3319.16 Termination of contract by board of education.

The contract of any teacher employed by the board of education of any city, exempted village, local, county, or joint vocational school district may not be terminated except for good and just cause. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code, the provisions of this section relating to the grounds for termination of the contract of a teacher prevail over any conflicting provisions of a collective bargaining agreement entered into after the effective date of this amendment.

Before terminating any contract, the employing board shall furnish the teacher a written notice signed by its treasurer of its intention to consider the termination of the teacher's contract with full specification of the grounds for such consideration. The board shall not proceed with formal action to terminate the contract until after the tenth day after receipt of the notice by the teacher. Within ten days after receipt of the notice from the treasurer of the board, the teacher may file with the treasurer a written demand for a hearing before the board or before a referee, and the board shall set a time for the hearing which shall be within thirty days from the date of receipt of the written demand, and the treasurer shall give the teacher at least twenty days' notice in writing of the time and place of the hearing. If a referee is demanded by either the teacher or board, the treasurer also shall give twenty days' notice to the superintendent of public instruction. No hearing shall be held during the summer vacation without the teacher's consent. The hearing shall be private unless the teacher requests a public hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by a referee appointed pursuant to section 3319.161 of the Revised Code, if demanded; otherwise, it shall be conducted by a majority of the members of the board and shall be confined to the grounds given for the termination. The board shall provide for a complete stenographic record of the proceedings, a copy of the record to be furnished to the teacher. The board may suspend a teacher pending final action to terminate the teacher's contract if, in its judgment, the character of the charges warrants such action.

Both parties may be present at such hearing, be represented by counsel, require witnesses to be under oath, cross-examine witnesses, take a record of the proceedings, and require the presence of witnesses in their behalf upon subpoena to be issued by the treasurer of the board. In case of the failure of any person to comply with a subpoena, a judge of the court of common pleas of the county in which the person resides, upon application of any interested party, shall compel attendance of the person by attachment proceedings as for contempt. Any member of the board or the referee may administer oaths to witnesses. After a hearing by a referee, the referee shall file a report within ten days after the termination of the hearing. After consideration of the referee's report, the board, by a majority vote, may accept or reject the referee's recommendation on the termination of the teacher's contract. After a hearing by the board, the board, by majority vote, may enter its determination upon its minutes. Any order of termination of a contract shall state the grounds for termination. If the decision, after hearing, is against termination of the contract, the charges and the record of the hearing shall be physically expunged from the minutes, and, if the teacher has suffered any loss of salary by reason of being suspended, the teacher shall be paid the teacher's full salary for the period of such suspension.

Any teacher affected by an order of termination of contract may appeal to the court of common pleas of the county in which the school is located within thirty days after receipt of notice of the entry of such order. The appeal shall be an original action in the court and shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint against the board, in which complaint the facts shall be alleged upon which the teacher relies for a reversal or modification of such order of termination of contract. Upon service or waiver of summons in that appeal, the board immediately shall transmit to the clerk of the court for filing a transcript of the original papers filed with the board, a certified copy of the minutes of the board into which the termination finding was entered, and a certified transcript of all evidence adduced at the hearing or hearings before the board or a certified transcript of all evidence adduced at the hearing or hearings before the referee, whereupon the cause shall be at issue without further pleading and shall be advanced and heard without delay. The court shall examine the transcript and record of the hearing and shall hold such additional hearings as it considers advisable, at which it may consider other evidence in addition to the transcript and record.

Upon final hearing, the court shall grant or deny the relief prayed for in the complaint as may be proper in accordance with the evidence adduced in the hearing. Such an action is a special proceeding, and either the teacher or the board may appeal from the decision of the court of common pleas pursuant to the Rules of Appellate Procedure and, to the extent not in conflict with those rules, Chapter 2505. of the Revised Code.

In any court action, the board may utilize the services of the prosecuting attorney, village solicitor, city director of law, or other chief legal officer of a municipal corporation as authorized by section 3313.35 of the Revised Code, or may employ other legal counsel.

A violation of division (A)(7) of section 2907.03 of the Revised Code is grounds for termination of a teacher contract under this section.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 07-19-1994