Contract not renewed- does this mean I was “terminated?”

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Nono123, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    I am in the process of applying to new jobs because I was notified that my contract would not be renewed in the next school year. My school is allowing me to resign if I would like, so the schools official stance is that I resigned. However, I was going to resign anyways before this even happened since the school was not a good fit for me. So I basically chose to resign regardless of hearing this news. The resignation did come after this meeting though.


    But now I am stuck on applications
    “Have you ever failed to be rehired, been asked to resign a position, resigned to avoid termination, or terminated from employment?”. Do I have to say yes since I was leaving anyways? Would anyone even know since the only thing written by my school is “resigned”.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2020

    Too bad you didn't find our site before you had to make your decision. Let me share my answer from another thread on the same subject.

    This is why they are asking for your "letter of resignation":

    The real cost of unemployment claims: increased tax rates.

    The cost of an individual Unemployment Insurance, UI, claim depends on how much the employee made, how long they remain on unemployment, and the state’s maximum benefit amount. The average amount paid out on an unemployment claim is $4200, but can cost up to $12,000 or even more.

    State governments get the money to pay claims by debiting the employer’s UI account (in states that require an account balance) or by raising the employer’s UI taxes. A deduction in the account balance may also cause a rate increase, as the ratio between taxable payroll and the account balance changes. Each claim assessed to an employer’s account can result in a tax rate increase in future years.

    So the real story isn’t the cost of an individual claim (though it can be significant). It’s the higher tax rate that will have a long-term impact.

    The state formulas generally use a three-year moving period to assign a tax rate. Each awarded unemployment claim can affect three years of UI tax rates. Employers often don’t realize the real cost of a claim since it’s spread out over a long period.

    The average claim can increase an employer’s state tax premium $4,000 to $7,000 over the course of three years. However, it can be far more, eclipsing the cost of the claim itself. Not winning claims can easily cost employers tens of thousands of dollars annually, if not more.

    For example, say an employer has a million dollar taxable payroll and a UI tax rate of 1%. That’s $10,000 in unemployment tax premiums. After claims are assessed to its account, the rate goes up to 5%. Premiums rise to $50,000. The UI tax rate clearly makes a difference to an employer’s bottom line.

    Often the terminated employee is asked to resign, and the employers fail to mention that the resignation negates the ability to draw unemployment benefits. Instead, they simply imply that you won't have to say that you were nonrenewed if you resign, but it doesn't work like that in reality. If in doubt, contact your unemployment benefits office closest to you and get their take on how it all plays out. Usually when you are nonrenewed, you have to sign papers that basically tell you why you are not being asked to return. Your signature on that paper, which indicates you understand why they feel you are not a good fit, is truly all you need to supply
    .

    I'm back in this thread to answer your questions. You resigned after being told you were going to be non-renewed. “Have you ever failed to be rehired, been asked to resign a position, resigned to avoid termination, or terminated from employment?” They were aware that you would run into to this question on your future applications. If you are honest, then potential employers will know they non-renewed you. Phrased the way it is, there really isn't any answer except "Yes". Whether you can talk yourself out of it by stating you were already planning to resign is something that could have been proven if you had already turned in a resignation for the coming year, but obviously that didn't happen. If you say "NO", you run the risk of the prior school letting it slip that you were advised you were not going to be renewed prior to your letter of resignation. Really, all your letter of resignation does is get the school off the hook for unemployment benefits. It might be worth asking if there was a reduction in force, since being RIF'd is considerably different from your traditional non-renewal. If they told that you weren't a good fit, listed any shortcomings, etc., that's not RIF'd.

    I'm not much of a fan of "we will let you resign" because you may actually end up needing the UI benefits and it doesn't really get you around this question. I think you need to speak to the school that let you go, if they are writing you a LOR, to find out what they suggest. Don't be surprised, however, if they have no way to help you. So sorry . . .
     
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  4. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    Thank you for your reply. Sorry I made it unclear but I have till the end of April to decide if I would like to resign or allow for non-renewal. The school hasn’t pushed me to choose either option. I was hoping if I resigned, that would allow me to answer no. My school ensured if I resign that they will only say positive things and say “I resigned”. I’m not sure how to answer yes without marking myself not to get hired. Any suggestions?
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Apr 20, 2020

    Get the current school to put everything in writing. If they won't put it in writing, I would have some serious reservations that they would honor what they said. I should say upfront that I am a skeptic by nature in these kinds of "negotiations".
     
