Layoff Confusion Remains (For Me)

We're getting more details about the layoffs, but I'm still not making much sense out of it. Who's getting laid off, from where, and what are they entitled to?

The Tribune reports include 150 school-based supplemental teaching positions and program reductions that aren't supposed to affect classroom sizes.

OK, then what about the other 850 positions?  "Most of the reductions, though, are the result of the district's dipping enrollment and 10 school phaseouts and consolidations approved this year," says the Tribune.

OK, then, 850 tenured and probationary teachers are being put out -- what about severance pay?  According to the Tribune, tenured teachers who lose their jobs because of enrollment or closings get a year of pay, while those fired for budgetary reasons aren't promised pay or benefits.

I don't get the difference between being let go for enrollment and being let go for budgetary reasons, but maybe you do?

Last year, 65 percent of teachers were rehired, according to CPS.

Meanwhile, a Tribune reporter has written a long piece about the importance of teachers in her life that I only saw via Catalyst.  Anything else I'm missing? Let me know.

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  • here's some additional information from CPS that seems helpful but still doesn't address the fundamental confusion for me which is how to tell if you're being laid off because of dwindling enrollment or closings (and will get a year of pay) or because of "broad-based economic and redefinition reasons" -- will try and get more:

    This is an overview of the annual teacher layoff actions that occur – this includes school actions – such as consolidation and phase outs – PATS, enrollment decreases, programmatic reductions, and change in a school educational focus. I’ve also included the budgetary layoffs info and the policy in working with impacted teachers.

    Appendix H impacted positions:

    On Friday, June 24, teachers whose schools were the subjects of actions (consolidations and phase-outs) approved by the Board earlier this year were given notice that their positions are being eliminated. When the consolidations were announced earlier this year, staffs at those schools were given notice that their jobs may be eliminated. Layoffs due to school actions occur annually.

    All teachers impacted will be paid and maintain benefits through the end of summer because they are on deferred pay schedules. Benefits under the CTU contract Appendix H (further referenced below):
    n Tenured teachers – receive full pay for one school year
    n Probationary Assigned (non-tenured) Teachers -- reduced pay as subs for one school year

    The District’s contract with the Chicago Teachers Union contains a provision, known as Appendix H, which under certain layoff conditions affords benefits to laid-off tenured and non-tenured teachers. Those conditions include:

    1) Closing of an attendance center
    2) Enrollment declines within a school
    3) Program closures
    4) Changes in a school’s educational focus

    In these situations, tenured teachers receive the following benefits:

    n Assignment to the Reassigned Teacher pool at full salary for 10 school months.
    n During the first 30 school days, tenured teachers are released from duty to search for work.
    n After 30 days, tenured teachers substitute teach; they may be released from teaching to interview for positions.
    n Tenured teachers are honorably dismissed if a principal has not hired them after the 10 months.
    n When honorably dismissed, tenured teachers can go into the Cadre substitute pool for the next school year only.

    Probationary Assigned Teachers who are honorably dismissed can become a substitute teacher for one year at a guaranteed rate of pay and maintain benefits.

    Last week:

    Teachers impacted for the following reasons in Track E schools will be notified: school enrollment decreases, programmatic reductions and change in school’s educational focus.

    Teachers impacted for the following reasons in regular calendar schools will be notified: school enrollment decreases, programmatic reductions and change in school’s educational focus. These teachers are covered under Appendix H.

    There are other reasons teacher layoffs can occur that are non-qualifying under Appendix H, including broad-based economic and redefinition reasons. In these situations, teachers are not afforded a continuation of salary and benefits.

    Recently, a new Board Policy was approved to describe the supports that apply to teachers impacted by budgetary and redefinition layoffs. The policy establishes the following opportunities for tenured teachers impacted for these reasons. The supports include:

    n Employment as a day-to-day substitute
    n Career events for laid-0ff tenured teachers

    The policy also establishes supports for all teachers laid-off for budgetary and redefinition reasons:

    n Notices and information on how to apply for vacant positions
    n Recruiting assistance
    n Establishing an online hiring profile
    n Restoration of status if reappointed
    n Depending on available funding, extension of benefits

    Budgetary impacted positions:

    Budgetary reductions impacting teachers in Track E schools and regular CPS calendar took place last week as well – these were included in the school based budgets that were released about four-five weeks ago.

