The End of Last In, First Out?

teacherLast month the state Senate passed SB 612, which allows schools to furlough teachers for economic reasons, which is currently prohibited.  The House is preparing to vote on a worthy amendment to the bill (advanced by Rep. Jim Cox), which would eliminate the “last in, first out” (LIFO) procedure schools must follow for putting teachers on furlough.  Matt Brouillette and Tom Gentzel explained why ending the seniorty rule is so important:

If a school district is forced to eliminate teaching positions, it is important for the school leadership team to be able to decide which positions to retain. Some argue the decision should be solely on the basis of seniority-that is, the last person hired should be the first person let go.  We strongly disagree…

… Schools must be able to furlough teachers based on a broad-based assessment of student needs, not a last-in/first-out requirement that ignores teachers’ classroom performance, ability to connect with students, grasp of subject matter knowledge and innovative educational practice or years of experience teaching in an area in which they are certified.

The Cox Amendment, in short, would help protect Pennsylvania’s best teachers.  Students First has set up an action alert page that will allow you to e-mail your representative about supporting it.