-1 `--TTJT I T TTV
ti i, IT I
CONTINUITY 0 SER
TEACHERS IN FLOF11)
rdR IMPROVEMENT OF SCITOOT-S
I'D J T"
STATE DEPARTMENT Fmt
CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
TEACHERS IN FLORIDA
FOR IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOLS
Bulletin No. 16
FLORIDA WORK-CONFERENCE ON SCHOOL
EDGAR L. MORPHET, Director
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, Gainesville
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
COLIN ENGLISH, State Superintendent
M. W. CAROTHERS, Director of Instruction, Florida State Department of
HOWARD A. DAWSON, Director of Rural Service, National Education Association
EDGAR L. MORPHET, Director of Administration and Finance, Florida State De-
partment of Education
JAMES S. RICKARDS, Executive Secretary, Florida Education Association
FLORIDA HANDBOOK COMMITTEE
TOM ALEXANDER, Supervising Principal, Hollywood
SARA FERGUSON, Teacher, Orlando Memorial Junior High School
LEON GRAY, Principal, Mt. Pleasant
MRS. VIVIAN GROSS, Teacher, Robert E. Lee Junior High School, Miami
FLORIDA ADVISORY COMMITTEE
F. N. K. BAILEY, Superintendent, Highlands County
T. W. LAWTON, Superintendent, Seminole County
Miss JESSIE MILLER, Superintendent, Manatee County
ED J. KEEFE, Board Member, Hillsborough County
CARL WIDELL, Board Member, Palm Beach County
MRS. MINNIE K. BARBER, Trustee, Volusia County
E. L. MATHEWS, Trustee, Orange County
T. D. BAILEY, Supervising Principal, Ocala
A. J. GEIGER, Supervising Principal, St. Petersburg
MRS. ANN HARTMAN, Principal, Kenley Elementary School, Tampa
R. J. LONGSTREET, Supervising Principal, Daytona Beach
ELSIE PADGETT, Teacher, Crescent City
A. R. MEAD, Director of Educational Research, University of Florida
MRS. MALCOLM MCCLELLAN, President, Florida Congress of Parents-and
Sponsored by THE RESEARCH COMMITTEE of the
FLORIDA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
This bulletin is based on the assumption that the public schools of
Florida are maintained by all the people of the State for the advancement
of all the people, especially the youth, and that this advancement
depends largely upon the teachers employed in the schools and their
contribution to society. Everyone therefore should be interested in a
program which will protect and encourage competent teachers and
which will also help protect the schools and community against the
incompetent. There have been instances where schools have been handi-
capped and the progress of pupils interrupted by unwarranted
dismissal of good teachers. The responsibility for such dismissals has
sometimes rested with the principal or county superintendent, some-
times with the county board or trustees, and sometimes with a group
of citizens of the community. Regardless of who was at fault, in such
cases, all citizens should be interested in providing adequate protection
for competent teachers as a means of assuring better opportunities
for the children.
The proposals presented in this bulletin represent the joint efforts
of the bulletin committee, of an advisory committee, and a staff of
competent advisors as listed on a previous page. Many of the proposals
are an outgrowth of discussions of leading educators from the Southern
States who assembled at Daytona Beach from June 3 to 14, 1940, for
the Southern States Work-Conference on School Administrative Prob-
lems. The Florida Committee continued its study and completed work
on the bulletin during the following four weeks at the University of
The State Department of Education, the Florida Education Asso-
ciation, the Florida Association of County School Board Members,
and the Florida Congress of Parents and Teachers are united in the
effort to define this issue, to set forth some of the problems, and to
make recommendations for the improvement of teaching services in
Colin English, State Superintendent
Marguerite Morse, President of Florida Education Association
Mrs. Malcolm McClellan, President, Florida Congress of
Parents and Teachers
R. P. Terry, President State Association of County School
TABLE OF CONTENTS
RESOLUTIONS RELATING TO CONTINUITY OF
SERVICE FOR TEACHERS ..................................................... v
I. POINT OF VIEW
T h e P r o b le m .................................................................................... ...................... 1
A aspects of the P problem ......................... ............... ... ................... 1
S olvin g th e P problem ..................................................... ........ ............ 3
II. PRINCIPLES RELATING TO IMPROVED CONDI-
TIONS OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
G en er a l P r in cip les ............................ .. ............................................................. 4
Principles Specifically Related to Continuity of
S e r v ic e .................... .................. ............................ ......................... .. 5
III. TRENDS IN CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
T h e P resen t S itu action ........................................... ..... ..................... 7
Improvements in Policies and Practices....................................... 9
Im prove ents in L aw ............................................................................. 9
IV. PROBLEMS AND ISSUES IN CONTINUITY OF SERV-
L a ck o f H a rm on y .......................................................... ................................ 1 1
Problems Directly Involving Continuity of Service .... 11
R elated P problem s .................. ................ ........................... .............. 13
C o n c lu s io n ................................................................................................................. 1 4
V. CODE OF ETHICS FOR TEACHERS
C odes of E this in F lorida ............................................ ........................ 15
Proposed Code of Ethics for Florida Teachers.................... 16
VI. SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND
How Improvements Can be Made.............................................. 19
Appointment and Promotion Policies...................................... 19
P policies R elating to D ism issal ........ ............................................ .... 22
The Continuing Contract Policy.................................. 24
E this C om m ittee ...................................................................................... .... 27
VII. ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS OF ETHICS COM-
Need for Ethics Committee ................ ................................ 28
The State Ethics Committee ......... ........................................ 28
District or County Ethics Committees..................................... 30
S u m m a r y ................................................................................................ .................. 3 3
VIII. SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN LAWS
Provisions Approved by 1941 Legislature .................................. 36
Provisions Considered but not Acted upon by the
1941 L legislature ............. ............................................. .............. 38
IX. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ................ ............................... 41
RESOLUTION OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
RELATING TO CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
BE IT RESOLVED, THAT, as a further step toward encouraging
competent teachers to remain and improve in service and toward
improving the instructional program for the children of the State, the
County Board and trustees of each county should adopt policies which
will assure the equivalent of continuing contracts for members of the
instructional staff who have served satisfactorily and successfully in
the county and which will assure the observance of the principles and,
procedures recommended in the bulletin Continuity of Service for
Teachers in Florida.
Approved: April 1, 1941.
RESOLUTION OF THE FLORIDA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
RELATING TO CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
WHEREAS: The Citizens of Florida are greatly interested in steps
which will assure better schools for the children of the state,
WHEREAS: Competent and efficient teachers are necessary for
every school if the needs of the children are to be served satisfactorily,
WHEREAS: Competent teachers should have every assurance that
they will be continued in their positions as long as they render satis-
WHEREAS: It is a well known fact that there are now many areas
in the State in which teachers do not have this assurance, and there
have been many instances where capable teachers have had to face
the discouraging experience of being replaced without valid reason,
WHEREAS: Any plan which is developed should protect competent
teachers, but should make it relatively easy to replace those who are
incompetent and who fail to improve in service,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
1. That in a Democracy any plan designated to give competent
teachers needed assurance of Continuity of Service should, insofar as
practicable, be based on mutual understanding and voluntary coopera-
2. That the voluntary plan proposed by the Committee on Con-
tinuity of Service constitutes a major step toward obtaining this
3. That every County Board and the trustees in each district in
the State should be asked and expected to adopt the policy of Con-
tinuity of Service for teachers by adopting and making public as their
policy the resolution proposed by the Committee on Continuity of
Service or an equivalent resolution: provided that this shall not be
construed as replacing the tenure provisions of such counties as now
operate under tenure laws, and provided further that nothing in this
report shall be understood to discourage counties who have no tenure
law from working toward the adoption of a local tenure act,
4. That the adoption and observance of proper ethical principles
and practices by County Boards, trustees, and administrators, as well
as by teachers, will promote continuity of service for teachers through-
out the State,
5. That a committee comprised of representatives of all of these
groups should be appointed by the Florida Education Association to
study Codes of Ethics and ethical practices and to recommend im-
6. That present laws relating to Continuity of Service for teachers
should be strengthened by being amended in the following respects:
A. County Boards should be definitely required in all cases to
notify teachers concerning reappointment by the time pre-
scribed by law.
B. County Boards should be authorized to give continuing con-
tracts to members of the instructional staff who have served
satisfactorily for more than two years and laws conflicting
with this provision should be revised.
7. That the work of the committees who prepared the bulletin and
report on Continuity of Service for Teachers be heartily endorsed and
commended by this group.
Adopted: March 20, 1941.
POINT OF VIEW
Continuity of service for teachers constitutes one important phases
of the entire field of education. To improve this aspect would therefore
be one of the best ways of improving schools. If competent teachers
can be assured of the opportunity to continue in their work without
fear of loss of position as long as they render efficient and satisfactory
service this phase of education presents no problem. So long, however,
as good teachers are faced with the prospect of dismissal without cause
at the end of any year, or at any time, the school program is handi-
capped by unnecessary interruptions and uncertainties. To the extent
that teachers are discouraged or made to feel insecure by such condi-
tions their efficiency is reduced and the entire school program is made
For a number of years school patrons and officials in many com-
munities have recognized the need of improving those practices which
control continuity of service. They recommended a continuity of
service provision for the School Code which unfortunately was not
included in the final draft. In four counties local laws have been
passed to assure teachers of tenure and of no dismissal without cause
and without due notice. Notwithstanding the progress that has been
made in certain localities, the problem is far from being solved for
the state as a whole.
In this bulletin the term teacher is used, as in school law, to apply
to all persons serving in an instructional or supervisory capacity. It
includes all teachers and other members of the instructional staff,
librarians, principals, attendance assistants and supervisors.
ASPECTS OF THE PROBLEM
There are two aspects to the problem of continuity of service for
teachers. One concerns and directly involves teachers and may be
considered as the internal phase. The other also concerns teachers,
but deals primarily with organization and administration and involves
2 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
the legislature, board members and trustees. This may be considered
as the external phase.
Responsibility of Teachers
If the internal phase is to be solved the teachers must first look
to their own improvement and to the improvement of their profession.
They will want to make sure that only the capable teacher who is
continually growing in the profession and who has potentialities for
becoming a master teacher, is kept in service. Most teachers will
readily agree that it is necessary and desirable for them to work
diligently in the following ways to improve themselves and their
1. Rather than being satisfied to meet merely minimum require-
ments, they will realize the need of preparing themselves to
render a fine type of service and to seek from year to year to
improve themselves professionally in every possible way.
