Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 49: Education

Chapter 5: Personnel

Part 5: Teachers' Tenure

TCA 49-5-504: Probation.

(a) Any teacher, otherwise qualified for tenure status, shall meet the following requirements prior to becoming eligible for tenure status:

(1) Served five (5) school years or not less than forty-five (45) months within a seven-year period as a probationary teacher; and

(2) Received evaluations demonstrating an overall performance effectiveness level of "above expectations" or "significantly above expectations" provided by the evaluation guidelines adopted by the state board of education pursuant to § 49-1-302, during the last two (2) years of their probationary period; provided, however, that a teacher who has met all other requirements for tenure eligibility but has not acquired an official evaluation score during the last one (1) or two (2) years of the probationary period due to an approved extended leave; transfer to another school or position within the school district; or invalidated data due to a successful local level evaluation grievance pursuant to § 49-1-302(d)(2)(A) may utilize the most recent two (2) years of available evaluation scores achieved during the probationary period to meet the provisions of this subdivision (a)(2).

(b) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, once a teacher is eligible for tenure, the teacher shall be either recommended by the director of schools for tenure or nonrenewed; provided, however, that the teacher cannot be continued in employment if tenure is not granted by the board of education.

(c) Time spent on leave of absence, except sick leave as provided in § 49-5-710, shall not be counted as a part of the probationary period.

(d) A teacher who has attained tenure status in a school system and later resigns from the system shall serve a two-year probationary period upon reemployment by the system, unless the probationary period is waived by the board of education upon request of the director of schools. Upon completion of the two-year probationary period, the teacher shall be eligible for tenure and shall be either recommended by the director of schools for tenure or nonrenewed; provided, however, that the teacher cannot be continued in employment if tenure is not granted by the board of education.

(e) Any teacher who, after acquiring tenure status, receives two (2) consecutive years of evaluations demonstrating an overall performance effectiveness level of "below expectations" or "significantly below expectations," as provided by the evaluation guidelines adopted by the state board of education pursuant to § 49-1-302, shall be returned to probationary status by the director of schools until the teacher has received two (2) consecutive years of evaluations demonstrating an overall performance effectiveness level of "above expectations" or "significantly above expectations." When a teacher who has returned to probationary status has received two (2) consecutive years of evaluations demonstrating an overall performance effectiveness level of "above expectations" or "significantly above expectations," the teacher is again eligible for tenure and shall be either recommended by the director of schools for tenure or nonrenewed; provided, however, that the teacher cannot be continued in employment if tenure is not granted by the board of education.

(f) Subsection (e) does not apply to teachers who acquired tenure prior to July 1, 2011.

History: Acts 1951, ch. 76, §§ 4, 8 (Williams, §§ 2345.4, 2345.8); Acts 1965, ch. 195, § 1; 1973, ch. 298, § 1; T.C.A (orig. ed.), §§ 49-1403, 49-1406; Acts 1987, ch. 308, § 26; 2006, ch. 574, §§ 1, 2; 2011, ch. 70, § 8; 2015, ch. 158, § 7.