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Many professions require their members to obtain continuing education credits as a means of staying current and up-to-date with new techniques and research within their fields. Moreover, state educational policies often require teachers and administrators to earn staff development hours or credits annually to retain their certification for employment. To this end, states typically permit local boards of education to determine specific guidelines and programs for acquiring the continuing education credits. In Harrah Independent School District v. Martin (1979), the Supreme Court judged the reasonableness of public school professional development policies as well as teacher dismissal of those who fail to meet the district requirements.

Facts of the Case

Mary Jane Martin, hired by the Harrah (Oklahoma) Independent School District in 1969, refused to comply with the ...

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