2. They will recognize the dignity of the profession and the need
of upholding the quality of work regardless of salary or other
3. They will formulate and adopt a code of ethics which all teachers
may follow to attain the highest ideals of their profession and
which individual teachers may use for guidance in their own
4. They will approve the naming of committees to establish policies
in the field of ethics, to investigate apparent violations of ethical
practices, and to require careful adherence to the code.
Responsibility of Administration
Other things being equal, children are better taught when admin-
istrative procedures insure satisfactory teaching conditions. A num-
ber of administrative procedures are very directly and intimately related
to continuity of service for teachers. For example, if teachers
have to renew contracts annually, if they are not notified regarding
their positions for the ensuing year until just a short time before school
opens, or if they can be dismissed at any time with little formality and
with no reason other than one which may be personal or political, it is
obvious that the entire situation would tend to discourage competent
teachers and to make them feel insecure in their positions. If, on the
other hand, teachers have continuing contracts, can be dismissed only
POINT OF VIEW 3
for cause with proper notification given before school closes in the spring
rather than later in the summer, conditions of service will be much
A number of other important administrative procedures but which
are usually less directly connected with continuity of service such as
those concerning methods of selecting teachers, assignment of teach-
ers to their positions, salaries and salary schedules, size of classes and
teaching load, instructional supplies and other similar matters are
discussed in the bulletin Providing Better Teachers for Florida Schools*
which should be studied by all teachers.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM
In view of the generally recognized fact that many competent
teachers in Florida still have no assurance of satisfactory continuity
of service, it should be observed that there is need of more careful
analysis of this problem, and likewise of more careful evaluation of
It will be apparent from the beginning that no one step or pro-
cedure will suffice. Like most other problems, continuity of service
has many phases and aspects. Unless the ultimate proposal deals
with each of these, it can only be a partial solution. Moreover, it
should be clear that there can be no panacea, such as a legislative
measure, which is intended to settle the question once and for all.
Laws can be effective only if practice is sufficiently advanced for the
legislation to be workable. In fact, in many cases improvement in
practice must take place before laws can even be enacted. Any program
that is proposed, therefore, must be concerned both with ways apd
means of improving practice and with necessary legislation to see that
desirable practices are observed in all sections of the State.
One of the first steps is to get agreement on fundamental prin-
ciples which underlie any concrete proposals for improvement of con-
tinuity of service. The principles which are proposed for acceptance
in Florida are given in the next chapter. It is obvious that any solu-
tion must grow out of and be based on these principles.
*Providing Better Teachers for Florida Schools. Florida Program for Im-
provement of Schools, Bulletin No. 15, State Department of Education.
PRINCIPLES RELATING TO IMPROVED CONDITIONS
OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
As a basis for proposing a program which will result in more satis-
factory conditions of service for competent teachers in Florida the
principles below are submitted for consideration. These principles
may be said to be sufficiently valid to be accepted by all persons in-
terested in the improvement of schools. Specific proposals relating to
steps for improving conditions of service for teachers which are given
in later chapters of this bulletin are based on these principles.
1. The educational welfare of pupils in the public schools is best promoted
and protected through the services of competent administrators and teachers.
(a) Without competent administrators and teachers, pupils will be handi-
capped in the training which they receive.
(b) Without a satisfactory plan of school organization and the support
of good administrative practices, even the best of teachers are
at a disadvantage.
(c) Good administration would accomplish little without the support
of capable teachers.
(d) When the services of competent teachers and administrators can
be assured parents may be fairly certain that the education of their
children will proceed satisfactorily.
2. Competent administrators and teachers can not be assured for all schools
A. Each member of the teaching profession and the entire profession
is growing constantly and effectively to meet the problems of our
B. Society recognizes the value of competent teachers by:
(a) Encouraging capable people to enter teaching and to continue
as long as they serve efficiently.
(b) Recognizing teachers as belonging to a profession which carries
prestige and respect.
(c) Accepting the responsibility for providing revenue commensurate
with the needs.
C. School officials endeavor to provide:
(a) Salaries adequate for satisfactory living instead of mere sub-
IMPROVED CONDITION OF SERVICE 5
(b) Desirable and challenging.working situations.
(c) Salary schedules based on training and experience.
(d) Opportunity and incentive for use of individual talents and
(e) Continuing contracts.
PRINCIPLES SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
1. Adequate safeguards for security and continuity of service for com-
petent teachers are essential to protect and promote the educational welfare of
pupils. Unless such safeguards are provided competent teachers may be re-
placed by incompetent ones or may be discouraged from continuing in the pro-
fession and the educational program handicapped thereby. "Reasonable security
practices for the teaching profession serve to attract persons of better quality
and education to the teaching profession. They also serve to retain their
*services, and to prompt continuing professional study."*
2. To provide proper safeguards for the educational welfare of pupils, ad-
ministrative procedures and practices must be such as to encourage competent
teachers to remain in the profession. If teachers are to be in position to render
most effective services they must be assured of desirable working conditions, of
materials and aids adequate to meet their needs, and of progressive administra-
tive practices which will facilitate good teaching.
3. Adequate and carefully observed codes of ethics for school adm'inistra-
tire officials, county board members, and trustees are essential elements of
administrative practices and procedures needed to safeguard the welfare of
pupils and teachers. Unless such codes of ethics are developed many schools
will not have acceptable standards by which to measure their practices and
attitudes. Such codes are proposed in separate handbooks which have been
developed for county board members, trustees, county superintendents, and
4. A satisfactory and effective code of ethics for teachers is a necessary
part of any plan for assuring imnprored conditions of service for teachers. Any
plan providing for security of teachers should be based upon the idea that every
teacher has the responsibility, in addition to competent classroom instruction,
of conforming to the principles of conduct and relationships set forth in the
code of professional ethics. Such a code of ethics and ways of making it
effective are proposed in another chapter of this bulletin.
5. A competent teacher should have the opportunity for continuous employ-
ment as long as he is professional and ethical in his attitudes and relationships
and as he renders satisfactory service.
6. Standards for training, certification, and selection of beginning teachers
should be high enough to prevent inefficient persons from coming into the pro-
fession. If standards are low and teacher traiinin institutions are not en-
couraged to withhold their stamp of approval from those who are unfit, in-
competent teachers will be added to the profession each year and the problem
of thereafter eliminating them will make it almost impossible to protect compe-
7. Successful operation of a continuity of service plan for teachers depends
*Security for the Teaching Profession, Illinois Education Association, Study Unit
Volume 2. Number 9.
6 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
upon an adequate state system of encouraging or requiring continuous profes-
sional growth of teachers. Professional growth may be promoted by such
measures as: attending summer school periodically, participating in educational
studies, active participation in educational organizations, studying educational
books and magazines, and other activities which help to broaden the outlook
8. In any system that assures improved conditions of service for teachers,
the public has a right to expect safeguards which will help to prevent incom-
petent teachers from continuing in service. If the removal of teachers who
are really incompetent presents too many difficulties the needs of the children
are bound to suffer. The procedure for dismissal of teachers who are definitely
incompetent should involve a minimum of formality. Such safeguards are
proposed in this bulletin.
9. Public school officials and teachers should exert every effort to encourage
the voluntary adoption of those practices and procedures which will assure
satisfactory opportunity for continuance in service for competent teachers.
Practices which are on a voluntary basis are more desirable and usually on a'
higher level than those which are followed merely because they are required
10. If competent teachers are to render their best service they should be
relieved from concern about annual renewal of contracts and about unethical
and unwarranted dismissal at any time. This implies that contracts, at least
after a certain period of time, should be on a continuing basis.
11. Basic practices and procedures found to be desirable for the protection
of competent teachers in service will need to be prescribed by law to assure
their proper observance in all counties. Unless such procedures are prescribed
by law, some of them at least will not be observed at times in some counties
and this will sooner or later result in an injustice to the children. Moreover,
the law should be sufficiently strong and specific to require the observance of
procedures that are accepted as desirable and to prevent trustees and other
school officials from finding ways and means of evading the requirements.
TRENDS IN CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
THE PRESENT SITUATION
Examination of some trends and of the present situation in our State
furnishes both sharp contrast and favorable comparison to the principles
set forth in Chapter II. The extent to which competent teachers can
be reasonably assured that they will have opportunity to continue in
service varies greatly among counties in Florida, and often among
districts in the same county. In some places incompetent teachers
are almost as likely to be selected and retained in service as the com-
petent. In others every effort is made to select competent teachers
and to encourage them to feel secure and to continue in their positions.
When present practices are interpreted in the light of principles given
in the previous chapter many of them are found to be far from desirable.
The following are some of the variations encountered in a wide range
of counties and districts:
1. Patrons and trustees expect as a
matter of course to change teachers
and principals every year or every
2. Politics and nepotism frequently in-
fluence the selection and dismissal of
3. Teachers have been kept in sus-
pense regarding reappointment until a
few days prior to the beginning of
school. Some teachers have first learn-
ed of their failure of reappointment
through the newspapers.
4. Certain teachers and school of-
ficials have been flagrantly unethical
in their dealings with one another.
For example, there are rumors in a
few instances of teachers who in order
to hold their positions have faced the
necessity of making contributions to
5. Practices vary so greatly in the
counties that teachers do not know
what to expect from year to year.
1. Competent teachers have every rea-
son to expect proper protection and
opportunity to continue in their posi-
tions as long as they desire.
2. Teachers are selected, assigned and
retained in positions on the basis of
3. Teachers are notified concerning
their reappointment as much as three
months before the close of school
4. Ethical practices are so carefully
observed that violations bring public
condemnation of either administrators
5. Sound policies have been adopted,
made known publicly and followed from
year to year.
8 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
Tradition. This variation is brought about by a number of factors.
One of the strongest of these is tradition. For some reason in a number
of communities the people seem to feel that teachers and principals
are not a part of the community and that they should "move on" after
a year or two. That point of view is most often encountered in the
smaller communities where the schools have frequently served as step-
ping stones for better positions elsewhere.
In other communities the tradition seems to have developed that the
schools are to serve partly as relief agencies. In those communities
teachers may be assigned to positions because they are local products,
need work, are related to someone who has influence or because they
give political support to the group responsible for employing teachers.
Policies of school officials. The policies of school officials are, of
course, likely to be influenced or determined by the sentiment in the
county or community they serve. Their policies may carry out or
perpetuate these traditions. On the other hand, school officials may
adopt policies and follow practices that help to bring about improve-
ment in the attitude of people. Officials may establish the policy of
recognizing merit in selection and retention of employees. They may
set successively higher standards as a means of strengthening personnel,
or adopt similar progressive policies. The fact that school officials
in some localities have adopted and followed sound policies, while in
others they have merely confused issues or may even have followed
practices which have hindered rather than helped school progress, ex-
plains much of the variation now found.
