§ 1410 Notice of intention to terminate services.
(a) In the event that any board desires to dispense with the services of any teacher, such board shall give notice in writing to such teacher on or before May 15 of any year of its intention to terminate said teacher's services at the end of such school year. For teachers identified pursuant to § 1403(a)(1) or (2) of this title, such written notice shall state the reasons for such intended termination of services and shall be accompanied by a copy of this chapter; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to those teachers employed temporarily to replace professional personnel on leave of absence or those holding temporary certificates.
(b) Teachers other than those identified pursuant to § 1403(a)(1) or (2) of this title may, within 7 days of receiving notice of intention to terminate services, request in writing, the reason or reasons for such notice. The board will provide such reason or reasons in writing and a copy of this chapter no later than 5 days after receipt of such a request, provided that the stated reason or reasons must have either been contained in the teacher's performance appraisal, and the teacher was provided time to correct any deficiency through an individualized improvement plan or other documented materials properly placed in the teacher's personnel file prior to said notice. In providing the reason or reasons, the board is not limited to the reasons set forth in § 1411 of this title. Within 7 days of receiving the reason or reasons for the notice of intention to terminate services, a teacher may request in writing a conference with the board's superintendent for the purpose of discussing the reason or reasons and attempting to resolve any disputed matter. Within 10 days of receiving such a request for a conference, the superintendent shall personally provide the teacher a conference to review the matter. The conference with the superintendent is final and conclusive. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to teachers employed temporarily to replace professional personnel on leave of absence or to teachers holding temporary certificates.
§ 1411 Reasons for termination.
Termination at the end of the school year shall be for 1 or more of the following reasons: Immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, disloyalty, neglect of duty, wilful and persistent insubordination, a reduction in the number of teachers required as a result of decreased enrollment or a decrease in education services. The board shall have power to suspend any teacher pending a hearing if the situation warrants such action.
14 Del. C. 1953, § 1411; 50 Del. Laws, c. 39, § 1.;
§ 1412 Notice of termination.
In the event that a teacher fails to request a hearing, as herein provided, the aforesaid notice of intent to terminate services shall be construed as a notice of termination.
14 Del. C. 1953, § 1412; 50 Del. Laws, c. 39, § 1.;
§ 1413 Hearing by terminating board.
(a) In the event that a teacher so notified shall within 10 days after the receipt of written notice of intention to terminate services request in writing an opportunity to be heard by the terminating board, the board shall set a time for such hearing to be held within 21 days after the date of receipt of said written request, and the board shall give the teacher at least 15 days' notice in writing of the time and place of such hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by a majority of the members of the board and shall be confined to the aforementioned written reasons as stated in the board's written notice of the board's intention to terminate the teacher's services. The conduct of such hearings and such rules of procedure as may be found necessary shall be left entirely to the discretion of the board provided that:
(1) The teacher shall have the option to indicate whether or not that teacher wishes the hearing to be public, by so stating in that teacher's own written request for a hearing; otherwise the hearing shall be private;
(2) The teacher may be represented by counsel;
(3) The teacher and the board may subpoena witnesses. Subpoenas shall be issued by the secretary of the board upon written request, and such subpoenas shall be directed to the sheriff of the county where the witness resides or is employed within the State, and, upon service of such subpoena, the witness shall be compelled to appear subject to the same penalties for failure to appear that govern subpoena proceedings before the Superior Court of the State;
(4) The teacher and the board and counsel for each may cross-examine witnesses;
(5) Testimony before the board shall be under oath;
(6) The testimony to be heard shall be confined to the reasons stated in the written notice of intent to terminate service. Any evidence shall be admissible during the hearing which is adjudged by the board to be pertinent to the reasons contained in the written notice which the teacher received and which stated the reasons for dismissal;
(7) A stenographic record of the hearing shall be taken and prepared by a qualified court stenographer and paid for by the board, and shall be supplied to the teacher and the board within 10 days following the conclusion of the hearing;
(8) The decision of the board shall be submitted in writing to the teacher within 15 days following the conclusion of the hearing;
(9) If the decision is in favor of the teacher, the teacher shall be fully reinstated and shall receive all salary lost as a result of that teacher's temporary dismissal or suspension.
(b) Any provision of this chapter to the contrary notwithstanding, the board may designate a hearing officer to conduct the hearing prescribed by subsection (a) of this section under rules and regulations promulgated by the board. The hearing officer shall submit a report with a recommendation to the board, within 5 days of the conclusion of the hearing, which shall become part of the record. A majority of the board shall convene to review the records of the proceedings and, within 15 days of the hearing before the hearing officer, shall submit to the employee its decision in writing.
§ 1414 Judicial review.
A decision of the board shall be final and conclusive unless, within 10 days after a copy thereof has been received by the teacher, the teacher appeals to the Superior Court for the county in which the teacher was employed. In case of every such appeal, the cause shall be determined by the Court from the record which shall include a certified copy of the evidence, findings and the decision of the board, without the aid of a jury. The notice of appeal and all other matters regulating the appeal shall be in the form and according to the procedure as shall be provided by the Rules of the Superior Court. The Court shall decide all relevant questions of law and all other matters involved, and shall sustain any board action, findings and conclusions supported by substantial evidence. The Court may reverse, affirm or modify the decision of the board or remand the cause to the board for a rehearing. In case any cause shall be remanded to the board for a rehearing, the procedure and the rights of all parties to such cause shall be the same as in the case of the original hearing before the board. If the decision is in favor of the teacher, the teacher shall be fully reinstated and shall receive all salary lost as a result of that teacher's temporary dismissal or suspension.