shall be demoted nor shall his salary be reduced unless the same procedure is followed as herein stated for the removal of the teacher because of inefficiency in line of duty, and any teacher whose salary is reduced or who is demoted may waive the presentment of charges against him by the superintendent and a hearing thereon by the board. The foregoing provision shall apply only to permanent teachers prior to the compulsory retirement age under the retirement system. Nothing herein contained shall in any way restrict or limit the power of the board of education to make reductions in the number of teachers or principals, or both, because of insufficient funds, decrease in pupil enrollment, or abolition of particular subjects or courses of instruction, except that the abolition of particular subjects or courses of instruction shall not cause those teachers who have been teaching the subjects or giving the courses of instruction to be placed on leave of absence as herein provided who are qualified to teach other subjects or courses of instruction, if positions are available for the teachers in the other subjects or courses of instruction.
5. Whenever it is necessary to decrease the number of teachers because of insufficient funds or a substantial decrease of pupil population within the school district, the board of education upon recommendation of the superintendent of schools may cause the necessary number of teachers beginning with those serving probationary periods to be placed on leave of absence without pay, but only in the inverse order of their appointment. Nothing herein stated shall prevent a readjustment by the board of education of existing salary schedules. No teacher placed on a leave of absence shall be precluded from securing other employment during the period of the leave of absence. Each teacher placed on leave of absence shall be reinstated in inverse order of his placement on leave of absence. Such reemployment shall not result in a loss of status or credit for previous years of service. No new appointments shall be made while there are available teachers on leave of absence who are seventy years of age or less and who are adequately qualified to fill the vacancy unless the teachers fail to advise the superintendent of schools within thirty days from the date of notification by the superintendent of schools that positions are available to them that they will return to employment and will assume the duties of the position to which appointed not later than the beginning of the school year next following the date of the notice by the superintendent of schools.
6. If any regulation which deals with the promotion of teachers is amended by increasing the qualifications necessary to be met before a teacher is eligible for promotion, the amendment shall fix an effective date which shall allow a reasonable length of time within which teachers may become qualified for promotion under the regulations.
7. A teacher whose appointment has become permanent may give up the right to a permanent appointment to participate in the teacher choice compensation package under sections 168.745 to 168.750.
168.1000. Sections 168.1000 to 168.1030 shall be known and may be cited as the "Teacher Continuing Contract Act" and shall become effective July 1, 2011.
168.1002. The following words and phrases when used in sections 168.1000 to 168.1030, except in those instances where the context indicates otherwise, mean:
(1) "Board of education", the school board or board of directors of a school district having general control of the affairs of the district;
(2) "Continuing contract", every contract heretofore or hereafter entered into between a school district and a permanent teacher;
(3) "Demotion", any reduction in salary or transfer to a position carrying a lower salary, except on request of a teacher, other than any change in salary applicable to all teachers or all teachers in a classification;
(4) "Permanent teacher", any teacher who has been employed or who is hereafter employed as a teacher in the same school district for four successive years after July 1, 2011, and who has continued or who thereafter continues to be employed as a teacher by the school district or any supervisor of teachers who was employed as a teacher in the same school district for at least four successive years prior to becoming a supervisor of teachers and who continues thereafter to be employed as a certificated employee by the school district; except that, when a permanent teacher resigns or is permanently separated from employment by a school district, and is afterwards reemployed by the same school district, reemployment for the first school year does not constitute a continuing contract but if he or she is employed for the succeeding year, the employment constitutes a continuing contract; and except that any teacher employed under a part-time contract by a school district shall accrue credit toward permanent status on a prorated basis;
(5) "Probationary teacher", any teacher as herein defined who has been employed in the same school district for four successive years or less. In the case of any probationary teacher who has been employed in any other school system as a teacher for two or more years with a mentor teacher, the board of education shall waive one year of his or her remaining probationary period;
(6) "School district", every school district in this state;
(7) "Teacher", any employee of a school district regularly required to be certified under laws relating to the certification of teachers, except superintendents and assistant superintendents but including certified teachers who teach at the prekindergarten level in a seven-director or urban public school within a prekindergarten program in which no fees are charged to parents or guardians.
168.1004. The contract between a school district and a permanent teacher shall be known as a continuing contract and shall continue in effect for a period of up to three years, subject only to:
(1) Compulsory or optional retirement when the teacher reaches the age of retirement provided by law, or regulation established by the local board of education;
(2) The death of the teacher;
(3) Resignation of the teacher with the written consent of the school board;
(4) Termination by the board of education after a hearing as hereinafter provided; or
(5) The revocation of the teacher's certificate.
