Appeal from Circuit Court, Baker County. Richard J. Courson, Judge.
Dennis A. Hachler, Pendleton, argued the cause for appellant. With him on the brief was Robert E. Ridgway, Pendleton.
David C. Silven, Baker, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were Banta, Silven, Young and Marlette, Baker.
Fort, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Langtry, Judge.
Appellant teacher appeals the denial of his writ of mandamus seeking to compel respondent school district to issue him a three-year teacher's contract pursuant to ORS 342.508.
ORS 342.508, the "limited tenure" statute,*fn1 was intended to give some security to teachers such as appellant who have worked three consecutive years in a district not subject to the Fair Dismissal Law,*fn2 but
which have an average student population exceeding 800.*fn3
"(1) In any school district which is not subject to the provisions of ORS 342.200 and 342.805 to 342.955 but which has an average daily membership in excess of 800 pupils, a teacher or administrator who has been regularly employed by the school district for the last preceding three successive school years shall be issued by March 15 of the third year a three-year contract if the school board determines to rehire the teacher or administrator. If the school board determines to rehire the teacher or administrator at the termination of any three-year contract made pursuant to this section, the contract shall be renewed by March 15 of the year of termination for an additional three-year period.
"(2) Each district school board of a district subject to this section shall give written notice, by March 15 of the year the contract with the teacher or administrator described in subsection (1) of this section terminates, to the teacher or administrator of the renewal or nonrenewal of his contract. If the contract is not renewed, the notice of such nonrenewal and the reasons therefor shall be given in the manner prescribed by ORS 342.513. If the school board fails to give notice by March 15, the contract shall be considered renewed for the following school year at a salary not less than the annual salary being received at the time of renewal. The teacher or administrator may bring an action of mandamus to compel the school board to issue such a one-year contract for the following year.
"(3) When a school district subject to this section merges with one or more school districts or annexes one or more school districts or other territory and if the newly enlarged school district is not subject to the provisions of ORS 342.200 and 342.805 to 342.955, the contracts of teachers or administrators described in subsection (1) of this section prior to the merger or annexation shall continue to be subject to this section as if there had been no merger or annexation. All other teachers or administrators employed by the newly enlarged school district shall be entitled to count their prior continuous service not to exceed the preceding two years, ...