Signing Contracts

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by myKroom, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    I'm curious about contracts. We just recieved our contracts and have until the end of the month to sign them. New this year is the stipulation that if we sign our contract and later this summer want out we will be charged X amount of money (assuming they find a replacement). It's a pretty big amount and it's just really shocking to me! I have heard of schools doing this...but I was curious just how common it is. This will only be the third contract I've signed (all with the same district) so I don't have a ton of experience with this stuff!

    Does anyone else have this kind of statement in their contract??
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I know here, schools have the option of refusing to let you out of your contract, and if they do let you out, the state can revoke your license temporarily. I haven't heard of schools charging you money in my area, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Probably because not many teachers ever quit around here! I suppose it would be for advertising costs, and costs related to filling your position. Also, maybe something with the pay scale? Like if your replacement "costs" more than you do? Just a guess...
     
  4. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Hello~Wondering what part of Iowa you teach in? I also teach in Iowa. In our Master Contract it states an amount that we have to pay in July or August if we switch jobs out of our district. It is usually the cost of advertisment.

    I switched to a different district this past year, but resigned before the cut off to pay any money.
     
  5. 3rdgraderules!

    3rdgraderules! Rookie

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    In our district, if you break contract after June 1st you pay 2% of of our bachelor's step 1 and it increases to 4% after July 1st and 6% after August 1st.
     
  6. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    I guess we are lucky as we don't sign contracts until the new year starts. That is mostly due to yearly negotiations between the school board and the association. So if someone wants to take another job, I suppose there is no problem. We received our rehire letters today. We are a tenure state so it was a formality for most of us.
     
  7. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I thinks that's silly. Would any other job charge you a fee for leaving a job before the job actually starts? If you quit in July most schools have a month to find a new teacher and a stack of resumes to look through. I think it's a scare tactic to stop people from leaving.
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We have always had this in our contracts. I am in a private school and we also have a morality clause. Teachers cannot live with a person ofthe opposite sex, cannot be homosexual, or get pregnant out of wedlock according to the morality clause. Of course it does go on but I guess that with this clause they ould fire any of these people.
     
  9. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    cheery,
    You are exactly right!! We are a district with a lot of turnover so they are trying to make sure we stay!! It really sucks and puts us all in a bad position-I wouldn't plan on trying to get out of contract past July 1st anyway-too hectic!!

    Mrs_Barrett,
    I'm from Eastern Iowa! How about you?
     
  10. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    That all seems so 19th century. I'm all for high moral standards, but I won't condemn someone who doesn't share my views.
     
  11. MelissainGA

    MelissainGA Groupie

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    I know here it's due to the fact that there is usually a shortage due to such great growth in the area. If you sign the contract you are held to it or they can have your license revoked.
     
  12. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    myKroom~I live on the Western side by Nebraska.
     
  13. kburen

    kburen Cohort

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    I'm not sure what our "rules" or whatever are on our signing a contract....But in my mind common sense tells me not to sign a contract if I'm looking for another job. If I've signed a contract I'm telling them that I will be working for them next year, not "I'll be working for you unless I find something better".
     
  14. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure when contracts are due around here, but I know that a teacher can resign w/o penalty up to 60 days before the next school year starts. Of course, if something comes up (relocation b/c of spouse), they accept the resignation with no penalty.
     
  15. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Technically, there's probably a lot in that contract that could be challenged legally. There's some pretty specific prohibitions against termination for pregnancy or marital status.

    That's not to say the school's doing anything illegal in including them as provisions. Provisions that can't be enforced legally appear in contracts all the time, either for probative value, or because the law might change to make them enforceable.

    As for the payment for getting out of a contract, it sounds like a liquidated damages clause. This is where the two parties agree on some particular amount for damages in the event damages cannot be measured. Since one could argue that loss of a teacher could be measured in actual damages (you could count up the cost of advertisement, interviewing, etc.), it might not be upheld. That's just a "might", though -- unless it's a ludicrous amount, my guess is that courts would prefer to uphold it. Probably more so if you have a union negotiating the contract terms.
     
  16. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Apr 5, 2008

    My district is the same way. Our contracts will be out probably next month. I'm so excited I get to move up from Bachelors step 5 to Masters Step 6! Woohoo!
     

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