Laws. Four counties have secured the enactment of local statutes
which are so-called "tenure" laws. Such laws were adopted for Hills-
borough and Orange Counties in 1935, for Volusia County in 1937, and
for Escambia County in 1939.
The law for each of these counties differs from that in each of the
others. From the point of view of a statewide program that situation
is unsatisfactory and is certain to lead to complications if followed over
a long period of time.
These local laws have undoubtedly resulted in considerable improve-
ment in the counties named. They have given teachers better protec-
tion. In fact, in some of the counties, many people feel that the less
competent teachers may be too well protected and may tend to become
too complacent. Many teachers, as well as laymen, believe that the
problem has not been satisfactorily solved by these local laws.
TRENDS IN CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND PRACTICES
During recent years there have been encouraging, voluntary develop-
ments in the field of continuity of service. These improvements have
been brought about not by law but by the fact that more and more
people recognize the importance of giving competent teachers a greater
feeling of security and more incentive to continue in their positions.
Among some of the improvements in policies and practices worthy
of note are the following:
1. Some county boards, while not operating under a tenure law, have
accepted the principle of continuity of service as shown by the fact that
their annual turn-over of teachers is less than two percent.
2. .Some boards have given principals contracts for more than one year.
3. Dade County has provided a continuing contract plan for all its teachers
as indicated by the following excerpt from the minutes of that Board
of Public Instruction of June 14, 1940:
"BE IT RESOLVED that the policy of the Board of Public Instruction
is, and shall be, that all employment of its employees shall continue
indefinitely until the same is terminated for a reason deemed sufficient
by the Superintendent after a hearing before the Board of Public In-
struction, and that this resolution shall be deemed a part of every
contract, oral, written, or implied."
IMPROVEMENTS IN LAW
Notwithstanding the fact that the School Code was enacted without
including the more liberal provision for continuity of service recom-
mended by the Continuing Council and concurred in by school board
members and trustees, it does include changes in general law relating
to the reappointment and dismissal of teachers which are improvements
over any previous laws. These changes are sound and in the right
direction but some of them do need to be supplemented and strengthened.
1. Qualifications. It is now the duty of County Boards to prescribe qualifi-
cations for positions to be filled in the county. This means that trustees must
nominate teachers who meet minimum qualifications prescribed by the county
board and that the county board may reject any who do not meet those require-
ments (Sec. 423 (7) (a).) Previously the law did not clearly give that
responsibility to the county board and as a result they were practically forced
to appoint persons nominated by trustees, regardless of qualifications.
2. Recommendations. Trustees are required to consider recommendations
of the principal and county superintendent before nominating teachers, and of
the county superintendent before nominating principals. (Sec. 443 (1) (2).
Previously there was no recognition in the law that a principal should recom-
mend the teachers for his school.
3. Appointment Date. Trustees are required to submit nominations for
10 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
reappointment of principals to the county board at least eight weeks before the
close of school and nominations for reappointment of teachers at least six
weeks before the close of school It is the duty of county boards to appoint
principals six weeks before the close of school and teachers four weeks before
the close of school regardless of whether trustees have acted. If vacancies
occur after that time trustees must file nominations within a reasonable time
as prescribed by the county board. (Sec. 443 (1) (2) and 423 (7) (c) (d).
Under previous laws no time limit was designated for nominations and trustees
are known to have waited until almost the opening of school before making
known their plans, a practice which was most unfair to teachers.
4. Uniform contracts. All teachers are required to be supplied with written
contracts at least one month before school begins providing for definite terms
of service, definite salaries and a definite number of payments. If this is not
done severe penalties are provided. The State Board has now prescribed uni-
form contracts meeting this requirement. (Sec. 423 (7) (g) and 1002 (3)).
Previous laws had no such requirement and teachers sometimes had no contract
or had a very indefinite form of contract that permitted salary reductions or
dismissal at any time.
5. Dismissal. The law requires that ". No member of the instructional
staff may be discharged or removed during the term for which he is employed
without opportunity to be heard at a public hearing after at least ten days'
written notice of the charges against him . ." (Sec. 423 (7) (i). Under old
laws teachers, except where the contract otherwise provided, could be dismissed
any time without a hearing or other formality.
PROBLEMS AND ISSUES IN CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
In spite of the fact that progress has been made there have been a
few disturbing developments and in many localities numerous problems
remain to be solved.
LACK OF HARMONY
Lack of harmony-even antagonism between teachers and school
officials has developed in a few communities. The reason for this devel-
opment has not always been clear except that personalities have some-
times beconle involved and attention has tended to center on personality
conflicts instead of on principles on which agreement might be reached.
School officials have occasionally felt that teachers were too insistent
on their rights, while some teachers have felt that school officials
were too much inclined to exercise arbitrary authority.
Regardless of the justice of these contentions the fact remains that
problems cannot be solved by conflict. Such situations harm the entire
school program, including the groups involved in the conflict. Even the
public is likely to become disturbed and confused to the extent that
the schools may be denied needed support. In the long run the children
If attention can be centered on the underlying principles (Chapter
II) concerning which agreement can be reached, and all action be
planned in harmony with those principles it should be possible to avoid
such unfortunate situations, or to work them out satisfactorily if they
PROBLEMS DIRECTLY INVOLVING CONTINUITY OF SERVICE
Reappointment. While most county boards and trustees have ob-
served the requirements of the School Code with respect to reappoint-
ment, some few have failed to do so. For example, some trustees did
not nominate teachers within the prescribed time so the county board
instead of taking action as authorized, merely waited, in some instances
12 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
for several weeks. In other cases the county board did not act for a
number of weeks after trustee nominations had been submitted. The
principals and teachers involved were not notified concerning reappoint-
ment by the time prescribed by law. They could only wait until the
school officials were ready to act, or resort to measures for removal of
the officials-a procedure which would be hazardous for the teachers
concerned. The Attorney General advises that present law does not
furnish an effective way to make these dilatory officials act at the time
specified. This is clearly a weakness in the School Code which school
and lay members of the original code committee sought to remedy by
recommendations which they made in advance of the 1939 Legislature.
Until the Code is amended in this respect there can not be a complete
solution to the continuity of service problem.
Annual contracts. Under present law all contracts have to be on an
annual basis, or must be renewed annually. Annual contracts mean
that the problem of reappointment has to be faced every spring and that
positive action must be taken to make any reappointment. To dismiss
a teacher at the end of the year, that is to fail to re-employ for the new
year, is easier and requires far less formality than to give consideration
to that teacher's reappointment. As long as that condition prevails
almost every conceivable factor may interfere with and operate to pre-
vent satisfactory continuity of service.
Recent studies in the state indicate that one out of every four newly
employed teachers moves at the end of the first year and that many
other teachers move at the end of the second or third year. Of course,
some of these teachers move voluntarily, others should be moved or
possibly dismissed, but in all too many cases reappointment is withheld
for no valid reason.
One out of every three principals moves at the end of each year.
As long as that condition prevails many schools of the state will have
little stability of program or personnel.
Ethical practices. From time to time there have been reports of
more or less serious violations of proper ethical practices by teachers and
school officials alike. These reports have included cases where teachers
have "jumped" their contract or have sought to undermine and get
for themselves the position of another, to school officials who have
sought a bribe or a portion of a teacher's salary as a condition of
giving him an appointment, or have dismissed teachers for purely
political or personal reasons. The Florida Education Association might
well consider bringing its own Code of Ethics to bear upon this ques-
PROBLEMS AND ISSUES 13
tion of continuity of service. Until some plan for investigating and
correcting such unethical practices is developed and put into operation
the solution of the problem will be delayed. Not only do teachers have
the responsibility for seeing that their own code of ethics is effective
but county boards and trustees should adopt and follow similar codes
of ethics in order to meet their share of the responsibility for the
solution of this problem.
It is just as important that progress be made in solving related prob-
lems as that problems directly involving continuity of service be rec-
ognized. In fact, one phase of the problem cannot, in the final analysis,
be satisfactorily solved unless other phases are improved. Some of the
important related problems commonly encountered at present are as
discussed below. For a more complete discussion see the bulletin
Providing Better Teachers for Florida Schools.
Teacher Education. While education of teachers has been greatly
improved the fact remains that many potentially good teachers are not
being educated for teaching, that many not well adapted to teaching
are still being trained and sent out as candidates for teaching positions,
that much of the education for teachers is still not sufficiently practical
or properly balanced, and that there is too much of a gap or break
between the college program for educating teachers and the problems
the beginning teacher must face.
Selection. While trustees are required to consider the recommen-
dations of the principal and the county superintendent, they can still,
if they choose to do so, nominate teachers who are not wanted by the
principal and who will not work constructively with him. The principal
should be held responsible for his school and no teacher should be
nominated unless he has first been recommended by the principal, prefer-
ably with the concurrence of the county superintendent.
Placement. Teachers should be assigned to teach only in fields in
which they are trained. Teachers still are sometimes "hired to teach",
then later assigned to teach work for which they are poorly prepared.
Salaries. Salaries in many counties are far from adequate and as
a result many good teachers are lost to the profession.
Salary Schedules. Although many counties now have single salary
schedules, others continue to pay higher salaries for secondary teach-
14 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
ers, regardless of training; in a few counties higher salaries still seem to
be based more on favoritism than merit.
Working Conditions. Working conditions for teachers in a few
counties are deplorable. When there is no effective professional leader-
ship, when class load is too large, when equipment and supplies are
inadequate, when progressive practices are discouraged, and when
finances are so chaotic that money which should be available for the
current program is spent uneconomically or is tied up to pay debts
developed during prior years, good teachers are likely to be dis-
couraged and will want to secure a position elsewhere or will leave the
Qualifications. Apparently no qualifications other than those re-
quired for certification are prescribed in some counties and teachers
holding the lowest grade of certificate are employed each year. In fact,
some counties frequently seek to obtain emergency certicates, particu-
larly for Negro teachers. Also there are places where teachers with
little or no training are permitted to teach year after year without
making any effort to improve their status while well qualified teachers
may go without positions.
Politics and Nepotism. All too frequently teachers are employed or
dismissed for other than professional reasons. Politics, nepotism and
localism make satisfactory continuity of service impossible.
From all the foregoing it becomes apparent that some plan of assur-
ing better continuity of service for competent teachers and principals
is needed. In fact there should be a method of re-employment which
would make dismissal of competent teachers more difficult, instead of
easier, than reappointment.