  6. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    I asked for stuff in writing but they said they would not do so until I decide if I would like to resign or get non-renewed. They said they are doing this so that if I resign, there is no record that I would have been non-renewed. I thought this was fishy.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    You may want to wait for responses from other forum members. There may be more trusting members who had great outcomes. What do you teach, how long have you been teaching, and what does the market look like where you are? I think that many teachers will be looking for new jobs in the fall, because of pay freezes. We are at a time where everything seems so uncertain.
     
  8. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    I greatly appreciate your response regardless. I am a 2nd year science teacher. While there usually is a decent amount of options open within a 2 hour drive of me, these uncertain times make me anxious thinking about finding and getting offered a job.
     
  9. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Can you survive without unemployment benefits? Can you live with whatever they have to say about you?
     
  10. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    I have enough put away to live without unemployment. But I didn’t not make friends with the principal because of politics, which is actually why I was not asked back. I’m not certain he would say good things regardless of what option I said, though his reasoning is unwarranted.
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    If you have a supervisor other than the principal, you are going to want to seek out LOR's ASAP. People say they will write you a LOR, but then drag their heels if you don't stay persistent. Is there no union that could help you?
     
  12. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 20, 2020

    There is no "stuck" here.
    • You were not rehired. You must answer yes.
    • You were told you could resign in order to avoid a non-renewal. So you must answer yes.
    • You had thought about resigning, but didn't do it before they gave you the news. That is unfortunate, but since they non-renewed before you did that, you must answer yes.
    I know that is not what you want to hear, but if you are a person of integrity, there is only one possible response -- to check the "yes."
     
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  13. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    How should I answer yes then? What is the point of resigning if I have to say I wasn’t hired back.

     
  14. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    I did receive LOR from my supervisor, department head, and co-teacher.

     
  15. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    That has been one of my contentions all along. The way that question is phrased is directly related to what was happening. If you are not getting any benefit from resigning once a nonrenewal has been laid on the table, you can at least get your ducks in a row (sounds like you have), and apply for unemployment to tide you over, if you feel the need. I do think that the question allows you to present good evidence that you were a valued member of your department despite what transpired. It also gives you a chance to be honest, even as you present reasons why you may be a great fit in another school. I value honesty, especially when it isn't easy to do, and I think others do, as well.
     
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  16. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    From your point of view, there is no advantage to resigning. Used to, you could, and you would avoid having to say you were non-renewed, but school districts got wise and changed the forms to say "were you non-renewed OR resigned in lieu of being non-renewed" -- so that changed the game, and there is no benefit for you.

    There is a HUGE benefit for you resigning for your current school. If you turn in that resignation letter, in most states, you are not eligible for unemployment should you not be able to find a teaching job -- because you resigned. If you were to put a claim on your unemployment benefits, your former school has to pay some of those costs. There is a huge cost savings to them, and that is why they often try to bully teachers into resigning.
     
  17. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    I do want to be honest. I just didn’t know if I could avoid this question. I just don’t see how someone would want to employ me (or even ask for an interview) knowing that I checked yes.

     
  18. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 20, 2020

    It seems so. My school did say they would be willing to say positive things if I resigned but not if I elected for non-renewal. That makes sense

     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Honestly, a lot of teachers are not a good fit for this school or that. A teacher who was nonrenewed at one school may go on to be a well respected teacher in another district. I can't tell you how many pairs of shoes that I have purchased, thinking they were perfect, only to be donated to my favorite thrift store in a short period of time. There is no one size fits all job. You don't say if this is your first job out of school. Many new teachers do good to stay 2 years in their first year, and the districts know it. You can present your side, while not bad-mouthing the district you are leaving. If you are willing to go a couple of hours from where you are now, that could be a benefit in finding a new job. I'm really disgusted that the school would be willing to barter good things to say after telling you about being nonrenewed.
     
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  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    We don’t necessarily look at non-renewal as a kiss of death at an interview. There are many reasons people are not renewed, and they aren’t all terrible things that would keep someone from being a good fit elsewhere.
     
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  21. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    You have letters of recommendation, right? And from staff at the school that is not renewing you. Are they already saying nice things about you in the LORs? If you don't resign, how is the school going to say not nice things when you already have nice written words? Such contradiction would not look good for your current school's credibility.
     
  22. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    My understanding, based on what HR has stated in two districts where I’ve worked, is that school districts can only state facts when they are called for a reference check. So, they can state the dates you worked there, the positions you held, your salary, and your reason for leaving. Whether your reason is “voluntarily resigned” or “non-renewed”, that is all they can say.

