And we’re back! Lawyery stuff was just request for information (not from any organization), so no big deal after all for this site.
I am in awe.
In awe regarding how spectacularly badly this entire situation with the Hall County teacher ‘layoffs’ has been handled. First there have been several years of reckless spending – remember how this past budget was “the largest passed in Hall County School System history”? I mean, how many expensive programs does one system need to try to enact in a two year period anyway…and those things aren’t cheap. And did we really need a combination high school/middle school?? Apparently we didn’t, since we’re not using it for that now? Reckless payment of travel supplements and moving expenses for friends and cronies coming from their old systems has contributed to the mess. How can you defend paying that kind of money to your friends from other areas and then turning around and taking someone’s entire livlihood away from them? One of the defenses that has been thrown out is that we are not top heavy in central office. Yet, suddenly we can afford to cut 9 positions from the central office level? Which one is it?? Are these all people from “Central Office South?” What district this size has two central office buildings and all of the associated costs with running them anyway? They will tell you that no one saw this economic downshift coming, but that isn’t entirely true. Bloggers on the Times site were talking about it over a year ago before the last budget was passed. It’s true, that a lot of these so called “lay offs” could not have been avoided, but it could have been a lot less painful for a lot of people if we didn’t have such a bunch of know it all, self-serving types running the school system now.
Someone somewhere else pointed out that this should have been handled as a RIF (Reduction in Force) because honestly that is what it is. However, the people running the district have apparently decided that they wanted to do this a different way by picking on the people with the least legal recourse. Is the way they have done this legal? Perhaps. It is right and honorable? No. If this had been done as a reduction in force they would have been REQUIRED to hire the people that were let go back as the situation improves. The way they have chosen to handle this puts them under no obligation to hire anyone involved back at any time. If you believe the rumored line they are giving people “if you resign, we will hire you back” then I have a bridge and some swamp land I’d like to try to sell you.
Another problem for all of you who have been let go is your superintendent has labeled you all as “ineffective” in a public forum. It seems, as others have pointed out, that by resigning you are admitting this. What data was used to make the determination that you are “ineffective?” Are you on a PDP? Do you have NIs on your evaluations? Have all of your evaluations even been completed? Do you have letters of reprimand? Are your test scores lower than those of your peers? I’m betting in the majority of these cases, the answer is no. You are simply being screwed over in order to expedite this process for the folks at central office. It’s unfair, because there are tenured teachers who may be less effective than you, who should probably be let go, but administrators by and large don’t do the work necessary to get rid of an ineffective tenured teacher.
Here’s a little something you might not realize. My understanding is anyone who is non-renewed has a right to request in writing from the Superintendent the reasons for the non-renewal. They will also tell you that you have no right to a hearing in front of the board. This is not entirely true. While you do not have an automatic right to a hearing as if you were tenured, a good lawyer should know how to force a hearing. You lose this right if you resign.
I urge you to do extensive research before signing anything or accepting what you are told at face value. They are counting on your ignorance! They are capitalizing on the fact that you are upset and scared. Check to see if resigning makes you ineligible for unemployment benefits. Call the labor department and ask. Resigning really doesn’t do you any good because most employment applications now ask if you resigned in lieu of non-renewal, and if you lie on an application you can lose your certificate. Go as soon as possible and ask for a copy of your personnel file from your principal and the one kept at Central Office. You will want that to help dispute the fact that you have been labeled as an ineffective teacher by Hall County. Remember, if you were truly ineffective, there should be documentation and you should have been fired.
No doubt we will hear plenty of excuses from 711 Green as well as the normal ad hominen drivel, but you all need to be very sure of where you stand before going along with anything they say.
Good luck to everyone negatively impacted by this. Please feel free to share your stories here.
What a great example of character and competency for our children.
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