CODE OF ETHICS FOR TEACHERS
A satisfactory code of ethics for teachers is specifically related to
any plan for improving continuity of service for teachers. In view of
the fact that teachers themselves can take this step it seems logical
to begin with the discussion of steps to bring about improved condi-
tions of service with a proposed code of ethics. By a code of professional
ethics is meant a statement or definition of desirable relationships
and practices which should exist among members of the teaching pro-
fession (that is all members of the instructional staff) and between
employing officials and teachers. If such a code of ethics for teachers
can be adopted and practiced by all teachers, and codes of ethics for
board members, trustees and other groups of school officials can simi-
larly be drawn and observed by those groups, these steps alone should
result in marked improvement in continuity of service for teachers.
Plans for assuring that codes of ethics are observed are just as impor-
tant as the development of satisfactory codes of ethics.
CODES OF ETHICS IN FLORIDA
Years ago Florida teachers recognized the value of a code of ethics.
In its 1924 annual meeting Florida Education Association approved
appointment of a Committee to write a code of ethics. This code ap-
peared in March 1926 issue of The Journal of the Florida Education
Association. This sentence, in the article presenting the code was
significant-"The action of the Florida Education Association in this
connection is in keeping with a nationwide movement along this line."
In 1939 a revised code of ethics, drawn up and presented by FEA
Department of Classroom Teachers, was formally adopted at the annual
meeting of the Association.
These developments in Florida parallel developments elsewhere Edu-
cation associations in many states have during recent years adopted
*The first state code of ethics for teachers was adopted by the Georgia
Education Association in 1896. Since then 36 other state associations have
adopted similar documents and hundreds of codes have been prepared by
individuals and local groups of teachers. The NEA appointed a committee
on ethics in 1924 which, after five years of careful study, prepared a national
code for teachers which was adopted in 1929. A committee of the Association
is now at work preparing a revision of this code-Ethics for Teachers, by
Theodore D. Martin.
16 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
codes of ethics. The National Education Association has proposed a
code of ethics which has been used in many states for guidance in
formulating their own codes of ethics. This general movement has
resulted in marked improvements in practice throughout the Nation.
Teachers come more and more to recognize and avoid practices that
Up to the present, in Florida, statewide codes of ethics have not
been drawn up or adopted by trustees, boards of education, or other
school officials. As indicated in the statement of principles in the
previous chapter, this is a necessary step to accompany codes of ethics
for teachers. In separate handbooks codes of ethics for trustees, board
members and other school officials are proposed for further considera-
tion and adoption.
The code adopted by Florida Education Association in 1939 sets forth
professional attitudes and relationships of the teachers in three areas:
toward the pupil, toward the community, and toward the profession.
It is printed below with certain proposed changes and additions ap-
pearing in italics. In order to improve practices affecting continuity
of service as well as the profession generally, it is recommended that
the Assocition amend this code by adopting the italicized phrases and
PROPOSED CODE OF ETHICS FOR FLORIDA TEACHERS
Relations Toward the Pupils
1. The teacher should recognize that the welfare of the child is
the principal obligation of his profession.
2. The teacher should respect the individuality of each pupil; he
should instruct the pupil according to his requirements.
3. The teacher should deal justly and impartially with every child.
4. The teacher should be sympathetic and courteous toward his
5. The teacher should consider and treat all information concerning
his pupils as a confidential and professional matter.
6. The teacher should refrain from imposing his religious or politi-
cal views upon his pupils.
7. The teacher should not tutor for pay, pupils in his class.
CODE OF ETHICS 17
8. The teacher should not permit his educational work to be used
for partisan politics, personal gain, or selfish propaganda.
9. The teacher should seek to establish friendly and intelligent
cooperation between the home and the school.
Relation Toward the Community
1. The teacher should function as a constructive member of his
2. The teacher should attempt to conduct himself in such a way that
his services to the community will be most effective.
3. The teacher should refrain from belittling in any way the com-
munity in which he is employed.
4. The teacher should exercise his full rights as a citizen but should
avoid controversies which may tend to decrease his value as a teacher.
5. The teacher should respect the social practices and customs
of the community in which he is employed.
6. The teacher should not act as agent, or accept a commission,
royalty, or other reward for books or supplies in the selection or pur-
chase of which he can influence or exercise the right of decision; nor
should he accept a commission or other compensation for helping an-
other teacher secure a position.
Relation Toward the Profession
1. The teacher should be a person of high moral character.
2. The teacher should in his personal habits and social relation-
ships so conduct himself that he may avoid unfavorable criticism.
3. The teacher should maintain his efficiency and teaching skill by
study, and by contact with local, state and national educational organi-
4. While not limiting his services by reason of small salary, the
teacher should expect and insist upon a salary scale suitable to his place
5. A teacher should not interfere in such matters as discipline or
grades involving another teacher and his pupil.
CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
1. A teacher should not apply for a specific position unless a vacancy
is known to exist.
2. The contract after having been signed, should not be dissolved
except by mutual consent of both parties.
3. A teacher should apply for a position through the principal or
county superintendent, not through trustees or board members.
1. Teachers should not make unfavorable criticism of other members
of the profession.
2. Teachers should cooperate by giving and accepting constructive
advice. They should give credit to their associates for their achieve-
ments in and contributions to the profession.
3. Teachers should recognize and respect the authority of, and
should be loyal to the principal and school officials.
4. No one should enter the profession merely to earn a livelihood
until ready for another vocation.
5. Teachers should accept qualifications-professional readiness and
personality-as the determining factors in appointment and promotions.
6. It is the ethical duty of all teachers and other educators to make
themselves familiar with and to observe all the school laws and regula-
tions of the state.
SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND PRACTICES
How IMPROVEMENTS CAN BE MADE
Improved conditions of service for teachers do not need to wait on
changes in law. In fact, changes in law frequently cannot be made until
practices have been improved in a number of communities in the state.
People will then come to recognize the improved practice as valid and
desirable in all communities and will be willing to support a law requir-
ing that it be observed. Most, although not all, of the changes that need
to be made in Florida to bring about satisfactory improvement in
continuity of service for teachers could be made without additional
law. What is necessary is that people should recognize the practice
as desirable and that school officials should set about to put it into
Improvement in policies and practices is therefore recommended as a
first and immediate objective for all communities in which the recom-
mended practice is not already being observed. Adoption of the desir-
able policies and practices indicated below is recommended for those
trustees and county boards which have not already put such policies
APPOINTMENT AND PROMOTION POLICIES
Qualifications. Every county board should prescribe minimum quali-
fications which must be met by teachers nominated for appointment for
positions in the county. It should be noted that this recommendation
is in accord with the opinions of most Florida teachers. At the annual
meeting of the Florida Education Association in January, 1935, the
Department of Classroom Teachers recommended*
1. That on July 1, 1935 certification by examination be abolished for white
teachers except for special certificate.
2. That on and after July 1, 1937. all beginning white teachers in the Florida
Public Schools should have four years of professional training in a recognized
3. That on and after July 1. 1941, all beginning white teachers should have, in
addition to the four years of professional training in a recognized college,
one year of apprenticeship. This apprenticeship work to be done in schools
*The Journal of the Florida Education Association, February, 1935, page 15.
20 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
recognized by the State Department and the Institutions engaged in the train-
ing of teachers, and under the supervision of the training institution.
4. That institutions in the state preparing people to teach should be empowered
by the Legislature to exercise a high degree of selectivity in candidates in
5. That inasmuch as we believe that four years of professional training is
necessary for adequate teaching in our complicated social order, we there-
fore recommend that teachers now in service lacking these qualifications,
work continuously and consistently toward meeting these requirements.
While the Association did not actually adopt these proposals, they
were recommended for the consideration of county school systems.
:Since that date several counties have set higher standards. For ex-
.ample, Dade County requires at least four years of training for all
At least two years of training with proper certification for beginning
elementary teachers and at least the equivalent of an A. B. Degree for
high school teachers should be required. County boards should also
set a time by which all teachers now employed in the county are to meet
these minimum standards. A reasonable number of years should be
permitted for this.
County boards should also adopt a policy of requiring teachers who
have met the standards to give evidence of intent to continue to improve
themselves in service by attending summer school, taking an educa-
tionally worth-while trip, or engaging in some similar activity at least
once every three to five years. County boards should provide in salary
schedules for recognition of such improvement.
Nominations. Trustees should agree to consider for nomination only
teachers who have been recommended by the principal with the approval
of the county superintendent. They should also adopt the policy of
refusing to consider local teachers or relatives except on the basis of
merit. In fact, it would be desirable to require local teachers to have
had successful interneship or experience elsewhere before being recom-
mended for a position in their home school.
Reappointment. Trustees should adopt the policy of following the
recommendations of principals regarding the reappointment of teach-
ers. Trustees should always nominate instructional personnel by the
time prescribed by law (eight weeks before the close of school for princi-
pals and six weeks for teachers) or recognize that they (the trustees)
have waived their right and that the county board is to appoint on the
recommendation of the principal and county superintendent. If a
vacancy occurs after that time the trustees should submit their nomina-
IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND PRACTICES 21
tion as promptly as possible and if practicable within two weeks of the
time the vacancy occurs.
County boards should always act as contemplated by law even
though the trustees may have failed to do so. Notification either of
reappointment or of failure to reappoint should be given in writing,
to principals six weeks before the close of school and to teachers four
weeks before. All appointments should be made by that time regard-
less of whether nominations have been received from trustees. County
boards should adopt the policy of considering a person re-employed for
the ensuing year unless he has been notified to the contrary by the time
set by law. County boards should also prescribe a reasonable time
limit for nominations for vacancies occurring after the date for annual
reappointments and should proceed promptly to fill such vacancies.
Teacher Responsibility. Teachers should give prompt written notice
to the county board through the county superintendent as to whether
they are accepting or declining the appointment. This should be done if
possible within two weeks after teachers have been notified of their re-
Principals and teachers must also recognize their responsibility
after they have accepted an appointment. A principal or teacher who
has accepted a position in one school or county should never accept a
position elsewhere without the consent of the principal and county
superintendent of the school or county in which he has previously ac-
cepted employment. Any person who violates his contract should at
least be reported to the state superintendent and should be subject to
public reprimand. If the violation occurs a second time, a recommenda-
tion should be made that his certificate be revoked. In fact, this pro-
cedure for dealing with violations of contracts is now incorporated in
and recognized by regulations of the State Board which are as follows:
"See. 509 (13) Responsibilities of Members of the Instructional Staff Relat-
ing to Contracts. (1) The County Board may authorize the County Superin-
tendent to release any member of the instructional staff from the terms of a
written contract when application is properly made for such a release, giving
valid reasons therefore, and when the services of the member of the instruc-
tional staff, in the judgment of the County Superintendent and the principal
of the school involved, can be replaced without uduly handicapping the school
(2) No member of the instructional staff shall be permitted while under
contract and prior to the expiration of the contract to accept a contract to
teach in any other county during the same year until released from the orig-
inal contract by the County Superintendent under regulations of the County
Board of the county in which he is employed. Any member of the instructional
staff under contract who accepts a contract in another county covering all or
any part of the same period of time without first having obtained a release in
22 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
proper form shall be considered guilty ,of unethical conduct and, when the
facts showing such a breach of contract are presented to the State Superin-
tendent, shall be reprimanded and shall also be subject to having his certificate
Approved: April 1, 1941.
