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Kentucky Department of Education seeking participants for teacher tribunals

Teachers can appeal firings or suspensions before tribunal

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2015) — The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is seeking additional educators and non- educators interested in serving on teacher tribunals.

educationIndividuals who are currently in the pool for assignment to a teacher tribunal or who have already served on a tribunal will need to reapply and undergo the training to continue to serve. Those who received training earlier this month in Frankfort do not need to reapply or attend additional training.

Under KRS 161.790, before a teacher is fired or suspended by a local school district, the teacher has the right to appeal the decision and have the case heard by a tribunal.

Each tribunal consists of a retired or current public school teacher, a retired or current public school certified administrator, and a layperson—none of whom can live in the school district from which the appeal was made. The hearing is overseen by a hearing officer from the Office of the Attorney General.

While the hearing officer assists with the hearing, the substantive decision regarding the teacher’s employment is made by the teacher tribunal members. With the guidance of the hearing officer, the tribunal hears witnesses, asks questions during the hearing, and decides whether the disciplinary action against the teacher should be affirmed, reduced, or reversed.

When contacted by KDE to hear a teacher tribunal case, individuals may decline to serve on the tribunal if the hearing dates or location is not convenient, or if the individual is knowledgeable of the circumstances or the parties involved in the appeal. Tribunal members are provided $100 per day plus travel expenses for serving on an active tribunal and hearing a case.

To be eligible to serve on a tribunal, individuals must undergo training. In order to ensure a full pool of potential tribunal members for the hearings across the state, training is scheduled for:

  • Nov. 16 at Pennyrile State Park – 1-4:30 p.m. (CST)
  • Nov. 17 at Natural Bridge State Park – 1-4:30 p.m. (EST)

Those who attend the training are eligible for the $100 per diem and their travel expenses.
The Kentucky Department of Education encourages school district superintendents to allow current employees to attend this training as part of an official work day rather than requiring employees to use personal leave time to perform this public service.

Those interested in attending the training for possible service on a tribunal can complete the form available on KDE’s website and provide it to KDE by Nov. 12.