    That’s different than a personal reference... colleagues, admin, parents of students, etc. They can say anything they want, as long as they are not representing the district when they say it. Some potential new schools may ask you to offer up a former administrator as a personal reference, so you might be stuck there. But, as far as the official district reference check, they can only state the facts, no subjective comments allowed. Do you have an administrator who could serve as a good personal reference regardless of the decision you make?
     
  23. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    This is how I've always viewed it. I'm not sure of what the former schools are allowed to say, but I always assumed that if a prospective employer wanted to learn the truth of a non-renewal/resignation, they could.

    I too have been non-renewed, apparently due to low enrollment (my tiny class of 17 was just too small for the district). My admin happily gave me a very nice LOR and I'm updating the resume. I also confess I'm wondering how long I can go (baby on the way) before I need a job.

    I am suspicious that a good LOR is dependent on whether you resign or take the non-renewal. A lot of other teachers seem to declare a non-renewal as the kiss of death, but that doesn't seem to be the real case anymore. I think it's simply part of the ups and downs of the job world.
     
  24. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 21, 2020

    I agree but they would find a way lol. I chose to resign.
     
  25. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 21, 2020

    I do have an admin that’s nice. She even wrote a LOR for me

     
  26. Nono123

    Nono123 Guest

    Apr 21, 2020

    So as an update, I chose to resign. I didn’t feel like having the principal getting a chance to bad mouth me. I feel like resignation is allowing me to take control of my narrative more. I can tell the truth about why I resigned and that’s that.
     
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  27. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    When I moved to a new state and began a job search last year, I found a new trend out there -- districts refusing to accept any letters of recommendation. They insist on sending a computerized form directly to your previous supervisor, and that person has to fill it out electronically and return it directly. It quantifies your performance on a 1-5 scale, and you have to have a certain score for your application to be forwarded for consideration. It asks very specific questions about your performance, about whether you would be rehired if a position was available, your attendance record, etc.

    As the applicant, you are never allowed to see these "reference form." (I only know some of what is one it because one of my references told me the basics of what it asked.) The forms can only be sent to your supervisor's (principal)email -- they will not accept them from anyone else -- no fellow teachers, instructional support teachers, asst. principals, etc.
    They must receive a completed form from your most recent supervisor and the one before that (if applicable), along with a third one from any supervisor from your past, and they will not process your application or allow you to interview until after it has been received and tabulated. If for some reason your previous principal is not able/willing to do this (like he died, retired and went off the grid, etc) the only other option available is for the superintendent of schools from your most recent job to provide the completed form. (And of course, since most superintendents of school don't know most of their teachers personally, you could expect it to be a very neutral response.) If the form is not favorable (I am told by HR) or if it is neutral -- it is on a scale of 1-5, so if you don't get an overall score of 4 or 5, then they just won't consider you for employment -- end of application process.

    It is a very difficult process because, in my case, except for my most recent supervisor, all of my other principals are deceased, or basically retired and unable to be contacted.
     
  28. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Technically, you have been let go due to a reduction in force caused by low enrollment numbers. Any day of the week that being RIF'd applies to you, you should state that as the truthful reason, IMHO.
     
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  29. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    W
    We have those forms around here, too. But the difference is that they just go to whoever you lost as your reference, not necessarily a principal. You can also attach a letter of recommendation from those references when you enter their info. Ultimately, if you are first in line for a job offer, they will still cal your references to talk over the phone, but, even then, those people don’t have to be immediate supervisors. It helps if they are, but they don’t have to be.
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I have given a few references within the past few years and it seems like the trend in my area is to put down a name and phone number for a reference. No letters are accepted. The school will call you and ask you questions about the candidate. This has been the case 3 times in the last 5 years or so. How they go about references must be regional.
     
  31. CaliforniaRPCV

    CaliforniaRPCV Comrade

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    Letters of recommendation, no letters allowed, districts with policies that prevent references be given while other districts accept nothing but... It's all over the place and makes no sense at all.

    If it's any comfort, and I'm pretty sure it isn't, it's the same outside education. My last company has a policy similar to the one described by @RainStorm; no current employee is to give references.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  32. Guitart

    Guitart Companion

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    I was worried when I was applying for unemployment after my para job. I did not want to burn that bridge with the school district because I had plans on working there after I finished school to become a teacher. My unemployment office told me not to worry because benefits do not come from your most recent employer. They start with the unemployment insurance from 2 jobs ago.
     
  33. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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