Responsibility of School Officials. The responsibility of school offi-
cials relating to contracts is just as important as that of teachers. A
satisfactory contractual relationship can never be one-sided. The State
Board accordingly, in addition to the regulations giving the responsi-
bilities of members of the instructional staff relating to contracts
quoted above, has adopted the following regulations governing responsi-
bilities of school officials for contracts with members of the instructional
"Sec. 423 (7-d). Contracts for Members of the Instructional Staff. (1)
Each County Board shall use The Teachers Contract Form (Form I-2bt) author-
ized by the State Board on May 25, 1938, or shall use a. similar contract form
approved by the State Superintendent which provides equivalent safeguards
for members of the instructional staff.
(2) No alteration or change may be made in any contract form to indicate
any uncertainty whatever with reference to payment of salaries for the required
term of eight months. Any proviso to the effect that salaries authorized are
to be paid if funds are available shall be null and void.
(3) The contract form may be modified only for teachers in schools where
the enrollment is unstable and where the services of the teachers may need to
be discontinued during the year because of the unstable enrollment. In such a
situation, the County Board may provide that if the attendance of a school or
class drops below a stated number during the year, the contract shall remain
effective only at the option of the Board."
Approved: April 1. 1941.
POLICIES RELATING TO DISMISSAL
Reasons for Dismissal. Trustees and county boards should adopt
the policy of dismissing only for good reasons members of the instruc-
tional staff who have served satisfactorily for more than two years in
the county. In fact, such a policy might well be adopted for all teachers
regardless of their length of service in the county, but it is considered
particularly important for all who have served satisfactorily for more
than two years.
There is no valid reason why any group of trustees who do not wish
to reemploy a teacher for a third or fourth or for any subsequent year
should hesitate to give their reasons for their failure to recommend
if they are acting in good faith. Some have pointed out that this policy
might make it more difficult for teachers who are recommended for
dismissal to secure employment elsewhere or that it would only lead
IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND PRACTICES
to trouble and confusion. If the policy is properly administered the
advantages would far out-weigh any possible disadvantages, and com-
petent teachers would have far greater protection than under a system
where they can be dismissed without any reason whatever and with
little formality. Moreover, the reasons for dismissal of any teacher,
although given in writing, need not be made public unless the teacher
wishes them to be. Many times it is recognized that a teacher who has
not succeeded in one school should be given an opportunity and would
probably succeed elsewhere. On the other hand those persons who are
not adapted to teaching would be a handicap to any school. In either
case there would be far more advantages than disadvantages in giving
the true reasons for failure to reemploy.
Moreover trustees and board members should usually look largely
to the principal and County Superintendent for recommendations re-
garding reemployment of teachers. If a teacher should not be re-
employed, the principal will usually recognize that fact long before the
close of school and should be in position to give good reasons for his
point of view. This leads to a second important policy which can read-
ily be adopted without waiting for legislation. Trustees should follow
the recommendations of the principal or be able to give good reasons
for failing to do so. If a teacher is recommended for dismissal for good
reasons by the principal and all three trustees, or if a principal is recom-
mended for dismissal for good reasons by all three trustees, in most
situations he should either be dismissed or should resign unless there
has been a misunderstanding which can promptly be clarified. On the
other hand if a teacher is recommended for reappointment by the prin-
cipal, and two of the trustees recommend dismissal, the situation should
have further study. In such cases it would be best for a joint decision
to be reached by the trustees and the county board.
Reasons which are usually recognized as valid for dismissal, particu-
larly when the situation exists in any exaggerated form, are as follows:
1. Neglect of duty
4. Unprofessional Conduct
5. Failure to comply with reasonable requirements for profes-
8. Mental or physical incapacity
CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
9. Persistent inculcation of any doctrine that is subversive to inter-
ests of the American form of Government
10. Abolishment or consolidation of position*
*NOTE: "A teacher may be removed from his position if in the judgment
of the employing board an economic condition exists that justifies a reduction
in the number of teaching positions or the abandonment of a type of service or
if a substantial decrease in the number of pupils takes place, or if as a result
of reorganization of schools or a bona fide consolidation of positions, or a
reduction in the number of teaching positions is necessary . Teachers
dismissed for such reasons should be reemployed to fill future vacancies for
which they are qualified before new teachers are added to the staff for such
Any teacher who is recommended for dismissal for good reasons
.should usually first be informed orally of the recommendation. If the
teacher recognizes and accepts the reason as valid, he may be permitted
to resign if he desires to do so, or in particularly serious situations the
recommendations should be filed with the county board as a matter of
If the teacher does not recognize the reason as valid, the recommenda-
tions and reasons should then be filed with the trustees and the teacher
should be given an opportunity for an executive hearing in his own
defense if that is desired. If, following that hearing, the trustees are
unanimous in favor of dismissal, the county board should consider the
matter settled and the decision of the trustees should be regarded as
final for that district. If, however, the trustees are divided in their
opinion, and particularly if the principal or County Superintendent is
also in doubt about the decision, a joint meeting of the trustees and the
county board should be held and the decision reached at the joint meet-
ing should be considered as final.
If these policies are carried out, teachers who have taught more than
two years in any school will have practically the equivalent of a contin-
uing contract and there will be no possibility of complicated court tests
which may serve to give undue protection to incompetent teachers, be-
cause under the law the decision of the board will be final and binding
when all procedures prescribed by law and when all policies adopted by
the board have been observed.
The Continuing Contract Policy
An unqualified continuing contract is not authorized by present law.
However, trustees and county boards can adopt policies regarding re-
appointment and dismissal of teachers which will give all members of
*Southern States Work-Conference, Report of the Committee on Continuity
of Service for Teachers in Southern States, June 3-14, 1940, Daytona Beach,
IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND PRACTICES
the instructional staff almost the same status and feeling of security
that would be possible if the law required a continuing contract. The
steps required to put such a modified continuing contract plan into
1. The county board and trustees of a county should adopt resolu-
tions of policy similar to those proposed below.
2. All teachers should be advised of the policy and given copies of the
3. Trustees at the time for annual nominations should merely list
teachers to be continued in their positions, those recommended
for dismissal for good reasons (giving the reasons) and any not
to be continued by reason of resignation. This must be done by
the time prescribed by law for filing annual nominations for re-
Resolution of county board. To show their good faith the county
board of each county should adopt and make public a resolution express-
ing their intention of cooperating with the trustees in improving con-
tinuity of service for teachers in the county. A desirable form of reso-
lution is proposed below.
COUNTY BOARD RESOLUTION RELATING TO CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR
BE IT RESOLVED by the County Board of ..............................--..-..... --County,
Florida, that the officially adopted and publicly stated policy of the County
Board of this county relating to employment of instructional personnel (teach-
ers, principals, etc.) in the county is as follows:
1. All members of the instructional staff who have rendered satisfactory
service in the schools of the county and have made adequate progress
in improving their training during the period of employment are to be
given every possible encouragement and incentive to continue in service
in the county.
2. The County Superintendent and the principals of the schools are ex-
pected to give every possible assistance to 'members of the instructional
staff to improve in service. Those persons whose work continues un-
satisfactory and those who do not make desirable progress in improving
their training within the customary time limits set by the Board, are
to be replaced with adequately prepared and competent teachers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a means of carrying out this policy
the following procedures shall be strictly observed at all times and shall be a
part of every contract with members of the instructional staff in all county
schools and likewise in all schools in districts in which Trustees adopt this
1. Each member of the instructional staff who has served satisfactorily
for more than two years in the schools of the county is to be considered
as having an annual and continuing recommendation and nomination
for reemployment until the Trustees of the district in which the teacher
CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
is serving or, if the teacher is in a county school, until the County
Superintendent shall file with the County Board before the time desig-
nated by law for filing annual nominations for reappointment, a recom-
mendation that such teacher be dismissed for good reason, and shLil
give in writing the reasons for the recommendation.
2. When any teacher is recommended for dismissal for good reasons the
County Board will make a careful effort to ascertain the facts in the
case and to determine the action which would result in greatest value
to the school and to the pupils involved. If the Board is convinced that
the reasons for dismissal are inadequate, an effort will be mode to
bring about an adjustment so that the teacher may continue to serve
in the county.
Chairman of County Board
Resolution of Trustees. The trustees of each district should express
their policy in the form of a formally adopted resolution which will
guide their action and give teachers a greater feeling of security. A
desirable form of resolution follows:
TRUSTEE RESOLUTION RELATING TO CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR, TEACHERS
BE IT RESOLVED by the Trustees of special tax school district No............
of ......--.. -.................. ..... .... .. County, Florida. that the officially adopted and
publicly stated policy of the Trustees of this tax district relating to employ-
ment of instructional personnel (teachers, principals, etc.) in the tax district
is as follows:
1. All members of the instructional staff who have rendered satisfactory
service in the schools of the district and have made adequate progress in
improving their training during the period of employment are to be
given every possible encouragement and incentive to continue in service
in the district.
2. The County Superintendent and the principals of the schools are ex-
pected to give every possible assistance to members of the instructional
staff to improve in service. Those persons whose work continues un-
satisfactory and those who do not make desirable progress in improving
their training within the custorrary time limits set by the Board, are
to be replaced with adequately prepared and competent teachers.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, as a means of carrying out this policy
the following procedure shall be strictly observed at all times and, with the
concurrence of the County Board, shall be a part of every contract:
1. Each member of the instructional staff who has served satisfactorily for
more than two years in the schools of the district is to have an annual
and continuing recommendation and nomination for reappointment as
long as his services are satisfactory, and is to be considered by the
County Board as having been recommended for reappointment, unless
the Trustees file with the Board by the date specified by law a written
statement recommending that the teacher be dismissed and giving the
reasons for such recommendation. No member of the instructional staff
IMPROVEMENTS IN POLICIES AND PRACTICES 27
who has served satisfactorily in the schools of the district for more
than two years will be recommended for dismissal at the end of any
year except for good reasons.
