Ohio Teacher and Substitute Teaching Contracts

Ohio School Teacher Contract Lawyers

Ohio Attorney Representing Teachers And Substitutes in Contract and Disciplinary Issues

Farlow & Associates LLC represents Ohio’s school teachers and substitute teachers in contracts and contract issues, disputes, licensing, and other professional matters. The firm’s founder, Beverly Farlow, was a teacher for fourteen years before beginning a successful law practice several years ago. She has been recognized as an Ohio “Super Lawyer” in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Ms. Farlow’s combination of proven legal skills, experience representing Ohio school teachers and subs, administrators and staff, and educational background uniquely position her to advise Ohio’s school personnel in legal, contract and disciplinary issues.

Contact a Lawyer at Farlow & Associates, LLC

At Farlow & Associates, LLC, our clients expect prompt and attentive legal services – and our lawyers provide it cost effectively. To speak with an attorney at our Dublin, Ohio, law firm about your legal concerns, please contact us by calling 614-734-1270.

OH Teacher Contracts

Written contracts of employment must be issued to all professional teaching

personnel. Contracts are by and between the staff member and the board of education. The failure of a board to provide a written contract does not mean that none exists; rather, a contract is created by operation of law when the teacher accepts his/her position. Each contract must state at least the duties the teacher is to perform and the initial salary to be paid by the board. Either the board or the teacher may include other terms, as well. ORC § 3319.08.

There are three basic types of contracts for teachers:

1) limited contract: A teacher new to the district is employed on a limited contract for any fixed period of time up to five (5) years in duration. Limited contracts expire at the end of the specified term so long as the teacher has been evaluated in accordance with applicable requirements and is given written notice of non-renewal on or before April 30 of the year in which the contract expires. All supplemental contracts are limited contracts. Regardless of the length of a teacher’s employment with a district, if the teacher has only a provisional license, the teacher may only have a limited contract.

2) continuing contract: when a teacher employed under a limited contract is issued a teaching license of a higher grade (professional or permanent) and has taught three of the last five (5) years in the district, he/she is eligible for consideration for a continuing contract at the expiration of his/her limited contract. A continuing contract remains in force until the teacher resigns, retires, or is terminated. Continuing contract teachers may be discharged only for good cause or for necessary reduction in personnel, as provided in another statute.

3) extended limited contract: An extended limited contract is given to a teacher who is eligible for consideration for a continuing contract, but who the superintendent recommends for re-employment under a limited contract, not to exceed two (2) years. At times, the board’s failure to abide by mandated non-renewal procedures will result in an extended limited contract for a teacher who would otherwise be eligible for a continuing contract.

A teacher who has obtained continuing contract status in one Ohio school district before accepting employment in a second Ohio school district becomes eligible for a continuing contract upon employment in the second school district, but must be considered for continuing contract status after two (2) years’ service in the district.

A teacher who meets all legal qualifications for a continuing contract, but who is not recommended by the superintendent and approved by the board for a continuing contract, may be offered an extended limited contract or may be non-

renewed. The teacher must be notified in writing by the board treasurer of the board’s action not to re-employ, on or before April 30.

The superintendent may recommend re-employment of such teacher for a period

not to exceed two (2) years under an extended limited contract. The superintendent must give such teacher reasons for the recommendation, directed at the teacher’s professional improvement. This option is available only after the board first rejects the superintendent’s recommendation for a continuing contract. The superintendent may not recommend an extended limited contract as an initial recommendation.

In any instance of non-renewal of a teacher’s contract, a board of education cannot merely give the teacher a summary statement incorporating by reference the prior written evaluations of the teacher. Instead, the board’s written notice must provide details of the circumstances that led to the teacher’s non-renewal. Geib v. Triway Local School District Board of Education (1999) 84 Ohio St.3d 447.


Prior to employing substitute teachers, administrators should meet the same pre-hiring requirements as for regular teachers. Board action is required to hire any substitute teacher. Prior to hiring, a criminal background check is mandatory. Substitute teachers are to be given written contracts specifying duties and the rate of pay, with a maximum duration of one year. Salary need not be equivalent to that of a regular teacher. The board is not required to provide fringe benefits to a substitute teacher, unless the teacher is assigned to one specific position for a period of sixty (60) days. If the teacher is assigned to one specific position for sixty (60) days or more, then the board must provide benefits. ORC § 3319.10

No notice is required for non-renewal if the substitute teacher works fewer than one hundred twenty days (120) in the school year. However, a teacher employed as a substitute for one hundred twenty days or more during a school year and re-employed for or assigned to a specific teaching position for the succeeding year shall receive a contract as a regular teacher if the substitute meets the local educational requirements for the employment of regular teachers.

If the substitute teacher works for one hundred twenty (120) days or more during a given school year, then all evaluation requirements must be met as if for regular teachers.

Questions about contract issues are serious issues which can affect the career path and quality of life for Ohio’s teachers and substitutes, school administrators, principals and office staff and personnel. Contact an Ohio School Law professional with the experience and expertise to guide you through matters from minor issues through contract and licensing issues, even criminal allegations. We invite you to please contact us, or call 614-734-1270.