Teachers and Other School Personnel

ORS 342.815
Definitions for ORS 342

As used in ORS 342.805 (Short title) to 342.937 (Reimbursement for teacher dismissal costs) unless the context requires otherwise:


Notwithstanding ORS 342.120 (Definitions for chapter), “administrator” includes any teacher the majority of whose employed time is devoted to service as a supervisor, principal, vice principal or director of a department or the equivalent in a fair dismissal district but shall not include the superintendent, deputy superintendent or assistant superintendent of any such district or any substitute or temporary teacher employed by such a district.


“Board” means the board of directors of a fair dismissal school district.


“Contract teacher” means any teacher who has been regularly employed by a school district for a probationary period of three successive school years, and who has been retained for the next succeeding school year. The district school board may enter into agreements that provide for a shorter probationary period of not less than one year for teachers who have satisfied the three-year probationary period in another Oregon school district.


“District superintendent” means the superintendent of schools of a fair dismissal district or, in the absence of the superintendent, the person designated to fulfill the superintendent’s functions.


“Fair dismissal district” means any common or union high school district or education service district.


“Probationary teacher” means any teacher employed by a fair dismissal district who is not a contract teacher.


“Program of assistance for improvement” means a written plan for a contract teacher that with reasonable specificity:


Helps teachers adapt and improve to meet changing demands of the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century in ORS chapter 329 if applicable.


Identifies specific deficiencies in the contract teacher’s conduct or performance.


Sets forth corrective steps the contract teacher may pursue to overcome or correct the deficiencies.


Establishes the assessment techniques by which the district will measure and determine whether the teacher has sufficiently corrected the deficiencies to meet district standards.


“Substitute teacher” means any teacher who is employed to take the place of a probationary or contract teacher who is temporarily absent.


Notwithstanding ORS 342.120 (Definitions for chapter), “teacher” means any person who holds a teaching license or registration as provided in ORS 342.125 (Types of licenses) or 342.144 (American Indian languages teaching license) or who is otherwise authorized to teach in the public schools of this state and who is employed half-time or more as an instructor or administrator.


“Temporary teacher” means a teacher employed to fill a position designated as temporary or experimental or to fill a vacancy which occurs after the opening of school because of unanticipated enrollment or because of the death, disability, retirement, resignation, contract nonextension or dismissal of a contract or probationary teacher. [1965 c.608 §2; 1971 c.570 §12; 1977 c.880 §1; 1977 c.881 §2; 1979 c.668 §1; 1981 c.299 §1; 1993 c.45 §194; 1997 c.864 §4; 1999 c.199 §11; 2001 c.653 §5]

Notes of Decisions

Where school districts merge, reelection required to qualify teacher as permanent teacher in merged district means reelection by merged district following completion of succeeded-to employment contract. Sittser v. School District No. 12, 25 Or App 163, 548 P2d 511 (1976), Sup Ct review denied

Arbitrator’s order which reinstated teacher for “third probationary year” which would in fact be her fourth year of employment did not amount to award of permanent tenure since, under this section, only the district can confer tenure by an affirmative act of reelection. N. Clackamas Sch. Dist. v. N. Clackamas Educ. Assoc., 54 Or App 211, 634 P2d 1348 (1981)

Where petitioner was employed full-time as behind-the-wheel driving instructor during her first year of employment, her employment for that year was as “teacher” within meaning of this section. Humphreys v. Bethel Sch. Dist. 52, 54 Or App 867, 636 P2d 463 (1981)

Where petitioner received notice of renewal for fourth year by April 1 of third year, such notice did not immediately confer permanent status; teacher remains probationary after fourth-year renewal until completion of third year. Wesockes v. Powers Sch. Dist. No. 31, 57 Or App 652, 646 P2d 68 (1982). But see Smith v. Salem-Keizer School District, 188 Or App 237, 71 P3d 139 (2003), Sup Ct review denied

Fair Dismissal Law does not, within meaning of this section, apply to district’s termination of teacher for not holding valid teaching certificate or because teacher otherwise is not authorized to teach. Wagenblast v. Crook County School District, 75 Or App 568, 707 P2d 69 (1985)

Terminated school district employe was “superintendent” within definition of this section, Fair Dismissal Law did not apply to him, and FDAB correctly dismissed appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Babbitt v. Mari-Linn School Dist. No. 295, 94 Or App 161, 764 P2d 954 (1988), Sup Ct review denied

School year for purposes of identifying contract teacher is same as full year of employment described in ORS 342.840 for purposes of identifying probationary teacher. Smith v. Salem-Keizer School District, 188 Or App 237, 71 P3d 139 (2003), Sup Ct review denied

Law Review Citations

34 WLR 269 (1998)


Last accessed
May 30, 2023