2. The County Board and County Superintendent are expected to ascertain
all the facts in the case when any member of the instructional staff
has been recommended for dismissal and at any time the Board is con-
vinced that the reasons given by the Trustees are not sufficient for the
dismissal of the teacher, the Trustees will voluntarily review their
decision and will not consider the recommendation as final until such
review has been completed and a new decision has been reached or the
original decision has been confirmed.
Chairman of Trustees
In order to see that codes of ethics are kept up to date and are
observed by all teachers, a state ethics committee and perhaps even
county or district ethics committees should be established and should
function as explained in the following chapter.
ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS OF ETHICS COMMITTEE
NEED FOR ETHICS COMMITTEE
A code of professional ethics will hardly accomplish its purpose
unless it is accompanied by some provision for making it effective.
While most teachers and principals will seriously endeavor to observe a
code of ethics, there will always be a few who either through lack of
information or design will fail to observe some provisions. Likewise
most superintendents, board members and trustees will try to observe
what they think constitutes proper ethical procedures. However, since
those groups have not officially adopted codes of ethics* their conception
of proper ethical principles and practices are certain to vary greatly.
For that reason it will be necessary to have some organization or plan
for investigating reports of unethical practices and for helping to cor-
rect undesirable conditions.
Most cases of unwarranted dismissal of teachers probably involve
ethics of teachers, of board members, of the county superintendent, or
of trustees. Unless there is some plan for bringing to light all unethical
practices involved in such dismissal of teachers, many of these practices
may continue and in some communities may prove disastrous to any
program for improving conditions of service for teachers.
Other professions have their regional, state, and national ethics
committees. Such committees help to keep all members of the profes-
sions alert to desirable ethical practices. They also help to raise the
standards of these professions. It is just as important for teachers to
have such ethics committees as it is for any other group. In Florida
there is need for both state and regional committees on ethics to func-
tion as indicated below.
THE STATE ETHICS COMMITTEE
Organization. A state committee on professional ethics should be
appointed by the Board of Directors of the Florida Education Asso-
ciation. This committee should be composed of the President and Execu-
*For a suggested code of ethics for county superintendents see pages
262-267 of the Handbook for County Superintendents, similarly for a code of
ethics for Board Members see pages 121-126 of the Handbook for County School
Board Members, and for a code of ethics for trustees see pages 85-89 of the
Handbook for School District Trustees.
FUNCTIONS OF ETHICS COMMITTEE 29
tive Secretary of the Florida Education Association, one member of the
State Association of County School Board Members (who might be
nominated by the board members group), one member of the County
Superintendents Group, one district trustee, one member of the Ele-
mentary Principals Group, one member of the Secondary Principals
Group and one classroom teacher from each of the five congressional
districts of the state. Consideration might also be given to the possi-
bility of including in its membership one representative of the State
Congress of Parents and Teachers. With the exception of the Executive
Secretary of the Florida Education Association who should be a perma-
nent member and the President who should serve only during his term
of office, all members of the committee should be appointed for three year
terms. Appointments should be made so that terms will overlap and so
that approximately one third of the terms will expire each year.
Functions. A state committee on professional ethics can and should
become one of the most significant organizations involving the public
school personnel of the state. Of course, no such committee can exert
much influence unless it has the complete and whole-hearted backing of
all groups interested in and concerned with schools. If properly organ-
ized and supported, however, a state ethics committee should in a very
short time aid greatly in defining proper ethical principles, procedures
and relationships for all groups and in fact should greatly reduce or
even eliminate all major unethical practices.
Many of the functions of a state ethics committee cannot possibly
be determined in advance as they will have to grow out of experience
and need. However, some of the most important functions of such a
committee will readily be recognized and agreed upon by all. They
should include the following:
1. To serve as an agency which will aid in centering more attention on
ethical practices and which will stimulate observance of those practices.
2. To serve as a clearing house on all questions pertaining to ethics in
education whether the questions may involve ethics of county board members,
of trustees, of teachers, or of any other individuals or groups.
3. To study problems in the field of ethics and to propose solutions for
4. To recommend revisions and improvements in codes of ethics.
5. To prescribe policies which will regulate the functioning of district or
county ethics committees when such committees are organized.
6. To receive and analyze reports of any investigations which may be
made by district or county ethics committees and to develop plans for bringing
to the attention of the profession or to the public all situations to which atten-
tion should be directed.
7. To make through its executive committee or through specially desig-
nated sub-committees any investigations or studies which may seem necessary
30 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
or desirable when violations of ethical principles are called to light and to
use its findings in such a manner as to aid in improving practices in education
and particularly in professional ethics in the State.
Such a committee would need to proceed carefully on the basis of
principles that are agreed upon as sound and constructive. Special care
would need to be exercised to avoid becoming involved in petty local
controversies where personalities rather than basic principles may be
involved. On the other hand the committee must not hesitate to face
and take a definite position when fundamental principles are at stake.
Meetings. The state ethics committee should hold an annual meet-
ing in connection with the annual meeting of the Florida Education
Association. Special meetings of the entire committee or of the execu-
tive committee when necessary should be called by the chairman of the
Executive Committee. There should be an executive committee com-
prised of the President and Secretary of the Florida Education Asso-
ciation, one county board or trustee member, one county superintendent
or principal, and a teacher. This executive committee should act for
the committee in all matters requiring immediate attention. The execu-
tive committee should give particular attention to the functioning of
codes of ethics and to significant reports which may be filed by county
or district committees or by individuals. It should also give attention
to ways and means of making public any facts in those reports which
should be brought to light.
DISTRICT OR COUNTY ETHICS COMMITTEES
There would be many potential advantages to the organization of dis-
trict or county ethics committees. On the other hand, in some areas, it
might be difficult for such committees to function satisfactorily and
without serious danger of being misunderstood, at least for the present.
In reality there is no valid reason why there should not sooner or
later be an ethics committee in each county in the state or at least in
each district comprising one or two large counties or several smaller
counties. Such a committee if properly organized and supported could
render many significant services. It could assist in stimulating recog-
nition of proper ethical principles and practices, could investigate and
bring to light unwholesome situations, and in many cases could help to
clear up difficulties and prevent serious injustices.
Such a committee would have no real power aside from that it could
exercise through helping to improve conditions. It would not be a body
FUNCTIONS OF ETHICS COMMITTEE 31
established by law and consequently could not over-rule decisions of
county boards or trustees. It could often assist in reaching right
decisions, could help to prevent teachers who have no just grievances
from upsetting an entire community and could publicize unethical ac-
tions or decisions by boards and teachers alike. If such a committee
served justly and ethically it would win public support and exert marked
influence. If it became prejudiced or partial it would soon cease to exist
and some other agency or procedure would be evolved to carry out the
functions it should exercise. In some counties or areas local ethics commit-
tees might well be organized in the immediate future. Such committees, if
the proper relationships were established, could be of material assistance
to county boards and trustees as well as to teachers. The committees
would thus serve largely as advisory and stablizing groups. For the
committee to attempt to function as a secret service or merely as a
means of getting special favors for teachers, would be disastrous. In
counties or areas where a reasonably satisfactory relationship does not
exist between teachers and school, officials, the organization of a local
ethics committee might not for the present be practicable or desirable.
Functions. It should be the responsibility of each district or county
ethics committee to perform the following functions within the area it
1. To carry out all policies of the state ethics committee in accord-
ance with regulations and plans outlined by the state committee.
2. To make careful and complete investigation of all cases brought
to the attention of the committee involving alleged violation of
ethical practices in the county or district. These investigations
should cover all reported violations of ethics practices as well as
cases involving unwarranted dismissal of teachers because of
3. To report in writing the results of all such investigations to (a)
the teacher involved, (b) the trustees of the district, (c) the
county board, and (d) the state ethics committee.
4. To serve as an informal arbitration committee in cases involving
ethics when requested to do so.
Organization of County Ethics Committee. A county ethics com-
mittee might well be comprised of a board member, a trustee and three
to five representatives selected by the teachers of the county. The
county superintendent might well serve as an ex officio member. Such
a plan of organization should permit free and frank discussion of prob-
lems and issues. Such a group should be in position to promote better
relationships among all groups within the county and should become
32 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
a significant influence in preventing problems of ethical and professional
relationships from becoming acute.
Organization of District Committee. A district ethics committee
might well be composed of one member of the teaching profession
(teacher, principal, or supervisor) and one board member or trustee from
each county in the congressional district and should include the teacher
member of the state ethics committee from that congressional district.
The teacher member of the state ethics committee should serve as tem-
porary chairman of the district ethics committee.
This committee could probably best be selected in the following
manner: The board of directors of the Florida Education Association
should request the county superintendent of each county to call a meeting
of the members of his instructional staff and also a meeting of the trus-
tees and county board to elect by Novemeber 1 of the year on which an
election is scheduled to be held, the members from that county to serve
on the regional ethics committee for two years. These elections should
be so arranged that the terms of members from approximately half of
the counties in the district expire each year. In other words, approxi-
mately half of the counties would elect representatives on even years
and the other half on odd years.
Each time any case involving an alleged violation of ethical practices
is brought to the attention of the chairman of the committee it should
be the responsibility of the chairman to designate a sub-committee com-
prised of four committee members from counties near the county in
which the violation is reported to have occurred. This sub-committee
together with the chairman is to constitute the committee to carry on
all investigations in that case and to make all reports.
Procedure in Cases Involving Dismissal of Teachers. If a teacher
who has served satisfactorily in a county (or district) for two or more
years is recommended for dismissal for reasons or in a manner which
he, the principal, or the county superintendent considers to be unfair
an appeal may be made in writing to the county (or district) ethics
committee asking for an investigation of the entire situation. If the
appeal is made to the district committee, the chairman, promptly on the
receipt of such appeal, should appoint four district members (two of
whom should be board members or trustees) from counties nearest to
the county concerned to join in making the investigation. If any member
of the district committee designated is serving in the same county as
the teacher concerned, he may declare himself ineligible to serve on the
committee for that specific case; otherwise, it should be his duty to
serve. When a member cannot serve, or is ineligible to serve on the
FUNCTIONS OF ETHICS COMMITTEE
committee, the chairman should designate another member from some
This sub-committee should proceed as promptly as possible to as-
semble all facts relating to the situation. The chairman should secure
from the county superintendent within five days a copy of the affidavit
of original cause of dismissal and a copy of the notice sent to the teacher
when dismissal proceedings were instigated. The committee should
then set a meeting date to consider all evidence submitted to it, orally
or in writing. All parties concerned should be notified regarding the
time and place of the meeting. This sub-committee should complete its
investigation as promptly as possible and prepare its report setting
forth the results of the investigation and the conclusions of the com-
mittee. One copy of the report should be filed with the county super-
intendent for the county board, one with the trustees of the district,
one with the teacher, and one copy with the chairman of the State ethics
The findings of either a district or of a county ethics committee
should not be considered as binding on the county board. It should be
the function of the committee merely to investigate the situation and
to make available the results of its investigation. The county board
and trustees would then be expected to decide the case on its merits.
