Teacher Fair Dismissal Act: Can Teachers Get Their Jobs Back?

Administrative Law, Employment Law

Can teachers get their job back?

As a teacher, can I get my job back if they suspend or fire me?

Yes.  You are protected by a strong law.  The law is called the Arkansas Teacher Fair Dismissal Act (TFDA).  This law is designed to help teachers. The TFDA says that a teacher has to receive written notice of any nonrenewal, suspension, or termination. A teacher may then request a hearing before the school board to get their job back. They can be represented by an attorney at this hearing.

What happens at the school board hearing?

The only issues that the school board can look at in the hearing over suspension or termination are the issues listed by the superintendent in the original letter to the teacher.

If the school board votes to suspend or terminate the teacher, the teacher can appeal and take the school board and district to Court.

Can I lose my teaching license?

Your license can only be revoked state Professional Licensure Standards Board (PLSB).  The PLSB must follow its own rules.  You can be represented by an attorney to ensure you are treated fairly.  Many times an attorney can help the teacher in the investigation stage and then the PLSB takes no action regarding the teacher’s license.

What about being paid for the work I do?

The school board has to act before you are suspended without pay.  If you are suspended or terminated without written notice, please call a lawyer immediately.

What if I am not a teacher, am I still protected?

Yes. The TFDA applies to all employees of a school district who must have a teaching license, but not superintendents and assistant superintendents. The TFDA law protects principals, assistant principals, counselors, and specialist employees as well.

Should I hire an education-law attorney?

Yes.  Chris Burks has represented many teachers in Teacher Fair Dismissal Act cases.  He is trusted by the Arkansas State Teachers Association to represent their teachers.  He also published articles on education law and trained other attorneys on education and state government law.

Chris knows the law well, and knows how to make it work for you.

About the Author
Chris Burks

Chris W. Burks


Chris Burks concentrates his practice in family and employment law litigation. He has represented individuals and families in a variety of matters including child and adult guardianships, adoptions, custody and visitation disputes, child support cases, divorces with business valuation issues, as well as breaches of fiduciary duties in probate. He also has experience representing employees and businesses in breach of…

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