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Talk Back: Should Seniority Prevail in School Contracts?

As budgets tighten in tough economic times, contracts get more attention.

As school budgets get tighter and districts look for ways meet the state tax cap, some administrators are looking more carefully at employee contracts.

In particular, contracts that set seniority as the key factor in who gets laid off first in tough economic times is getting more scrutiny. In Huntington, an effort to recommend the elimination of the First In, First Out standard met resistance this week. And while Board of Education members insisted that a teacher's salary wouldn't be the determining factor in cutbacks, teachers spoke out against the proposal and it was tabled for now.

What do you think of seniority rules? Should they be the main standard when it comes to cutting jobs? If not seniority, how should districts determine who should stay and who should go? And how should the effectiveness of teachers be judged?

What do you think, Babylon? Please tell us in the comments.

Check Carla September 05, 2012 at 10:59 AM
This is such a tough call! As someone who was laid off in the private corporate world b/c I made too much I get mad b/c my experience should have been worth more. The flip side is a less experienced person deserves a shot too. Then there is the age discrimination factor here too. How do you lay off someone who is 50+, close to retirement? When it comes to teachers I hate to see anyone let go. They should look at the individual & base it on performance evaluation not on time spent in the classroom make it fair take some from the top & some from the middle & some from the bottom. I'm sure there are newer teachers more capable then older ones & vice versa. There has to be a more fair way to go about this. I hate that this is even a topic! Our kids need teachers! We as parents need them too! They are our lifeline @ raising good children!!
Vincent Santangelo September 05, 2012 at 11:27 AM
I agree. Teachers are so important for our children. And seniority is the backbone of "unions"......... but you just dont want a lazy non efficient teacher protected, while so many young brilliant teachers are being laid off.. hmmmm this is a tuff one.

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