2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Ross, Chaney, Brown, Robertson, White, Jackson (15th)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-9-59 AND 37-9-105, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT FROM PASSAGE OF THIS ACT UNTIL JANUARY 1, 2006, SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE PROHIBITED FROM DENYING REEMPLOYMENT TO ANY TEACHER FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN GOOD CAUSE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-9-59, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-59. (1) For incompetence, neglect of duty, immoral conduct, intemperance, brutal treatment of a pupil or other good cause the superintendent of schools may dismiss or suspend any licensed employee in any school district. Before being so dismissed or suspended any licensed employee shall be notified of the charges against him and he shall be advised that he is entitled to a public hearing upon said charges. In the event the continued presence of said employee on school premises poses a potential threat or danger to the health, safety or general welfare of the students, or, in the discretion of the superintendent, may interfere with or cause a disruption of normal school operations, the superintendent may immediately release said employee of all duties pending a hearing if one is requested by the employee. In the event a licensed employee is arrested, indicted or otherwise charged with a felony by a recognized law enforcement official, the continued presence of the licensed employee on school premises shall be deemed to constitute a disruption of normal school operations. The school board, upon a request for a hearing by the person so suspended or removed shall set a date, time and place for such hearing which shall be not sooner than five (5) days nor later than thirty (30) days from the date of the request. The procedure for such hearing shall be as prescribed for hearings before the board or hearing officer in Section 37-9-111. From the decision made at said hearing, any licensed employee shall be allowed an appeal to the chancery court in the same manner as appeals are authorized in Section 37-9-113. Any party aggrieved by action of the chancery court may appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court as provided by law. In the event that a licensed employee is immediately relieved of duties pending a hearing, as provided in this section, said employee shall be entitled to compensation for a period up to and including the date that the initial hearing is set by the school board, in the event that there is a request for such a hearing by the employee. In the event that an employee does not request a hearing within five (5) calendar days of the date of the notice of discharge or suspension, it shall constitute a waiver of all rights by said employee and such discharge or suspension shall be effective on the date set out in the notice to the employee.
(2) The school board of every school district in this state is hereby prohibited from denying employment or reemployment to any person as a superintendent, principal or licensed employee, as defined in Section 37-19-1, or as a noninstructional personnel, as defined in Section 37-9-1, for the single reason that any eligible child of such person does not attend the school system in which such superintendent, principal, licensed employee or noninstructional personnel is employed.
(3) For a period beginning upon passage of this act and ending on January 1, 2006, the school board of every school district in this state is hereby prohibited from denying reemployment to any person as a licensed teacher as defined in Section 37-151-5, for any reason other than good cause shown, as provided in subsection (1) of this section, unless the school board makes a finding spread upon its minutes that there is no educational need for the teacher. For purposes of the prohibition in this subsection (3), the implementation of a school district's reduction in force policy resulting from financial difficulties does not constitute good cause for the termination or rescission of a teacher's contract.
SECTION 2. Section 37-9-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-105. (1) In the event that a recommendation is made by the school district not to offer an employee a renewal contract for a successive year, written notice of the proposed nonreemployment stating the reasons for the proposed nonreemployment shall be given no later than the following:
(a) If the employee is a principal, the superintendent, without further board action, shall give notice of nonreemployment on or before March 1; or
(b) If the employee is a teacher, administrator or other professional educator covered under Sections 37-9-101 through 37-9-113, the superintendent, without further board action, shall give notice of nonreemployment on or before April 15.
(2) An interim conservator appointed pursuant to the provisions of Section 37-17-6(14)(a) or a school board acting on the recommendation of a school district financial advisor appointed pursuant to the provisions of Section 37-9-18 shall not be required to comply with the time limitations prescribed in this section for recommending the reemployment of principals, teachers, administrators or other professional educators.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section relating to time limitations, for a period beginning upon passage of this act and ending on January 1, 2006, the school board of every school district in this state is hereby prohibited from denying a recommendation for reemployment to any teacher for any reason other than good cause shown as provided in Section 37-9-59, unless the school board makes a finding spread upon its minutes that there is no educational need for the teacher. For purposes of the prohibition in this subsection (3), the implementation of a school district's reduction in force policy resulting from financial difficulties does not constitute good cause for the nonrenewal of a teacher's contract.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.