By Heather Mullinix
The Cumberland County Board of Education approved the second and final reading of changes to the procedure for granting tenure policy during its April meeting.
Several policies were also approved on first reading.
The tenure procedure policy was changed to reflect changes in state law that changed how many years a teacher had to teach before becoming eligible for tenure, extending the period from three years to five.
The policy was changed to state documentation of a record of excellence in teaching must include record of attendance for the last five years.
Also changed was the date teachers would be notified of non-renewal from May 15 to June 15 of the year of eligibility.
Also, a tenured teacher who resigns and later returns to the school system would serve a two-year probationary period upon re-employment, unless the board waives the requirement.
Policies approved on first reading are:
• School Support Organizations — Adds that no payment to any employee for services performed on behalf of the school system shall be made from any source other than the board. Wages may be paid from revenue derived from sources other than taxes, provided the revenue is deposited and salaries are paid through the board. This includes booster clubs, donations or contributions from individual, civic or non-school related sources of funds from individual school activities, such as gate receipts and concessions.
• Limited English proficient/language minority students — adds that students will be identified as limited English proficiency after administering and scoring the TELPA screener assessment.
• Ethics — a new policy recommended by the TSBA, the policy is based on the Tennessee Education Association Code of Ethics of the Education Profession, which has been codified by Tennessee law. Reference to the TEA was deleted from the text of the policy, but the footnote reference to Tennessee law was retained.
• Interim Employees — Removed the statement, "The contract of each temporary employee shall contain the following statement: I understand that in filling a temporary position I have no expectancy of continued employment but shall be considered for initial employment to fill other vacancies."
• Long-Term Leave of Absence for Professional Personnel — Includes restrictions for the use of sick leave that includes requiring employees support their request for leave with certification issued by a health care provider that includes the date on which the serious health condition commenced; the probable duration of the condition; the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition; and a statement that the eligible employee is needed to care for the son, daughter, spouse or parent and an estimate of the amount of time that such employee is needed. The director may require an opinion of a second health care provider, at school system expense, if there is reason to doubt the validity of the certification provided.
Also approved was action to rescind three policies that deal with professional personnel contract negotiations following changes to state law in the new collaborative conferencing law.