6. Comparison of teachers' dismissals in Japan
and the U.S.

  Shoji Sugita
1. Overstaff and dismissals
In Japan, there are few cases of the dismissals of surplusstaff, for the board of education will try
to relocate the surplusstaff  to other school districts or some other schools as much as possible.
There, the personnel affairs of teachers are not authorized by a local school board, but are only
authorized by the prefectural board of education, so they will legally transfer the surplusstaff to
other school districts and this system is useful for the problem of the teachers' dismissals, but
also the local school board may propose to the prefectural board of education to let their inferior
teachers transfer to other school district as a good chance for them.
In the U.S., there are more cases of surplusstaff than in Japan, for instance,
  Case: Taborn v. Hammonds   324 N.C. 546, 380 S.E. 2d 513 (N.C.1989)
As a result of a teacher audit by the North Carolina Department of Public Institution in 1984, the
D. City School were not funded for the 1984-85 school year for a number of positions which
priviously filled in our system for the Exceptional Children program.In order to adjust to this
decrease in funding, it was necessary to take various actions........................,.
In the case, it is apparant that three major events let to the plaintiff's dismissal. First, there was a
substantial reduction in funding for the Exceptional Children Program. Second, the Board made the
administrative decision to reduce professional personnel in response ot the decrease in funding.
Third, the Board approved the Superintendent's recommendation that the defendant be included
among the employees dismissed.
2. Ground of teachers' didmissals
In Japan, there is a uniform article of teachers' dismissals on Article 28 & 29 of The Local Public
Official Law of Japan and is almost the same ground of teachers' dismissals in every prefecture,
although there would add some other conditions to it. The Law is the following;
 Article 28 ( Dismissal in Non-disgrace )
  ・ Very poor performance    ・ Being damaged mentally & physically
  ・ Lacking eligibility or Incompetence
  ・ Surplusstaff or Abolision of employment in light of substantial reduction in funding

 Article 29 ( Didmissal in disgrace )
  ・ Delinquency or Violation of official duty      ・ Neglect of dudy
  ・ Misconduct on the status of officer
However, in the U.S., there are various regulated ground of it and the teacher will be notified abott
it in detail.
For instance, in The Case:Cozad v. Crane School Dist. R-3, 716 S.W.2d 408 (Mo.Ct.Appl. 1986),
  WARNING To Teacher Pursuant to R.S.Mo.168.116
  To:B.C., March 26,1984      From Dr.C.B. Superintendent C.School District R-3
  You are hereby given warning in writing that unless the causes referred to here-in are not
  removed within 30 days from this date, charged of incompetency and inefficiency in line of duty
  may be filed against you for the purpose of termination of your indefinite contract with C.S.
  District R-3 as a permanent teacher.

  1. Failure to discharge your duties as a prudent and alert supervisor during excursions with
    students that take them beyond the school permises;
  2.Failure to show energy and vitality when working with students;
  3.Failure to maintain a positive working relationship with parents;
  4.Failure to take college course work in the field of education either toward a high degree or for
   additional certification for more than 12 years;
  10. Failure to move away from the desk during class and failure to make yourself adequately
    heard and seen by students while teaching; .............. In order to assist you in understanding
    the nature of the charges and to make efforts to improve your performance, the following
    particulars concerning your performance are noted;
    A. You rarely move from your chair and desk while teaching. This shows a lack of energy
     and vitality and makes it difficult for you to be seen and heard at all times by students.
    B. You have failed to handle minor discipline problems, casting an unnecessary burden on
      your  principals............
    C. You fail to treat studenta as..........
    J. You have shown an indifference to the feeling of students with problems. I will meet and
     confer  with you in and effort to resolve this matter.
               Dr.C.B. Superintendent C.S.District R-3
3. Professional confidence and guarantee of salary of teachers
In Japan, teachers are guaranteed with their salaries through out the year, for even in summer
holidays or winter ones they will get the same salaries as the ones during the school terms.

And a local school board does not need to pay the salary of teachers, for the prefectural board of
education will pay it, and more, even if a poor prefectural board of education finacially does
not worry about the salary so much, for the half of it will given to the board by the National
Government. These system are regulated by the National Law.
Like this, Japanese teachers do not need to get salaries with extra jobs in summer holidays
or  winter ones and they are prohibited to work at other jobs through the school year, so their
professional confidence might be stronger and more stable than Americans'.
However recently, this system sometimes makes some Japanese teachers a little more lazy.
4. Teacher evaluation
In Japan, there are few classes on the teacher evaluation system, for the purpose of the teacher
evaluation is mainly to be the observation of their achievements by a so-called " Long-termed
eyse", and it is used to improve thewhole effect of the school. There, harmony and cooperation
with all staff are the most important and effective elements for the school and the teacher

