The termination notice deadline for first-time probationary teachers and previously tenured teachers is NOT the same.
If a school district decides to terminate a probationary teacher for unsatisfactory performance, the Teachers’ Tenure Act currently requires that the teacher be provided a written notice that his/her work has been “ineffective” and that his/her “services will be discontinued.” This written notice must be provided to the teacher at “least 15 days before the end of the school year.” MCL 38.83(1)
Typically, probationary teachers commence employment at the traditional Labor Day start of the school year. Given that the legal end of the school year is June 30, the deadline for the notice of discontinuance is June 15 of the teacher’s final probationary year.
For many years, the Teachers’ Tenure Act had provided a notification period of 60 days prior to the end of the school year, or April 30. The former 60 days notice applied to all probationary teachers, regardless of whether the teacher had gained tenure with another Michigan school district before starting work for the current school district.
However, when the legislature changed the notice period from 60 to 15 days (2011 Public Act 101), it did so only as to probationary teachers who have not obtained tenure status with another school district prior to starting work with the current school district.
Although, in all probability, the legislature did not actually intend to create two different notice periods, its failure to include previously tenured teachers within the 15 day provision of 2011 Public Act 101, undeniably produced this result.
Therefore, although first-time probationary teachers serve a five (5) year probationary period and are subject to notice of discontinuance no later than June 15, previously tenured teachers serve a two (2) year probationary period and are subject to notice of discontinuance no later than April 30 of the final probationary year.
Simple rule – possibly dire consequences if you don’t know it.