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Sec. 14.20.149. Employee evaluation.

(a) A school board shall adopt a certificated employee evaluation system for evaluation and improvement of the performance of the district's teachers and administrators. The evaluation system applies to all the district's certificated employees except the district's superintendent. A school board shall consider information from students, parents, community members, classroom teachers, affected collective bargaining units, and administrators in the design and periodic review of the district's certificated employee evaluation system. An evaluation of a certificated employee under this section must be based on observation of the employee in the employee's workplace.

(b) The certificated employee evaluation system must

(1) establish district performance standards for the district's teachers and administrators that are based on professional performance standards adopted by the department by regulation;

(2) require at least two observations for the evaluation of each nontenured teacher in the district each school year;

(3) require at least an annual evaluation of each tenured teacher in the district who met the district performance standards during the previous school year;

(4) permit the district to limit its evaluations of tenured teachers who have consistently exceeded the district performance standards to one evaluation every two school years;

(5) require the school district to perform an annual evaluation for each administrator;

(6) require the school district to prepare and implement a plan of improvement for a teacher or administrator whose performance did not meet the district performance standards, except if the teacher's or administrator's performance warrants immediate dismissal under AS 14.20.170(a); and

(7) provide an opportunity for students, parents, community members, teachers, and administrators to provide information on the performance of the teacher or administrator who is the subject of the evaluation to the evaluating administrator.

(c) A person may not conduct an evaluation under this section unless the person holds a type B certificate or is a site administrator under the supervision of a person with a type B certificate, is employed by the school district as an administrator, and has completed training in the use of the school district's teacher evaluation system.

(d) Once each school year, a school district shall offer in-service training to the certificated employees who are subject to the evaluation system. The training must address the procedures of the evaluation system, the standards that the district uses in evaluating the performance of teachers and administrators, and other information that the district considers helpful.

(e) A school district shall provide a tenured teacher whose performance, after evaluation, did not meet the district performance standards with a plan of improvement. The evaluating administrator shall consult with the tenured teacher in setting clear, specific performance expectations to be included in the plan of improvement. The plan of improvement must address ways in which the tenured teacher's performance can be improved and shall last for not less than 90 workdays and not more than 180 workdays unless the minimum time is shortened by agreement between the evaluating administrator and the teacher. The plan of improvement shall be based on the professional performance standards outlined in the locally adopted school district evaluation procedure. The school district must observe the teacher at least twice during the course of the plan. If, at the conclusion of the plan of improvement, the tenured teacher's performance again does not meet the district performance standards, the district may nonretain the teacher under AS 14.20.175 (b)(1).

(f) A school district may place an administrator who has previously acquired tenure, whose performance, including performance as an evaluator under the district's certificated employee evaluation system, does not meet the district performance standards on a plan of improvement. The plan must address ways in which the administrator's performance can be improved and shall last for not less than 90 workdays and not more than 210 workdays unless the minimum time is shortened by agreement between the evaluating administrator and the administrator being evaluated. The school district must observe the administrator being evaluated at least twice during the course of the plan. If, at the conclusion of the plan of improvement, the administrator's performance again does not meet the district performance standards, the district may terminate its employment contract with the administrator. This subsection does not restrict the right of a school district to reassign an administrator to a teaching position consistent with the terms of an applicable collective bargaining agreement.

(g) The department may request copies of each school district's certificated employee evaluation system and changes the district makes to the systems.

(h) Information provided to a school district under the school district's certificated employee evaluation system concerning the performance of an individual being evaluated under the system is not a public record and is not subject to disclosure under AS 40.25. However, the individual who is the subject of the evaluation is entitled to a copy of the information and may waive the confidentiality provisions of this subsection concerning the information.

Sec. 14.20.150. Acquisition and reacquisition of tenure rights.

(a) Except as provided in (c) or (d) of this section, a teacher acquires tenure rights in a district when the teacher

(1) possesses a valid teaching certificate that authorizes the teacher to be employed as a certificated teacher or as an administrator under regulations adopted by the department;

(2) has been employed as a teacher in the same district continuously for three full school years;

(3) receives, in the third year of any three-year period of continuous employment with the district, an evaluation under the district's evaluation system stating that the teacher's performance meets the district performance standards; and

(4) on or before October 15 of the school year,

(A) accepts a contract for employment as a teacher in the district for a fourth consecutive school year; and

(B) performs a day of teaching services in the district during that school year.

(b) In this section, a full school year of employment means employment that begins on or before the first student count day required by the department in a school year or October 15, whichever occurs first, and continues through the remainder of the school year.

