School District No. 1 in the City and County of Denver; and Valentina Flores, Debora Scheffel, Pam Mazanec, Steve Durham, Jane Goff, Joyce Rankin, and Angelika Schroeder, in their official capacities as members of the Colorado State Board of Education, Petitioners
Cynthia Masters, Michelle Montoya, Mildred Anne Kolquist, Lawrence Garcia, Paula Scena, Jane Harmon, Lynne Rerucha, and Denver Classroom Teachers Association. Respondents
to the Colorado Court of Appeals of Appeals Case No. 14CA1348
Attorneys for Petitioner School District No. 1 in the City
and County of Denver: Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP Eric
V. Hall Tamara F. Goodlette Stacy Kourlis Guillon Denver,
Attorneys for Petitioners Valentina Flores, Debora Scheffel,
Pam Mazanec, Steve Durham, Jane Goff, Joyce Rankin, and
Angelika Schroeder: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General
Frederick R. Yarger, Solicitor General Julie C. Tolleson,
First Assistant Attorney General Antony B. Dyl, Senior
Assistant Attorney General and Assistant Solicitor General
Davin Dahl, Assistant Attorney General Denver, Colorado.
Attorneys for Respondents: Colorado Education Association
Kris Gomez Denver, Colorado.
McNamara Roseman & Shechter LLP Todd McNamara Mathew S.
Shechter Denver, Colorado.
National Education Association Alice O'Brien Philip A.
Hostak Washington, District of Columbia.
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Colorado Association of School
Boards: Colorado Association of School Boards Kady D. Lanoha
Attorneys for Amici Curiae The Colorado Children's
Campaign, Education Reform Now, and Ready Colorado: Squire
Patton Boggs (US) LLP Brent Owen E. Rayner Mangum Denver,
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Colorado Succeeds: Holland &
Hart LLP Stephen G. Masciocchi Jason A. Crow Jessica J. Smith
Attorneys for Amici Curiae Former Colorado Governors Bill
Ritter, Jr., and Bill Owens: Foster Graham Milstein &
Calisher, LLP Chip G. Schoneberger Denver, Colorado.
Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Independence Institute: Kittredge
LLC Daniel D. Domenico Denver, Colorado.
Attorneys for Amici Curiae Senators Michael Johnston, Owen
Hill, Kevin Grantham, Vickie Marble, and Laura Woods; Former
Senator John Morse; Representatives Paul Lundeen and Daniel
Nordberg; and Former Representatives Terrance Carroll and
Christine Scanlan: MRDLaw Michael L. Francisco Denver,
Teachers who work for Denver Public Schools
("DPS"), together with the Denver Classroom
Teachers Association (collectively, "the
teachers"), filed this suit, alleging that DPS invoked
Senate Bill 10-191-which under certain circumstances allows a
school district to place a nonprobationary teacher on unpaid
leave-to remove hundreds of teachers from their positions in
violation of both due process of law and the contracts clause
of the Colorado Constitution. School District No. 1 and
members of the Colorado Board of Education (collectively,
"the District") moved to dismiss the suit, and the
trial court granted that motion. A division of the court of
appeals reversed, relying on our decisions interpreting
predecessor statutes to the relevant, now-codified law-the
Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act of 1990
("TECDA")-and concluding due process violations
occurred under those predecessor statutes. Masters v.
Sch. Dist. No. 1, 2015 COA 159, ¶¶ 38, 40, ___
We granted certiorari and now reverse. We hold that TECDA did
not create a contractual relationship or vest nonprobationary
teachers who are placed on unpaid leave with a property
interest in salary and benefits.
Facts and Procedural History
The Teacher Employment, Dismissal, and Tenure Act of 1967
("TEDTA"), ch. 435, sec. 1, §§ 123-18-1
to -18, 1967 Colo. Sess. Laws 976, provided that a teacher
who maintained continuous employment in the same school
district for three academic years became tenured upon being
retained for a fourth academic year. § 22-63-112(1),
C.R.S. (1988). It defined a "tenure teacher" as
"any teacher who has acquired tenure status in a school
district pursuant to law." § 22-63-102(11), C.R.S.
(1988). Under TEDTA, a tenured teacher was "entitled to
a position of employment as a teacher" under certain
circumstances. § 22-63-115(1), C.R.S. (1988).