So, Teachers Who Take $10,000 Buyout Could Still Wind Up Working for DISD Next Year?

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Last night, the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees approved that buyout plan for on-campus full-timers wanting to take the money and run before they're laid off. At which point, the district handed to principals a FAQ, which the Dallas Friends of Public Education posted to its website this morning. One thing in particular worth noting:
Question: If the employee is rehired, will he/she show a break in service?

Answer: Yes. The employee will have to go through the entire employment process and there will be a break in service.

Question: Will the employee be eligible to apply for a substitute teacher position with Dallas ISD?

Answer: Employees are eligible to apply effective Sept. 1, 2011.
Which means, if I read the "rehired" part right, teachers who take the buyout could still wind up working for the district next year. I e-mailed DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander about an hour and a half ago for clarification and left him a voice-mail message after that; I'll update when he clarifies.

(Update at 2:09 p.m.: "We don't know if we'll even have any vacancies after September," Dahlander tells Unfair Park, "but this helps inform our budget situation and forces a break in service and allows us to start making some decisions later on the spring regarding possible layoffs.")

On a related note, trustee Edwin Flores -- who made his case yesterday about the relative bargain of a buyout -- sent me something moments ago related to the layoffs of full-timers, which could count upward of 2,000 following the $10,000 offer:
We received another datapoint last night about the costs for terminating teachers. After the 30-50K for the hearings, then, we also have to pay unemployment which is 10K for a year (and if they are eligible for extended unemployment another 10K!). Therefore, our potential liability is 70K!!!
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Carol
Carol

Maybe they should share the profit with the teachers who retire. Why do you think they are working? For fun? Most teachers love teaching, but they need money to live. Many have already had deep paycuts and have used savings to make up the difference. Having depleted savings makes continues employment a must.

C. Pratt
C. Pratt

Flores is wrong re: unemployment benefits. Assuming a teacher makes about $68k/year. If that teacher files/receives unemployment, DISD does NOT pay that unemployment check to the teacher. That unemployment check is paid by State unemployment. The State of Texas pays it, from the insurance money that employers paid in.

Also, if that teacher then passed into Extended unemployment after a full year, then the extended benefits are paid from FEDERAL funds. Again, not paid from DISD's pocket.

Flores should go back to law school.

mmacnaughton
mmacnaughton

From the TASB document: "Reducing Personnel Costs"

http://www.dfpe.org/pdf/tasb-r...

"Again, do not fail to calculate the cost of unemployment compensation. Even employees who take advantage of a voluntary severance package may be entitled to unemployment benefits, and these benefits will be paid over and above the amount of any severance. The district may not ask an employee to waive the right to unemployment benefits; to do so is a criminal offense. Tex. Lab. Code §§ 207.072, .074."

This is certainly contrary to what many board members believed at the board meeting.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Ummm, like very few teachers make that much a year ($68K).You're talking the 35+ years vets.

10 year vets make around $54,000.Teaching is a great gig if you don't mind people you graduated with making double your salary within 5 years.

But I realize that's not your main point--your point is about who pays the unemployment costs. I would go with Flores on this point; he may not know how to treat other human beings, but he's probably right on the unemployment issues.

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Lili Lin

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Sratliff
Sratliff

I still think this whole idea makes no sense. If this was a factory that was shutting down then fine, it's a nice gesture. I thought the purpose of finding money would be to save teachers, not use it pay teachers who may be terminated anyway. Either way, the student/teacher ratio will not change by doing this. Why not use those same funds to keep around 150 to 200 teachers?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

We're spending 7 million dollars because we're out of money.

How about we spend that 7 million on teacher salaries, wait to see how many people resign, retire, or go to graduate school (TFA), and then deal with what's left.

Once again, though, ADMINISTRATIVE CUTS are what is acutally needed in DISD.

Teachers shouldn't even be part of the discussion at this point.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Most former full-time teachers become subs. It's the best part-time job, without insurance, one can get. Basically $13/hr unsupervised, no hmwk, no commitment for tomorrow...

LaceyB
LaceyB

New graphic above the article, please!! I think we're getting on 3 days straight with the "Teachers" poster. May I recommend a certain "film" of the same title with a certain "film star" from the Fort Worth area? I like my Unfair Park fresh, after all.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I prefer any graphic over a picture of Edwin Flores.The less publicity he gets for his next big political campaign, the better.He seems to hate teachers.