168.1006. 1. Every continuing contract shall contain the following provisions in substantially the following form:
"It is hereby agreed by and between ......., the teacher, and the Board of Education of ........ School District, the employer, that the teacher, beginning on the .... day of ..........., 20..., shall serve in the employ of the Board of Education and its successors for a term of ........ months for an annual compensation of $ ....., to be paid to the teacher in equal installments according to local school board regulations less the contributions required by law.".
2. Every continuing contract shall be made by the order of the board of education, shall be in writing and shall be signed by the permanent teacher and the president of the board of education, or a facsimile signature of the president may be affixed at his or her direction, and the contract shall be attested by the secretary of the board of education by signature or facsimile.
3. Nothing in the terms of the continuing contract shall restrict the power of the board of education to terminate the contract for cause at any time.
168.1008. 1. The board of education of a school district may modify a continuing contract annually on or before the fifteenth day of May in the following particulars:
(1) Determination of the date of beginning and length of the next school year;
(2) Fixing the amount of annual compensation for the following school year as provided by the salary schedule adopted by the board of education applicable to all teachers, which schedule may contain elements in addition to highest degree held and years of service as long as such elements are equitably compensated among teachers covered by those elements, which may include but are not limited to additional areas of certification, certification in high-need subjects, additional duty pay for serving as a mentor or master teacher, and demonstrated ability to improve student learning performance; and
(3) Utilizing information from teacher evaluations under section 168.1026, which may include longer contract lengths for teachers with higher scores.
2. The modifications shall be effective at the beginning of the next school year. All teachers affected by the modification shall be furnished written copies of the modifications within thirty days after their adoption by the board of education.
168.1010. A continuing contract between a permanent teacher and a board of education may be terminated or modified at any time by the mutual consent of the parties thereto. Any teacher who desires to terminate his or her continuing contract at the end of a school term shall give written notice of his or her intention to do so and the reasons therefor not later than June first of the year in which the term ends.
168.1012. 1. A continuing contract with a permanent teacher may be terminated by the board of education of a school district for one or more of the following causes:
(1) Unsatisfactory performance;
(2) Physical or mental condition unfitting him or her to instruct or associate with children;
(3) Immoral conduct;
(4) Incompetency, inefficiency or insubordination in line of duty;
(5) Willful or persistent violation of, or failure to obey, the school laws of the state or the published regulations of the board of education of the school district employing him or her;
(6) Excessive or unreasonable absence from performance of duties; or
(7) Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.
2. In determining the professional competency of or efficiency of a permanent teacher, consideration should be given to regular and special evaluation reports prepared in accordance with the policy of the employing school district and to any written standards of performance which may have been adopted by the school board under sections 160.045 and 168.1026.
168.1014. 1. The continuing contract of a permanent teacher may not be terminated by the board of education until after service upon the teacher of written charges specifying with particularity the grounds alleged to exist for termination of such contract, notice of a hearing on charges and a hearing by the board of education on charges if requested by the teacher.
2. At least thirty days before service of notice of charges, the teacher shall be given by the school board or the superintendent of schools warning in writing, stating specifically the causes which, if not removed, may result in charges. Thereafter, both the superintendent, or his or her designated representative, and the teacher shall meet and confer in an effort to resolve the matter.
3. Notice of a hearing upon charges, together with a copy of charges, shall be served on the permanent teacher at least fifteen days prior to the date of the hearing but no later than April fifteen for a termination to take effect the next school year. The notice and copy of the charges shall be served upon the teacher by certified mail with personal delivery addressed to him at his or her last known address. If the teacher or his or her agent does not request a hearing on the charges within five days after receipt of the notice, the board of education may, by a majority vote, order the contract of the teacher terminated. If a hearing is requested by either the teacher or the board of education, it shall take place not less than twenty nor more than thirty days after notice of a hearing has been furnished the permanent teacher.
4. On the filing of charges in accordance with this section, the board of education may suspend the teacher from active performance of duty until a decision is rendered by the board of education but the teacher's salary shall be continued during such suspension. If a decision to terminate a teacher's employment by the board of education is appealed, and the decision is reversed, the teacher shall be paid his or her salary lost during the pending of the appeal.
