Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Oral L. Ballam, Terrance E. Hatch


Oral L. Ballam


Terrance E. Hatch


Homer M. Johnson


John C. Carlisle


E. Malcom Allred


Problem: The problem of this study was to: (1) identify those laws, court decisions, legal opinions of the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Utah, the legal opinions and policies of the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Utah, trends and extra legal practices of local school boards in the State of Utah with respect to teaching personnel, (2) organize such data into topical categories in terms of subject matter , and (3) develop some suggested guidelines and recommendations for local school board policies and legislative enactments in the State of Utah.

Summary: A portion of the summary was as follow s: (l) The Office of the State Board of Education in Utah has the sole power to issue teaching certificates and may revoke them for immoral or unprofessional conduct. (2) Local school boards may require additional qualifications of certificated teachers such as areas of training, experience, and health. (3) Written contracts may be entered into with teachers for terms not to exceed five years, providing that they may be terminated for cause at any time. (4) It is not unlawful to employ a certificated teacher who is closely related to a school board member. (S) Utah has no teacher tenure laws, but local school boards may provide for tenure, continuing contracts, and orderly dismissal procedures for teachers through district policy. (6) Local school boards are financially liable for the full term of a teacher' s salary. (7) Local school boards may either insure in the state insurance fund or pay compensation directly to a teacher injured on the job. (8) Immunity from legal suit of local school boards has been waived for certain of their own acts and negligent acts of teachers when performing in their official capacity. (9) Local school boards may insure teachers against individual liability if they are judged negligent in the performance of their duties.

Major recommendations: The Utah Legislature should: (1) delete outdated and obsolete statutes pertaining to teaching personnel from the Utah Code Annotated, (2) pass a Professional Negotiation and Tenure Law for teachers, and (3) make it mandatory that local school boards purchase liability insurance for the protection of teachers.

The Utah State Board of Education should: (l) withhold State Uniform School Funds from local school boards who continue to employ non-authorized, non -certificated teachers, (2) require a financial penalty of teachers who break their contracts illegally with local school boards, and (3) prohibit local school board members from originally appointing their close relatives as teachers.

The Utah School Boards Association should increase its leader ship role with local school boards in such areas as legislation, negotiations, general school operation, and inservice training for newly elected school board members.

Additional areas of study suggested by this research were: (1) District court cases in Utah with respect to teaching personnel which have not been taken to the Appellate Courts, (2) Updating of the Utah Code Annotated in all respects in those statutes involving schools, and (3) Reasons why some local school boards in Utah operate extra legally.



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