Tenure helps protect teachers but does not guarantee them a job.

In Pennsylvania, teachers acquire tenure after teaching in the same school district for three years and maintaining a satisfactory rating during that time. Once a teacher has tenure, state law mandates that the teacher can only be fired when due process is followed and a case is built against him. A teacher can be dismissed at any time for any reason until tenure is acquired.

The Ins and Outs of Tenure

Pennsylvania teachers must work throughout their three years to obtain tenure. A teacher cannot, for example, work two years, take a sabbatical for one year, and then return to work, complete another year, and get tenure. Time spent working as a substitute teacher does not count toward tenure, though substitute teachers can have tenure if they earned it prior to substituting. Though a teacher cannot earn tenure as a substitute, he can while teaching part-time for the three-year period. Once a Pennsylvania teacher has achieved tenure, it stays with her throughout her career, even if she goes to work for another school district.