Pasco school district targets about 100 jobs for elimination
Pasco County schools superintendent Kurt Browning informed district employees via podcast Thursday that he plans to eliminate about 100 jobs as part of his efforts to cut $23 million in spending for the coming school year.
His plan calls for getting rid of all media specialist and literacy coach jobs, and moving people holding those positions into classrooms if they are certified. A full-time aide would run the schools' media centers. The district has been scaling back media specialist and literacy coach jobs for the past three years.
Combined with the reduction of several adult education, special education and ESOL positions, the district expects to save about $5.6 million.
Workers are to learn whether they face layoffs or involuntary transfers in April. Allocations are to go to the School Board in May, with reappointments slated for board approval in early June.
Question: My teaching position has been identified for reduction. What are my options?
Answer: Teachers on annual contract, professional services contract, or continuing contract whose positions are identified for reduction, will be eligible to participate in the District’s summer transfer process. These teachers will be given the opportunity to identify the schools or geographic region in which they would be interested working. Teachers will also be able to identify what subject areas or grade levels they are certified for and interested in working. The District will do its best to place eligible teachers in positions that match their interest. Teachers on temporary service contracts are automatically non-reappointed at the end of the current school year, and are not eligible for participation in the summer transfer process.
Question: My teaching position has been identified for reduction. How do I let the District know my preferences for other positions?
Answer: In late April, the District will be giving impacted teachers the ability to complete a transfer information form. This form will be used to aid the District in placing impacted teachers in new positions.
Question: My teaching position has been identified for reduction. What if I am not certified or highly qualified in any other content area?
Answer: The District is coordinating regional certification meetings where impacted teachers can meet with a Certification Specialist from the Office for Human Resources and Teacher Quality. During these sessions, teachers will receive a review of their certification coverage areas, along with information about adding additional coverage areas to their certificate. Information about receiving District reimbursement for taking subject area examinations will also be provided during these meetings. Please note that adding content areas to your certificate will increase the likelihood of your securing another position for the 2013/2014 school year, but is not necessarily a guarantee.
Question: My teaching position has been identified for reduction. What if I am not certified or highly qualified in any other content area and I am unable or unwilling to add additional content areas to my certificate?
Answer: Teachers will need to be certified and highly qualified in order to be placed into another instructional position. Teachers who only carry certification in the area in which they were reduced may be at risk for not having a position for the 2013/2014 school year. Again, please note that additing content areas to your certificate will increase the likelihood of your securing another position for the 2013/2014 school year, but is not necessarily a guarantee.
Question: My teaching position has been identified for reduction. When will I know my teaching assignment for next year?
Answer: The District anticipates notifying impacted employees of their assignment for the 2013/2014 school year prior to the end of the current school year.
Question: How does my District seniority play into this process?
Answer: Because all employees in these job categories are being reduced, seniority will not need to be utilized in determining who needs to be reduced.
Question: What if there are not enough vacant instructional positions to accommodate all of the teachers whose positions were identified for reduction?
Answer: In the off chance that this occurs, the District will implement the Reduction in Force process currently contained in the Instructional Master Contract. Under this process, teachers operating under an “Unsatisfactory” summative evaluation will be laid-off first. If additional reductions are needed, teachers operating under a “Developing/Needs Improvement” summative evaluation will be laid-off next, and so on.