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Administrator Nonrenewal Timelines

Boards planning to nonrenew an administrator’s employment contract must take steps to comply with the timelines and proce­dural requirements in Section 1229 of the Revised School Code. Failure to follow the statutory nonrenewal process (or related con­tract provisions) may result in the administrator’s contract renewing for an additional year.

The nonrenewal process for a certified school administrator (other than a superintendent) is multi-stepped. To nonrenew, a school must follow a strict procedure that requires two board reso­lutions, no­tices that must be sent to the administrator, a written statement identifying the reason(s) why 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) for nonrenewal.

Under Section 1229, a school must notify the affected administra­tor that the board is “considering” nonrenewal and in­clude a written statement of the reasons for nonrenewal at least 90 days before the administrator’s contract expires. Because some individual contracts may specify a longer notice period, it is im­portant to carefully review each affected administrator’s contract to determine the timelines and procedures necessary for nonrenewal.

Before making a final nonrenewal determination, the board must provide a period of at least 30 days after the affected admin­istrator is informed that the board is considering nonrenewal to allow the administrator to meet with at least a majority of the board to discuss the stated reasons for nonrenewal. Closed session review may occur at the administrator’s request.

The board then must make its final determination on nonrenewal and give the administrator written notice of that deci­sion at least 60 days before the administrator’s contract expires. A school may only nonrenew an administrator’s employment contract for a reason that is not “arbitrary or capricious.”

The nonrenewal process for a superintendent is less complex, requiring only that the superintendent be notified in writing at least 90 days before the end of the contract term. Because a super­intendent’s contract may specify a longer notice period, it is im­portant to carefully review a superintendent’s contract to determine the timelines and procedures necessary for nonrenewal.

Because many variables may affect the timelines and procedures to nonrenew an administrator’s contract, it is critical to start preparing for the process as soon as possible. We recommend starting the process no later than March 15. Further, individual employment contracts for all administrators (superintendent and non-superintendent) should be reviewed for additional terms, such as an “evergreen” clause, that may automatically extend a contract before the final year of the term without affirmative board action. Your Thrun Law Firm labor attorney can help navigate the nonrenewal process and provide the resolutions, notices, and other documents needed to complete the process.