168.1016. If a hearing is requested on the termination of a continuing contract it shall be conducted by the board of education in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) The hearing shall be public;
(2) Both the teacher and the person filing charges may be represented by counsel who may cross-examine witnesses;
(3) Testimony at hearings shall be on oath or affirmation administered by the president of the board of education, who for the purpose of hearings held under sections 168.1000 to 168.1030 shall have the authority to administer oaths;
(4) The school board shall have the power to subpoena witnesses and documentary evidence as provided in section 536.077, and shall do so on its own motion or at the request of the teacher against whom charges have been made. The school board shall hear testimony of all witnesses named by the teacher; however, the school board may limit the number of witnesses to be subpoenaed on behalf of the teacher to not more than ten;
(5) The board of education shall employ a stenographer who shall make a full record of the proceedings of the hearings and who shall, within ten days after the conclusion thereof, furnish the board of education and the teacher, at no cost to the teacher, with a copy of the transcript of the record, which shall be certified by the stenographer to be complete and correct. The transcript shall not be open to public inspection, unless the hearing on the termination of the contract was an open hearing or if an appeal from the decision of the board is taken by the teacher;
(6) All costs of the hearing shall be paid by the school board except the cost of counsel for the teacher, and the school board may apply to the attorney general for reimbursement of such costs;
(7) The decision of the board of education resulting in the demotion of a permanent teacher or the termination of a continuing contract shall be by a majority vote of the members of the board of education and the decision shall be made within seven days after the transcript is furnished them. A written copy of the decision shall be furnished the teacher within three days thereafter.
168.1018. 1. The teacher shall have the right to appeal from the decision of the board of education to the circuit court of the county where the employing school district's main office is located. The appeal shall be taken within fifteen days after service of a copy of the decision of the board of education upon the teacher, and if an appeal is not taken within the time, then the decision of the board of education shall become final.
2. The appeal may be taken by filing notice of appeal with the board of education, whereupon the board of education, under its certificate, shall forward to the court all documents and papers on file in the matter, together with a transcript of the evidence, the findings and the decision of the board of education, which shall thereupon become the record of the cause. Such appeal shall be heard as provided in chapter 536.
3. If the circuit court finds in favor of the teacher, the teacher shall be restored to permanent teacher status and shall receive compensation for the period during which he or she may have been suspended from work, and such other relief as may be granted by the court. No further appeal shall be permitted.
168.1020. A board of education may establish policies for granting leave of absence including sabbatical leave, maternity leave, sick leave, and military leave. The board of education of a school district may, upon the written request of a teacher, and for good cause shown, grant a leave of absence or place him or her on a part-time teaching schedule for a period of one year, subject to renewal from year to year. Leaves and military service shall not be counted as continuous full-time service in computing eligibility for a continuing contract but shall not impair the continuing contract previously acquired by a teacher under sections 168.1000 to 168.1030 nor affect any credit toward a continuing contract previously earned. Any teacher under sections 168.1000 to 168.1030 who is called into active military service with the armed forces of the United States is eligible for reinstatement upon his or her discharge from said service without loss of the teacher's continuing contract. Any permanent teacher employed on a part-time basis, whether at his or her request or not, shall retain permanent status. Any probationary teacher employed on a part-time basis, whether at his or her request or not, shall retain all credit earned toward permanent status and shall continue to earn credit on a pro rata basis toward permanent status.
168.1022. 1. The board of education of a school district may place on leave of absence as many teachers as may be necessary because of a decrease in pupil enrollment, school district reorganization or the financial condition of the school district. In placing teachers on leave, the board of education shall be governed by the following provisions:
(1) No permanent teacher shall be placed on leave of absence while probationary teachers are retained in positions for which a permanent teacher is qualified;
(2) Permanent teachers shall be retained on the basis of performance-based evaluations and seniority within the field of specialization; seniority shall not be controlling;
(3) Permanent teachers shall be reinstated to the positions from which they have been given leaves of absence, or if not available, to positions requiring like training and experience, or to other positions in the school system for which they are qualified by training and experience;
(4) No appointment of new teachers shall be made while there are available teachers on unrequested leave of absence who are properly qualified to fill such vacancies;
(5) A teacher placed on leave of absence may engage in teaching or another occupation during the period of such leave;
(6) The leave of absence shall not impair the continuing contract of a teacher;
(7) The leave of absence shall continue for a period of not more than two years unless extended by the board.
2. Should a board of education choose to utilize the mechanism for reducing teacher forces as provided in subsection 1 of this section in an attempt to manage adverse financial conditions caused at least partially by a withholding of, or a decrease or less than expected increase in, education appropriations, then the district additionally shall follow the provisions of subsection 3 of this section.
