House Bill 491, which took effect March 19, 2019 made some important changes to teacher payment procedures that schools have to comply with immediately. Under the new procedures, before a district can pay any teacher:
1. The teacher must file all reports required by ODE, the school district and the superintendent, along with his or her teacher’s license, with the superintendent (or designee);
2. The treasurer must receive a written statement from the superintendent (or designee) that the teacher has filed with the superintendent (or designee) all required reports; and
3. The treasurer must receive a written statement from the superintendent (or designee) that the teacher has filed with the superintendent (or designee) a legal license to teach the subjects or grades taught and the dates of its validity.
Some of the current legal exceptions to this procedure remain in effect. However, other sections of HB 491 changed the superintendent and treasurer liability standards for teacher payments, so districts are encouraged to review the new requirements and take immediate steps to bring the district into conformity. It is also important to note that the new liability standards apply to any pending proceedings or investigations, so your local district counsel may need to evaluate whether they are affected by the amendments.