CA teachers... question about layoffs

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Rox, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Feb 14, 2010

    I understand there's some rule that CA teachers have to be notified of the possibility of being laid off by March 15. How does this work? Do they have to give you a letter that is addressed directly to you? Is a letter addressed to all staff considered the official notice? I also heard about a deadline in May? Can someone explain the whole process to me?

    I did receive a memo addressed to all staff discussing definite layoffs within the district, but I don't know if I'm supposed to consider this my official notice?

    This is my first year of teaching, so I'm definitely on the chopping block :( Does anyone have any advice?
     
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  3. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Feb 14, 2010

    In my district, they routinely (and have for decades) send an official letter to each non-tenured teacher saying they may not be needed next year. Then later, they hire back almost everyone. I am expecting my letter very soon. Not to say I'm looking forward to it, but I don't dread it either since I am confident everything possible will be done to hire me back. I don't pack my room, in other words! Here's to our mutual success!
     
  4. teacherfan

    teacherfan Cohort

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    Feb 14, 2010

    They have to let you know by March 15 if you MAY be laid off. Then they have to let you know by May 15(?) for a definite yes or no. At least that is how I heard it works!
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 15, 2010

    My district (NJ) works the same as Shelly's ...non-tenured teachers get a letter hand delivered to them in March stating that pending budget vote (April) and district needs, they can not at this time be offered emplyment for the next school year. It's stressful, but it's a heads' up...By May, teachers know whether they'll be back, but it doesn't hurt if you feel under the gun to send the resumes out just in case.
     
  6. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Before March 15th, you have to be notified. They called us each in individually so we could sign for our notification. They also gave us a number based on seniority so we knew how close we were to getting hired back.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  7. hp123

    hp123 Comrade

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Well, though the anxiety is not pleasant, it seems like the district is doing everything they can to give you "notice".

    These economic times just need to change.
     
  8. Picabo

    Picabo Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    I was pink-slipped last March. My principal hand-delivered my letter, and had me sign for it. (The general letter you received, Rox, does not sound like an official notice.) The March letter was a preliminary letter stating that my services may not be needed. I received official notice in May that my services were not needed for the following school year.

    Notices went to both tenured and non-tenured teachers. Who received them was based on seniority and hire date.

    I was rehired a week before school started at a different school within my district. I expect to be pink-slipped again this year. It's a drag but a reality!
     
  9. guest_teacher

    guest_teacher Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Rox, for a precise answer to your question, it's important to know your "classification". This will be mentioned in the contract you signed when you joined your school district, and it will probably be "probationary" in your case.

    First-year probationary teachers can be let go in several different ways. Here are the two most common:

    1. Non-Renewal. At any time, up until the end of the school year, a district can issue a non-renewal notice. The district does not need a reason. This provision is not intended for implementing layoffs, but some districts do use it that way.

    2. Layoff. If enrollment is declining or programs are being eliminated, the district must conduct layoffs in reverse order of seniority (subject to "skipping" and "tie-breaking" criteria chosen by the district, such as, 'We are not laying off teachers with bilingual authorizations'). Tentative notices must be issued by March 15.* These are either rescinded, or made permanent, by May 15. As the other posts show, districts distribute the notices in all kinds of ways -- from Certified Mail to a personal visit from the principal.

    Don't assume that you are "definitely on the chopping block" just because you are a first-year teacher! Here are some possible "outs":

    1. The district goofs, and doesn't give you notice by March 15.

    2. You request a hearing and win, for example, because the district goofed in drawing up its seniority list. If you receive notice on March 15, be ready to immediately file a request for a hearing. Your union can advise you about this. The timeline is measured in days, so you would have to act quickly.

    3. Lots of retirements, resignations and leaves are announced between March and May. Smarter districts are already advertising early retirement incentives.

    4. Enrollment increases or the budget situation improves, and you are rehired in the fall. Laid-off teachers have priority rehiring rights for several years.

    Here are some things to do right away:

    - Seek information about the layoff process from your union. Inquire about your place on the seniority list.

    - Begin checking school board meeting agendas. If layoffs are being planned, the first official evidence will come during a board meeting. The layoff resolution will probably mention the "particular kinds of service" (PKS) that are on the chopping block, i.e., how many teachers in each grade level and subject are being cut. "Skipping" and "tie-breaking" criteria will be declared in other resolutions.

    - Check your contract to find out what your exact start date was. Is it accurate?

    - Gather official documentation of any additional credits that you have earned, and of any additional certifications that you qualify for. Make sure that everything is registered with your school district and/or county office of education. There will be a cut-off date for registering credits and certifications in advance of the layoff process.

    - Consider whether you can complete any additional certifications in the next few weeks. If you are missing a credit for a Supplementary Authorization, can you enroll in an online course? (Were there more time, you could consider taking CSET exams in additional subjects.)

    Hope this helps, and good luck!



    * There is an exception in state law that permits districts to initiate the layoff process after August 15. The conditions were met last year and will probably be met this year, but thankfully, districts rarely invoke the exception. However, Schwarzenegger has proposed giving districts 60 days from the date that the state budget is enacted, to initiate layoffs. If this passes, there could be layoffs in September or beyond!
     
  10. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Our district was great with the paper work for the request for hearing portion. They actually notified me that I could request getting higher seniority because the year before I was hired I long term subbed for a class that lasted over 3/4 of the school year. I was bumped up at the hearings.
     
  11. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Feb 15, 2010

    Guestteacher is very knowledgable and gave good information.

    The scary part of what she said was at the end of her post:

    "There is an exception in state law that permits districts to initiate the layoff process after August 15. The conditions were met last year and will probably be met this year, but thankfully, districts rarely invoke the exception. However, Schwarzenegger has proposed giving districts 60 days from the date that the state budget is enacted, to initiate layoffs. If this passes, there could be layoffs in September or beyond! "

    This is what is causing concern in our district.
     

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