The performance and conduct, as well as the rights and responsibilities, of all professional educators employed in Georgia’s public school systems are governed by constitutional provisions, state statutes and case law. State and local board policies, as well as policies, rules and regulations of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, provide additional enforceable guidelines. Contracts of employment constitute binding bilateral agreements between a professional educator and a state or local employer.
The body of laws, policies, rules and regulations governing the teaching profession is too substantial to be discussed in detail here. Some general questions with appropriate answers, which may be of particular concern to educators, are listed below:
Frequently Asked Questions
Click on any of the following topics to view frequently asked questions about that topic:
In order to begin employment in a local school system, the professional educator must have a valid Georgia teaching certificate and must have signed a contract of employment. It must be understood that in Georgia contracts for teachers can be issued for only one year at a time.
How can a contract of employment be terminated?
By mutual agreement—that means by resignation of the employee and the acceptance of such resignation by the employer. *Educators should not resign without first contacting the PAGE legal department.
By dismissal from employment for cause after a hearing is held.
What are the consequences if a professional employee resigns from his/her position without the consent of the employer?
Such act constitutes breach of contract and abandonment of position. It may subject the educator to action taken by the PSC against his or her certificate. The educator could also be sued for breach of contract.
Every annual contract begins and expires of its own terms. For that reason, there can be no expectancy on the part of the employee to be offered a new contract at the end of the contract year, nor does an expectancy exist on the part of the employer that this year’s employee will accept a new contract offer for the ensuing year. That situation changes if and when the educator has signed four consecutive full-year contracts in the same school system, or if the employer has failed to notify the employee of nonrenewal of contract by May 15. Once the employee has signed a fourth contract by the same employer, he or she enjoys a standing commonly known as "tenure."
Acquiring tenure rights simply means that one has a right to expect continuous employment in that school system. In other words, the school system must renew your contract year after year unless good cause to non-renew can be shown.
Can an employer ever forfeit his right to non-renewal of a contract of a professional employee?
Yes, if the employer fails to notify such employee of the non-renewal on or before May 15 of any year in which a contractual relationship exists.
Is there "tenure" in position?
No. There is no tenure in position; for instance, a principal is not tenured as a principal but as a professional employee of the school system in which he occupies the position of principal. Tenure will only protect an employee at a certain pay level, not in a particular position.
Do administrators have tenure?
No, except for those administrators who had acquired tenure prior to April 7, 1995. Beginning on April 7, 1995, administrative tenure was eliminated.
Does a tenured employee remain tenured if he transfers to a different school system?
No. However, the time which is needed to become tenured in the new school system is shortened from four consecutive contracts to two.
Can six or more half-year or half-time employments in the same system be considered as three or more full-year or full-time employments and thus count toward obtaining tenure status?
What is the difference between an employee’s suspension and a temporary relief of duties?
A suspension is a punitive action imposed on the employee that must be preceded by formal charges and a hearing. A temporary relief from duties is always given with pay and occurs when the educator’s alleged conduct which warrants such action is of such a nature that his continued presence in the classroom or in the administrative office is indefensible. In the case of temporary relief from duties, a hearing for the purpose of adjudicating the charges against the educator must be made available to the educator within ten working days after he has been relieved from duty.
Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE)
P.O. Box 942270
Atlanta, GA 31141-2270
Ph: 770-216-8555 (Metro Atlanta) / 800-334-6861 (Outside Atlanta)
Fax: 770-216-8589 www.pageinc.org Contact Webmaster