Teacher Layoffs Probable; New Way Proposed

March 7, 2011 – In The News
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With Gov. Tom Corbett’s newly proposed budget, many fear the inevitable fallout of teacher layoffs statewide. Some suspect this will lead to larger class sizes and fewer programs. The new budget proposes a new way of laying off teachers that is not strictly based upon seniority. Another change would not allow school districts to lay off teachers for economic reasons.

At a House Education Committee hearing, Mark W. Fitzgerald spoke on behalf of Pennsylvania School Boards Association, suggesting school districts need more flexibility when facing “an unprecedented new fiscal reality.” Fitzgerald favored the side of permitting economic layoffs and for districts to consider teacher performance in layoffs as well. As administrators are well-trained to evaluate teacher effectiveness, such considerations would “enable school districts to retain those professional employees who are the most effective in their positions,” according to Fitzgerald.

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