☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 168

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  168.221.  Probationary period for teachers — removal of probationary and permanent personnel — hearing — demotions — reduction of personnel (metropolitan districts). — 1.  The first five years of employment of all teachers entering the employment of the metropolitan school district shall be deemed a period of probation during which period all appointments of teachers shall expire at the end of each school year.  During the probationary period any probationary teacher whose work is unsatisfactory shall be furnished by the superintendent of schools with a written statement setting forth the nature of his or her incompetency.  If improvement satisfactory to the superintendent is not made within one semester after the receipt of the statement, the probationary teacher shall be dismissed.  The semester granted the probationary teacher in which to improve shall not in any case be a means of prolonging the probationary period beyond five years and six months from the date on which the teacher entered the employ of the board of education.  The superintendent of schools on or before the fifteenth day of April in each year shall notify probationary teachers who will not be retained by the school district of the termination of their services.  Any probationary teacher who is not so notified shall be deemed to have been appointed for the next school year.  Any principal who prior to becoming a principal had attained permanent employee status as a teacher shall upon ceasing to be a principal have a right to resume his or her permanent teacher position with the time served as a principal being treated as if such time had been served as a teacher for the purpose of calculating seniority and pay scale.  The rights and duties and remuneration of a teacher who was formerly a principal shall be the same as any other teacher with the same level of qualifications and time of service.

  2.  After completion of satisfactory probationary services, appointments of teachers shall become permanent, subject to removal for any one or more causes herein described and to the right of the board to terminate the services of all who attain the age of compulsory retirement fixed by the retirement system.  In determining the duration of the probationary period of employment in this section specified, the time of service rendered as a substitute teacher shall not be included.

  3.  No teacher whose appointment has become permanent may be removed except for one or more of the following causes:  immorality, incompetency, or inefficiency in line of duty, violation of the published regulations of the school district, violation of the laws of Missouri governing the public schools of the state, or physical or mental condition which incapacitates him for instructing or associating with children, and then only by a vote of not less than a majority of all the members of the board, upon written charges presented by the superintendent of schools, to be heard by the board after thirty days' notice, with copy of the charges served upon the person against whom they are preferred, who shall have the privilege of being present at the hearing, together with counsel, offering evidence and making defense thereto.  At the request of any person so charged the hearing shall be public.  During any time in which powers granted to the district's board of education are vested in a special administrative board, the special administrative board may appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing.  Should the special administrative board relinquish power to the district's elected board of education, such board of education may also appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing.  The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing as a contested case under chapter 536 and shall issue a written recommendation to the board rendering the charges against the teacher.  The board shall render a decision on the charges upon the review of the hearing officer's recommendations and the record from the hearing.  The action and decision of the board upon the charges shall be final.  Pending the hearing of the charges, the person charged may be suspended if the rules of the board so prescribe, but in the event the board does not by a majority vote of all the members remove the teacher upon charges presented by the superintendent, the person shall not suffer any loss of salary by reason of the suspension.  Incompetency or inefficiency in line of duty is cause for dismissal only after the teacher has been notified in writing at least thirty days prior to the presentment of charges against him by the superintendent.  The notification shall specify the nature of the incompetency or inefficiency with such particularity as to enable the teacher to be informed of the nature of his or her incompetency or inefficiency.

  4.  No teacher whose appointment has become permanent shall be demoted nor shall his or her salary be reduced unless the same procedure is followed as herein stated for the removal of the teacher because of inefficiency in line of duty, and any teacher whose salary is reduced or who is demoted may waive the presentment of charges against him by the superintendent and a hearing thereon by the board.  The foregoing provision shall apply only to permanent teachers prior to the compulsory retirement age under the retirement system.  Nothing herein contained shall in any way restrict or limit the power of the board of education to make reductions in the number of teachers or principals, or both, because of insufficient funds, decrease in pupil enrollment, or abolition of particular subjects or courses of instruction, except that the abolition of particular subjects or courses of instruction shall not cause those teachers who have been teaching the subjects or giving the courses of instruction to be placed on leave of absence as herein provided who are qualified to teach other subjects or courses of instruction, if positions are available for the teachers in the other subjects or courses of instruction.

  5.  Whenever it is necessary to decrease the number of teachers because of insufficient funds or a substantial decrease of pupil population within the school district, the board of education upon recommendation of the superintendent of schools may cause the necessary number of teachers beginning with those serving probationary periods to be placed on leave of absence without pay, but only in the inverse order of their appointment.  Nothing herein stated shall prevent a readjustment by the board of education of existing salary schedules.  No teacher placed on a leave of absence shall be precluded from securing other employment during the period of the leave of absence.  Each teacher placed on leave of absence shall be reinstated in inverse order of his or her placement on leave of absence.  Such reemployment shall not result in a loss of status or credit for previous years of service.  No appointment of new teachers shall be made while there are available teachers on unrequested leave of absence who are properly qualified to fill such vacancies.  Such leave of absence shall not impair the tenure of a teacher.  The leave of absence shall continue for a period of not more than three years unless extended by the board.

  6.  If any regulation which deals with the promotion of teachers is amended by increasing the qualifications necessary to be met before a teacher is eligible for promotion, the amendment shall fix an effective date which shall allow a reasonable length of time within which teachers may become qualified for promotion under the regulations.

  7.  A teacher whose appointment has become permanent may give up the right to a permanent appointment to participate in the teacher choice compensation package under sections 168.745 to 168.750.

  8.  Should the state mandate that professional development for teachers be provided in local school districts and any funds be utilized for such, a metropolitan school district shall be allowed to utilize a professional development plan for teachers which is known within the administration as the "St. Louis Plan", should the district and the teacher decide jointly to participate in such plan.


(L. 1963 p. 200 § 9-22, A.L. 1967 p. 238, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1469 merged with S.B. 781, A.L. 2005 H.B. 297 merged with S.B. 299, A.L. 2009 S.B. 291, A.L. 2010 H.B. 1543, A.L. 2013 S.B. 125, A.L. 2019 H.B. 604)

(Source: RSMo 1959 § 165.590)

(1984) Statute authorizing leaves of absence for probationary teachers deals with layoffs; it does not deal with nonrenewal of contracts.  Nonrenewal is covered by separate statute.  St. Louis Teachers Union Local 420 v. St. Louis Bd. of Educ. of the City of St. Louis, 666 S.W.2d 25 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(1996)  Semester means a period of time equal to one calendar semester.  Soward v. Mahan, 926 S.W.2d 138 (Mo.App. E.D.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 2019 ----

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168.221 8/28/2019
168.221 8/28/2013 8/28/2019
168.221 8/28/2010 8/28/2013
168.221 8/28/2009 8/28/2010
168.221 8/28/2005 8/28/2009

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