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DISD Considering Giving Schools Input On Layoffs

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A teacher prepares her classroom. (credit: Dave Einsel/Getty Images)

A teacher prepares her classroom. (credit: Dave Einsel/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In the wake of massive state funding shortfalls, the Dallas Independent School District is considering changing its reduction in force policy to allow individual schools input on who is laid off.

That’s not sitting well with Dallas Alliance AFT President, Rena Honea, who represents thousands of teachers and staff members.

“It is absolutely against the law because the contract teachers signed in the beginning of the year would be changed,” Honea said.

In the event of layoffs, the current policy said employees would be dismissed on a district wide basis.

But under the new proposed policy, decision-making power would also be given to individual campuses, which means principals would have input on which teachers and staff members are let go.

Honea said involving campus principals opens the door to human error, favoritism and makes the cuts subjective.

“The mixing of the district-wide and the campus-by-campus is very disturbing right now,” said Honea.

So how would the policy change affect teachers?

Honea said an example is that under the current policy cuts based on seniority are based on the number of years an employee has been with the district. But under the new policy, a teacher with 20 years in the district could be cut by a principal if they’ve only been with that particular campus one or two years.

Honea said it makes some teachers more vulnerable to the cuts and violates their contracts, which don’t expire until August 31.

The board will take up the policy change at Thursday’s board meeting. A spokesperson for Dallas ISD said the school board sets policy and has the right to make revisions. But Alliance AFT said if it’s implemented, it is prepared to fight it in court if necessary.

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