Education

Principal Discretion in N.C. Layoffs?

By Stephen Sawchuk — June 15, 2009 1 min read

This story seems to be generating a bit of pushback from a bunch of different sides. Some were confused by the overall thrust of the layoffs. To clarify: yes, the district appears to be prioritizing non-career (nontenured teachers), but since TFA teachers generally have fewer than four years, the amount of time it takes to become tenured in Charlotte, there are some three- to four-year teachers who most likely will be let go ahead of the TFAers.

A couple of commentators wanted more details on the cost, number, and breakdown of teachers who will be laid off. I wish I could bring that information to you, but I didn’t have much luck getting anyone in the central office to talk to me. The board members I spoke to didn’t have the information on hand.

And a couple of teachers wrote in to say they think I omitted an important piece of the RIF procedures that allow for “limited exemptions” to middle and high school teachers who “have a unique skill, talent, expertise or responsibility, including an extra duty, which is essential to the on-going, system-directed program of the school.” The principal must make the request to the district, supported by various administrators, and the district superintendent makes the call. One of the teachers who wrote in said that the teacher’s principal was basically using this provision to retain certain preferred teachers over others.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.