Superintendent’s Memo No. 206-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 1, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  2014 General Assembly Revision to the Grievance Procedure

The 2014 General Assembly revised Section 22.1-309 of the Code of Virginia related to procedures for adjusting grievances.  The deadline for a teacher to request a hearing after receiving written notice of a recommendation of dismissal has been extended from five business days to 10 business days.  This revision to the section of the Code shown below became law effective July 1, 2014.

§ 22.1-309. Notice to teacher of recommendation of dismissal; school board not to consider merits during notice; superintendent required to provide reasons for recommendation upon request.

In the event a division superintendent determines to recommend dismissal of any teacher, written notice shall be sent to the teacher notifying him of the proposed dismissal and informing him that within 10 business days after receiving the notice the teacher may request a hearing before the school board or, at the option of the local school board, a hearing officer appointed by the school board as provided in § 22.1-311.  During such 10-business-day period and thereafter until a hearing is held in accordance with the provisions of this section, if one is requested by the teacher, the merits of the recommendation of the division superintendent shall not be considered, discussed or acted upon by the school board except as provided for in this section.  At the request of the teacher, the division superintendent shall provide the reasons for the recommendation in writing or, if the teacher prefers, in a personal interview.  In the event a teacher requests a hearing pursuant to § 22.1-311, the division superintendent shall provide, within 10 days of the request, the teacher or his representative with the opportunity to inspect and copy his personnel file and all other documents relied upon in reaching the decision to recommend dismissal.  Within 10 days of the request of the division superintendent, the teacher or his representative shall provide the division superintendent with the opportunity to inspect and copy the documents to be offered in rebuttal to the decision to recommend dismissal.  The division superintendent and the teacher or his representative shall be under a continuing duty to disclose and produce any additional documents identified later which may be used in the respective parties' cases-in-chief. The cost of copying such documents shall be paid by the requesting party.

For the purposes of this section, "personnel file" means any and all memoranda, entries, or other documents included in the teacher's file as maintained in the central school administration office or in any file on the teacher maintained within a school in which the teacher serves.

If you have any question regarding this revision to the statute, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Patty S. Pitts, assistant superintendent for teacher education and licensure, by telephone at (804) 371-2522 or by e-mail at Patty.Pitts@doe.virginia.gov.

SRS/psp