We notice it and can say in all honesty that the feeling is more than mutual.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

$70K x 2,100 = $147M "worst-case" scenario. And just where is THAT money going to come from? The hole just gets deeper with each clever solution.

EastDallasResident
EastDallasResident

The reality is that if they retired, teachers would only be eligible for part-time positions and there are limits to how many hours they could work without temporarily foreiting retirement pay. People hired into the full-time positions they vacate would be hired at the lowest salary in that range which could save 20k to 30k each year.Wilonsky - nice try going for a headline, but you need to go to the library and do some research before you start spouting off . . .

Pigskinnie
Pigskinnie

Maybe "retirement pay" is part of the problem. If we are saying that a teacher makes only $50k/year (albeit for only 9 months work) but then is eligible somehow for more money when they retire, then I would argue that the teacher's pay is a lot more than the $50k/year.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

They are not eligible for more money when they retire.

They average your last 3 (or 5, depending on your hire date) years of salary and you get a PERCENTAGE of that averaged amount.

Since TRS insurance is much cheaper, that combined with enough of a pay cut and make it more profitable to retire than to keep working.

*Interesting note: Teachers who outlive their spouses cannot collect their spouse's Social Security, since teachers are forced to pay into TRS. Wives who never work, though, ARE allowed to keep getting their spouse's social security.

Don't work=get spouse's social security if spouse dies firstWork as a teacher=no social security if you outlive your spouse.

It's called the offset rule.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Sorry--that should have read: the cheaper insurance combined with enough of a pay cut CAN make it more profitable to quit.

Plus, you don't have to endure another "rally" at the AAC with Hinojosa.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

You're wrong, EastDallas.Even with the RIF 2 years ago, teachers who took the money (3 months salary) could be and WERE rehired by the district.

There is no need to do this mass lay-off. Attrition will take care of things, probably within a year.

As with all things DISD, there is more to this story than meets the eye.There is a reason they are offering this incentive--there is some financial or political motivation behind this.

Robert, did you ask Dahlander about TFA recruits whose 2-year commitments were ending this year anyway? Do they get the money?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

The DISD spokesman does not agree with your assessment.

tracker
tracker

The district figures the average cost of a full time employee at 60K. So if it costs 70K to fire one, wouldn't it be a win win situation just to keep them on? The kids would have their teachers and the district would save 10K per position. If we kept this up, we'd have a surplus in no time!

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Now surely you understand the difference between one-time and recurring expenses?

scottindallas
scottindallas

Has anyone inquired whether the Fire Dept. will allow 60 kids in a conventional classroom? All public buildings have occupancy limits, what are they for those schools. Those classrooms of a certain era are all pretty much the same, someone should know off-hand.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

Good thinking, Scott.

And, what about those shitty metal one room classrooms they've erected at Stonewall and other schools. They are pretty small, so how can they safely accomodate large numbers.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Ah, the Fire Marshall.

You know how in movies the classrooms are all wonderfully and creatively decorated? They always look so inspiring.

In real life, you can't hang stuff from the ceiling unless its X inches away from a sprinkler head. Curtains have to be sprayed with some freaky toxic-smelling flame-retardant that teachers have to buy themselves.

And the issues with cords! Tripping hazards, fire hazards--and don't even think about using an extension cord.

The problem is that our wonderful old buildings (and I mean that--I love the old buildings) were built before internet drops and InFocus projectors mounted from the ceiling.

Using all these technology tools (desktops, laptops, smart boards, projectors, document cameras) is required or a teacher gets marked down on the evaluation. Strategically arranging desks, computers, projectors, screens, kids and cords, though, can be quite the challenge.

So 60 kids in a class? I doubt it.It's spelled S-C-A-R-E T-A-C-T-I-C so no one at 3700 has to lose their job or have their pay cut.

Just the teachers.

Pigskinnie
Pigskinnie

This is infuriating, but at the same time, it actually happens in large businesses, too. I had a buddy who worked for a large PC manufacturer in the Round Rock area who got terminated in a mass layoff and was given a severance package of maybe 6 weeks pay. A week later, a dfferent department of that same firm asked him to interview for an open position, which he was awarded at a higher pay rate than before. So he got the severance and a raise a the same time, plus a free 2-week vacation. This is not to excuse the DISD general incompetence, but it just happens when organizations are too large.

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