The Denver teachers who challenged a landmark state law that allows school districts to put certain experienced educators on unpaid leave lost their cases Monday.
The Colorado Supreme Court ruled against the educators, who sued Denver Public Schools in 2014 alleging that the state’s largest district violated their rights to due process. Some of the teachers had lost their positions in schools and failed to get re-hired by a principal within a set period of time, which led the district to put them on unpaid leave — a move the teachers argued amounted to getting rid of them without cause or a hearing.
The district argued it was simply following a 2010 state law, known as Senate Bill 191, that changed the rules for teacher evaluations and assignments.
The law allows teachers who lose their positions because of circumstances such as student enrollment declines to be put on unpaid leave if they don’t find new positions within 12 months or two hiring cycles.
The high court sided with the district, ruling that because Colorado law “provides for neither ‘tenure’ nor ‘permanent teachers,’” Denver Public Schools did not violate teachers’ rights. Instead of tenure, state law allows teachers to earn “non-probationary status” after three years of effective evaluations. Teachers with that status are entitled to a hearing before being fired.
Read the full article on teacher tenure in Colorado by Melanie Asmar at Chalkbeat
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