Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 90. Procedure for Adjusting Grievances
6/24/2022

8VAC20-90-70. Procedure for dismissals.

A. Notice to teacher of recommendation for dismissal.

1. In the event a division superintendent determines to recommend dismissal of any teacher, written notice shall be sent to the teacher on forms prescribed by the Board of Education notifying him of the proposed dismissal and informing the teacher that within 10 business days after receiving the notice, the teacher may request a hearing before the school board or, at the option of the school board, a hearing officer appointed by the school board, as provided in § 22.1-311 of the Code of Virginia.

2. During such 10-business-day period and thereafter until a hearing is held in accordance with the provisions herein, if one is requested by the teacher, the merits of the recommendation of the division superintendent shall not be considered, discussed, or acted upon by the school board except as provided for herein.

3. At the request of the teacher, the superintendent shall provide the reasons for the recommendation in writing or, if the teacher prefers, in a personal interview. In the event a teacher requests a hearing pursuant to § 22.1-311 or 22.1-312 of the Code of Virginia, the division superintendent shall provide, within 10 days of the request, the teacher, or his representative, with the opportunity to inspect and copy his personnel file and all other documents relied upon in reaching the decision to recommend dismissal. Within 10 days of the request of the division superintendent, the teacher, or his representative, shall provide the division superintendent with the opportunity to inspect and copy the documents to be offered in rebuttal to the decision to recommend dismissal. The division superintendent and the teacher or his representative shall be under a continuing duty to disclose and produce any additional documents identified later that may be used in the respective parties' cases-in-chief. The cost of copying such documents shall be paid by the requesting party.

4. Upon a timely request for a hearing, the school board or, at the school board's option, a hearing officer appointed by the school board shall set a hearing within 15 days of the request and the teacher shall be given at least five days' written notice of the time and the place of the hearing.

B. Procedure for hearing.

1. The hearing shall be conducted by the school board or, at the school board's option, a hearing officer appointed by the school board. The teacher and the division superintendent may be represented by legal counsel or other representatives. The hearing shall be private, unless the teacher requests a public hearing. The school board or hearing officer, as the case may be, shall establish the rules for the conduct of the hearing, and such rules shall include the opportunity for the teacher and the division superintendent to make an opening statement and to present all material or relevant evidence, including the testimony of witnesses, and the right of all parties to cross-examine the witnesses. Witnesses may be questioned by the school board or hearing officer.

2. The parties shall produce such additional evidence as the school board or hearing officer may deem necessary to an understanding and determination of the dispute. The school board or hearing officer shall determine the relevancy and materiality of the evidence offered. All evidence shall be taken in the presence of the school board or hearing officer and of the parties.

3. Exhibits offered by the teacher or the division superintendent may be received in evidence by the school board or hearing officer and, when so received, shall be marked and made a part of the record.

4. A stenographic record or tape recording of the proceedings shall be taken. The two parties shall share the cost of the recording equally. The record or recording of the proceedings shall be preserved for a period of six months. If the school board requests that a transcript of the record or recording be made at any time prior to expiration of the six-month period, it shall be made and copies shall be furnished to both parties. The school board shall bear the expense of the transcription.

5. The teacher shall bear his own expenses. The school board shall bear the expenses of the division superintendent and the hearing officer.

6. Witnesses who are employees of the school board shall be granted release time if the hearing is held during the school day. The hearing shall be held at the school in which most witnesses work, if feasible.

7. In the event of a hearing conducted by a hearing officer, the recommendation of the hearing officer shall be based exclusively upon the evidence presented at the hearing. Upon the hearing officer's own motion or upon application by the teacher or the division superintendent, the hearing officer may reopen the hearing for the purpose of hearing after-discovered evidence upon a finding of good cause by the hearing officer at any time before his recommendation is due. The hearing officer shall transmit his written recommendation and a record or recording of the hearing to the school board as soon as practicable and no more than 10 business days after the hearing.

8. In the event of a hearing by a hearing officer, the school board may make its decision upon the record or recording of such hearing or the school board may elect to conduct a further hearing to receive additional evidence. The school board must hold such further hearing as soon as practicable and must give written notice of the time and place of such further hearing to the division superintendent and the teacher within 10 business days after the board received the record or recording of the initial hearing. The notice must specify each matter to be inquired into by the school board. The school board shall determine the procedure to be followed at such further hearing.

C. School board determination.

1. In the event of a hearing before the school board, the school board shall give the teacher its written decision as soon as practicable and no more than 30 days after the hearing. The decision of the school board shall be reached after considering the evidence and information presented at the school board hearing.

2. In the event of a hearing before a hearing officer followed by a further hearing by the school board pursuant to subdivision B 8 of this section, the school board shall give the teacher its written decision as soon as practicable and no more than 30 days after such further hearing. The decision of the school board shall be reached after considering the record or recording of the initial hearing, the recommendations of the hearing officer, and the evidence and information presented at the further hearing before the school board.

3. In the event of a hearing before a hearing officer in cases in which no further hearing is conducted by the school board, the school board shall give the teacher its written decision as soon as practicable and no more than 30 days after receiving the record or recording of the hearing. The decision of the school board shall be reached after considering the record or recording of the hearing and the recommendations of the hearing officer.

4. The school board may dismiss or suspend a teacher upon a majority vote of a quorum of the school board. The school board's attorney, assistants, or representative, if he or they represented a participant in the prior proceedings; the grievant; the grievant's attorney or representative; and, notwithstanding the provisions of § 22.1-69 of the Code of Virginia, the superintendent shall be excluded from any executive session of the school board that has as its purpose reaching a decision on a grievance. However, immediately after a decision has been made and publicly announced, as in favor of or not in favor of the grievant, the school board's attorney or representative and the superintendent may join the school board in executive session to assist in the writing of the decision.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-308 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0008 § 3.1, eff. February 1, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 14, eff. May 2, 2005; Volume 33, Issue 5, eff. November 30, 2016.

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