"When layoffs do occur, they cause a chaotic annual reshuffling of staff members. Thousands of teachers are forced to change schools, grades or subjects, creating chronic instability that educators call 'teacher churn," Sam Dillon writes. This has created a division "between politicians and union leaders over the seniority-based layoff methods stipulated in union contracts," Dillion writes. We think the division also exists in non-unionized school districts, between teachers who have gained tenure and those who have not.
"Many argue that the rules rob schools of the talented young teachers who are the first to be let go," Dillon reports. "Union officials say that without such protections, more senior teachers would be let go first to save money." Quyen Tran, a teacher in California "knows this turmoil well," Dillon writes. "Tran has been pink-slipped in the spring four of the five years she has taught, but called back to teach every year. She has taught five subjects and grade levels in three schools."
Layoffs' effects go beyond teachers. "The churn caused by layoffs can be extremely disruptive and hurt student achievement," Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, told Dillon. "And conditions are ripe for disruptions to be dramatic this year." (Read more)