SB 372 Modifies provisions relating to teacher contracts and establishes the Teacher Continuing Contract Act
Sponsor: Cunningham
LR Number: 1839S.01I Fiscal Note: 1839-01N.ORG
Committee: General Laws
Last Action: 4/12/2011 - SCS Voted Do Pass S General Laws Committee - (1839S.02C) Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2011

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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 372 – This act modifies the teacher tenure system and administration of teacher contracts. Currently, two teacher tenure systems exist in the state, one for the St. Louis City School District and one for all other districts. These two systems will expire, and beginning on July 1, 2012, all teachers in the state will be governed by the "Teacher Continuing Contract Act." (Sections 168.102, 168.221, 168.1000)

TEACHING STANDARDS: The teacher standards established in section 160.045 will be used for teacher evaluations under this act. In addition, the Missouri Teaching Standards Professional Continuum adopted by the State Board of Education may be adopted as a basis for such standards. (Section 160.045)

MINIMUM TEACHER SALARIES: This act removes the minimum teacher salary established for full-time teachers with a master's degree and at least ten years' teaching experience. (Section 163.172)

SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR EVALUATIONS & CONTRACTS: School boards must currently conduct a comprehensive performance-based evaluation of administrators. This act requires them to be conducted annually. The Missouri Administration Standards Professional Continuum may be adopted as a basis for the standards. School administrators may enter into a contract for employment with the school district for a period of up to three years. (Section 168.410)

TEACHER CONTRACTS: Beginning July 1, 2012, school boards may employ legally certificated teachers in addition to employing teachers under the Teacher Continuing Contract Act. Procedures for the contract are described in the act. (Section 168.999)

CONTINUING CONTRACT: Beginning July 1, 2012, teachers may receive a "continuing contract," which is defined as a contract between a district and a teacher for a period of up to three consecutive years. (Sections 168.1002 & 168.1004)

TRANSITION FROM EXISTING TENURE SYSTEM TO CONTINUING CONTRACT SYSTEM: Beginning July 1, 2012, each school district must place a tenured teacher on a three-year continuing contract. A teacher who is not in the first teaching position of his or her career, but who is in the first to fourth year of employment with the district during the 2011-2012 school year whose contract will be renewed for the 2012-2013 school year, may have the contract renewed for one or two years, at the discretion of the district. Any teacher who is beginning his or her career's first teaching position and who is contract to begin as of July 1, 2012 will be placed on a one-year contract. (Section 168.1003)

FORM OF TEACHER CONTRACT: Standard language to be used for teacher contracts is identified. The school board may terminate a contract for cause at any time. The terms of a continuing contract, including salary, may be contingent upon available funding. In addition, a two or three-year continuing contract may not be renewed more than fourteen months before its expiration. A school board is prohibited from employing one of its members as a teacher. (Section 168.1006)

MODIFICATION OF TEACHER CONTRACTS: The school board may modify a continuing contract annually on or before May 15. Modifications include school year starting and ending dates and annual compensation based on a salary schedule. Modifications will become effective at the beginning of the next school year. (Section 168.1008)

A permanent teacher and a school district may terminate or modify a continuing contract by mutual consent at any time. A teacher who desires to terminate his or her continuing contract at the end of a school term must give written notice before June 1 of that year. (Section 168.1010)

COMPENSATION PLAN: Each school district must develop a compensation plan for certificated personnel and update it annually. (Section 168.1009)

TERMINATION OF A CONTINUING CONTRACT: When an administrator recommends that a teacher contract not be renewed, he or she must provide written notice to the teacher no later than January 31. The administrator must present the name of each teacher to the school board by March 31. The board must vote to accept or reject the administrator's recommendation separately by April 15. (Section 168.1011)

The school board may terminate a continuing contract for one or more of the following causes: unsatisfactory performance based on teacher evaluation under section 168.1026; willful or persistent violation of, or failure to obey, the school laws of the state or school board policy; excessive or unreasonable absence from performance of duties; immoral conduct or conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

Determination of professional competency or efficiency of a continuing contract teacher, consideration will be given to regular and special evaluation reports prepared in accordance with school district policy and any standards the board may have adopted. (Section 168.1012)

PROCEDURES FOR TERMINATION OF A CONTINUING CONTRACT: To terminate a continuing contract, the school board must serve written charges upon the teacher, notice of a hearing on charges, and conduct a hearing if the teacher requests it. At least thirty days before service of notice or charges, the school board or superintendent must give the teacher a written warning, stating the causes that may result in charges. The superintendent and the teacher must meet and confer in an effort to resolve the matter.

Notice of a hearing upon charges and a copy of the charges must be given to the teacher at least fifteen days prior to the date of the hearing. If the teacher does not request a hearing within ten days of receipt of the notice, the school board may, upon a majority vote, terminate the teacher's contract. If a hearing is request, it must take place no more than twenty days after notice of a hearing.

Procedures for the hearing are described in the act. In addition, during any time in which powers granted to a district's board of education are vested in a special administrative board, the special administrative board may appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. (Section 168.1016)

LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICIES: School boards may establish policies for leaves of absence. The school board may grant a leave of absence or place a teacher on a part-time teaching schedule for one year, subject to annual renewal. Leaves and military service will not impair the teacher's continuing contract. (Section 168.1020)

REDUCTION IN FORCE: A school board may place teachers on leave of absence because of a decrease in student enrollment, district reorganization, or financial condition. Criteria are established for which teachers may be placed on leave or reinstated. (Section 168.1022)

TEACHER RECORDS & EVALUATIONS: Each school district must maintain records showing periods of service, dates of appointment, and other necessary information.

The school board must undertake a system of comprehensive, performance-based formative and summative evaluation for each teacher. A portion of the summative evaluation may be based on the performance of students. Teachers must be evaluated annually by a certified administrator, a retired administrator, or other qualified personnel. The formative evaluation may be conducted with advance notice but at least one summative evaluation must involve observation without advance notice. Evaluations must be maintained in the teacher's personnel file. A copy must be provided to the teacher and appropriate administrator.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must develop suggested procedures and models for student performance evaluations, as described in the act. (Section 168.1026)

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER LIABILITY: A school board member will not be liable in a civil action based on a statement of charges against a school teacher. (Section 168.1028)

PROHIBITION ON TEACHER PARTICIPATION IN CERTAIN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER CAMPAIGNS: This act prohibits a teacher from participating in the management of a campaign for the election or defeat of school board members of his or her district of employment. A teacher who violates this provision will be terminated. (Section 168.1030)

This act is similar to HB 628 (2011), HCS/SB 147 (2011), and HB 2463 (2010).