LA charters avoid teacher layoffs

Flexibility is helping Los Angeles charter schools deal with funding cuts without pink-slipping young teachers, reports the LA Daily News. Principals can negotiate with their staffs to save jobs.

. . .  after laying off three teacher assistants and canceling a popular dance program at the charter school, (Our Community School) Principal Chris Ferris decided to approach her staff with a question:

Do you want to keep free health-care benefits or keep more teachers?

. . . Free from rigid union contracts, able to make spending decisions at the school-site level and continuing to see enrollment growth, charter schools can run their campuses like small businesses. At a time when the Los Angeles Unified School District faces layoffs of some 8,500 people and is dismantling popular programs to cut costs, some charter schools are actually hiring teachers.

Most charter schools don’t have top-scale teachers who earn twice as much as novice teachers.

Via Mickey Kaus.

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  1. LAUSD Teacher says:

    I’d rather keep my health benefits.

  2. And this is why there’s so much distrust of charter schools. Any system that punishes teachers for having experience is a system that hates its workers. I also note that there’s no reference to the principal taking a pay cut in the article, which totally fits the current times–the CEO asks everyone else to sacrifice for the good of the company.

  3. Ryan-
    Not quite sure how the charter school in this case is punishing its experienced teachers.

  4. Margo/Mom says:

    Um, LAUSD Teacher–I think you only get to keep your health care benefits if you are one of the teachers who also gets to keep your job.

  5. Clearly there’s a lot to be gained by hiring new teachers and burning them out over the next few years.

    Every school should do that!

  6. Margo/Mom says:

    I would note, however, that there are growing numbers of examples of unions making similar concessions in these times. Unions, recognizing that the alternative is likely to be layoffs are accepting salary freezes, unpaid furloughs, etc. I think that the primary difference in this example is simply the proximity of the decision maker to the staff. In districts such decisions are not made at the building level.