(c) A superintendent may not acquire or maintain tenure in a district.

(d) A teacher who has acquired tenure in a school district in the state and who loses tenure in the district because of a break in service may reacquire tenure in that school district under this subsection if the break in service was not the result of a dismissal under AS 14.20.170 or nonretention under AS 14.20.175 and did not last longer than one year. A break in service that begins on or after the last day of a school district's instructional days for a school year but before the first instructional day of the next school year will be considered to have lasted no longer than one year if the teacher is employed on the first instructional day of the school year that begins more than 12 but not more than 16 months after the beginning of the break in service. A previously tenured teacher reacquires tenure in the school district under this subsection when the teacher

(1) possesses a valid teaching certificate that authorizes the teacher to be employed as a certificated teacher or as an administrator under regulations adopted by the department;

(2) has been employed as a teacher in the district continuously for one full school year after a break in service that does not exceed the time limits set out in this subsection;

(3) receives, under the district's evaluation system, an acceptable evaluation from the district; and

(4) on or before October 15 of the school year,

(A) accepts a contract for employment as a teacher in the district for a second consecutive school year; and

(B) performs a day of teaching services in the district during that school year.

(e) Notwithstanding (a) of this section, a teacher who has acquired tenure in a school district who moves to a new school district acquires tenure in the new school district on the first instructional day of the third year of employment in the new school district if

(1) the teacher otherwise meets the qualifications for tenure set out in (a) of this section; and

(2) the break in service meets the requirements of (d) of this section.

Sec. 14.20.155. Effect of tenure rights.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a teacher who has acquired tenure rights has the right to employment within the district during continuous service.

(b) A teacher who has acquired tenure rights may agree to a new contract at any time. However, if the teacher fails to agree to a new contract, the provisions of the previous contract are continued subject to AS 14.20.158 .

Sec. 14.20.158. Continued contract provisions.

Continuation of the provisions of a teacher's contract under AS 14.20.145 or 14.20.155 does not

(1) affect the alteration of the teacher's salary in accordance with the salary schedule prescribed by state law, or in accordance with a local salary schedule applicable to all teachers in the district and adopted by bylaws;

(2) limit the right of the employer to assign the teacher to any teaching, administrative, or counseling position for which the teacher is qualified; or

(3) limit the right of the employer to assign the teacher, as is reasonably necessary, to any school in the district.

Sec. 14.20.160. Loss of tenure rights.

Tenure rights are lost when the teacher's employment in the district is interrupted or terminated. However, a teacher on layoff status does not lose tenure rights during the period of layoff except as provided under AS 14.20.177 .

Sec. 14.20.165. Restoration of tenure rights.

A teacher who held tenure rights and who was retired due to disability under AS 14.25.130 , but whose disability (1) has been removed, and the removal of that disability is certified by a competent physician following a physical or mental examination, or (2) has been compensated for by rehabilitation or other appropriate restorative education or training, and that rehabilitation or restoration to health has been certified by the division of vocational rehabilitation of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, shall be restored to full tenure rights in the district from which the teacher was retired, at such time as an opening for which the teacher is qualified becomes available.

Sec. 14.20.170. Dismissal.

(a) A teacher, including a teacher who has acquired tenure rights, may be dismissed at any time only for the following causes:

(1) incompetency, which is defined as the inability or the unintentional or intentional failure to perform the teacher's customary teaching duties in a satisfactory manner;

(2) immorality, which is defined as the commission of an act that, under the laws of the state, constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude; or

(3) substantial noncompliance with the school laws of the state, the regulations or bylaws of the department, the bylaws of the district, or the written rules of the superintendent.

(b) A teacher may be suspended temporarily with regular compensation during a period of investigation to determine whether or not cause exists for the issuance of a notification of dismissal according to AS 14.20.180 .

(c) A teacher who is dismissed under this section is not entitled to a plan of improvement under AS 14.20.149 .

Sec. 14.20.175. Nonretention.

(a) A teacher who has not acquired tenure rights is subject to nonretention for the school year following the expiration of the teacher's contract for any cause that the employer determines to be adequate. However, at the teacher's request, the teacher is entitled to a written statement of the cause for nonretention. The boards of city and borough school districts and regional educational attendance areas shall provide by regulation or bylaw a procedure under which a nonretained teacher may request and receive an informal hearing by the board.

