Layoff and “Bumping”

Despite current rumors, “bumping” is not a part of the layoff process in the KEA/KSD contract. No one will get to select your job and push you out of it. And, although the contract groups jobs together into “categories,” the same process applies to all teachers in all categories. No group or job-type has greater rights or protections than any other.

So, how does it work, then? The district compiles a district-wide seniority list in January of each year, using all experience of a type that would be used for salary schedule placement, regardless of the district in which the experience was gained. Then, the school board decides which positions (not people) are to be reduced from the program. Next, the district looks at seniority within each broad job category in which there will be reductions, and identifies the staff with the least district-wide seniority. The least senior staff in those categories who have multiple endorsements will then be compared in seniority to staff in those other categories, again on a district-wide basis, to see if they are to be retained over less senior staff. The end result should be that more senior staff should be retained in any category in which they are certificated. If this causes them to move to a different category, then the least senior staff person in that second category may be the one to be let go.

Transfers to even out staffing then follow. Staff who are retained may need to be moved to another building. This is also done by seniority, with the least senior person in the surplus category being moved first. Unlike the regular transfer process, this “Transfer Due to Reduction of Staff” does not exempt provisional status teachers from being moved. This process is scheduled to take place in early June. A list of openings and of “surplus” teachers will be distributed in advance, then those to be moved will be called, starting with the most senior, to select from among the vacant positions in other buildings. No one may select a position that is not already scheduled to be vacant.

Admittedly, this is just a summary of the contract language. To gain a more precise understanding of the process, one should read the contract (Article VII, Section 8; page 112 ff). It can be found at the Contract tab at http://www.kentea.org. No one can accurately predict the final outcome of this process, nor can the Association accurately address each of a myriad of hypothetical scenarios. The best advice we can give you is to read the contract.

The layoff is not necessary. The district is on track to end the year with a General Fund balance of almost $22M, and can use all but $1.6M of this to prevent layoffs. They can also reprioritize their $261M budget. This reduction in staff will reduce services to students and is contrary to the district’s stated mission. It is the wrong choice.

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4 Responses to “Layoff and “Bumping””

  1. theresa Says:

    Priority must remain in the schools where children are served and where the most bang for your buck remains. What makes children succussful? A district wide counseling program that supports them, great classroom teachers with small classes and time, positive support staff to help the child overcome obstacles with the teacher, clean and safe buildings, enthusiastic librarians who bring life to the world of books, and a smooth sailing building that is steady and constant where everyone works together to provide a quality education for every child.
    All of KSD is being reshuffled over $1.6 million? Seems like a pitily amount considering the other choices being made at the district level. The new curriculum, junkets to Florida, overpaid administrators who have offices at the KSD, even the $800 a month car allowance for our superintendent (who makes more money than Joseph Biden, the vice president of the United States) should go first. And what about the consultant fees we pay?
    We are adopting a new science curriculum at the ninth grade because the books are free, even though there is no money for supplemental materials. Advanced science classes for those accelerated students will be swept away. And no one seems to notice.
    The actions of our district are not in the best interest of children.

  2. Listen Says:

    I ask every parent to step forward and to listen to what is happening in the Kent school district. Your children will suffer the consequences of the district’s bad decision to cut ANYTHING. The district has the funds. As stated in the comment above, you must know that principals and other administrators are sent to EXPENSIVE trainings–some of these trainings are out of state! Add up the cost per participant that is sent to these trainings and you have one WHOPPER of a bill to pay. Yes, I mean you, the taxpayer. Also, consider the outside consultants the district hires (because the current 6 figure salaried staff cannot do the job), and all that curriculum they force upon teachers–much of that curriculum is not user-friendly or adaptable to the real needs of students. And because it’s not user friendly, the district finds itself having to train and re-train the staff. Then it’s round 20 for the next NEW curriculum because the other ones failed to meet the needs of students and the staff that has to implement the curriculum. Your involvement is necessary in order for the district to HEAR anything the teachers and staff have been saying. The ramifications of cutting programs and staff is HUGE. They could reallocate the job titles (including slashing some) up at the district admin office, but they won’t without your voice! Let’s make them accountable and let’s expect them to take care of our students!!!!!

  3. Weary Says:

    To Listen:
    Have you considered putting your post on the Kent Parent Coalition page? Not sure how many readers they have, but we have to make parents aware and hopefully get them to care enough to take some action.

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