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1999 Minnesota Session Laws

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                             CHAPTER 201-H.F.No. 14 
                  An act relating to education; providing that a person 
                  convicted of child abuse or sexual abuse is ineligible 
                  to be licensed as a teacher; providing for 
                  reconsideration in cases of reversal by a court or 
                  issuance of a pardon; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1998, sections 122A.20, subdivision 1; 122A.40, 
                  subdivisions 5 and 13; 122A.41, subdivision 6; and 
                  631.40, by adding a subdivision. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 122A.20, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [GROUNDS FOR REVOCATION, SUSPENSION, OR 
        DENIAL.] (a) The board of teaching or the state board of 
        education, whichever has jurisdiction over a teacher's 
        licensure, may, on the written complaint of the school board 
        employing a teacher, a teacher organization, or any other 
        interested person, refuse to issue, refuse to renew, suspend, or 
        revoke a teacher's license to teach for any of the following 
        causes: 
           (1) Immoral character or conduct; 
           (2) Failure, without justifiable cause, to teach for the 
        term of the teacher's contract; 
           (3) Gross inefficiency or willful neglect of duty; or 
           (4) Failure to meet licensure requirements; or 
           (5) Fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license. 
           The written complaint must specify the nature and character 
        of the charges.  
           (b) The board of teaching or the state board of education, 
        whichever has jurisdiction over a teacher's licensure, shall 
        refuse to issue, refuse to renew, or automatically revoke a 
        teacher's license to teach without the right to a hearing upon 
        receiving a certified copy of a conviction showing that the 
        teacher has been convicted of child abuse, as defined in section 
        609.185, or sexual abuse under section 609.342, 609.343, 
        609.344, 609.345, 609.3451, subdivision 3, or 617.23, 
        subdivision 3, or under a similar law of another state or the 
        United States.  The board shall send notice of this licensing 
        action to the district in which the teacher is currently 
        employed. 
           (c) A person whose license to teach has been revoked, not 
        issued, or not renewed under paragraph (b), may petition the 
        board to reconsider the licensing action if the person's 
        conviction for child abuse or sexual abuse is reversed by a 
        final decision of the court of appeals or the supreme court or 
        if the person has received a pardon for the offense.  The 
        petitioner shall attach a certified copy of the appellate 
        court's final decision or the pardon to the petition.  Upon 
        receiving the petition and its attachment, the board shall 
        schedule and hold a disciplinary hearing on the matter under 
        section 214.10, subdivision 2, unless the petitioner waives the 
        right to a hearing.  If the board finds that, notwithstanding 
        the reversal of the petitioner's criminal conviction or the 
        issuance of a pardon, the petitioner is disqualified from 
        teaching under paragraph (a), clause (1), the board shall affirm 
        its previous licensing action.  If the board finds that the 
        petitioner is not disqualified from teaching under paragraph 
        (a), clause (1), it shall reverse its previous licensing action. 
           (d) For purposes of this subdivision, the board of teaching 
        is delegated the authority to suspend or revoke coaching 
        licenses under the jurisdiction of the state board of education. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 122A.40, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [PROBATIONARY PERIOD.] (a) The first three 
        consecutive years of a teacher's first teaching experience in 
        Minnesota in a single district is deemed to be a probationary 
        period of employment, and after completion thereof, the 
        probationary period in each district in which the teacher is 
        thereafter employed shall be one year.  The school board must 
        adopt a plan for written evaluation of teachers during the 
        probationary period.  Evaluation must occur at least three times 
        each year for a teacher performing services on 120 or more 
        school days, at least two times each year for a teacher 
        performing services on 60 to 119 school days, and at least one 
        time each year for a teacher performing services on fewer than 
        60 school days.  Days devoted to parent-teacher conferences, 
        teachers' workshops, and other staff development opportunities 
        and days on which a teacher is absent from school must not be 
        included in determining the number of school days on which a 
        teacher performs services.  Except as otherwise provided in 
        paragraph (b), during the probationary period any annual 
        contract with any teacher may or may not be renewed as the 
        school board shall see fit.  However, the board must give any 
        such teacher whose contract it declines to renew for the 
        following school year written notice to that effect before June 
        1.  If the teacher requests reasons for any nonrenewal of a 
        teaching contract, the board must give the teacher its reason in 
        writing, including a statement that appropriate supervision was 
        furnished describing the nature and the extent of such 
        supervision furnished the teacher during the employment by the 
        board, within ten days after receiving such request.  The school 
        board may, after a hearing held upon due notice, discharge a 
        teacher during the probationary period for cause, effective 
        immediately, under section 122A.44.  
