General. When serving as a tribunal on behalf of a Local Board
hearing a matter involving the termination or nonrenewal of a contract of
employment or demotion of a teacher, principal, or other employee having a
contract for a definite term, the Commission will follow the rules and
procedures utilized by such Local Board for such hearings. The Georgia
Administrative Procedure Act shall not apply.
Grounds for Termination or
Suspension. The contract of employment of a teacher, principal or other
employee having a contract for a definite term may be nonrenewed, terminated or
suspended for the following reasons: Incompetency; Willful neglect of duties;
Immorality; Inciting, Encouraging or counseling students to violate any valid
state law, municipal ordinance, or policy or rule of the Local Board: To reduce
staff due to loss of students or cancellation of programs; Failure to secure
and maintain necessary educational training; or Any other good and sufficient
Before the discharge or suspension of a teacher, principal, or other employee
having a contract of employment for a definite term, written notice of the
charges shall be served at least 10 days before the date set for hearing and
Cause. The cause
or causes for his/her discharge, suspension, or demotion in sufficient detail
to enable him/her fairly to show any error that may exist therein.
Witnesses and Evidence. The
names of the known witnesses and a concise summary of the evidence. The names
of new witnesses shall be given as soon as practicable.
Time and Place. The time and
place where the hearing thereon will be held.
Subpoenas. That the charged
teacher or other person, upon request, shall be furnished with compulsory
process or subpoenas legally requiring the attendance of witnesses and the
production of documents and other papers as provide by law.
notices required relating to suspension from duty shall be served either
personally or by certified mail. All notices required relating to demotion,
termination, non-renewal of contract, or reprimand shall be served by certified
mail. Service shall be deemed to be perfected when the notice is deposited in
the United States mail addressed to the last known address of the addressee
with sufficient postage affixed to the envelope.
Counsel and Subpoenas. Any
teacher, principal, or other person against whom charges have been brought
shall be entitled to be represented by counsel and, upon request shall be
entitled to have subpoenas or other compulsory process issued for attendance of
witnesses and the production of documents and other evidence. Such subpoenas
and compulsory process shall be issued in the name of the Local Board and shall
be signed by the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of the Local Board. In all
other respects, such subpoenas and other compulsory process shall be subject to
the requirements of law.
Request. In the
event that the Local Board seeks to have the Commission served as a tribunal
for hearing the matter, the Local Board must so request in writing. The
Executive Director shall designate a tribunal of Commission members to consists
of not less than three nor more than five impartial persons possessed of
academic expertise to conduct a hearing and to submit its findings and
recommendations to the Local Board for its decision.
Report. The hearing shall be
reported at the Local Board's expense. An original and two copies shall be
filed in the Office of the Local Superintendent. In the event of an appeal to
the State Board, the original shall be transmitted to the State Board as
required by its rules.
Oath. Oath or affirmation shall be administered to all witnesses
by the Chairperson of the tribunal or his designee, or by the Hearing Officer
if so requested by the Chairperson. Such oath shall be as follows: You do
solemnly swear (or affirm) that the evidence shall be the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth. So help you God.
Evidence. All questions
relating to admissibility of evidence or other legal matters shall be decided
by the Chairperson or presiding officer, subject to the right of either party
to appeal to the full hearing tribunal; provided, however, the parties by
agreement may stipulate that some disinterested members of the State Bar of
Georgia shall decide all questions of evidence and other legal issues arising
before the tribunal. In all hearings, the burden of proof shall be on the
school system, and it shall have the right to open and to conclude. Except as
otherwise provided herein, the same rules governing non-jury trials in the
Superior Courts shall prevail.
Decisions and Appeals. The
tribunal shall file its findings and recommendations with the Local Board
within five days of the conclusion of the hearing unless otherwise stipulated
by the parties, and the Local Board shall render its decision thereon within
ten days after receipt of the transcript. Appeals may be taken to the State
Board in accordance with O.C.G.A. Section
20-2-1160, as now or hereafter
amended and the rules and regulations of the State Board governing