Each year when a school district chooses not to renew a teachers contract for the following year, they must notify the teacher in writing no later than April 15. Upon receiving this non-renewal letter, a teacher has 15 days to serve a written request for a hearing in front of the Board.
A recently enacted law by the South Carolina Legislature allows a School Board to appoint an independent hearing officer to oversee this, and the hearing must be held within 45 days of the request. Under previous law, the Board was required to hold the hearing within 15 days of receipt of the request.
This newly enacted law extended the period allowing the School Board to schedule a hearing to 45 days, but left the requirement that a teacher must request the hearing within 15 days. The School Board has 200% more time on their end to schedule hearing under the new law. Another classic example of School Teachers not being protected adequately.
In many cases in the past few years, teachers rights have been trampled by the Charleston County School District, who in many cases didn’t hold teachers hearings until months after requests were made, a complete violation of substantive and procedural due process. All teachers in South Carolina deserve a fair chance to a hearing, and often 15 days is not ample time to request this.