Teachers have one of the toughest jobs. They are the architects of our future by molding young minds every day. However, sometimes things go wrong. A teacher could face discipline or misconduct charges for several reasons. So, what is the process if a school tries to fire a teacher? Do teachers have due process rights, and is there a remediation process that schools can follow?
Can a school fire a teacher for no reason?
Yes – if a Florida teacher is in the first 97 days of employment a school district can fire a teacher for any reason or no reason at all. If a teacher is within their 3 probationary years, a school is not required to renew a teacher’s contract at the end of the school year.
Can a teacher fight a termination within a probationary period?
No – there is no recourse available to probationary teachers who are fired within the appropriate timeframe.
Is there a remediation process before a school fires a teacher?
Yes – depending on the violation. If a school deems a teacher incompetent, the dismissal can be immediate despite probationary periods or contracts. If the violation does not fall under incompetence, there is a teacher remediation process.
What is the teacher remediation process?
A teacher can be remediated through a process similar to N.E.A.T. (Notice, Evaluation, Assistance and Time).
- The teacher should receive notice that there is an issue that needs to be corrected.
- The teacher should receive a full documented explanation of the deficiencies and suggestions for how to improve the problems.
- The school must give the teacher assistance in remediating the deficiencies. This assistance should be provided through administration. There should be a plan developed for each deficiency and the plan should focus on how to improve.
- A reasonable amount of time should be given to improve the issues. The teacher should be provided with the opportunity to fix the deficiencies and demonstrate professional growth.
So what are the due process rights of teachers?
The above information outlined the due process rights of Florida teachers at the school level. When a teacher is found to have committed misconduct, the school district is required to report it to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). The FDOE investigative process is different and can be found here. If a teacher is faced with a disciplinary issue call an experienced teacher defense education lawyer who can assess your case and help protect your livelihood. Richard Asselta is an award-winning education lawyer with offices in both Florida and New Jersey. He is experienced in defending all types of teacher disciplinary and misconduct issues including school, district, and DOE teacher disciplinary action. Call The Education Lawyers today for a free consultation. Protect your teaching license and professional future. (855) 338-5299