New Evaluation Cycle Allowed for Excellent and Proficient Tenured Teachers

On August 6, 2021, the Governor signed House Bill 18 into law as Public Act 102-0252. The law amends Section 24A-5 of the School Code to require that school districts establish a teacher evaluation plan that ensures each tenured teacher rated as either “excellent” or “proficient” is evaluated at least once in the course of the three school years after the receipt of the rating. The law previously required evaluations at least once every two years.

The law also requires that school districts implement an informal teacher observation plan that ensures each “excellent” or “proficient” tenured teacher is informally observed at least once in the course of two school years after receipt of the rating. These need to be in place no later than September 1, 2022.

While this is a change from the current law regarding the evaluations of tenured teachers, it is important to note that the law merely changes the minimum times a tenured teacher who was rated “excellent” or “proficient” is required to be evaluated and informally observed. School districts, therefore, may choose to have an evaluation plan in which tenured teachers are evaluated more often, provided that those evaluations are conducted in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements.

School districts, through their PERA committees, should review their evaluation plans to determine whether and how to update them for this new law. Contact Tina Christofalos, Mary Karagiannis, or any of our Labor/Employment practice group attorneys with your questions regarding this new law, or if you would like us to review your updated evaluation plan for legal compliance. 

Source:  Public Act 102-0252