We all have important dates like birthdays and anniversaries that we
know we must remember. If you are a school administrator in the state
of Nebraska, April 15th is one of those dates. This is the deadline by
which school administrators must decide whether they want to proceed
with the non-renewal or termination of a certificated employee’s contract.
Under the Nebraska laws governing teacher employment, teachers’
contracts are automatically renewed unless the teacher receives notice
on or before April 15th that the board will consider non-renewing,
terminating, or amending the teacher’s contract. This deadline applies to
any action on a teacher’s contract, including reductions in force. In
Bentley v. School District No. 25 of Custer County, 255 Neb. 404, 586
N.W. 2d 306 (1998), the Nebraska Supreme Court held that delivery of a
non-renewal notice on April 16th was not sufficient statutory notice to a
teacher, and constituted no notice at all.
If you have any reservations about whether to continue a teacher’s
employment contract, you should contact your school district’s attorney
promptly. Your school attorney will want to review the employee's file
and assist in preparing the proper notice documents if you decide to
proceed with a possible termination or nonrenewal.
Question: Is the April 15th deadline a mutual obligation on both
teachers and boards of education?
Answer: Yes! The Professional Practices Committee and the
Nebraska Commissioner of Education have determined that teachers are
contractually obligated for the following school year after April 15th
unless: (1) the teacher has submitted a resignation prior to that date or
(2) the board, through policy or provision in its negotiated agreement,
has agreed to release teachers through a later date.
If you have questions, we recommend that you consult with your
school district’s attorney or call Karen, Steve or Bobby.