Who can be tenured?
A permanent teacher after three years plus one day of uninterrupted service.
Practitioners (PL’s) can begin the three year process once the Assistance Assessment is completed.
*Note — moving from one school district to another is an interruption of service.
Permanent bus drivers after 3 years.
Who cannot be tenured?
A teacher teaching on any kind of temporary certificate.
A teacher teaching in a federally funded position.
*Note — if you have already gained tenure and then move to a federally funded position, you will not lose your tenure.
What does tenure mean?
It defines your due process rights as prescribed in state law.
Quoting from La. Revised Statute 17:443 —
“A permanent teacher shall not be removed from office except upon written and signed charges of willful neglect of duty, or incompetence or dishonesty, or being a member of or contributing to any group, organization, movement, or corporation that is by law or injunction prohibited from operating in the state of Louisiana and then only if found guilty after a hearing by the school board of the parish.”
è In short, only the school board (not administration) can remove a tenured teacher from office and then only after tenure charges have been filed, a tenure hearing has been held, and the teacher has been found guilty.
è The courts have long recognized that a suspension without pay constitutes “a removal from office.” A tenured teacher must be paid until found guilty.
Can a tenured teacher be fired?
Yes, tenure does not exist to protect “bad teachers.” It is the due process provided in law that protects ALL teachers from an atmosphere where politics and favoritism rule the day.
Is tenure important?
Teacher tenure exists for very good reasons. Without it, teachers have little protection from favoritism on the part of administrators. Tenure is also a firewall that protects academic freedom, the ability to teach without fear of reprisal. It is a vital protection and a key professional right. The Federation will vigorously fight any efforts to water down the state’s tenure law.
Forces Gathering in Baton Rouge to Change or Abolish Tenure
A study done by the Washington, D.C. based National Council on Teacher Quality claims that Louisiana could attract and keep good teachers if we would just take away their tenure, give them merit pay, and privatize their retirement system.
It appears that Governor Jindal and Superintendent Paul Pastorek are trying to use the back door of the legislative process by proposing legislation that will allow school boards to opt out of certain state laws, tenure being one of them.
What we have seen thus far 2010 of the Jindal/Pastorek agenda is not encouraging. Voucher schemes, charter schools, state takeovers—all share one crucial point with the tenure study: There is no evidence that any of them will improve education or build a better future for our children.