Teacher Tenure

Teacher tenure is a policy by which teachers receive permanent contracts that ensure their employment for life. Unless there is just cause for their dismissal, teachers who receive tenure cannot be fired. In most states, teachers get tenure based on the number of years they work in a school or in a school district. The requisite number of years varies based on state, but generally consists of a probationary period of 3-5 years, in which a teacher must exhibit satisfactory performance.

States continually revise their tenure policies in reaction to teacher concerns and recommendations. Please check with your state’s educational board for the most current information.

Of late, some school systems like the New York City Public Schools have begun to transition away from time-based tenure towards merit-based tenure. In this system, teachers will not simply be rewarded for their staying power but for their passion, talent, and pedagogical skill.

Check out your states teacher certification requirements or the board of education for more information on teacher tenure: