Unemployment Denied Appeal Help Needed

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by JonD, Aug 3, 2016.

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Ever denied unemployment due to resigning rather than non reelect and win your appeal?

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  1. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    My wife was given a non re-elect back in March and given the advice to resign instead. She got the advice from HR and the union rep. She wanted to ask the union attorney but he didn't call back for a week and she only had 48 hours to decide. Long story short, she resigned effective the last day of school and then applied for unemployment benefits with the state of California. A month later she finally had her interview over the phone and everything seemed normal. The guy told her that her school district had responded but really didn't day much. He gave her the impression all was good and to expect a decision in a week or so and then payments after that. She was very clear with them that she was given non re-elect and that no reason was given because she was just a second year probationary teacher. Resigning was the only option because everyone scared her to think she would never find another job if they ever called the old district and were told she was non re-elected. Totally screwy if you ask me. Now we are faced with the decision to appeal the ruling. We have 30 days. I've read plenty online about how you should get unemployment because they technically left you, not the other way around. I'm just curious if anyone else had this happen and what they said in their appeal that got it reversed.
     
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Wow, you are not going to like this answer. It will be an uphill battle to get unemployment, because in the eyes of the law, she quit. Her resignation may very well come from being scared, but she is now being held accountable for the parting of ways. Appeal, by all means. I have written on these forums in the past, which doesn't help you, that if you accept the "deal" of resigning, you are most likely giving up any unemployment benefits. To top it all off, most applications ask pointedly if you resigned to avoid having your contract non renewed, so it is a catch 22. If you lie about why you resigned, and they find out, many districts can simply not consider you for the deception. If you tell the truth, all you really ended up doing is losing the benefits, because the information comes out any way. I am so very sorry - please appeal, though.
     
  4. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    Thankfully she found a job and nothing on the app having her declare that info. The issue now is two months of unemployment is at stake. I've read plenty that makes me think she has a good chance of winning. I just wondered what others did to win. One thing I read was directly off the unemployment website about quitting in lieu of termination. It's all about who the "moving party" is. Who initiated the action? The school did because the non re-elected her. Also, an attorney notes that the judge needs to take into consideration what a average person would do in the same situation.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    So, worst case scenario, she doesn't get paid for two months, which, I am guessing, she wouldn't have been paid for anyway? I say that because most schoolteachers don't get summer paychecks anyway, although some districts spread 10 months wages over 12 months, which they would still have been obligated to give her since it was earned. This is "the principal of the thing" for you, I am guessing. The fact that she has a new job, and that she wouldn't have been eligible for unemployment over the summer had she not resigned may enter into this. They may see this as an unfair payment since other teachers who worked until the end of the year and then resumed employment when school starts in the fall, whether in the same district or not, would not be entitled to unemployment. Looked at from that perspective, you do have to wonder if she is looking to an entitlement that exceeds usual and customary practices in education. If she had been asked to vacate her position immediately, actually losing income that she had anticipated earning, I would see this in a different light. But she ended the school year employed, was paid for that work, off for the summer, like every other teacher (in essence), and now is starting the new school year fully employed, and will be paid like any employed teacher without any loss of income. Honestly, your pursuit of unemployment in this situation seems petty and vindictive, IMHO. I would wager that even her benefits were covered during the two months, meaning that her out of pocket "loss" is a moot point, and just about the pride and hurt feelings It feels like you have an axe to grind and are intent on "teaching the district a lesson." If you look at this from the perspective of someone who resigned, but has no job starting in the fall, it seems very different.
     
  6. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    She is actually out at least one months pay because she wasn't renewed she had no July paycheck and her first paycheck isn't until the end of August. That makes two months with no pay. Benefits are irrelevant since she's on my plan.
     
  7. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    In my state you can't even apply for unemployment until September as a teacher, you have to wait until you stop getting paid and can prove you aren't returning to your previous teaching position because you were fired. Resigning is not getting you unemployment no matter the circumstance. I tried this one year, no unemployment.
     
  8. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    This doesn't make any sense. She worked for the whole 10 months, so she should have been paid for it. I only get paid until June. Are you sure she's not on a 10-month payment?
     
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  9. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    Let's stay on topic please. I just advice from those who appealed and won. Everything else is irrelevant. I appreciate the interest but don't have time to go over her case. I'm waiting to hear back from two different attorney's but thought I'd ask the teacher population for advice. With respect, thank you.
     
  10. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I agree. This doesn't add up.
     
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  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 4, 2016

    She sounds as if she is on a 10 month, or, as you work you are paid. That is by far the most typical way teachers are paid. My last paycheck was the beginning of July, and my first paycheck of the new school year will be the middle of September. I get paid every two weeks. I know that there are several ways to receive salary, but if she was paid the year's salary (meaning 10 months of work) as equal installments over 12 months, the problem would be with the school district, not the unemployment insurance people. I freely admit that I am in NJ, not CA, but she worked and got paid till the last day (normal), didn't get paid over the summer (normal), and she is simply starting the school year in a new job, but she will be employed. Had she been fired, with her fate totally undecided, I would be saying that she would have some unemployment coming, about a month, after the mandatory wait time where you aren't yet eligible. Feel free to appeal it, but I think that her resignation, no matter how you present it, will doom your appeal. Besides the union attorney, your wife could have called and asked about unemployment, which might would have changed her decision to resign. She could have ask HR or the division that is in charge of unemployment benefits, but she didn't, which may also go against you in an appeal. She kind of traded her unemployment benefits for a "clean record" and maybe a more positive letter of recommendation. I am guessing about the LOR since it wasn't mentioned in your post. When I was non renewed for reduction in force (no options), HR immediately told me I would be eligible for unemployment, but not until my last check was issued, then the wait time. You can't actually be given the non re-elect if you resign first, and I believe that will be an important distinction.

    We aren't off topic - we are trying to explain why we believe your appeal may fail, based on our own experience and group knowledge. If you are willing to pay attorneys, by all means take their advice. I don't know anyone who quit, resigned, their job and then received unemployment.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  12. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    I've read plenty of posts on this site from people who chose to resign over non reelect and received unemployment. Unfortunately they didn't say how they did it or if they were denied, how they appealed and won.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Where would her paychecks from July and August have come from if she had been renewed?
     
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  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    We are teachers, non renewed is a fact of life for our profession, and resigning has always been the litmus test of whether or not unemployment will be granted. Respectfully, I suggest you get your lawyer's opinions and follow those directions.
     
  15. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    They would have come from her old school district, the one who non reelected her. They are on a 12 month salary schedule with the first payment being at the end of July and last at the end of the following June. Because she was non reelected she never got a July paycheck. With her new job, she won't receive her first paycheck until the end of August. Different district, different way of paying. That's where I get the complaint from. Just because you get paid 12 months of the year, it's still only for 9 months of work. They just pay out your 9 months salary over the course of 12 months instead. Getting paid over the summer is irrelevant since that is money you earned during the school year, not the summer. It's just deferred pay. The unemployment, if she wins appeal, will only cover about 1/2 of what her paycheck would have been in July if she stayed.
     
  16. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    So last year she got a check at the end of July, the beginning of her second year, right? She didn't get a July check this year because she isn't employed, but she did get a full year's salary, 12 checks, July through June. Did she get a July check when first hired? OK, that is just being curious - I have always just received pay while actually working, on my own for the summer.

    Good luck with your appeal. I personally think that she chose unwisely when deciding to resign for this very reason, but let us know how it turns out. If people could resign and still expect unemployment, and I am talking about the system as a whole, not just teachers, what would keep people from choosing to resign, use up all their benefits, yawn, and then decide, "Well, I guess it is time to work a little longer so I can quit again" ? If you have a lawyer, I would lean heavily on his advice.
     
  17. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Did she get paid for 12 months or not? Something similar happened to me where I left one district to go to another. My last paycheck was mid August and I didn't get paid until mid September (when I'm used to being paid every two weeks - I essentially lost two weeks of pay). I did not apply for unemployment since I willingly resigned. I have a feeling she won't be approved since she does have another job lined up. Sorry!!
     
  18. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    I felt like she was jipped too because I was expecting a paycheck at the end of July. The new school year doesn't begin until August. When she called HR, they told her the June 30 check was her last. Made no sense to me. I know when she started it was in October 2013 so we really never got to see a summer break without a paycheck. Originally the teachers had to decide if the wanted a 9 or 12 month paycheck. If they wanted a 12 month check, each month money was withheld in a line item and was used over the summer to make the extra payments. When they renegotiated the contract it was just turned into 12 months for everyone so no more withheld monies.
     