(b) A teacher who has acquired tenure rights is subject to nonretention for the following school year only for the following causes:

(1) the school district demonstrates that

(A) the district has fully complied with the requirements of AS 14.20.149 with respect to the tenured teacher;

(B) the teacher's performance, after completion of the plan of improvement, failed to meet the performance objectives set out in the plan; and

(C) the evaluation of the teacher established that the teacher does not meet the district performance standards;

(2) immorality, which is defined as the commission of an act that, under the laws of the state, constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude; or

(3) substantial noncompliance with the school laws of the state, the regulations or bylaws of the department, the bylaws of the district, or the written rules of the superintendent.

Sec. 14.20.177. Reductions in force.

(a) A school district may implement a layoff plan under this section if it is necessary for the district to reduce the number of tenured teachers because

(1) school attendance in the district has decreased; or

(2) the basic need of the school district determined under AS 14.17.410(b)(1) decreases by three percent or more from the previous year.

(b) Before a school district lays off any tenured teacher, the school board shall adopt a layoff plan. The plan must identify academic and other programs that the district intends to maintain in implementing the layoff plan. The plan must also include procedures for layoff and recall of tenured teachers consistent with this section.

(c) Except as provided in this subsection, a school district may place a tenured teacher on layoff status only after the district has given notice of nonretention to all nontenured teachers. However, a school district may retain a nontenured teacher and place on layoff status a tenured teacher if there is no tenured teacher in the district who is qualified to replace the nontenured teacher. The school district shall comply with the notice requirements set out in AS 14.20.140 in placing a tenured or nontenured teacher on layoff status.

(d) For purposes of this section, a tenured teacher is considered qualified for a position if the position is in

(1) grades K - 8 and the teacher has an elementary endorsement;

(2) an established middle school and the teacher has

(A) an elementary endorsement;

(B) a middle school endorsement; or

(C) a secondary certificate with a subject area endorsement in the area of assignment in which the teacher filling the position will spend at least 40 percent of the teacher's time or the teacher has, within the five years immediately preceding the last date on which the teacher performed teaching services in the district before being laid off, received an evaluation stating that the teacher's performance in the subject or subjects meets the district performance standards; or

(3) grades 9 - 12 and the teacher has an endorsement for each subject area in which the teacher filling the position will spend at least 40 percent of the teacher's time or the teacher has, within the five years immediately preceding the last date on which the teacher performed teaching services in the district before being laid off, received an evaluation stating that the teacher's performance in the subject or subjects meets the district performance standards.

(e) For a period of three years after layoff, a teacher is on layoff status and is entitled to a hiring preference in the district where the teacher had been employed. The hiring preference applies only to vacant teaching positions for which the teacher is qualified. If a teacher is offered a teaching position under this subsection and the teacher declines the offer or fails to accept it within 30 days, the teacher is no longer considered to be on layoff status and is no longer entitled to a hiring preference under this section unless the teacher declines the offer because the teacher is contractually obligated to provide professional services to another private or public educational program.

(f) Notwithstanding any provision of AS 23.40, the terms of a collective bargaining agreement entered into between a school district and a bargaining organization representing teachers on or after August 16, 1996, may not be in conflict with the provisions of this section.

(g) A teacher on layoff status is not entitled to be reemployed under AS 14.20.145 and does not accrue leave. However, layoff status does not constitute a break in service for retaining tenure rights and accrued sick leave.

(h) In this section, "school district" or "district" means a city or borough school district or a regional educational attendance area.

Sec. 14.20.180. Procedures upon notice of dismissal or nonretention.

(a) Before a teacher is dismissed, the employer shall give the teacher written notice of the proposed dismissal and a pretermination hearing. A pretermination hearing under this section must comport with the minimum requirements of due process, including an explanation of the employer's evidence and basis for the proposed dismissal and an opportunity for the teacher to respond. If, following a pretermination hearing, an employer determines that dismissal is appropriate, the employer shall provide written notice, including a statement of cause and a complete bill of particulars, of the decision. The dismissal is effective when the notice is delivered to the teacher.

(b) An employer that has decided to nonretain a tenured teacher shall provide the teacher with written notice, including a statement of cause and a complete bill of particulars. The notice must comply with AS 14.20.140 (a).

(c) Within 15 days after receipt of a decision of dismissal under (a) of this section or nonretention under (b) of this section, a teacher may notify the employer in writing that the teacher is requesting a hearing before the school board under (d) of this section or that the teacher is invoking the grievance procedures under (e) of this section.

