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NO. 127. AN ACT RELATING TO A PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR NEW TEACHERS.

(S.248)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 16 V.S.A. § 1752(b) is amended to read:

(b) Unless otherwise negotiated, a teacher under contract to teach in a public school whose contract is not to be renewed for the ensuing year *[for just and sufficient cause]* shall be notified in writing, setting forth the grounds therefor no later than April 15. If the teacher so notified desires a hearing, the teacher shall so request in writing to the clerk of the school board. The teacher shall have the right to a hearing before the school directors within 15 days, may present witnesses and written evidence, and may be represented by counsel. A hearing shall be in executive session unless the teacher making the appeal requests or agrees in writing that it be open to the public. The school board shall affirm, modify, or reverse the nonrenewal and shall issue its decision in writing within five days. In the case of a probationary teacher who has received two written performance evaluations per year of probationary service, a decision of the board shall be final. The standard for nonrenewal of a contract shall be:

(1) In the case of a nonprobationary teacher, just and sufficient cause.

(2) In the case of a probationary teacher, any reason other than those prohibited by law. However, the standard for nonrenewal for a probationary teacher's contract shall be just and sufficient cause if the teacher has not received at least two written performance evaluations per year of probationary service. A probationary teacher is a person who has been employed as a teacher in Vermont public schools for less than two school years.

Sec. 2. GRANDFATHER PROVISION

The nonprobationary status of teachers who were initially employed in Vermont public schools during the 1997-98 school year shall not be affected by this act.

Approved: April 21, 1998