  19. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    For those in California interested in what the unemployment bureau is legally bound to:
    Title 22, Section 1256-1(d), provides:

    An employee who leaves work when asked by the employer to either resign or be fired, or an employee who resigns rather than agree to a forced leave of absence, has not left work of his or her own free will. In these situations, since the employee did not choose to quit, the employer is the moving party in the separation and the employee becomes involuntarily unemployed.

    When an employer allows a claimant to resign rather than be discharged, the option is usually given because the employer does not desire to affect the claimant's future employment possibilities with other employers by reporting his termination as a discharge. All such "resignations" will be characterized by the fact that the claimant had no choice relative to remaining employed. If he didn't resign, the employer would have discharged him. In such cases, the claimant's leaving is involuntary and will be treated as a discharge.
     
  20. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Could her not being paid in July have to do with the date she put on her resignation letter?

    When I was let go my first year in April I got a lump sum check in July for the summer months since I had technically already earned that money (we get paid over 12 months).
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    She received a full years wages, 12 months of checks. They started in July, ending in June of this year. She didn't lose income. When did she accept the new job? That may affect her claim.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
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  22. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    You think they started in July but how could they if the school year and contract year begins in August. The paycheck from the end of June was normal amount, nothing extra. Since we've never had a break before it was weird based on the school year. If you were a new teacher you would get your first paycheck at the end of August and your last at the end of July.
     
  23. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    She shouldn't get a paycheck from the district in July as she will be employed at another district next year. She shouldn't get two July pay checks for working one year.

    Adjusting to a new pay timeline is hard, but it doesn't seem like it is unjust that she did not get a paycheck in July. Unless teachers are expected to start work in June at this district, they are being exceptionally generous in doling out money before it is earned at the beginning of the contract year.

    Since she knew since March that she wouldn't be working at this district, it would have been wise to set aside a part of April, May, and June's pay in case she hadn't found a job so quickly or a different pay timeline, but everything is easier to figure out in hindsight.

    Could she get a part time job to help out with expenses until her pay starts with the new district? Several of the members have second and third jobs. I coach a sport, sell makeup, and raise cattle for extra pay. Many on here tutor for extra money. It's not easy. There are many times I regret having a full time job and three side jobs, but I have family needs to meet so I suck it up and get it done.
     
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  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    I honestly don't understand what you have written here. I suspect that you need to contact the old district and have them explain it to you, and probably you should have a copy of the contract in your possession. You never did answer the question about when your wife was hired by the new district. That has nothing to do with your "missing payment", but staying on topic, it may be highly relevant to whether or not there is any unemployment to be had. If she was technically reemployed by the end of this past school year, she was essentially never unemployed, to the state. Like you said, different ways of paying is inconvenient to you, but not the state's problem. The minute she took the job, she was no longer unemployed.

    If the old district is paying 12 equal payment for a contract that is 12 months long, leaving at the end of June, instead of July, may be causing the appearance of missing income. Your wife, or your lawyer, should seek explanations from the old district about the "missing check." We don't have enough information about the date of new employment to make predictions about unemployment.
     
  25. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    Wow. Talk about off target and topic responses. You can debate all you want and criticize all you want but it still doesn't answer the question. Why not do a google search for non reelect and see what you find. The teachers union of Los Angeles even advises their members who are non reelected to wait four days after the last day working before filing for unemployment. I guess they know something all the lay lawyers here do not. Here's a suggestion, and I say this respectfully although I've got to admit I'm getting tired of all the responses that fail to answer my question, if you don't have an answer in response to my original question then don't respond. Move on. If you've never filed an appeal and won, say farewell and move on to the next poster you can argue with endlessly.
     
  26. teachmemath

    teachmemath Companion

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    JonD, you mentioned you saw posts by other people on this forum about filing an appeal and winning then why don't you private message those people instead to get the answers you need.
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Maybe you don't know how it works here. Most threads take on the feel of a conversation, and therefore, take a few twists and turns. It seems most here are seeking clarification and understanding of your problem and offering advice based on what you've shared.

    It's clear you are frustrated with your wife's situation, but please don't bring that frustration to those who are merely trying to understand, help and offer opinions/advice. That's kind of what teachers do!

    Good luck.
     
