ERIC Number: ED244323
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Current Issues in Reductions-in-Force.
Caplan, Gerald A.
The practitioner advising a school board in connection with a reduction in force can appreciate that the board has great flexibility in implementing its decision. As long as the board's actions are not arbitrary, capricious, or pretextual, and they afford minimal due process protections to tenured teachers, the board's decisions will withstand judicial scrutiny. Since no charges are brought against teachers who are laid off in such cases, due process requires only an opportunity for a hearing on whether the reduction-in-force decision had a substantive basis. Most courts have accepted either program changes (due to declining school enrollment) or financial exigencies (due to budget cuts) as substantive reasons for trimming professional staff. In order to justify retaining qualified probationary teachers over tenured teachers, school boards need to demonstrate objectively that the tenured teacher lacks the qualifications for replacing the probationary teacher. In general, school boards have wide discretion and autonomy for ensuring that qualified teachers staff classrooms. (TE)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Jones, Thomas N., Ed. and Semler, Darel P., Ed. School Law Update...Preventive School Law. p15-22. For complete document, see EA 016 748.