Michigan Education Association

Legal Rights and Representation

If you are a certificated teacher, employed in a position requiring teacher certification, you are covered by the Michigan Teacher Tenure Act (TTA).

Under the Act, new teachers must serve "four full school years" of employment before acquiring tenure. Probationary teachers have certain rights under the TTA. In order to non- renew a probationary teacher, the Board of Education must provide the teacher with written notice of "unsatisfactory service," at least 60 days before the end of the school year (June 30).Failure to provide this notice is conclusive evidence that the teacher's service is satisfactory and he/she is eligible for employment in the following school year.

A probationary teacher is also entitled to an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) and at least one year-end evaluation based on at least two classroom observations. The actual evaluation instrument and procedures are generally negotiated between the local MEA affiliate and the school district.

Under the Michigan School Code, new teachers in their first three years of teaching should be assigned a mentor teacher and receive at least 15 days of professional development.

Failure to receive these benefits, as well as the IDP and an appropriate evaluation, may be evidence that a discharge or non-renewal is improper. Although probationary teachers are not protected by the "just cause" provisions of the TTA, the collective bargaining agreement between the local association and the Board may provide this right. Similarly, if you are not covered by the TTA because you are not employed in a position requiring teacher certification (as, for example, a school nurse, psychologist or social worker) your job protection rights would arise out of the collective bargaining agreement.

Probationary employees, like all employees, are protected against adverse employment decisions which are the result of discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex and disability.

Employment Rights Checklist

  • Employment agreement or contract with the school district.

  • Collective bargaining agreement between the district and your local association.

  • All documents related to your IDP and evaluations.

  • Letters from peers, parents and administrators commending your work.

  • Evidence that you have been assigned and have access to a mentor teacher.

  • Evidence that you are receiving professional development training

  • Any adverse material in your personnel file.

  • Name of Association Building Representative.

  • Local Association phone numbers.

  • MEA UniServ Office phone number for your area.



Updated: February 19, 2009 6:02 PM