           (b) A board must discharge a probationary teacher, 
        effective immediately, upon receipt of notice under section 
        122A.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), that the teacher's 
        license has been revoked due to a conviction for child abuse or 
        sexual abuse. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 122A.40, 
        subdivision 13, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 13.  [IMMEDIATE DISCHARGE.] (a) Except as otherwise 
        provided in paragraph (b), a board may discharge a 
        continuing-contract teacher, effective immediately, upon any of 
        the following grounds: 
           (a) Immoral conduct, insubordination, or conviction of a 
        felony; 
           (b) Conduct unbecoming a teacher which requires the 
        immediate removal of the teacher from classroom or other duties; 
           (c) Failure without justifiable cause to teach without 
        first securing the written release of the school board; 
           (d) Gross inefficiency which the teacher has failed to 
        correct after reasonable written notice; 
           (e) Willful neglect of duty; or 
           (f) Continuing physical or mental disability subsequent to 
        a 12 months leave of absence and inability to qualify for 
        reinstatement in accordance with subdivision 12. 
           For purposes of this subdivision paragraph, conduct 
        unbecoming a teacher includes an unfair discriminatory practice 
        described in section 363.03, subdivision 5. 
           Prior to discharging a teacher under this paragraph, the 
        board must notify the teacher in writing and state its ground 
        for the proposed discharge in reasonable detail.  Within ten 
        days after receipt of this notification the teacher may make a 
        written request for a hearing before the board and it shall be 
        granted before final action is taken.  The board may, however, 
        suspend a teacher with pay pending the conclusion of such 
        hearing and determination of the issues raised in the hearing 
        after charges have been filed which constitute ground for 
        discharge.  
           (b) A board must discharge a continuing-contract teacher, 
        effective immediately, upon receipt of notice under section 
        122A.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), that the teacher's 
        license has been revoked due to a conviction for child abuse or 
        sexual abuse.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 122A.41, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [GROUNDS FOR DISCHARGE OR DEMOTION.] (a) Except 
        as otherwise provided in paragraph (b), causes for the discharge 
        or demotion of a teacher either during or after the probationary 
        period must be: 
           (1) Immoral character, conduct unbecoming a teacher, or 
        insubordination; 
           (2) Failure without justifiable cause to teach without 
        first securing the written release of the school board having 
        the care, management, or control of the school in which the 
        teacher is employed; 
           (3) Inefficiency in teaching or in the management of a 
        school; 
           (4) Affliction with active tuberculosis or other 
        communicable disease must be considered as cause for removal or 
        suspension while the teacher is suffering from such disability; 
        or 
           (5) Discontinuance of position or lack of pupils. 
           For purposes of this subdivision paragraph, conduct 
        unbecoming a teacher includes an unfair discriminatory practice 
        described in section 363.03, subdivision 5.  
           (b) A probationary or continuing-contract teacher must be 
        discharged immediately upon receipt of notice under section 
        122A.20, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), that the teacher's 
        license has been revoked due to a conviction for child abuse or 
        sexual abuse. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 631.40, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [LICENSED TEACHERS.] When a person is convicted 
        of child abuse, as defined in section 609.185, or sexual abuse 
        under section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, 609.3451, 
        subdivision 3, or 617.23, subdivision 3, the court shall 
        determine whether the person is licensed to teach under chapter 
        122A.  If the offender is a licensed teacher, the court 
        administrator shall send a certified copy of the conviction to 
        the board of teaching or the state board of education, whichever 
        has jurisdiction over the teacher's license, within ten days 
        after the conviction. 
           Sec. 6.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 5 are effective the day following final 
        enactment and apply to licensing actions occurring on or after 
        that date. 
           Presented to the governor May 21, 1999 
           Signed by the governor May 24, 1999, 10:07 a.m.

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