A school district board of trustees voted to propose the nonrenewal of three teachers’ term contracts. The teachers requested a hearing regarding the nonrenewal of their contracts. However, they also filed a grievance, arguing that the board of trustees acted improperly in voting to propose the nonrenewal. The grievance was not heard or decided by the board of trustees, but instead was presented to the commissioner of education. The school district filed a motion to dismiss the grievance.
The commissioner of education dismissed the grievance. In doing so, he noted that the teachers were pursuing a hearing regarding the proposed nonrenewal of their contracts. A nonrenewal hearing and a grievance are two different proceedings. If the teachers felt that the board acted improperly when it proposed the nonrenewal, the hearing on the nonrenewal was the appropriate place to raise those concerns, not in a grievance. Additionally, the commissioner of education only considers appeals of grievances. Teachers who file a grievance must go through the process at the local level and may appeal to the commissioner of education after the board of trustees has had the opportunity to consider it. Because the teachers did not do this, the commissioner would not consider their grievance.