    In all cases, the order of layoff is as follows:

    1) Teachers without appropriate certification, endorsement or credentials or with lapsed certification, endorsement or credentials.
    2) Teachers rated as unsatisfactory
    3) Retired teachers still working in the District
    4) Temporarily assigned teachers
    5) Probationary teachers
    6) Appointed tenured teachers

    Hiring schedule for vacancies:

    On Wednesday, June 29, hiring for vacancies in Track E schools opened; on Friday July 1, hiring for regular track school vacancies opened. We have established this schedule to allow the Track E schools, which open in August, to complete their staffing first.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    I received the disheartening new today that a really superb second year teacher lost her position yesterday. Highly-valued by her principal, this teacher improved her 4th grade students science scores on the ISATs by 89% over last year, bringing her meets or exceeds to 64.1. She is science endorsed. Other teachers at her school with greater seniority are going through the motions and haven't shown nearly the improvement in student achievement that this teacher has. Unfortunately the new law that layoffs must be based on more than seniority will not take effect in time, and she will wind up teaching in a suburban or parochial school, assuming she is even able to remain in teaching. If anyone at all can tell me the sense of that, have at it! This is why CPS continues to lag behind. So much effort has gone into preparing this young teacher. She represents the future, and CPS needs her. She works in a high needs neighborhood school in a gang infested neighborhood. But a month before school is to start, she loses her job. And this is just one story. I wonder what the other 850 are.

  • 89% increase is quite a feat. This week, I have seen more 'older' teachers who lost their jobs and are going from school to school to try and find a teaching position. These are teachers with science, math and special ed certifications/endorsements. There should be a deep dive on how poverty schools are being forced to buy more instructional positions, which supplant rather than supplement. Academic Enhancement--count the positions and consultants there please-JC should ask why this department keeps taking back positions from poverty schools that have magnet programs and then tells schools they have to buy them using poverty funds. The schools are running out of poverty money. There is a shell game here and the children lose.

  • This is because Academic Enhancement's positions have likely been cut and actually no longer exist. They have take a big hit.

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    In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Can anyone help..... A friend who has tenure and been with the cos system for 8 years just got laid off today? She can not find where u go to apply for reassignment or sub teaching...... We could really use someones help.....

  • more from CPS:

    Each teacher gets an individual letter explaining the nature of the layoff and all assistance and provided to them by the district (much of what I laid out below in terms of benefits, etc). The Human capital office here has staff available to assist and guide each of them through this process and answer any questions as well.

    Economic is determined by the CPS budget process – last year there were over 1,000 economic/budgetary layoffs; this year 150.

    Enrollment is determined based on how many kids attend a given school and the formula for teacher to students ratio is determined by that.

    / so if i understand correctly economic is a citywide thing, done centrally, and enrollment is a school by school thing. sucks to be economic, since you don't get the severance.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Except for when you don't get a letter. I received a call over a week ago letting me know that my position was closed due to "economic factors," but have yet to get the certified letter I was told was coming. When I called Human Capital today, they told me I was still employed. I explained that I was told I was not. The reply: "Well you're listed as employed now, and there's nothing you can do about it!" Thanks CPS.
    My excellent student test scores, leadership roles, and dedication will be taken elsewhere.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    Hi,
    This means there is a mistake between the school and Human Capital. You should call your principal to clear it up.

  • Hopefully this teacher will be rehired at another school. There will be vacancies at other CPS schools and her outstanding record will undoubtably help her as those teachers with a science endorsement are much rarer. It is unfortunate that we lose any outstanding teachers at all and I hope that she is able to stay in CPS. This is why I also support considering performance versus only seniority in a layoff situation. If we are really all about students, we should keep the teachers that benefit students the most.

  • I have been receiving calls over the last couple of days of CPS employees losing their jobs!

  • I have been getting calls over the last two days of CPS employees losing their jobs!

  • Principals are calling CPS employees and telling them that their positions have been closed and yet the CPS employees haven't received their letters from Human Capital! This is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing!

  • "This is because Academic Enhancement's positions have likely been cut and actually no longer exist. They have take a big hit."

    Well why are there so many still in this department? Why does this department even exist if all these in the school teacher positions are being cut?

  • "This is because Academic Enhancement's positions have likely been cut and actually no longer exist. They have take a big hit."

    Then why does this department still exist? A full department with no teacher positions to monitor...not very cost effective.

  • Has anybody heard that several new teachers were not able to be hired recently for having failed some 40 question psychological assessment (CPS calls it an evalation of teaching styles)? I hear it is taken online and if you fail it you are blocked from ever teaching for CPS. It cannot be taken a second time. You blow it - you're done with CPS. What's this all about?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The CPS site says the results of this "assessment" are kept on file for 18 months.

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    I'm a TeacherFit survey victim. I can answer questions about my experience taking the survey and my quest for recourse or an appeal.

  • It is called TeacherFit - developed by Polaris.

  • psychological assessment OR survey of teacher style? WHAT is going on?

  • The Chicago Board of Education provides some help for teachers to find positions at other CPS schools, such as online job applications, and a displaced teacher job fair, to be held on Thursday, July 21, 2011.

  • Teachers who have lost their jobs are receiving letters by certified mail dated Tuesday, July 12, 2011. Teachers began receiving these letters on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 marked "personal and confidential". Reassigned teachers can retain their salary and benefits for one year while working as substitute or "interim" teachers. If they do not find a teaching position by the end of the 10 months, they will be "honorable terminated" (i.e., laid off, FIRED!). The Board of Education will provide a "Resume Writing and Interview Tips Workshops" on July 11, 2011 and July 15, 2011.

  • Dear Disillusioned, what were some of the questions on the TeacherFit questionaire?

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