What Comprises "Just Cause" for Termination in a 3020a Proceeding?

Broadly, three things: first, the district must prove you were warned about the alleged deficiencies and that you were given an adequate chance to improve, e.g., with district-provided assistance and training; second, the district must prove that you persisted in rendering incompetent service; and third, the district must show that you were insubordinate for not heeding your supervisors’ instructions to improve.

The “deficiencies” for which a tenured teacher can be fired are as follows:

  • Immoral character
  • Conduct unbecoming a teacher
  • Insubordination
  • Neglect of duty
  • Inefficiency
  • Failure to maintain certification
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Corporal punishment
  • Excessive absenteeism
  • Verbal abuse
  • Sexual contact/relationship
  • Pedagogical incompetence

(Pedagogical incompetence is not defined in either the law or the regulations, but it is generally thought to include inability to control a class, failure to prepare required lesson plans, and neglect of duty.)