Backing out of a contract?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by joeschmoe, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Jul 20, 2013

    Long story short, I signed with the first district that offered me a job back in the middle of June. My dream job was to stay locally but they didn't get their stuff sorted out in time and I didn't want to pass by a job waiting. Now my local district called me about a position that I really want.

    From what I gathered, people seem to say it's very unlikely anything will happen to me if I back out of the contract I signed with the first district. They won't be happy and will probably blacklist me but that's about the extent of what they will do. I guess I'm really worried that they can get my credential revoked or suspended but that seems excessive considering people might have to resign for reasons out of their control. In my case, I would obviously have to make up a reason other than I found a better job.

    Do you guys have any experience or knowledge in this situation? I'm in California.
     
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  3. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I do not have any personal knowledge. However, with that said, I think you should be able to back out without any problems.

    California has gone through so many budget cuts and pink slips, just the thought of them black listing you makes me irritated. With all the pink slips, they should have a long line of potential teachers waiting to replace you. It should not be a problem...imo
     
  4. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    I think what makes it worst on their end is that they are a relatively small district, and my position is a high needs position (high school physics).
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Another reason why they should not black list you.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Each district is different. Some let it go, others will force you to the letter of the contract or take action if you don't. I had to leave my last job over the summer to go take care of my Dad who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. I had to move 6 hours away from my previous job -- and I gave them more than 30 days notice, and they still threatened to revoke my license for one year. They would have, too, if my former principal hadn't intervened and explained that he already had my replacement "waiting in the wings."

    It all depends on the district.
     
  7. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    It makes me curious if districts do have authority to take such drastic actions like revoking your license or if it's all just bluffing.
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    In the city I worked at, they did it all the time. Also, the surrounding districts all had an agreement to refuse to hire a person who was already contracted to another local district. You had to quit your job and take your chances to get another job in other local districts. I personally think that is terrible. What other profession makes you do that?
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I would call HR for the first district and ask them what the consequences are. I know in the district I just left if you resign within 30 days of school starting you have to forfeit your last pay check...how that works with people who haven't even started, I have no idea. I believe in my state that there is a law that says they can fine you up to a certain percent of the contract salary if they can't find a replacement. It's really best to figure out what the specific rules of the district are since I am sure they are all different.
     
  10. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    I just read the letter of intent contract I signed. Half of it states the districts obligation to hire me once I pass background checks and what not. The second half talks about my obligations, which includes having the required teaching license and finally that I will not accept another contract that will interfere with my current contract. I don't see anything about repercussions. So if I didn't sign anything that states they can suspend my license or fine me, then I should be good to go?
     
  11. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    Well I don't want to even bring it up to HR yet until I'm 100% positive I'm leaving. I'm thinking of calling the teacher's union for their district though.
     
  12. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2013

    Try checking state law; many have provisions governing this.

    I know my district will let anyone leave at any time, because their theory is that if you don't want to be there, they don't want you there.
     
  13. MaggieB

    MaggieB Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2013

    It's all about the fact that one signs a legal, binding contract! My opinion is that one should honor a contract that they willingly signed. Most give an "out" date. In Texas it is 45 days before students report.
     
  14. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    After much thought, I'm leaning on honoring my contract and dropping pursuit of my "dream" job. The district I signed with is relatively small and they would probably have a hard time finding a replacement with school starting in 3 weeks. They also took the chance on me, a first year teacher, and for that I'm grateful. I will put in at least one year there and see where it goes.
     
  15. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Wise decision :)
     
  16. FourSquare

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    Jul 22, 2013

    You may end up discovering that this is really your dream job!

    I took a risk last summer with my current job and I couldn't be happier. It did NOT make sense on paper...but definitely a better fit than I think I would have been with my other job offer.

    Good luck!
     
  17. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 22, 2013

    I commend you for making the honorable decision.
     

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