3. If a school district has an unrestricted combined ending fund balance of more than ten percent of current expenditures in its teachers' and incidental funds, and in the subsequent fiscal year such district, because of state appropriations, places a contracted teacher on leave of absence after forty days subsequent to the governor signing the elementary and secondary education appropriation bill, the district shall pay the affected teacher the greater of his or her salary for any days worked under the contract, or a sum equal to three thousand dollars.
168.1024. 1. A board of education at a regular or special meeting may contract with and employ by a majority vote legally qualified probationary teachers for the school district. The contract shall be made by order of the board; shall specify the number of months school is to be taught and the wages per month to be paid; shall be signed by the probationary teacher and the president of the board, or a facsimile signature of the president may be affixed at his or her discretion; and the contract shall be attested by the secretary of the board by signature or facsimile. The board shall not employ one of its members as a teacher; nor shall any person be employed as a teacher who is related within the fourth degree to any board member, either by consanguinity or affinity, where the vote of the board member is necessary to the selection of the person.
2. If in the opinion of the board of education any probationary teacher has been doing unsatisfactory work, the board of education, through its authorized administrative representative, shall provide the teacher with a written statement definitely setting forth his or her alleged incompetency and specifying the nature thereof, in order to furnish the teacher an opportunity to correct his or her fault and overcome his or her incompetency. If improvement satisfactory to the board of education has not been made within ninety days of the receipt of the notification, the board of education may terminate the employment of the probationary teacher immediately or at the end of the school year. Any motion to terminate the employment of a probationary teacher shall include only one person and must be approved by a majority of the members of the board of education. A tie vote thereon constitutes termination. On or before the fifteenth day of April in each school year, the board of education shall notify in writing a probationary teacher who will not be retained by the school district of the termination of his or her employment. Upon request, the notice shall contain a concise statement of the reason or reasons the employment of the probationary teacher is being terminated. If the reason for the termination is due to a decrease in pupil enrollment, school district reorganization, or the financial condition of the school district, then the district shall in all cases issue notice to the teacher expressly declaring such as the reason for such termination. Nothing contained in this section shall give rise to a cause of action not currently cognizant at law by a probationary teacher for any reason given in said writing so long as the board issues the letter in good faith without malice, but an action for actual damages may be maintained by any person for the deprivation of a right conferred by this act.
3. Any probationary teacher who is not notified of the termination of his or her employment shall be deemed to have been appointed for the next school year, under the terms of the contract for the preceding year. A probationary teacher who is informed of reemployment by written notice shall be tendered a contract on or before the fifteenth day of May, and shall within fifteen days thereafter present to the employing board of education a written acceptance or rejection of the employment tendered, and failure of such teachers to present the acceptance within such time constitutes a rejection of the board's offer. A contract between a probationary teacher and a board of education may be terminated or modified at any time by the mutual consent of the parties thereto.
168.1026. 1. The board of education of each school district shall maintain records showing periods of service, dates of appointment, and other necessary information for the enforcement of sections 168.1000 to 168.1030.
2. In addition, the board of education of each school district shall cause a comprehensive, performance-based evaluation for each teacher employed by the district.
3. All teachers shall be evaluated regularly and shall be evaluated twice annually in the final year of their continuing contract by a qualified administrator, who may be an employee of another accredited district. Advance notice of evaluations shall not be given. All evaluations shall be on a scale of 88, based on the four achievement levels of the twenty-two standards adopted in section 160.045 so that scores are comparable. No more than sixty percent of a building's teachers shall receive a score in the top two quartiles combined.
4. Teachers who are on a continuing contract who score in the top twenty-five percent in their final continuing contract year shall receive a subsequent continuing contract for a three-year period; those who score in the second quartile shall receive a two-year continuing contract; those who score in the lowest fifty percent shall receive a one-year contract.
5. All evaluations shall be maintained in the teacher's personnel file at the office of the board of education. A copy of each evaluation shall be provided to the teacher and appropriate administrator.
6. The state department of elementary and secondary education shall provide suggested procedures for such an evaluation.
168.1028. No member of a board of education or duly designated administrative officer of a board of education shall be liable in a civil action based on a statement of charges against a school teacher.
168.1030. No teacher shall take part in the management of the campaign for the election or defeat of members of a board of education by which he or she is employed. Any teacher who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to termination of his or her employment by the district with the right of a hearing as heretofore provided.