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By the numbers, by the book: New York’s teacher discipline law

The names by which laws become known to the public can be somewhat unpredictable.

Sometimes there are multiple names for a law. A current example is the Affordable Care Act, which of course is also widely known as Obamacare.

There are also laws that become known by their statute numbers. In New York state, this is the case with several laws. New York Labor Law 240, regarding construction accidents and scaffolding, is one such law.

In this post, we will take note of a term derived from another New York number: 3020.

Section 3020 of New York state’s education law concerns disciplinary procedures for public school teachers. Disciplinary hearings undertaken under a subsection of the law are therefore referred to as 3020-a hearings.

As we noted in our article on 3020-a hearings, there have been recent law changes in connection with these hearings.

The changes were put in place nearly two years ago. But they have only just recently been clarified in a recent case.

The overall intent of New York’s 3020 law is to provide procedural protections to help schoolteachers retain their jobs. The general rule is still that it requires “just cause” before a teacher can be terminated from his or her job.

The 2012 changes, however, were developed in response to concerns that the 3020-a hearing process had become too costly and time-consuming. There is now a clearer guideline on time limits to the admission of evidence. There are also more detailed rules on the use of arbitrators to resolve teacher discipline cases.

We invite you to read our article for more elaboration on the protections and procedures in play in New York when a tenured teacher’s job is at stake.

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