Memo 4

Last revised 1/2006 – Currently under review to be updated


The following discussion centers mainly on districts over 250 ADA and implements the nonreelection system. Districts with less than 250 ADA should carefully review all board policies, employment contracts and certificated employee handbooks to make sure that language is consistent with the statutory system.
The employment relationship between the public school employer and a certificated employee is contractual in nature. Although many employment terms are specified in the Education Code, the statutes are said to be incorporated into the contract itself. There is no authority to employ a certificated staff member initially as a permanent employee except that a school district (but not a county superintendent) may employ as a permanent employee a person who has already become a permanent certificated employee in another school district. (If a district is considering initially employing a person meeting this requirement as a permanent employee, this office should be contacted for an appropriate form to do so.)
The employment contract need only be executed once, at the start of probationary employment, although we encouragedistricts to issue another probationary agreement for the second year of service. The employee becomes a permanent employee (except in districts with less than 250 ADA) upon completion of the service required by law. No additional contract is necessary for permanent employment.
K-12 Districts
The enclosed agreement contains important features for the district’s protection.

  • This version sets a June 30 termination date, requiring reissuance for the following year.
  • This contract specifically commits the employee to maintain all credentials held on initial employment and to continue to agree to accept extra-duty assignments which formed the basis of the initial employment decision (e.g., coaching). Please note that failure to maintain a credential or extra-duty assignment does not result in automatic dismissal. Charges must be brought and proven as cause for dismissal.

County Superintendents:

  • The only certificated employees who can obtain permanent status are those employed in teaching positions in offices with at least 250 ADA. Persons initially employed in teaching positions may be given a county office version of the K-12 probationary contract. References to the District and the governing board should be changed to County Superintendent. The County Board of Education is not the employer.
  • County offices under 250 ADA: Like the smaller districts, certificated teachers never acquire tenure. Make the same modifications discussed above for small K-12 districts.
  • County office certificated employees not serving in teaching positions are all hired under Education Code section 1293. A suitable form for employment is available from our office.

All Employers Under 250 ADA:
A customized form should be used because there is no tenure track. Please contact us for sample text.
Enclosure: “Probationary Certificated Employee Contract”
PLEASE NOTE: This form contains sample language that may not be appropriate for every district. Please carefully review every provision to determine if the text should be included in the contract.