Tenure and Dismissal of Teachers

In the U.S., teachers are protected from arbitrary dismissal through tenure statutes in most states.  Under these tenure statutes, once a teacher has attained tenure, his or her contract renews automatically each year.

Before the end of the tenure, school districts may dismiss the teachers only by a showing of cause, after following such procedural requirements as providing notice to the teacher, specifying the charges against the teacher, and providing the teacher with a meaningful hearing.  Most tenure statutes require teachers to remain employed during a probationary period for a certain number of years.  Once this probationary period has ended, teachers in some states will earn tenure automatically.  In other states, the local school board must take some action to grant tenure to the teacher, often at the conclusion of a review of the teacher’s performance. Tenure also provides some protection for teachers against demotion, salary reductions, and other discipline. However, tenure does not guarantee that a teacher may retain a particular position, such as a coaching position, nor does it provide indefinite employment.

Inside Tenure and Dismissal of Teachers