Boards planning to nonrenew an administrator’s employment contract must comply with the timelines and procedural requirements in Revised School Code Section 1229. We recommend starting the statutory nonrenewal process no later than March 13 for contracts which expire on June 30. Failure to follow the statutory nonrenewal process (or related contract provisions) may result in an administrator’s contract automatically renewing for an additional year.
The multi-step nonrenewal process for an administrator (other than a superintendent) requires two board resolutions, notices to the administrator, a written statement identifying the reason(s) the board is considering nonrenewal, and an opportunity for the administrator to meet with at least a majority of the board to discuss the reason(s).
The superintendent or designee first must notify the administrator of the recommendation that the board consider nonrenewal. The board then must consider the recommendation in an open session. If the board decides to consider the administrator’s nonrenewal, it must approve a resolution.
Next, the board must notify the administrator that it is “considering” nonrenewal by giving the administrator a copy of the resolution and a written statement of the underlying reasons for nonrenewal at least 90 days before the administrator’s contract expires.
Before making a nonrenewal determination, the board must provide the administrator with an opportunity to meet with a majority of the board to discuss the stated reason(s) for nonrenewal. The meeting may occur in closed session at the administrator’s request. A nonrenewal determination must be made at least 60 days before the administrator’s contract expires.
To make the nonrenewal determination, the board must approve a resolution in open session to nonrenew the administrator’s contract. A board may only nonrenew an administrator’s contract for a reason that is not arbitrary or capricious.
Nonrenewing a superintendent’s contract is less complex, with the applicable law requiring only that the board notify the superintendent of nonrenewal in writing at least 90 days before the superintendent’s contract expires.
School officials should review individual employment contracts for all administrators for additional terms, which may complicate or preclude nonrenewal. For example, contracts may contain additional notice requirements or an “evergreen” clause, which perpetually extends a contract without affirmative board action.
Finally, an administrator’s teacher tenure rights must be considered. If the administrator has a current teaching certificate and has earned teacher tenure in the non-renewing district, that administrator may have residual tenure rights, which may include the right to be placed in a teaching position for which the administrator is certified and qualified to fill.