Teacher Transfer Process
Update - December 18, 2012
District Teacher Transfer Processes during Reduction in Workforce Message
View detailed Transfer Process Document
View a short video from Superintendent Rose
1.Why did layoffs occur?
The layoffs are a result of a $37 million budget reduction based on decreased state school revenue.
2.How many licensed employees were laid off?
Final numbers will not be available until fall 2012. As of August 1, 204 people have been laid off.
3.How does the layoff process work?
The process is based on ORS 342.934 and the teachers’ contract. Layoff is a legal process involving teacher licensure and seniority. Districts are required to preserve as many positions as possible, and this requires "bumping" teachers from one position to another based on licensure.
4.Is merit or competence considered?
The law allows for merit to be considered in layoff decisions. It does not factor into transfer decisions. Teacher contracts typically determine the definition of merit. To avoid subjective interpretations, the Beaverton teachers’ contract confines “merit” to what is contained in the official personnel file. The personnel file contains evaluation and disciplinary information, if applicable.
5.Will any laid off teachers be recalled to their previous positions?
As positions become available due to leaves or resignations, laid off teachers will be recalled to open positions in order of seniority within their licensure area, per contract. Their former positions have already been filled.
6.When were principals made aware of this, and why weren’t parents told right away?
Principals learned about who was being transferred or laid off July 25. We began to notify teachers of layoff or transfer decisions beginning July 26. It was important to notify all affected employees before notifying parents of specific staff changes.
7.How many licensed employees were transferred?
Final numbers will not be available until fall 2012. As of August 1, 365 people have been transferred. Of these transfers, 160 were placed in significantly different positions (i.e. media specialist to classroom teacher), and 43 placed in split positions, either at the same site or two different sites. Teachers new to their positions will receive school and District support to assist with their transition.
8.What is “bumping?”
This term is used to describe what occurs when a more senior teacher is contractually and legally entitled to a position based on their areas of endorsement and are moved to assure those with the greatest amount of seniority are retained.Bumping is the reason for many of the 365 transfers.
9.What is an example of “bumping?”
An elementary teacher who also holds a special education endorsement will be moved to an open special education position if it will preserve the job of an elementary teacher with no other endorsement. There would be many more layoffs if bumping did not occur, and the District would be in violation of State law and the teachers’ contract.
10.Who made the decisions about whom to transfer?
HR made the final transfer decisions. Decisions were based on contractual and ORS 342.934 requirements. Input from principals regarding specific school programs was a factor only if the former criteria were met. Principals did not have a say in who stayed or who transferred.
11.Why couldn’t HR ask for volunteers?
Unlike during normal years, a reduction in force requires the District to adhere to specific guidelines designed to reduce layoffs. These guidelines are based on teacher licensure versus teacher preference.
12.Was a teacher’s seniority at the school considered?
The contract is designed to protect jobs. While seniority within the District (not individual schools) may protect a teacher from layoff, it plays no role in transfer decisions.
13.Was there any thought about finding the best fit at a particular location when transfers were determined?
HR attempted to minimize transfers between more than one level (i.e. high school to elementary school) and into positions for which the teacher had no actual experience. This was not always possible, and as previously stated, final decisions were based on whether the move would reduce a layoff of someone with more seniority, per contract.
14.Why wasn’t the program at my school protected?
The law does not allow for the protection of specific programs. If a program does not require a special endorsement, it cannot be a consideration in determining who is laid off or transferred. Examples of affected programs include International Baccalaureate programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels, Two-Way Immersion programs, Advanced Placement programs, Summa and Expeditionary Learning programs. While all of these programs will continue in some form, they may have different teachers or fewer teachers.
15.Why was my student’s school so heavily impacted?
It feels like a completely new staff. This is true for many schools in the District. As a general rule, schools with a less senior staff ended up with more layoffs and transfers.
16.Will there be support or training for teachers who may have been transferred to programs or subject areas in which they have little or no experience?
The District and school principals will provide ongoing support and training for teachers who have been transferred into significantly different positions.
17.What was done to inform employees with many years of seniority that layoffs could result in their transfer?
All licensed employees received communication from HR last spring inviting them to attend one of several staffing information meetings. These meetings were also podcast and posted on the website. In addition, principals were provided with a variety of scenarios to share with staff so they could better understand the impact of “bumping.”
18.Why did it take most of July before teachers learned of their transfers?
The layoff and transfer process is multidimensional. The complexity is increased exponentially because in a year of layoffs, staff assignments must be made on the basis of seniority (for layoff only) and licensure. The placements of all 2300 teachers needed to be considered throughout the entire process. Hundreds of teachers were moved multiple times before assuring contractual requirements had been met.
19.Is there an appeal process for concerned parents?
No. The District follows the law and the contract for reduction in force and reserves the right to hire and transfer employees.
20.How can I support my school and teachers through this difficult change process?
Please join principals and District leaders in ensuring our new teachers are welcomed, supported with necessary training and successful so that your child will continue to receive an excellent education.