“Unsatisfactory” Teacher Evaluation Ratings Subject to Appeal Process in 2020-2021

On August 27, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1213 into law as Public Act 101-0591. The law amends the School Code. Following the enactment of this law, each school district must develop and implement an appeals process for Unsatisfactory teacher evaluation ratings.

The law involves three different layers (though many of the same people may be involved in the first two layers). First, the law requires school districts to bargain this appeals process and the issuance of a replacement rating with its teachers union. Under the process, the PERA Joint Committee must agree to a panel of qualified evaluators to review each appealed Unsatisfactory rating, as well as the criteria for successful appeals. Finally, the panel of qualified evaluators must assess each appealed Unsatisfactory rating and determine whether it should be revoked as erroneous.

The Act is effective on August 27, 2019, and the Act states that districts must implement the new appeals process “the first school year following the effective date” of the Act. Thus, this new appeal process will need to be implemented by 2020-2021 (ISBE has confirmed that implementation is not required this year, even for school districts that began school after August 27).

Clients interested in HLERK’s guidance document on implementing this new law should contact Tina Christofalos, Jeff Goelitz, or Caitlin Frenzer, or your regular labor attorney.

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