ERIC Number: ED194951
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: N/A
Reduction in Force: A Necessary Action for Many Schools in the 1980s.
Phay, Robert E.
Reduction in force (RIF), or the termination of staff for reasons other than the inadequacy or failing of the individual staff member, may be required for several reasons, including declining enrollment, reduced staff turnover, budget cutbacks, and changes in instructional programs. Whatever the cause, terminations must be handled carefully because of the tangle of legal implications. Answers to the legal issues are primarily found in state statutes, board policies, and collective bargaining agreements, but these are not always clear and do not always answer questions about due process requirements. The courts in several states have been called on to answer questions regarding the school board's authority to dismiss teachers, the degree of evidence necessary to prove that RIF is needed, the board's right to select the position to be eliminated, the use of RIF policies to terminate teachers for illegitimate reasons, the relationship between RIF and racial discrimination, termination of teachers qualified for other available positions, transfers to lower paying positions, unlawful delegation of authority, procedural issues relating to due process, and teachers' rights after termination. Implications of several of these court decisions are discussed in this article. (Author/PGD)
Descriptors: Board of Education Role, Court Litigation, Due Process, Elementary Secondary Education, Legal Responsibility, Postsecondary Education, Public School Teachers, Racial Discrimination, Reduction in Force, Teacher Dismissal, Teacher Transfer
Not available separately; see EA 012 963.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Note: Chapter 2 of "School Law in Contemporary Society" (EA 012 963). For related documents, see EA 012 963-980.