  28. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    Actually, what I said was "I've read plenty of posts on this site from people who chose to resign over non reelect and received unemployment." No one has yet posted about getting denied and then winning their appeal. Hence, the reason I started this thread. While I've received many responses, some who seem honestly interested in helping, no one has responded yet. I did talk with an attorney yesterday who said he has a good track record of appealing and winning in situations exactly like ours. I'm just contemplating paying him $200 for a consultation and then more to do the work. I was hoping someone on the board would respond with exactly what they said to win their appeal so I can save on attorney fees. I am still waiting for someone from CTA to contact me regarding my wife's tenure. You are supposed to be a probationary employee for your first two years. Quite possibly she was actually a third year teacher. She started in October 2013 as a long-term sub and was then hired into the position March 2014. In the case of how districts calculate her pay, that year counted because she worked it at least 75%. That includes credentialed subs who get hired into the position they are filling. If that is the case, by union definitely, she was nearing the end of her third year when given non reelect. This is all crazy stuff to me. I've run numerous businesses over the years and had many employees. I've never seen such shenanigans and flat out b.s. that you guys have to contend with. Being union might have some benefits but in my eyes it does nothing for its members who get into situations like this and are non-responsive when you ask for legal help. If the union attorney had called back with the two days she could've had better advice. Instead he didn't call back for a week, after the March 15 deadline. They know these deadlines are there so why delay returning an argent request for advice. I don't want people to get the wrong idea that I'm anti-union just because I work in management. I was a teamster some years back and had issues with the union back then. The union helped in one case but then the employer just used the union rules to their benefit and just found another way to get rid of me. To me it was very shady and downright wrong but they said they couldn't do anything to save my job even when I tried to file a grievance before finally being let go. My overall view of unions is that they are primarily in the business of staying in business. They have a constant flow of members paying their dues so it makes no difference when crap like this comes up. For them, a new teacher gets hired in to replace her and they keep on raking in those union dues. They might appear to negotiate hard on your behalf for those contracts but in the end they accept something watered down and filled with attorney created loopholes that create ways to screw the teachers over anyhow. I think the days of unions are over and they are no longer needed. Run the schools like a real business. Think of all the money saved by not having to have dozens of attorney's on staff to do these contracts and then find ways to screw you over. You work, you get paid. You do a crappy job, then out you go. You do a great job, you getter a bigger pay raise. You don't like your district, benefits, or pay, you leave. Free market. It might take a while but eventually these school districts will have to start treating employees they way they should be and creating a work environment and benefits package that attracts the best teachers. Now I know you're probably wondering, what about the poor districts that can't afford all that. First, less cost to deal with unions brings more money back to the district. Then, this is where the state governments step in and give funding to help hire teachers. So much wasted money on overpaid administrators and what seems to be endless superintendents. Our district has a superintendent plus at least 2-3 assistant superintendents. Too many bloated administrations sucking up all the money. Put the money into the schools and kids. School choice is another thing to consider. You have to ask, who is really against this and why? I imagine the biggest opponents are those with the most to lose. Districts and schools will have to be more competitive if they want to keep their students. Schools that are failing will need to get rid of bad teachers and make their schools more attractive. That was kind of the idea with No Child Left Behind before all the lawyers got in and made it a nightmare. Don't even get me started on Common Core. LOL
     
  29. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Oh man I'm sorry about your wife's situation. I will be in my fourth year and tenure year this year (in Nj it's 4 years) and I'm nervous hearing about all these teachers getting laid off right before tenure. I understand your frustration with this whole situation and please let us know the outcome of her situation so we can help others in the future!
     
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  30. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    I've been on boards like this since they came around in the 90's on my old dial up 14400 modem. I just wanted advice on what to say. Now look at this post and you now have two pages of posts doing anything but answering the question. When I'm on these boards I look at posts and if I have something constructive to offer, i.e. answering a question, I make a reply. If it doesn't pertain or my comments don't help I move on. Too many people feel they need to comment about everything. In the real world, outside of the Internet, that be considered rude and interrupting. To put it into your prospective, being teachers, how do you like it when you ask your students a question and they all answer with something totally off-topic or not an answer? Drives you nuts right. You ask "what's 2+2" and you get "why is it 2+2?" or "have you considered 2+3?" and tons of other non-productive answers. It will annoy you because it eats into your instruction time schedule and puts you behind. All I'm doing with my responses is correcting the people who are continuously off-topic and not answering the question. The problem is, teachers don't make good students or in this case posters. Follow you own rules and classroom management skills by staying on target. SIC
     
  31. JonD

    JonD Rookie

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    I appreciate it. Around here we don't have tenure but you are permanent after your second year. The first two years you are probationary and crap like this seems fairly common based on the numerous posts on this and other sites. Once I file my appeal, and if we win, I will be certain to come back here and post my results and what I said. This will hopefully help all the teachers who may face a similar issue in the future.
     