(d) Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the employer shall immediately schedule a hearing and notify the teacher in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The teacher may elect to have either a public or a private hearing, and to have the hearing under oath or affirmation. The parties have a right to be represented by counsel and to cross-examine witnesses. The teacher has the right to subpoena a person who has made statements that are used as a basis for the employer's decision to dismiss or nonretain. A written transcript, tape, or similar recording of the proceedings shall be kept. A copy of the recording shall be furnished to the teacher, for cost, upon request of the teacher. A decision of the school board requires a majority vote of the membership, by roll call. The board's decision shall be in writing and must contain specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. A copy of the decision shall be furnished to the teacher within 10 days after the date of the decision. If the school board sustains the dismissal or nonretention, the teacher may appeal the decision to the superior court for judicial review based on the administrative record.

(e) Upon receipt of a notice invoking the grievance procedures, the school board shall immediately schedule an informal hearing and notify the teacher in writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The hearing is for the purpose of reviewing the statement of cause and bill of particulars and not for the purpose of taking evidence. The teacher may choose whether the informal hearing is held in public or in private. A decision of the school board requires a majority vote of the membership, by roll call. The board's decision shall be in writing. The board shall promptly furnish a copy of the decision to the teacher. If the board sustains the dismissal or nonretention, the teacher may, within 15 days after receipt of the decision, give written notice to the school board and submit the matter to arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The decision of the arbitrator is final and binding on the school board, the teacher, and the bargaining organization representing the teacher, if any. If the school board and the teacher agree, they may waive the informal hearing under this subsection and submit the matter directly to arbitration.

Sec. 14.20.185. - 14.20.200. Procedure and hearing; appeals. [Repealed, Sec. 59 ch 98 SLA 1966].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 14.20.205. Judicial review. [Repealed, Sec. 14 ch 31 SLA 1996].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 14.20.207. [Renumbered as AS 14.20.215 ].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 14.20.210. Authority of school board or department to adopt bylaws.

A school board or the department may adopt teacher tenure bylaws not in conflict with the regulations of the department or state law.

Sec. 14.20.215. Definitions.

In AS 14.20.010 - 14.20.215,

(1) "continuous employment" means employment that is without interruption except for temporary absences approved by the employer or its designee, or except for the interval between consecutive school terms if the teacher is employed only for the months of the school term;

(2) "dismissal" means termination by the employer of the contract services of the teacher during the time a teacher's contract is in force, and termination of the right to the balance of the compensation due the teacher under the contract;

(3) "district performance standards" means evaluation criteria for the district's teachers and administrators that are adopted by a school district under AS 14.20.149 and that are based on the professional performance standards adopted by the department;

(4) "employer" means the school board or superintendent that appoints the teacher;

(5) "nonretention" means the election by an employer not to reemploy a teacher for the school year or school term immediately following the expiration of the teacher's current contract;

(6) "school year" includes "school term" if the teacher is employed only for the period of the school term;

(7) "teacher" means an individual who, for compensation, has primary responsibility to plan, instruct, and evaluate learning of elementary or secondary school students in the classroom or an equivalent setting and also includes individuals holding other positions as determined by the department by regulation.

Article 03. SALARY SCALES

Sec. 14.20.220. School experience for salary scales.

(a) [Repealed, Sec. 52 ch 6 SLA 1984].

(b) [Repealed, Sec. 52 ch 6 SLA 1984].

(c) [Repealed, Sec. 52 ch 6 SLA 1984].

(d) [Repealed, Sec. 35 ch 46 SLA 1970].

(e) For teachers holding bachelors' degrees, not more than six years of school experience outside the state may be substituted for a like period of school experience in the state when a teacher's position on the salary scale is established, and, for teachers holding masters' degrees, not more than eight years of school experience outside the state may be substituted for a like period of school experience in the state when a teacher's position on the salary scale is established.

(f) [Repealed, Sec. 23 ch 37 SLA 1986].

(g) In this section, "school experience" means a full-time elementary or secondary teacher in a public or nonpublic school as defined in AS 14.25.220 .

Sec. 14.20.230. Administrators' salaries. [Repealed, Sec. 52 ch 6 SLA 1984].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 14.20.240. - 14.20.270. Salaries; reimbursement by state to school districts; limitation on higher salaries not prohibited; determination of number of teachers, superintendents, principals and vice principals for which district entitled to reimbursement. [Repealed, Sec. 6 ch 229 SLA 1970].

Repealed or Renumbered

Sec. 14.20.275. Definitions. [Repealed, Sec. 52 ch 6 SLA 1984].

Repealed or Renumbered

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