The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2022.
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15-539. Dismissal of certificated teacher; due process; written charges; notice; hearing on request
A. On a written statement of charges presented by the superintendent, charging that there exists cause for the suspension without pay for a period of time greater than ten school days or dismissal of a certificated teacher of the district, the governing board, except as otherwise provided in this article, shall give notice to the teacher of its intention to suspend without pay or dismiss the teacher at the expiration of ten days from the date of the service of the notice.
B. Whenever the superintendent presents a statement of charges wherein the alleged cause for dismissal constitutes immoral or unprofessional conduct, the governing board may adopt a resolution that a complaint be filed with the department of education. Pending disciplinary action by the state board of education, the certificated teacher may be reassigned by the superintendent or placed on administrative leave by the governing board pursuant to section 15-540.
C. Except as provided in section 15-536, the governing board shall give a certificated teacher written preliminary notice of inadequacy of classroom performance pursuant to section 15-538 if its intention to dismiss is based on charges of inadequacy of classroom performance. If within the time specified in the written preliminary notice of inadequacy of classroom performance the teacher does not demonstrate adequate classroom performance, the governing board shall dismiss the teacher either within ten days of the service of a subsequent notice of intention to dismiss or by the end of the contract year in which the subsequent notice of intention to dismiss is served unless the teacher has requested a hearing as provided in subsection F of this section. If the teacher demonstrates adequate classroom performance during the period allowed to correct such deficiencies as specified in the written preliminary notice of inadequacy of classroom performance, the governing board may not dismiss the teacher for the reasons specified in the written preliminary notice of inadequacy of classroom performance. If the governing board of a school district has received approval to budget for a career ladder program, the governing board may define inadequacy of classroom performance by establishing a single level of performance that is required of all teachers or by establishing more than one required level of performance. If more than one level is established, the same level of performance for minimum adequacy shall be required of all teachers who have completed the same number of years of teaching in the district.
D. Any written statement of charges alleging unprofessional conduct, conduct in violation of the rules or policies of the governing board or inadequacy of classroom performance shall specify instances of behavior and the acts or omissions constituting the charge so that the certificated teacher will be able to prepare a defense. If applicable, it shall state the statutes, rules or written objectives of the governing board that the certificated teacher is alleged to have violated and set forth the facts relevant to each occasion of alleged unprofessional conduct, conduct in violation of the rules or policies of the governing board or inadequacy of classroom performance.
E. The notice shall be in writing and shall be served on the certificated teacher personally or by United States registered or certified mail addressed to the teacher's last known address. A copy of the charges, together with a copy of this section and sections 15-501, 15-538.01, 15-540, 15-541, 15-542, 15-544, 15-545, 15-546 and 15-547, shall be attached to the notice.
F. The certificated teacher who receives notice that there exists cause for dismissal or suspension without pay shall have the right to a hearing if the teacher files a written request with the governing board within ten days of service of notice. The filing of a timely request shall suspend the imposition of a suspension without pay or a dismissal pending completion of the hearing.