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Teacher and Administrator Contract Renewals, Non-Renewals and Dismissal

The annual deadline to notify teachers of contract renewal/non-renewal decisions is March 15.  In order to be properly prepared, administrators will need to have identified employees who they wish to non-renew in advance of the board meeting in which the board will consider renewal/non-renewal recommendations.  Below are some helpful hints to successfully navigate this important statutory time line as well as the applicable legal references.

  • It is highly recommended that the recommendations be considered by the board at least two weeks in advance of March 15.  This allows sufficient time to alter or reconsider recommendations if necessary.
  • Renewals should be on the board consent agenda.
  • If the superintendent is recommending non-renewal, the affected employee should be given written notice IN ADVANCE of the board meeting.  The employee has the choice to elect that any discussion be in public session.  The notice should include the date by which the employee must notify the district of the public or executive session preference.  If the employee does not elect for a public meeting, the discussion, if any, should be in executive session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(b). If neither the employee nor the board wants to discuss the non-renewal, the non-renewal can be placed on the consent agenda.
  • If the board wants to discuss an employee who has been recommended for renewal, such discussion will need to be scheduled for a later meeting to provide an opportunity to give notice to the employee. The employee should be allowed to make a statement on his or her own behalf and have a representative present.
  • The written notice to the employee should include the reasons for non-renewal.
  • If the board takes action and non-renews any employee the employee MUST BE GIVEN WRITTEN NOTICE of the decision before MARCH 15.  Failure to provide this notice will result in the employee automatically being renewed.
  • The relevant statute governing the teacher renewal process is ORS 342.513 and ORS 342.835. 
  • Administrators should consult their collective bargaining agreements and board policies for any district specific requirements.

Statutory requirements

Probationary teachers

  • Board may non-renew a probationary teacher for any cause “it may deem in good faith sufficient.”
  • The Board must give the probationary teacher notice of the action by March 15th.
  • The Board must provide a written copy of the reasons for the nonrenewal and a hearing if requested.
  • If the Board fails to give notice by March 15, the contract shall be considered renewed for the following school year at a salary not less than that being received at the time of renewal.

Legal cite: ORS 342.835, ORS 342.513    

Contract teachers

  • A contract teacher means any teacher regularly employed by a district for 3 successive school years and has been retained for the next succeeding school year.
  • Contract teachers must be employed pursuant to 2 year contracts.
  • Upon recommendation of the superintendent, the board may extend a contract teacher’s employment for a new 2 year term by providing written notice to the teacher no later than March 15 of the first year of the contract.
  • If the board does not extend the teacher’s contract by March 15 of the first year of the contract, the teacher shall be placed on a program of assistance for improvement.
  • Provided that the board has not extended the teacher’s contract for a new 2 year term, the board, upon recommendation of the superintendent, may elect by written notice to the teacher no later than March 15 of the second year of the teacher’s contract not to extend the teacher’s contract based on any ground specified in ORS 342.865.
  • A contract teacher whose contract is not extended may appeal the nonextension to the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board.

Legal cite: ORS 342.895, ORS 342.865

Administrators

For the purposes of renewal, administrator means any teacher the majority of whose employed time is devoted to service as a:

  • supervisor;
  • principal;
  • vice principal; or
  • director of a department or the equivalent.
  • This section does not apply to:
    • superintendents;
    • deputy superintendents; or
    • assistant superintendents;
    • business managers, transportation directors, food services directors, human resource managers who does not have a teaching or administrative license.
    • An administrator must serve a 3 year probationary period, unless the district and the administrator agree to a shorter period.
    • Following the probationary period, the administrator must receive a 3 year contract.
    • Pursuant to ORS 342.513, the Board may have to give written notice of the renewal or nonrenewal for the following school year by March 15.
    • The Board may vote not to extend an administrator’s contract “for any cause the school board in good faith considers sufficient.”
    • Prior to March 15th of the 2nd year of the administrator’s contract, the Board must take one of the following actions:
      • Issue a new 3 year contract effective July 1 following the March 15 of the 2nd of the administrator’s contract;
      • Provide, in writing, notice that the contract will not be renewed or extended; or
      • Extend the existing contract for a period of not more than 1 year.
      • If an administrator receives notice of contract nonextension prior to the expiration of the administrator’s contract, the administrator has the right to fill any vacant teaching position in the district for which the contract administrator is licensed and competent as defined in ORS 342.934, provided the administrator has 3 years’ teaching experience in Oregon that has been successful, in the judgment of the district superintendent.

      Legal cite: ORS 342.845

      Superintendents (Including Deputy and Asst. Superintendents)

      • Are excluded from the administrator renewal requirements in ORS 342.845 by ORS 342.815.
      • However, pursuant to ORS 342.513, the Board may have to give written notice of the renewal or nonrenewal for the following school year by March 15.
      • Reference the Superintendent’s contract language regarding further renewal requirements.

      Grounds for dismissal or contract nonextension of contract teacher

      No contract teacher shall be dismissed or the teacher’s contract nonextended except for:

      • Inefficiency;
      • Immorality;
      • Insubordination;
      • Neglect of duty, including duties specified by written rule;
      • Physical or mental incapacity;
      • Conviction of a felony or of a crime according to the provisions of ORS 342.143;
      • Inadequate performance;
      • Failure to comply with such reasonable requirements as the board may prescribe to show normal improvement and evidence of professional training and growth; or
      • Any cause which constitutes grounds for the revocation of such contract teacher’s teaching license.

      Legal cite: ORS 342.865

      If you have any questions, please contact OSBA Legal, Labor and Employment Services Department