  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Unfortunately, JonD, it's the nature of the beast with teachers that we want to have as much information as we can about anything before we make a decision or offer an opinion. It's what we demand of our students as well. I'm sorry that you weren't able to find what you were looking for and were offended by those trying to gather information in order to provide a more informed response.
     
  33. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    FYI...Teachers aren't in the habit of asking "what's 2+2". We ask deeper questions in aiming to bring out critical problem solving skills, higher order thinking....
    So sorry if you feel you weren't helped by the professionals here who were thinking through your wife's problem and seeking information as to be helpful. There's no need to be 'correcting' those who were posting and who empathize with your wife's problem and your frustration with that situation.
     
  34. mckbearcat48

    mckbearcat48 Cohort

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    I will say that in terms of empathy, this is one of the best discussion boards I've ever been on. It seems that people really are genuinely trying to help each other out.
     
  35. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Here, I'll jump in. Many years ago, my hoosband once filed an appeal when his unemployment claim was denied. It was a very easy process, a single form asking for a statement of events, if I recall correctly.

    I'm obviously not an expert in all things unemployment. From what I can decipher here, and I admit that a lot of what you've said is confusing to me, it sounds like your wife did not actually lose any money. She was paid for all hours worked, starting in July 2015. It appears to me that you and she are trying to receive money for summer months when she did not work. If that is the case, I believe that your appeal will be unsuccessful. Especially since she has work lined up for the fall, there will never be a time when she is not earning exactly what she would have been earning had she not left last year's job. I feel that pursuing an appeal at this time could be a costly waste of time. My advice would be to just let it be. (My advice would be different if she did not have a job lined up for next year.)
     
  36. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Aug 5, 2016

    When I asked about the date of hire of the new job, it is highly relevant. Your right to unemployment ends with your hire, and it sounds like there is a contract in place at the new job. However, I still say hire your lawyer if he truly thinks he can win and you believe him. I do resent you calling us to task for trying to find out more information, telling us to stay on topic, and then you have a rant about unions that is lengthy. I couldn't care less about how you feel about unions but I would normally be fairly tolerant - you are frustrated. However, after telling us we weren't helping by asking questions about anything other than the appeal, per se, you have burned some bridges.

    Since you have done your own research, give your appeal your best shot. The consensus here is that it will remain denied, but everyone should go with their gut feeling, even if it means swimming against the current of common thought based on similar experiences. Honestly, I would be grateful that your wife found another job straight away - many are not so lucky. As for the tenure thing you are now chasing, you really should get a lawyers opinion and guidance. If you bring that question here, you are only going to get conflicting information because our members are nation wide and international. Since each state has different rules and regulations, how can anyone other than a teacher from California answer your questions. The chance of finding THE teacher from California who has precisely the information is possible, of course, but not highly probable I believe you will find it frustrating, and anyone else who tries to help may become just as frustrated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  37. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 5, 2016

    If I understand you correctly, JonD, you want to hear from teachers in LAUSD who have succeeded in collecting unemployment after resignation in lieu of non-reelection. I suspect you won't find many of those on A to Z. For one thing, the majority of A to Z's teacher members aren't Californians, let alone Angelenos. For another, while one saw a number of posts about resignation and unemployment during the employment crash of 2008-10, the Southern California teaching job market didn't really begin reviving until 2014; most of the non-reelectees I remember from 2008-10 have disappeared from A to Z, probably because they were obliged to find other lines of work.

    It's been suggested that you send private messages to A to Z members who are in your target group. You can't, in fact, because the system software won't allow a member with fewer than a certain number of posts to initiate PMs. (The number was raised half a year or so ago - I don't remember the new number, but teachmemath isn't there yet. You surely see this feature on other forums and know what it's for.) But here's an alternative: find some of the threads in which you noticed discussion of this issue, and request PMs there from participants who fit your criteria. The system should still generate an email notifying thread followers of a post in the thread, and with luck you'll get some responses.
     

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