District layoffs less than feared

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 01:12 PM.

“It does appear that our master contract has been breached again,” she said.

Norton said that the language of the master contract was trumped by state law and a state law passed last year specifically mandates that the district can not consider seniority or tenure in considering layoffs.

“We did the only thing at this point we could do and we followed policies and procedures correctly,” Norton said. “We do not take lightly when we have to go against the master plan, or master contract. But we may not prioritize based on seniority.”

Board member Linda Wood said she had been questioned about the district advertising for teaching openings while announcing a reduction in force.

Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Sara Joe Wooten said there were a host of factors.

They include if a program is eliminated, the level and kind of teacher certification – critical at Title I schools which receive earmarked federal dollars – performance issues and the transition of teachers from one area or school to another are all factors that create openings while the workforce is being sliced.

“There are a lot of reasons,” Wooten said. “You can’t just put a warm body in there.”

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