§ 16-13-3. Probationary period Tenure after probation.
(a) Three (3) annual contracts within five (5) successive school years shall be considered evidence of satisfactory teaching and shall constitute a probationary period. Teachers who complete the probationary period shall be considered in continuous service and shall not be subject to annual renewal or nonrenewal of their contracts. No tenured teacher in continuous service shall be dismissed except for good and just cause. Whenever a tenured teacher in continuous service is to be dismissed, the notice of the dismissal shall be given to the teacher, in writing, on or before March 1st of the school year immediately preceding the school year in which the dismissal is to become effective. If the dismissal is based on fiscal exigency or program reorganization, the notice of dismissal shall be given to the teacher, in writing, on or before June 1st of the school year immediately preceding the school year in which the dismissal is to become effective. The teacher shall be furnished with a complete statement of the cause(s) for the dismissal by the governing body of the school and shall be entitled to a hearing and appeal pursuant to the procedure set forth in § 16-13-4.
(b) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prohibit, or at any time to have prohibited, a school committee from agreeing, in a collective bargaining agreement, to the arbitration of disputes arising out of the dismissal of a tenured teacher pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
(c) Any teacher employed by a local or regional school committee who has attained tenure in a Rhode Island public school system; who is appointed to an administrative position of principal, assistant principal, vice principal, superintendent, assistant superintendent, director, or other central office personnel in any Rhode Island public school system, including the original school district of employment; or who is hired for an administrative position as a fellow, education specialist, or director by the Rhode Island department of education, shall be granted an unpaid leave of absence, not to exceed three (3) years, in order to be employed in an administrative position of principal, assistant principal, vice principal, superintendent, assistant superintendent, director, or other central office personnel in any Rhode Island school system or the Rhode Island department of education. Said teachers shall, upon completion of their administrative position employment contract, or termination or resignation of the administrative position, be allowed to return to his or her former status as a tenured teacher within the system from which the leave of absence was taken. Such leaves of absence shall not be deemed to be an interruption of service for the purposes of seniority and teacher retirement.
(P.L. 1946, ch. 1775, § 3; G.L. 1956, § 16-13-3; P.L. 1975, ch. 258, § 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 170, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 387, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 307, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 267, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 362, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 278, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 335, § 1.)