DFER CO: Colorado Supreme Court unequivocal in support of Teacher Effectiveness Law

Colorado Supreme Court unequivocal in support of Teacher Effectiveness Law

In a critical ruling that has huge implications for the rights of education leaders to determine who teaches in their schools, the Colorado Supreme Court today issued a resounding decision in support of Senate Bill 191, 2010’s landmark teacher effectiveness legislation.

The court ruled in unanimous fashion that 191 did not deprive teachers of due process rights in requiring “mutual consent” between principals and teacher candidates before those candidates are hired.

Our public schools work best when school leaders have authority to manage, evaluate and ultimately hire teachers of their choosing. We support policies that allow principals and their teams of educators to make building-level hiring decisions, holding them accountable for student performance and allowing them flexibility to exercise sound, professional judgement.

Students will have access to a better education system where adults are held accountable for serving them well, and educators are empowered to make choices about employment to serve students’ best interests.

Below is the wording of the ruling:

In this case, the Supreme Court considers two questions. First, it considers whether the General Assembly, by enacting the Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act of 1990 (“TECDA”), created a legislative contract that it later impaired by enacting the unpaid-leave provisions of section 22-63-202(2)(c.5), C.R.S. 16 (2017).

Second, it considers whether a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under section 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(IV) is deprived of due process. The Supreme Court holds that TECDA did not create a legislative contract or vest nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave with a property interest in salary and benefits.

The Supreme Court therefore concludes that the General Assembly has not impaired a contractual obligation by enacting the unpaid-leave provisions, and that nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave have not suffered a violation of their right to due process.