Questions regarding getting out of contract

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Whoknows85, May 23, 2020.

  1. Whoknows85

    Whoknows85 New Member

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    May 23, 2020

    So I signed a teaching a contract in Arizona the final day it was due to return to a district I have been teaching at for years. A few days later I received a verbal offer for teaching job in a different state. I accepted this job but have not put in a resignation letter for my current teaching position due to the fact that I have nothing in writing. There is also the issue of getting certification through reciprocity in the new state. I am in the application process now to get certified but do not want to officially resign until I have signed a written contract. The reasoning to take this job is more money to help out a family member that lives in California, who has been hit hard financially by the COVID-19 issue. Should I just resign now with nothing in writing or wait until I receive the written contract? I worry about repercussions for breaking contract. Thanks
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    May 24, 2020

    Each district or even state has a different timeline for when and how contracts are handed out. Why not reach out to the new district’s HR to ask when you can expect a contract or at least a letter of intent? Their response may help you determine when it’s the right time to resign from your current district.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    May 24, 2020

    In Arizona typically you notify your P and then he/she will have you write a letter of resignation. This goes to the school board and they vote on your resignation and any others. This tends to be a formality. A principal could be difficult, and decline your breaking of a contract, but my guess is that is rare. Many districts have monthly meetings so it can take some time.

    You can get in trouble if you have 2 contracts signed at the same time. I'd try to avoid that the best you can. What I described is typical, but it could be different in your situation. Each district can have slightly different rules and routines.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    May 24, 2020

    I would be more concerned with the issue of reciprocity. Have you been in contact with California or whatever state you are planning to go to, to find out how likely it is that you will be granted certification in the new state with or without having to jump through hoops, including more testing, etc., the time frame, and whether you might be able to start the school year on some kind of waiver if the process isn't complete, because that could be problematic? Not sure where you are going, but Arizona is supposed to be one of the easiest states to get your certificate in, while other states are much more difficult.
     
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  6. Whoknows85

    Whoknows85 New Member

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    May 24, 2020

    Thank you all for your replies. I asked for a letter in writing from the new district but said they would have to wait for the certification to go through. I am essentially in "pending status" even though I verbally accepted. I filled out the application last week and sent it with my fingerprints to receive clearance since my fingerprint card here is not valid for the state I am applying for. I am concerned with how long the process may be since I do not want to leave my current district hanging. Hopefully, I will have more information Tuesday when I contact the certification place. I am concerned and apprehensive about resigning from my current position since I do not know if I fulfill the certification requirements.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    May 25, 2020

    Whoknows85,

    I've done the interstate recertification thing twice. Here's what I've learned.

    Do not turn in your resignation at your current place until you at least have a letter from the new state's Department of Education saying your certification is "pending" or "in progress." (Some states don't do that, some do.) This time of year is the DOEs busiest time of year, so often they will not respond to your phone calls or emails in a timely manner. I know when I switched states, they had a message on their machine and email saying they would get back to you in the order your message was received -- and it was TWO MONTHS before they returned my message. During that time, there was no way to contact them directly. It was so frustrating. But they have all the college graduates to process and all the state renewals -- all hitting them at the same time.

    I know this means you might end up leaving your current district in a lurch. I know you don't want to do that, but in this situation it is often the only way. I know it feels terrible, but this is the situation that exist for teachers because we are required to sign annual contracts in advance.

    Once you know, for absolute certain that your teaching license in the new state is approved, or that you can at least get a temporary (1 year) certification in the new state, THEN you tell your current employer -- even if that means leaving them in a lurch. It's horrible, I know. But the system isn't set up in your favor -- it never has been. The only other option is to resign now, and take the chance that you won't get a license in the new state in time -- and then you don't have any job at all.

    Let's say you don't get word on your new state certification until July 30th. That's when you tell your current state that you are resigning due to moving out of state. The worst they can do is charge you a re-advertising fee (ONLY if that options is used in your district -- it isn't in most) and they can put a hold on your teaching license -- the one in your CURRENT state. Since you will already have the one in your new state, and they can't touch the new one, their action will have no effect on your ability to work.

    This is why you don't clue your current district in ahead of time -- if you break your contract BEFORE you have your new state certification, and your current district puts a hold on your teaching license in your current state, that means you aren't eligible for reprocity in your new state, because you don't hold a current certification there. Without reprocity, or with a revoked license, you can't get the new teaching license. When you apply in the new state it specifically asks if you've ever had a license revoked. Right now, you can honestly say "no, never." Trust me, your current district won't go after your license if they know you have moved out of the state -- it just isn't worth their time and effort.

    I know this is a terrible position to be in, and I know you will be tempted to clue-in your principal because it seems like the right thing to do. Just remember that if you do, it can backfire on you. With one district, I did tell my principal, I even helped him find my replacement. By the time I officially told the district, they threatened my license (which made no difference to me, because I already had my new state license in hand) and they also tried to intimidate me by saying I had to give 60 days notice, so they expected me to fly back and stay in a hotel, and teach there for the first 4 weeks of school! I let them know my principal had already found my replacement so there was no way they could do that. Then they backed down.

    In my second district, I knew I couldn't tell the principal, but I did tell a colleague who was on the hiring committee for a different grade level, and she kept that in mind when interviewing, so when I was finally able to officially resign, she went straight to the principal and said "do you remember that candidate we interviewed? I think she'd be great," and they hired her. I didn't leave them high-and-dry, but if I'd had to, I would have. I would have hated it, but in the end, I had to do what I needed to do.
     

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