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Fair Dismissal Appeals Board Statutory Process for Dismissal

The statute has explicit requirements covering key aspects of the dismissal process

The superintendent’s role

Step one - Advance notice to the teacher/administrator. The “notice” must be (a) in writing; (b) sent certified mail or hand delivered; and (c) given “at least 20 days before” making a recommendation to the school board. It must also (d) state the statutory grounds being relied upon and (e)“contain a plain and concise statement of the facts relied on to support the statutory grounds”.

Step two - Recommendation to the school board. The superintendent must also make a “recommendation” to the school board. The requirement is usually accomplished by sending the school board a copy of the written notice previously sent to the teacher/administrator. The statute does not describe the form or content of the statutory “recommendation.”

Role of the school board

The statute directs that if the school board “takes action to approve the recommendation for dismissal from the superintendent” it must notify the individual in writing. However, the statute does not mandate any specific procedures for the school board to follow in deciding what action, if any, to take.

The common practice among school districts in Oregon has been to provide an opportunity to be heard before the school board prior to the decision being made by the school board. In some cases, the school district policies provide teachers an extensive evidentiary hearing that is in excess of what is required by statute or Constitution.

Once the school board makes a decision to dismiss, the statute requires notice to the individual “as soon as practicable.” The dismissal then “takes effect on or after the date of the district school board’s action.” The notice must be sent to the employee by “certified mail, return receipt requested” or consistent with the manner a summons is served in a civil action.