Procedure in Cases not Involving Dismissal of Teachers. In any
case involving alleged violation of ethics, but which does not involve the
dismissal of a teacher, the chairman of the county (or district) ethics
committee should immediately upon receiving a written statement or
charge of violation proceed to direct an investigation. If the appeal
is to a district committee, a sub-committee should be appointed as indi-
cated above to assemble evidence, should set a date for a meeting at
which all evidence could be considered, and should then prepare its report
giving its findings and recommendations. One copy of the report should
be filed with the person whose practice is reported as unethical, one
copy with the county board, and one copy with the state ethics commit-
tee for any use which the state committee may consider proper.
The organization of a State ethics committee is thus considered highly
desirable to assist in improving codes of ethics and in raising the level
of ethical practices in the state. The organization of county or district
ethics committees is not considered essential for the proper functioning
of a satisfactory program of continuity of service for teachers, at least
for the present, and is therefore a matter which should be decided by the
teachers and school officials in each county or district in the State.
SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN LAWS
While state laws have been improved considerably during reecnt
years, there are several important respects in which changes should be
made in order to make possible satisfactory improvement in continuity
of service for teachers. As pointed out elsewhere in this report con-
siderable progress can be made without changing the law. But on the
other hand certain problems cannot be solved unless the law is changed.
There are some steps that cannot be taken in any of the counties under
present law and a number of other steps which will not be taken in
some counties unless they are required by law. Among the changes
considered important are the following:
REAPPOINTMENT OF TEACHERS
The law should be changed to require county boards to notify all
principals concerning their reappointment not later than six weeks
before the close of school, and to notify all teachers not later than four
weeks before the close of school. This is implied but is not specifically
required under present law. It should be specifically provided that if
any principal or teacher has not been notified by the time prescribed
he will be entitled to and considered as having the same position for
the ensuing year. In other words, failure to notify will be equivalent
to positive action. This provision would mean that in every case school
officials would take steps to see that all personnel are properly notified
concerning their reappointment.
RECOMMENDATION OF TEACHERS
Trustees should be required to appoint teachers only on the basis
of recommendations submitted by the principal with the concurrence
of the county superintendent. If the principal is to be held responsible
for his school he should be authorized to recommend his teachers. The
trustees should not be required to nominate the teacher merely because
he has been recommended by the principal, but should be authorized to
reject for good cause. They should always look to the principal to initiate
recommendations, and if any recommendation submitted by him is re-
SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN LAWS 35
jected for good cause, the principal should then be given an opportunity
to submit another.
Continuing contracts should be authorized for all teachers who have
served satisfactorily in their district for two years and have been re-
appointed for a third year. The present law permits only annual con-
tracts. The county board probably should be permitted to pre-
scribe standards of training for persons who are to have continuing con-
tracts except that all elementary teachers who have as much as two years
training and all high school teachers who have had as much as four years
training and who have held their positions satisfactorily for two or more
years should be entitled to a continuing contract. The plan should be-
come effective in each county when it is adopted by resolution of the
county board and approved by a majority of the trustees in the county.
County boards on the recommendation of the trustees of a district
should be permitted to contract with a principal or head of a department,
and county boards on the recommendation of the county superintendent
should be authorized to contract with supervisors and administrative
assistants for a longer period than one year but for not to exceed three
years. To do this would also require a change in the present annual
DISMISSAL ONLY FOR GOOD REASON
Under existing law a teacher need not be dismissed at the end of
the year. The board may simply fail to reappoint him. The law should
be changed so as to avoid placing a premium on the negative action of
school officials. It should require positive action by prescribing that
teachers who have served satisfactorily for two or more years and
who hold continuing contracts can be dismissed only for good reasons
which must be stated in writing. (See Chapter VI.) Any recommenda-
tions for dismissal for good reason should originate with the principal,
with the county superintendent, or with the trustees. It should not
however, have any standing before the county board unless it is signed
by all three trustees, by the county superintendent and at least two trus-
tees, or by the principal and at least two trustees. A teacher who is
recommended for dismissal for good reason should be entitled on request
of the teacher to a hearing before the trustees and the county board.
The county board should consider any evidence submitted and any report
of a district ethics committee and decide the case on its merits. The
decision of the county board should be final.
36 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
All teachers having tenure in the four counties which now have tenure
laws should be entitled to continuing contract status when the new law
takes effect. In other words, they should be entitled to a continuing
contract and should be subject to dismissal only for good reason as
indicated above. Of course, as long as the local laws are continued those
teachers will continue to have tenure status and will not need continuing
QUALIFICATIONS FOR COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS
As a means of assuring a desirable minimum in the way of profes-
sional training and leadership in all counties, educational qualifications
should be prescribed by law for all county superintendents. Inasmuch
as it is a part of their duty to select, to recommend for appointment
and reappointment highly trained instructional personnel and to super-
vise the instruction program carried on by this personnel, it would be
reasonable to expect that county superintendents meet certain require-
ments in the way of training. While a college degree or its equivalent
should be basic for all county superintendents, their qualifications should
also include recent experience in teaching and should preferably include
training in school administration and supervision.
PROVISIONS APPROVED BY 1941 LEGISLATURE
A number of measures relating to continuity of service which were
prepared in accordance with the above recommendations were submitted
to the 1941 Legislature. The following were approved by the Legislature
and are now effective as laws:
APPOINTMENT AND REAPPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE
(Section 4 of Chapter 20970, Laws of Florida, Acts of 1941,
amending Section 535 of the Florida School Code.)
The following four important changes were made in the law relating
to the appointment and reappointment of members of the instructional
1. A clear cut distinction was made between procedures for appointment
and procedures for reappointment.
2. The County Board is authorized to prescribe the time by which
vacancies and new positions are to be filled; unless trustees submit
nominations by that time, the County Board is authorized to fill the
3. It is made a positive duty of the trustees to submit recommendations
for or against reappointment of all members of the instructional staff
SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN LAWS 37
within the time prescribed by law. If that is not done, it is made the
duty of the County Board to act on all reappointments and to notify,
through the County Superintendent, all members of the instructional
staff of the action taken.
4. Trustees and the County Board may now act only after considering
recommendations of the County Superintendent and principal which
are submitted as prescribed by law. Rejections may be made only for
good cause. (This potentially is one of the most significant of the
The amended section reads as follows:
Section 535. Appointment of Employees. All employees of the county
school system shall be appointed as prescribed in Chapter IV of the Florida
School Code: Provided that the terms "to consider the recommendations of"
or "to act upon the recommendations of" shall be interpreted to mean that
neither the trustees nor the County Board shall act on the appointment of
employees without having considered any recommendations or nominations
submitted as prescribed by law, that such recommendations or nominations
may be rejected only for good cause, and that when any such rejection has
been made, a second and if necessary a third recommendation or nomination
shall be requested and if made within a reasonable time as prescribed by the
County Board, shall be considered or acted on as prescribed by law before
the trustees or County Board shall have a right to nominate or to appoint on
their own motion; and Provided further that the following procedure shall
be observed in making appointments and reappointments of instructional
(1) Filling Vacancies. The County Board shall prescribe regulations
which define reasonable time limits within which trustees shall be
required to submit nominations of persons to fill vacancies. If the
trustees of any district fail to submit a proper nomination or nom-
inations within the time limits prescribed by these regulations, the
County Board shall have the authority to appoint persons to fill
any such vacancies after acting on nominations of qualified persons
submitted by the County Superintendent. Nominations to fill vacan-
cies shall not be required to be submitted at the time nominations
for reappointment are required by law except when prescribed by
regulations of the County Board.
(2) Reappointments. It shall be the duty of the trustees of each district
to file with the County Board in writing by the time prescribed by
law and not more than four weeks in advance of the time prescribed
by law for filing nominations for reappointment, a definite recommen-
dation for or against the reappointment of each person subject to
annual nomination for reappointment. It shall likewise be the duty
of the County Board through the County Superintendent to notify in
writing each person subject to annual reappointment whether or not
he has been reappointed for the ensuing year. If the trustees should
fail to act on any reappointment by the time prescribed by law for
such action, it shall be the duty of the County Board to act on its
own violation after considering nominations submitted by the County
LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR PROFESSIONAL REASONS
(Section 5 of Chapter 20970, Laws of Florida, Acts of 1941, amending
Section 539 of the Florida School Code.)
38 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
For the first time definite provision is made for leave of absence
for professional improvement of members of the instructional staff.
The amended section follows
"Section 5. That Section 539 of Chapter 19355. Laws of Florida, Acts of
1939, be and the same is hereby amended to read as follows:
"Section 539. Provision for Leave of Absence. Any member of the instruc-
tional staff may secure leave of absence during the year when it is necessary
to be absent from duty as prescribed below, and, under certain conditions
may receive compensation during such period of absence. Any such leave of
absence shall be classified as sick leave, illness-in-the-line-of-duty leave, pro-
fessional leave, or personal leave. Subject to the provisions in the sections
which follow, County Boards shall prescribe regulations governing the granting
of leaves of absence during the year. County Boards shall also have the au-
thority to prescribe regulations for the granting, and with the approval of the
trustees of the district in which the person is serving, to grant more extended
leaves of absence, as follows:
"(1) Extended Professional Leave. Extended leave for professional im-
provement may be granted for a period of not to exceed one year
to any member of the instructional staff who has served satisfac-
torily and successfully in the schools of the county for a period of
three or more years: Provided that partial compensation may be
authorized only when the person has served in the county for seven
or more years.
"(2) Millitary Leave. Any person called into military, naval or other
service in defense of his country or volunteering for military or
naval service of the United States may be granted military leave
without compensation for such period or periods as may be author-
ized by the County Board."
