End 'last hired, first fired' to save jobs

To help more teachers keep their jobs and close the achievement gap, the $23 Billion “Keep Our Educators Working Act” should end “last hired, first fired” policies, argues Education Trust. In addition, Congress should close a loophole that would let states use the money to balance state budgets rather than retaining teachers.

. . . when school districts are forced to focus solely on teachers with the fewest years of experience—the ones who are paid the least—administrators have to eliminate more jobs to achieve the same dollar savings. In many districts, that can mean pushing out energetic veterans who have worked for four, five, or even six years.

To cut salary expenditures by 10 percent, districts would have to cut 875,000 public school jobs using seniority layoffs, estimates the Center on Reinventing Public Education.  “Nearly a quarter-million of those lost jobs could be saved by using seniority-neutral policies that take into account employee effectiveness,” according to CRPE.

As many districts announce teacher layoffs, the opposition to seniority-based layoffs is growing. But a New York bill to give principals discretion in laying off teachers has “little traction,” writes Marcus Winters in City Journal.

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