Limited Employment for Long-Term Substitute Teachers

“If you have any questions regarding long-term substitute teaching, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.”

Navigating the complexities of long-term substitute teaching can be challenging for both educators and school administrators. Long-term substitutes often find themselves in a gray area, uncertain about their rights and job security.

The lack of clarity surrounding their status can result in unexpected employment issues, leaving substitutes and school boards scrambling for solutions.

This blog post outlines the rights of long-term substitutes, and provides guidance on how to properly manage contract renewals to safeguard the interests of all parties involved.

Who Is Considered To Be a Teacher?

According to the Teacher Tenure Act, a “teacher” is any certified professional employee below the rank of superintendent who has been employed by a board of education. They have to have worked for at least ninety calendar days in a position requiring a State Board of Education certificate (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151(a)(2)).

Certification regulations (Conn. St. Regs. § 10-145d-420) further specify that a person teaching continuously in the same assignment for forty or more school days must hold either a substitute authorization or a teaching certificate.

In essence, if a long-term substitute is certified for the position they occupy and have been employed for more than ninety calendar days in a certified position, they qualify as a “teacher” under the Act.

The Rights of Long-Term Substitutes

As a “teacher,” a long-term substitute is entitled to specific rights under the Teacher Tenure Act. One critical aspect is outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151(c):

Termination and Renewal of Employment Contracts

The employment contract of a teacher who has not yet achieved tenure can be terminated at any time for reasons specified in subdivisions (1) to (6) of subsection (d) of this section. If none of these reasons apply, the teacher’s contract will automatically extend into the next school year unless the teacher is notified in writing by May 1 of the current school year that the contract will not be renewed for the following year.

Implications for Long-Term Substitutes

Based on this provision, a long-term substitute might argue that their employment contract as a “teacher” was automatically renewed for the next school year unless they receive written notice of non-renewal before May 1. While it is uncommon for a long-term substitute to make such a claim, it is advisable to provide the notification of non-renewal to avoid potential issues.

Failing to send a non-renewal notice might result in an unexpected inquiry from the substitute in the fall about their assignment for the upcoming school year.

Need More Information?

Understanding the employment rights and definitions within the Teacher Tenure Act is essential for both long-term substitute teachers and the educational institutions that employ them.

By clarifying the role of a “teacher” and ensuring proper certification, schools can better manage their staffing needs and avoid potential legal pitfalls. It’s crucial to provide timely notifications of contract renewals or non-renewals to prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smooth transition into each new school year.

If you have any questions or need further assistance with long-term substitute teaching issues, don’t hesitate to contact one of our experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy. Based in Westport, Connecticut, we’re here to help you navigate these complexities of education law

and protect your rights.

Key Takeaways

  • Definition of a Teacher: A “teacher” is any certified professional employee below the rank of superintendent, working for a board of education for at least ninety days in a position that requires a State Board of Education certificate.
  • Certification Requirement: Long-term substitutes must have either a substitute authorization or a teaching certificate if they teach in the same assignment for forty or more school days.
  • Rights Under the Teacher Tenure Act: Certified long-term substitutes qualify as “teachers” under the Act, granting them specific rights.
  • Contract Renewal: A long-term substitute’s employment contract will automatically renew for the next school year unless they receive written notice of non-renewal by May 1 of the current school year.
  • Importance of Notification: Providing written notice of non-renewal by May 1 is crucial to avoid unexpected claims from long-term substitutes regarding their assignment for the next school year.