Sallie A. Scribner and Mark E. McNemee, Appellants,
Board of Education of U.S.D. No. 492, Flinthills, Butler County, Kansas, Appellee, and The State of Kansas, Intervenor.
BY THE COURT
2014 Kansas Legislature did not violate the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
Constitution or Sections 1 and 2 of the Kansas Constitution
Bill of Rights when it enacted L. 2014, ch. 93, §§
49, 50, 52, 53.
the facts of this case, L. 2014, ch. 93, §§ 49, 50,
52, 53 did not cause a breach of contract.
from Butler District Court; Charles M. Hart, judge.
M. Schauner, of Kansas National Education Association, argued
the cause and was on the briefs for appellant.
L. Keeley, of McDonald Tinker PA, of Wichita, argued the
cause, and Katy E. Tompkins, of the same firm, was with him
on the brief for appellee.
R. Carswell, assistant solicitor general, argued the cause,
and Jeffrey A. Chanay, chief deputy attorney general, Stephen
R. McAllister, solicitor general, Dennis D. Depew, deputy
attorney general, M.J. Willoughby, assistant attorney
general, Bryan C. Clark, assistant solicitor general, and
Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were with him on the brief
period before July 1, 2014, the contracts of tenured
elementary and secondary teachers in Kansas school districts
automatically continued into the next school year unless a
school district gave a timely, written notice of termination
or nonrenewal that set out the reasons for the termination or
nonrenewal and notified the teacher of his or her rights to a
due process hearing. See K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 72-5436 to
72-5438, K.S.A. 72-5439, 72-5441 to 72-5444 (Furse 2002),
K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 72-5445, K.S.A. 72-5446 (Furse 2002). But
the 2014 Kansas Legislature removed both (1) the requirement
that the Board state its reasons for the termination or
nonrenewal and (2) the right to a due process hearing. L.
2014, ch. 93.
two teachers seek a judgment declaring the 2014 amendments to
K.S.A. 72-5436 et seq. (the Teacher Due Process Act)
unconstitutional because the legislation constituted a taking
of their property without due process in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and
Sections 1 and 2 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights.
We reject the teachers' arguments.
and Procedural History
Sallie A. Scribner and Mark E. McNemee filed a joint petition
for declaratory judgment and breach of contract in Butler
County District Court. According to their petition, both had
been teachers employed by the Defendant Board of Education of
Unified School District No. 492, Butler County, Kansas
(Board). In May 2015, almost one year after the 2014
amendments became effective, the Board sent Scribner and
McNemee notices advising them the Board would not be renewing
their teaching contracts. The Board did not state its reasons
for the decision or give notice of any due process rights.
These omissions, according to Scribner and McNemee, violated
their statutory rights as they existed before July 1, 2014,
rights they contend were taken from them without due process.
Board answered the petition, contending it had complied with
the law in effect on May 2015 and the 2014 amendments were
constitutional. The State moved to intervene on Count I in
order to defend the constitutionality of the 2014 amendments.
The district court granted the motion.
the teachers and the Board moved for summary judgment based
on the following stipulated facts (paragraphs 1-32):
"1. The Defendant Board of Education of Unified School
District No. 492, Flinthills, Butler County, KS (Board or
School District), is duly organized pursuant to Article 6,
Section 5 of the Kansas Constitution and Chapter 72 of the
Kansas Statutes Annotated.
"2. Plaintiff Sallie A. Scribner was first employed as a
teacher by the defendant U.S.D. No. 492 beginning with the
1997-1998 school year.
"3. Ms. Scribner had been continuously employed as a
teacher by the School District for 18 consecutive years, from
the beginning of the 1997-1998 school year through the end of
the 2014-2015 school year.
"4. Plaintiff Mark E. McNemee was first employed as a
teacher by U.S.D. No. 492 beginning with the 1999-2000 school
"5. Mr. McNemee had been continuously employed as a
teacher by the School District for 16 consecutive years, from
the beginning of the 1999-2000 school year through the end of
the 2014-2015 school year.
"6. May 15, 2015, was the third Friday in May 2015.
[Court's note: This date is the statutory deadline for
providing written notice of termination or nonrenewal. See
K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 72-5437(a). Absent such notice, teacher
contracts continue for the following school year.]
"7. At the May 12, 2015, meeting of the Board of
Education of U.S.D. No. 492, the Board adopted resolutions
directing that Plaintiffs be given notice of the Board's
intent to not renew their employment contracts for the
2015-2016 school year.
"8. The Board served Plaintiffs with written notices of
its intent to not renew their contracts for the 2015-2016
school year in notice letters from Stephanie Girty, the Clerk
of the Board, on May 12, 2015.
"9. House Bill 2506 (H.B. 2506) was introduced into the
state House of Representatives on January 27, 2014. (2014
House Journal, p. 1621.)
"10. H.B. 2506 was an act to repeal K.S.A. 72-60b03
relating to the expiration provision of the Midwestern Higher
Education Compact Act. ...