Please HELP! "at-will" charter school question

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Xcited2TEACH1212, Jul 20, 2021 at 5:48 PM.

  1. Xcited2TEACH1212

    Xcited2TEACH1212 New Member

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    Jul 20, 2021 at 5:48 PM


    I am in Northern CA. I wanted some advice for next year. I finished interviewing for a charter school an hour away from where I live. The pay is ok, but one thing that concerned me is their "at-will" policy. They sent me a copy of their contract which states that they can terminate me " at any time without reason and I can do the same" This makes me sad because its my first year teaching. So I am super new and unsure of the rules for teachers. i haven't landed many interviews with a district but I there might be an opening at a district soon. A teacher retired or resigned last minute where I student taught so I was told it may take about a 3 weeks to a month for them to fly the opening and finish their transfer requests. They would have done this sooner but she was taking her sweet time. I know this because my mentor teacher is close to the admin team. So she basically said it is a possible opening for me but she isn't 100% sure because of transfers. The district might just fill that opening with a teacher from another school.

    I wanted to know if I could accept the position at the charter school and then in a month (hopefully a few weeks before the new year) if I could resign from the charter or will their be a strike against my credential?

    I have been told by friends and family members to take the charter job because there isn't a real position available at my old district. For all I know I get stuck subbing. Does anyone have any idea on these "at- will positions". I wish my credential program and professor actually talked about the different jobs and contracts out there for us newbies..... :(
  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    May 8, 2008
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    Jul 20, 2021 at 7:00 PM

    First of all, :welcome::atoz_love:

    I've only worked in at-will schools. There is no contract but a simple handshake. You could hand in your lanyard / keys / whatever at any time. That being said, it works both ways, but that doesn't mean that the school will fire people willy-nilly. I have only seen a handful of firings in a dozen years, and that was after Administration has created a long paper trail.

    Take the job and stick around to get more collaboration and commiseration!
    otterpop likes this.
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Feb 5, 2011
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    Jul 21, 2021 at 12:21 AM

    At will should mean you can resign at any time, and they can fire you at any time. Read the contract very carefully to ensure there are no penalties for resigning mid-year. If not, I'd take the job, and if the district position ends up working out, resign from the charter.
    otterpop and mathteachertobe like this.
  5. Regan@Off2Class

    Regan@Off2Class Rookie

    Mar 19, 2021
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    Jul 21, 2021 at 9:58 AM

    Great advice from those above. The key is knowing ALL the conditions and asking questions if you need to. Congrats on the new job.
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Apr 29, 2008
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    Jul 21, 2021 at 10:54 AM

    My school is at will BUT we have a union so they need to have a good reason to fire us or the Union will be all over them. People could quit any time at my school but if they give 2 weeks notice they get to cash out any available vacation time.
  7. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Oct 25, 2016
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    Jul 21, 2021 at 3:44 PM

    I was at an at-will charter. The way my contract was written, I could be fired for any/no reason during the probationary period (I forget if it was 60 or 90 days), then after that they'd need a reason to terminate. It doesn't have to be as strict of a reason as a regular contract school, but like others have said, they're not just firing people on a whim.

    Read the contract and double-check your state's rules for this stuff, but outside of that, you're fine to accept and bail if the other position pans out. If it comes to be, be as polite and considerate as possible in quitting because you don't want to burn a bridge without knowing what's on the other side.

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