Charter Schools: Does the state require school districts to grant teachers a leave of absence to teach in a charter school?

Charter Schools: Does the state require school districts to grant teachers a leave of absence to teach in a charter school?

January 2020

This resource contains information about the 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, with charter school laws. It does not contain any information for the five states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Does the state require school districts to grant teachers a leave of absence to teach in a charter school?
Alabama No
Alaska No. However, a teacher cannot be assigned without his/her consent.

Citations: Alaska Stat. Ann. § 14.03.270
Arizona Yes. A teacher who is employed at a charter school who was previously employed at a school district will not lose any right of certification, retirement or salary status or any other benefits by law or rules due to teaching at a charter and on return to the district. A teacher who submits an employment application to the school district where employed immediately before moving to a charter school is to be given employment preference if an application is submitted no later than three years after ceasing employment, and a suitable position is available at the school district.

Citations: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-187
Arkansas No. However, if a licensed teacher employed by a public school district in the school year immediately preceding the effective date of the open-enrollment public charter is employed by an open-enrollment public charter school and the charter is revoked, the teacher will receive a priority in hiring for the first available position for which the teacher is qualified in the public school district where the licensed teacher was formerly employed.

Citations: Ark. Code Ann. § 6-23-308
California Yes. A district governing board may deny a charter petition on a number of grounds, one of which is failure to specify the rights of an employee of the district to leave to work in a charter school and of any rights to return to the district.

Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 47605
Colorado Yes. Up to 3 years.

Citations: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-111
Connecticut Yes. School professionals employed by a local or regional board are entitled to a two-year leave of absence which may be extended for an additional 2 years.

Citations: Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 10-66dd
Delaware Yes. One year for the charter school's first year of operation only or such leave as is provided in the collective bargaining agreement of the school district.

Citations: Del. Code Ann. tit. 14, § 507
District of Columbia Yes. 2 years, with an unlimited number of two-year extensions possible.

Citations: D.C. Code Ann. § 38-1802.07
Florida Yes. School district employees may take leave to work in a charter school with approval from the district school board. School districts are prohibited from requiring resignations of teachers desiring to teach in a charter school.

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.33
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois Yes. Up to 5 years.

Citations: 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/27A-10
Indiana No
Iowa No
Kansas No. State law does not directly require districts to grant leaves of absence. However, charter school petitions/contracts are required to specify of the manner in which contracts of employment and status of certificated employees of the district who participate in the operation of the school will be dealt with upon nonrenewal or revocation of the charter or upon a decision by any such employees to discontinue participation in the operation of the school.

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-4208
Kentucky Yes. Teachers must be granted a two-year leave of absence.

Citations: Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 160.1592
Louisiana Yes. Employees employed by any charter school who, previous to employment in the charter school, were employees of a local school board shall, if such employees desire, be placed on leave of absence.

Citations: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:3997
Maine No
Maryland No. However, staff members must be assigned or transferred to an eligible public charter school if the staff member wishes to work in the school and the school has a vacancy and requests the assignment or transfer. Such transfers must take place as designated by the agreement of the local bargaining unit in the local school system.

Citations: Md. Code Ann., Educ. § 9-104.1
Massachusetts Yes. Teachers may request up to 2 years to teach in a commonwealth charter school.

Citations: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 71 § 89
Michigan No
Minnesota Yes. Up to 5 years.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124E.12
Mississippi No
Missouri No. However, any teacher who accepts a position at a charter school may opt to remain an employee of the district. These teachers retains permanent teacher status and seniority rights for 3 years and the charter school must pay the teacher the district's full salary and benefits costs.

Citations: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.420
Nevada Yes. Up to 3 years.

Citations: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388A.530
New Hampshire No
New Jersey Yes. Teachers may be granted leave up to 3 years. Employees on leave do not accrue tenure, but retain tenure and continue to accrue seniority.

Citations: N.J. Stat. Ann. § 18A:36A-14
New Mexico No
New York Yes. Teachers may request a leave of absence for up to 3 years, and the board of education may not unreasonably withhold the request. In the school district of a city with a population of 1 million or more, principals may request a leave of absence for up to 3 years to serve as a principal of a charter school.

Citations: N.Y. Educ. Law § 2854
North Carolina Yes. A teacher may be granted a one-year leave of absence. If a teacher has previously received a leave of absence, then the school is not required to grant one. Effective June 30, 2018, a teacher may return to their previous school if an appropriate position is available.

Citations: N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-218.90
Ohio Yes. At least 3 years.

Citations: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.10
Oklahoma No. The sponsoring school district decides if a teacher loses salary status or other benefits. However, if a teacher seeks reemployment at the school district where the teacher worked prior to the charter school no later than 3 years after leaving a district school, the teacher is to receive employment preference.

Citations: Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-139
Oregon Yes. A minimum of 2 years.

Citations: Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.135
Pennsylvania Yes. Teachers make take a leave of absence for up to 5 years.

Citations: 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 17-1724-A
Rhode Island Yes. Up to 2 years in district charters, and leave must be extended upon request for an additional 2 years.

Citations: R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-77.2-1
South Carolina Yes. Up to 5 years.

Citations: S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-130
Tennessee No. If a teacher employed by a school district makes a written request for an extended leave of absence to teach at a public charter school, the school district may grant the leave. Any extensions are at the discretion of the LEA.

Citations: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-117
Texas No
Utah No. However, a teacher may request a leave of absence in order to work in a charter school upon approval of the local school board. The teacher will retain accrued seniority and may continue to participate in the benefit program of the district.

Citations: U.C.A. 1953 § 53G-5-407
Virginia No. However, licensed education personnel may volunteer for assignment to a charter school for 1 year.

Citations: Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-212.13
Washington No
West Virginia No.

Citations: W. Va. Code, § 18-5G-3
Wisconsin No
Wyoming Yes. Up to 3 years. After 3 years, the school district must determine the relationship between the school district and the teacher.

Citations: Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-313

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