The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has issued non-regulatory guidance regarding the application of Section 24-14 of the Illinois School Code to teacher resignations.

Section 24-14 of the School Code provides that a teacher “who has entered into contractual continued service” can resign from his or her employment at any time by obtaining concurrence from the Board of Education, or by serving at least 30 days’ written notice upon the secretary of the Board. However, the Code prohibits teachers from resigning during the school term, without the concurrence of the Board, in order to accept another teaching assignment. A teacher who resigns mid-term to take a new teaching assignment without concurrence of the Board faces stiff penalties, including a license suspension of up to one year. 

ISBE’s new guidance comes in the wake of the Illinois Appellate Court case, Board of Education of Park Forest Heights School District No. 163, Cook County, Illinois v. the State Teacher Certification Board et al., 842 N.E.2d 1230 (Ill. App. 1st Dist. 2006). In that case, the Appellate Court held that the teaching certificate sanctions for resigning mid-term to accept another teaching position apply to tenured and probationary teachers alike. The statutory language states that “no teacher” may resign mid-term without board concurrence, and is not limited to “a teacher who has entered into contractual continued service.” Tenured teachers also face license suspension if they resign without Board concurrence and do not provide 30 days’ notice, regardless of the reason for resignation.

In addition to agreeing with the Appellate Court regarding the circumstances under which teachers may face licensure suspension for resignation, ISBE’s guidance articulates what a school district must do to pursue licensure sanction under Section 24-14. The district must provide:

  • Proof of employment for the school year at issue, including the educator’s original employment contract;
  • Documentation reflecting that the Board of Education did not accept the educator’s resignation; and
  • Evidence that the educator left the district in order to accept another teaching assignment.

ISBE’s guidance also includes a useful chart detailing the circumstances under which any teacher may face licensure sanctions for resigning.