April 06, 2005
Capacity: School board lacks authority for 5-year contract
An automatic renewal clause in a four-year Tennessee school employee’s contract is unlawful and unenforceable, the state’s court of appeals has ruled, because the school board that awarded it lacked capacity to do so.
The plaintiff in the case had a four-year contract with the school board, a clause of which provided that if the board took no action before April 15, it would automatically be renewed for the next year. But this provision, said the court, ran afoul of a Tennessee statute that provided that contracts for school employees could not run longer than four years. The automatic renewal would have the effect of creating a five year contract, which was outside the board’s authority.
Heatherly v. Campbell County Board of Education, 2005 Tenn. App. LEXIS 144 (March 10, 2005).
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