Last day of school, last day of employment for hundreds of Pasco school workers
When Pasco schools close today, hundreds of district employees will leave for what might be the last time.
Work ends for people who aren't on extended-year contracts, meaning the workers who got layoff notices in May will officially be unemployed.
School district officials have fielded many phone calls seeking more details on what exactly that means. One big question: Can you apply for unemployment compensation if you've been laid off? It's come up because in the past, employees have left for the summer with their contracts over but fully expecting reemployment come August.
That's not unemployment.
But if you've gotten that notice, you're eligible. From a district letter (attached below) to all employees:
"Unemployment compensation is intended for those employees who do not have assurance of returning to work, such as those employees who have been laid off, who have been officially notified that their job has been eliminated, or who otherwise have been officially informed that they would not be returning to employment with the school system. These benefits are not available to an employee who has lost one position and is offered and has accepted a different position for the upcoming school year. Employees who have been laid off and have not been recalled or given other assurances of employment for the 2011/2012 year may file a claim effective after their last workday for the 2010/2011 school year."
Officials have said they hope to be able to rehire many of those laid off. Already, about half the teachers who got pink slips have been placed, they said. Until that time arises, though, unemployment compensation remains an option.