Tenure occupies an important place in the mind of any new teacher. During the past survey year, the Kentucky courts have demonstrated that this status is not only important to teachers generally; it is essential to continued job security. The aegis of tenure provides not only the substance of teachers’ rights but also the procedure used to protect those rights.
Discharged teachers have alleged violations of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution in both its equal protection and due process aspects and violations of the Kentucky constitution. However, in each instance the courts have summarily dismissed these claims, preferring instead to confirm the legislative tenure scheme as a judicial touchstone and a teacher's sole shield.
This article will survey the past year's developments in the Kentucky case law concerning: (1) statutory due process for tenured-teachers and administrators; (2) the status of non-tenured teachers; and (3) employee unionization in an education context.