Continuing contracts targeted again in SD LegislaturePIERRE — Another attempt to take away the continuing contract provisions for public school teachers may be under way.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
PIERRE — Another attempt to take away the continuing contract provisions for public school teachers may be under way.
Last year, Gov. Dennis Daugaard wanted to repeal the state law that many erroneously call “tenure” in South Dakota. Now, Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, has a stand-alone bill this year that would give local school districts the option to opt out of continuing contract.
Giving school boards the choice whether to include the provisions was part of the big package of changes and reforms in HB 1234 that voters rejected in the November general election.
Novstrup’s current bill, SB 187, would allow a school board to “establish contract provisions for the teachers the district employs that are in the best interest of the school district.”
After a teacher is in or beyond the fourth year of employment with a school district, the school board can non-renew the teacher for just cause, including breach of contract, poor performance, incompetency, gross immorality, unprofessional conduct, insubordination, neglect of duty or violation of a district policy or regulation.
Written notice and explanation of the reason are required by state law, and the teacher then may request a hearing before the school board. But teachers with less than four years of employment with a school district can be terminated at any time.