School District No. 332 Independent School District No. 12,
Aron, Cedrick R. Frazier, Nicole M. Blissenbach, Education
Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota (for relators)
J. Rupp, Kristin C. Nierengarten, Rupp, Anderson, Squires
& Waldspurger, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondents)
Considered and decided by Rodenberg, Presiding Judge; Worke,
Judge; and Reilly, Judge.
unambiguous language of Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, subd. 5
(2016), provides that a teacher who completes three
consecutive years of teaching in a single Minnesota school
district is entitled to a one-year probationary period in
each subsequent Minnesota school district, not in a city of
the first class, in which the teacher is later employed.
Shannon Long and Laurie Erickson challenge respondent school
districts' decisions to nonrenew their teaching
contracts. Relators argue that their prior completion of
three consecutive years of teaching in a Minnesota school
district entitled each of them to a one-year probationary
period in respondent districts. Relators further argue that,
by completing one year of teaching in respondent districts
without adverse action from the districts, they completed
their probationary periods and possessed continuing
contracts. We conclude that Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, subd.
5, unambiguously provides that a teacher who completes three
years teaching in a single Minnesota school district shall
have a one-year probationary period in a subsequent Minnesota
school district, not in a city of the first class, in which
the teacher is later employed. Because relators possessed
continuing contracts that were not subject to nonrenewal, we
Long's Teaching History
Shannon Long has been a licensed teacher in Minnesota since
2008. Long taught in the East Central School District for
three consecutive years, from 2008 to 2011. At the end of the
2010-2011 school year, the East Central School District
decided to nonrenew Long's contract at the end of her
probationary period. Long then taught in the Cromwell-Wright
School District for the 2011-2012 school year and the North
Shore Community School for the 2012-2013 school year, and
worked a number of substitute teaching positions during the
2013-2014 school year.
began teaching in respondent Independent School District No.
332, Mora (the Mora School District) in 2014. Long taught in
the Mora School District for three consecutive years. In the
spring of 2017, the Mora School District decided not to renew
Long's contract for a fourth year. As part of its
nonrenewal decision, the board for the Mora School District
determined that Long had not obtained a continuing contract
while working for the Mora School District and could be
nonrenewed under Minn. Stat. § 122A.40, subd. 5, as a
probationary teacher. The Mora School District did not allow
Long to request a hearing, presumably because the board
believed her to be a probationary teacher, and a probationary
teacher does not have a right to a hearing upon notice of
termination. See Minn. Stat. § 122.40, subd.
5. Long filed this certiorari appeal.
Erickson's Teaching History
Laurie Erickson has been a licensed teacher in Minnesota
since 1993. Erickson taught in the Forest Lake School
District for three consecutive years, from 1998 to 2001. At
the end of the 2000-2001 school year, the Forest Lake School
District decided to nonrenew Erickson's teaching
contract. From 2001 to 2010, Erickson worked for a private
day-treatment program, Human Services, Inc., as a
special-education teacher. Erickson then taught in
Intermediate School District 287 from 2010 to 2013. In the
spring of 2013, Erickson's teaching contract ...