2013 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 22 - Public Schools
Article 10A - School Personnel Act
Section 22-10A-24 - Termination decisions; local school board; governing authority of a state agency; procedures. (2003)


NM Stat § 22-10A-24 (2013) What's This?

22-10A-24. Termination decisions; local school board; governing authority of a state agency; procedures. (2003) 
A.   A local school board or governing authority of a state agency may terminate an employee with fewer than three years of consecutive service for any reason it deems sufficient.  Upon request of the employee, the superintendent or administrator shall provide written reasons for the decision to terminate. The reasons shall be provided within ten working days of the request.  The reasons shall not be publicly disclosed by the superintendent, administrator, local school board or governing authority.  The reasons shall not provide a basis for contesting the decision under the School Personnel Act.   
B.   Before terminating a non-certified school employee, the local school board or governing authority shall serve the employee with a written notice of termination.   
C.   An employee who has been employed by a school district or state agency for three consecutive years and who receives a notice of termination pursuant to either Section 22-10-12 NMSA 1978 [recompiled] or this section, may request an opportunity to make a statement to the local school board or governing authority on the decision to terminate him by submitting a written request to the local superintendent or administrator within five working days from the date written notice of termination is served upon him.  The employee may also request in writing the reasons for the action to terminate him.  The local superintendent or administrator shall provide written reasons for the notice of termination to the employee within five working days from the date the written request for a meeting and the written request for the reasons were received by the local superintendent or administrator.  Neither the local superintendent or administrator nor the local school board or governing authority shall publicly disclose its reasons for termination.   
D.   A local school board or governing authority may not terminate an employee who has been employed by a school district or state agency for three consecutive years without just cause.   
E.   The employee's request pursuant to Subsection C of this section shall be granted if he responds to the local superintendent's or administrator's written reasons as provided in Subsection C of this section by submitting in writing to the local superintendent or administrator a contention that the decision to terminate him was made without just cause.  The written contention shall specify the grounds on which it is contended that the decision was without just cause and shall include a statement of the facts that the employee believes support his contention.  This written statement shall be submitted within ten working days from the date the employee receives the written reasons from the local superintendent or administrator.  The submission of this statement constitutes a representation on the part of the employee that he can support his contentions and an acknowledgment that the local school board or governing authority may offer the causes for its decision and any relevant data in its possession in rebuttal of his contentions.   
F.   A local school board or governing authority shall meet to hear the employee's statement in no less than five or more than fifteen working days after the local school board or governing authority receives the statement. The hearing shall be conducted informally in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meetings Act [Chapter 10, Article 15 NMSA 1978]. The employee and the local superintendent or administrator may each be accompanied by a person of his choice.  First, the superintendent shall present the factual basis for his determination that just cause exists for the termination of the employee, limited to those reasons provided to the employee pursuant to Subsection C of this section. Then, the employee shall present his contentions, limited to those grounds specified in Subsection E of this section. The local school board or governing authority may offer such rebuttal testimony as it deems relevant.  All witnesses may be questioned by the local school board or governing authority, the employee or his representative and the local superintendent or administrator or his representative.  The local school board or governing authority may consider only such evidence as is presented at the hearing and need consider only such evidence as it considers reliable.  No record shall be made of the proceeding. The local school board or governing authority shall notify the employee and the local superintendent or administrator of its decision in writing within five working days from the conclusion of the meeting.   
  History: 1953 Comp., § 77-8-11, enacted by Laws 1967, ch. 16, § 116; 1975, ch. 306, § 10; 1979, ch. 86, § 1; 1983, ch. 103, § 1; reenacted by Laws 1986, ch. 33, § 22; 1987, ch. 320, § 5; 1990, ch. 90, § 2; 1991, ch. 187, § 4; 1993, ch. 226, § 27; 1994, ch. 110, § 2; 1978 Comp., § 22-10-14, recompiled as § 22-10A-24 by Laws 2003, ch. 153, § 72. 

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