PROVISIONS CONSIDERED BUT NOT ACTED UPON BY THE
Two other important provisions relating to continuity of service for
members of the instructional staff were incorporated in a bill which was
considered by the 1941 Legislature. However, before the bill was passed
it was amended so as to leave out the provisions which are given below:
CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH MEMBERS OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF ENTITLED
TO CONTRACT WHEN NOT NOTIFIED CONCERNING
As indicated above, the new law makes it a positive duty of the
County Board through the County Superintendent to notify in writing
every person subject to annual reappointment as to whether he has
been reappointed for the ensuing year. In an effort to avoid any ques-
tion which might arise, one other provision worded as follows was orig-
inally incorporated in the section but was omitted in the act as passed:
"If any member of the instructional staff is not notified in writing
concerning his reappointment within one week after the time prescribed
SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS IN LAWS 39
by law for the County Board to make annual appointments or reappoint-
ments he shall be entitled to a similar position in the county at the same
relative salary as authorized by the salary schedule for the year; Provided
he notifies the County Board in writing through the County Superin-
tendent within ten days, and sends a copy of this notification to the
trustees of the district, that he is accepting the position and will serve
for the ensuing year."
PROVISION FOR CONTINUING CONTRACTS
The original Section 5 of this same bill contained a definite pro-
vision authorizing continuing contracts on a Voluntary basis. Under the
provisions of the Section such contracts would have been authorized in
any county for all members of the instructional staff who had served
more than two years when a resolution authorizing continuing contracts
was adopted by the County Board and approved by a majority of the
trustees. Provision was also made for contracts to be made with prin-
cipals and heads of departments for a period of not to exceed three years
on the recommendations of the trustees and approval of the County
Board. The section read as follows:
Section 5. That Section 536 of Chapter 19355, Laws of Florida, Acts of 1939,
be and the same is hereby amended to read as follows:
"Section 536. Contracts With Members of the Instructional Staff and With
Professional Assistants. Each person employed as a member of the instructional
staff or as a professional administrative or supervisory assistant shall be
properly certificated and shall be entitled to and shall receive a written con-
tract as specified in Chapter IV of the Florida School Code; Provided that
the County Board shall have the authority to issue contracts as prescribed below:
"(1) Contracts for Principals. Upon recommendation of the trustees of the
district, the County Board may authorize a contract for any principal
of a school or head of a department in a school for a period of not
more than three years.
"(2) Contracts for Administrative and Supervisory Assistants. The County
Board of any county may adopt by resolution entered in the minutes
of the Board, a continuing contract plan for professional adminis-
trative and supervisory assistants. Such contracts shall provide
that professional administrative and supervisory assistants shall
continue at the salary schedule authorized by the Board without the
necessity for annual nominations and reappointment until such
time as the position is discontinued, the person resigns, or until
he is recommended for dismissal for good reasons which are stated
in writing and which are approved by the Board as valid and suf-
ficient reasons for discontinuing his contract. In all such cases,
the action of the Board shall be final when the procedure herein
prescribed have been observed.
"(3) Continuing Contracts Authorized for Members of Instructional Staff.
The County Board of each county shall have the authority by resolu-
tion incorporated in its minutes, when such a resolution is approved
40 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
by a majority of all trustees in the county, to adopt a continuing
contract plan for all members of the instructional staff who have
served in the schools in the county for two years and who have been
reappointed for a third or for any subsequent year. When once
adopted, such a continuing contract plan shall be continued in force
until similarly repealed by a resolution of the County Board with
the approval of a majority of all trustees in the county. In any
county which has adopted this plan, all members of the instructional
staff who have served for two years and who have been reappointed
for a third year or for any subsequent year, and who meet require-
ments prescribed by regulations of the County Board, shall be con-
tinued in service on the basis of the salary schedule adopted for the
county by the County Board, without the necessity for annual
nomination and reappointment until such time as a member of the
instructional staff resigns or his position is abolished or until (a)
a recommendation that the person not be re-emplyed is submitted
in writing by the County Superintendent and principal of the school
giving the reasons therefore and is approved by a majority of the
trustees of the district, or (b) a recommendation is submitted in
writing by all of the trustees of the district that the person not be
re-employed and giving the reasons therefore, or (c) until such a
recommendation is submitted in writing by two of the trustees
giving reasons therefore and such recommendation is approved by
joint action of the County Board and the trustees of the district.
In all such cases, the person may either be dismissed or may be
placed on an annual contract basis for another two years in accord-
ance with the decision of the trustees or with the joint decision
of the trustees and the County Board as the case may be. In all
such cases, the decision of the body authorized to make the decision
shall be final and conclusive except that the recommendations of
the trustees of one district shall not operate to prevent the employ-
ment of a teacher in another district of the county on such basis
as the trustees of the district and the County Board may decide.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Is there need for improving continuity of service conditions for Florida
Surveys show that one out of every four teachers moves at the end
of the first year; one out of every three principals moves at the
end of each year. While some of this moving is voluntary, many
teachers and principals are dismissed or are not re-employed at
the end of each year for reasons which are political or personal
rather than professional.
2. Does continuity of service mean placing teachers on permanent tenure?
No, because provisions are recommended herein for removing incom-
petent or unsuccessful teachers in a simple but dignified manner.
There are many distinct differences between permanent tenure and
continuity of service as recommended in this bulletin.
3. What safeguards are recommended to protect children against incom-
(a) Employing boards are urged to prescribe qualifications and
otherwise be more careful in their selection of teachers. (b) Newly
employed teachers should be placed on an annual contract basis for
one to three years, according to the policy adopted by the board.
(c) Employing boards should set up standards of professional growth
for in-service teachers. (d) Incompetent teachers can and should
be removed at any time for good reasons. (e) The State Board of
Education should gradually raise standards of certification.
4. To what extent is continuity of service practiced in the United States?
Twenty-three (23) states and the District of Columbia have some
provisions for continuity of service, mostly in the nature of tenure
laws.' Six of these have provisions completely state-wide in appli-
cation; two others are practically so.' In ten states these provisions
apply only to certain districts." In one state (Michigan) the matter
is optional with the local voters. Several states during recent years
have adopted continuity contract laws.
5. Is continuity of service in harmony with our state retirement law?
Continuity of service and retirement go hand in hand. As long as a
teacher remains efficient, he may expect to continue teaching until the
specified retirement age.
6. What is meant by "continuing contract"?
The term "continuing contract" describes a plan whereby teachers who
have served for two or more years may hold their positions without
the necessity of annual applications, nominations, elections and
1. Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Alabama, West Vir-
ginia, Montana, Nebraska.
2. Maryland and Massachusetts.
3. Oregon, New York, Illinois, California, Colorado. Connecticut, Indiana,
Minnesota, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma.
4. West Virginia, Indiana, Arkansas, Iowa, and Washington.
42 CONTINUITY OF SERVICE FOR TEACHERS
contracts. Under this plan the employing board must give notice by
a specified time if it does not wish to continue the contract. A
similar obligation rests upon the teacher. If neither the county
board nor the teacher has notified the other party of intention either
to dismiss or resign, as the case may be, the teacher is assumed to
be re-employed for the ensuing year. A continuing contract would
be based on the salary schedule in operation in the county.
7. How may employment of teachers holding a continuing contract be
(a) By mutual agreement between the employing board and the
teacher; (b) by abolition or consolidation cf positions. (c) In case
of recommended dismissal for good reason the teacher is notified in
writing and may have an opportunity to be heard in his own defense
before final action is taken by the board.
8. What constitutes reason for dismissal?
It is recommended that teachers who have served in a county for
more than two years should be dismissed only for good reasons as
prescribed in the School Code for dismissal during the year. (See
School Code, Sec. 423 (7i) and Chapter VI of this bulletin.)
9. Does marriage constitute sufficient reason for dismissal?
No. The Federal Courts have held that restrictions on marriage
are contrary to public policy and, therefore, arguments or conditions
creating or involving such restrictions are illegal and void.
10. What provisions are made for leave of absence?
The present Florida school law makes provision for 5 days sick leave
annually which is cumulative for four years or a total of 20 days.
Other provisions may be found in the School Laws of Florida. Sec.
541-46. The latest provision is given on page 38 of this bulletin. Under
the continuing contract plan the county board should be authorized
to grant annual professional leaves of absence for not to exceed two
consecutive years without impairing the retirement or continuity of
service status of the teacher.
11. What is meant by "professional growth of in-service teachers"?
Professional growth means keeping abreast of progress through pro-
fessional reading, professional faculty meetings, attendance at sum-
mer school, participation in educational conferences, and other means
that readily suggest themselves. Teachers are urged to go as far
beyond the minimum requirements established by certification regu-
lations and employing boards as possible. Those who give evidence
of such improvement should be considered as growing professionally.
12. Does continuity of service apply to county superintendents?
Superintendents in Florida are elected by the voters every four years;
therefore, continuity of service does not apply to them.
13. What is the purpose of a State Committee on Professional Ethics?
The chief purposes would be to help the school people of the State
improve and make use of Codes of Ethics and to serve as a clearing
house for problems of an ethical nature.
14. What is the purpose of district or county ethics committees?
These committees would cooperate with teachers. school authorities,
and with the state ethics committee in the solution of problems con-
cerning alleged breaches of ethics and re-employment of teachers.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 43
15. Are district or county ethics committees essential to the plan as
No. The organization of such committees is optional.
16. Is legislation the best way to improve continuity of service for teachers?
There is no one method or plan for assuring satisfactory continuity of
service for teachers. Many improvements can be brought about by
changes in policy and practice. Some changes in laws will be neces-
sary to assure observance of desirable provisions in the State. and
particularly in those communities which for one reason or another
are slow to improve practices.
17. Why should the public be concerned about continuity of service for
If the public desires better classroom conditions for the children of
this State, if it believes that children should be taught by teachers
who are free from partisan and political control, if it feels that
teacher morale is an important factor in the quality of education, then
the public should be concerned with this question. It should en-
courage school authorities in honest efforts to improve continuity
18. What would be the value to a teacher of the changes in practice and
law recommended in this report?
(a) The teacher's contract could not be cancelled for political or
personal reasons. (b) If the school authorities intend to terminate
the teacher's employment, written notice of such intention would be
furnished to the teacher by a specified date. (c) The board of edu-
cation would give a written statement of reasons for considering the
cancellation of a teacher's contract. (d) If the teacher desired a
hearing, such a hearing would be granted before the board could
take final action. (e) The teacher would have reasonable protection,
but would not be encouraged to become complacent as a result of
19. If this plan goes into operation, what would happen to teachers under
local tenure acts?
This plan does not or would not repeal or in any way affect any local
20. Could teachers and school officials in a county now having a loca7
tenure law use instead this plan of Continuity of Service if they so
There is nothing in this plan which would prevent a county from so