So, regardless of a little rising salary, an excellent teacher would try to help an inferior one
voluntary and willingly, and this is a valuable part of teacher evaluation way, but also we have to
consider another part that it is sometimes used to be apart away from the real meaning of the
teacher evaluation and make an inferior teacher more lazy. Fortunatley or unfortunately, soon,
the way will be changed to the more reasonable evaluation system.
5. Dismissal procedure
In the U.S., the procedure until the dismissals is an indispensable requirement and it is based on
the Article 14 of the U.S. Constitution, and the real method of it is actually a little different by the
cases, however,the following requirement might be at least necessary. That is ,
 ・ To compare with the contract that the teacher is employed with
 ・ To compare with the state law 
 ・How about the precedent court decisions of the similar cases
For instance, there is the following;
Farley v. Bd. of Educ. of County of Mingo, 365 S.E.2d 816 (W.Va.App. 1988)
 1. Letters bearing the date of March 24,1987. were sent to each of the involved teachers by the
   superintendent, which letters advised them of their termination and gave as a reason: "Lack of
   need". The letter concluded that a special meeting of the Board would be held at 6:00 p.m. on
   March 27,1987, at which time they could appear.
 2, It is an established legal principle that "notice contemplated meaningfull notice which affords
   an opportunity to prepare a defense and be heard on the merits.
 3. "We cannot too often repeat that under our system of government no citizen can be
  condemned of a crime, or deprived of a legal right, without notice and reasonable opportunity
  to be heard.
 4. Here we believe reasonable notice was not given to the teachers. The county superintendent's
   notice letters, which indicated the hearing would be held on March 27,1987, were received by
   the teachers on March 25 and March 26, 1987. This limited notice was unreasonable as it
  deprived the teachers of any opportunity to challenge the bases for their proposed dismissals.
    So, Reversed and Remanded with Directions.
In Japan, there is not a regulated law or rules of the teacher dismissal procedure, but in fact, it will
be determinent with the evidences collected by the authorities cautiously.
6. Difference of teacher's affairs
As I described before, in Japan, a local school board does not have the right of teacher
termination and some other affairs of teachers rights, but only the prefectural board of education has
them. Therefore, there is and the possibility that the prefectural board of education will transfer the
teacher to other school districts legally, considering the traffic facilities and some other conditions
for the teacher in the prefecture, and will be able to reduce the cases of teacher dismissals and
will be able to keep on almost the same educational level there.

For instance, there are 88 municipalities ( 31 Cities, 46 Towns and 11 Villages ) in Aichi Prefecture
in Japan and the population is about 6.6oo.000.    Full-time teacher: about 20.000 (Elementary
School), about 15.000 (Junior High ), and 11.000 ( Senior High )in the Pubic. So, it is like State in
the U.S.
And Aichi Prefectural Board of Education has the right of the above-mentioned teacher affairs
except the one of Nagoya City.
In the U.S., a local school board or some unified school boards have the right of teachers' affairs,
therefor, the range of it is comparatively smaller than that of Japan's and it will work with their
communities well, however, there might be some more difficult problems of teacher dismissals,
7. Supplemental teaching license
The main certified subjects of teachers are important for the students to learn the subjects and
teachers will try to get higher grades and abilities of them.
On the other hand, sub-teaching license is usually not so useful for him or her and the students,
however, school boards have to consider carefully in some special situations like overstaffing
In Japan, overstaffing problem would happen in the prefectural boards of education, they would
surely check and consider the sub-licenses of all of the teachers in that area.

But, in the U.S. there are some cases as the followin;
 Bauer v. Bd. of Educ.,Unified School District No.452   765 P.2d (Supreme Ct. of Kansas 1988)
 1. B. was the tenured teacher, certified social science, power mechanics, general shop and
   metals. There was a decline in enrollment of the students of auto mechanics, and then reducing
   in force was necessary for the School Board.
 2. He was not renewal, and a outside non-tenured teacher was hired to teach social science.
   So, he appealed.
 3. The Supreme Ct. decided as follows:
  (1) School Board has the duty of good faith examination of the competence, interest, training
     of all teachers in that area.
  (2) Of course, it was not primary contract, but was supplemental one, and "Certified" is not
     "Qualified". But it has the presumption to be "Qualified", and then, if not, rebuttable is
     burdent of the school board.
  (3) School Board was unsure that B. was certified to teach social science untill it considered
     the finding of due process pane.
    So, reversed, and reinstated.
8. Insubordination and teacher dismissals
In the U.S., there are a lot of cases of insubordination of teachers. For instance, the following:
 Monteith v. Board of Educ. of The County of Webster,   375 S.E.2d 209(W.Va.1988)
 1. A conflict arose in a salary classification that would only entitle her to a bachelor's level of
   pay, which was &1200 less.
 2. The first grade at E.Elementary School is one room, divided into four sections. Each section
   is supervised by a teacher. M. is one of the four teachers. When M.'s paycheck was delivered
   to her, it reflected a bachelor's rate of pay instead of "A.B. plus 15" rate.
 3. Upset over the significant reduction in her paycheck M. left her section of the classroom,
   leaving the pupils working on a project. M. went to the office of the principal to notify him that
   she had leave school. The principal was not in the building at the time, and the assistant
   principal was out of his office.
4. As she was leaving, she encountered the assistant principal, who attempted to discuss the
  matter with her. She refused, left the school's premises, and drove to the Board of Education
5. M.the left the Board offices and went back to G.Elementary School, after being away for about
  one hour. After a discussion with the assistant principal, M.left , stating that she needed to go
  to C. to straighten the certification matter out.
6. She returned to her teaching duties the following day, but near the end of the day, was
 summoned to the principal's office, where the principal and assistant principal were present.
  A letter was given to M. at this meeting, explaining that she was being suspended for leaving
  her class area unattended and leaving the school without permission.
7. M. was charged with insubordination, inteperance, and wilful neglect of duty pursuant to W.
  Va. Code,18-A-2-8.

8. The Circuit Court upheld the Board's decision to dismiss M.
9. But, finally, Supreme Court decided as follows;
 (1) Although M. did not exercise good judgement, in her distress, she left a classroom in which
   three other adults were present. The children were working on a project, and a replacement
   for that day came in shortly after the her exit to supervise her section of the class.
 (2) M.'s conduct in the case now before us was clearly correctable and did not substantially
   affect the students, the school, or the school system in a permanent way.
 (3) M. possessed nine years of teaching experience.
 (4) For the foregoing reasons, the judgement of the Circuit Court of W.County is reversed.
   M. will be reinstated with full back pay and benefits.
In Japan, if such a case happen, the prefectural board of education would not charge the teacher
as dismissal on ground of insubordination.
 The Original in 1990