6461 Reduction In Force

  1. Reduction in certificated staff which may be required due to decreasing enrollments, limited financial support, changing programs, or other factors, will be accomplished when possible, through the normal procedures of resignations, retirements, leaves of absence, other methods of attrition of staff, and/or alternative assignment of personnel.
  2. In the event that it becomes apparent that the necessary staff reductions may not be accomplished through the normal attrition of staff, the Superintendent will recommend to the Board of Education the names of those individuals impacted by the reduction in force provisions of the continuing contract law. 
  3. Permanent or tenured employees will not be subject to the provisions of this policy while a probationary employee is retained to render service which such permanent employee is qualified by reason of certification and endorsement to perform or where certification is not applicable, by reason of college credits in the teaching area. (79-846)
    The selection of personnel for reduction shall be based on seniority in endorsed fields and placement on a Performance Improvement Plan. Seniority shall be defined as the number of years of uninterrupted contractual service with the district. Teachers shall have full seniority in all their endorsed fields, even if outside their current teaching assignment.  Also, full seniority shall be granted retroactively to all endorsements acquired in the future. A Performance Improvement Plan shall be defined as an employee on a written plan of improvement, initiated at least 60 days prior to Board of Education approval of RIF. Teachers on a plan of improvement will be considered first for reduction in force in endorsed fields. The Performance Improvement Plan will follow GIPS guidelines.
    If the reduction of an employee, based upon the provisions of this policy would place this school district in non-compliance of any federal or state law or regulations requiring affirmative action employment practices, the district may vary from this policy only to the extent necessary to comply with such laws and regulations. (79-849)
    A teacher who is removed from the teaching force by this policy shall be considered to be dismissed with honor and shall upon request be provided with a letter to that effect. (79-848)
  4. Those employees who have been terminated through a reduction in force will receive priority consideration for replacement for a period of twenty-four months.  Upon re-employment, a recalled employee shall be placed on the salary schedule and provided fringe benefits based on existing district policies and the current negotiated agreement.  One step vertical advancement on the salary schedule, and any approved horizontal advancement, shall be granted from the point of termination.  If the period of absence is spent teaching in another district, that year or years shall be included when determining the employee's position on the salary schedule.
  5. Before a reduction in force shall occur, it shall be the responsibility of the board of education and the school district administration to present competent evidence that a change of circumstance has occurred necessitating a reduction in force. (79-847)
  6. Due to the nature of the relationship between the administration and the board of education, a certificated employee who is not currently serving in a predominantly administrative capacity shall have no rights under this policy to any administrative position within the school district.
  7. Definitions of several key terms listed in this policy are attached for clarification.
    • A reduction in force shall consist of a reduction of one or more positions or a reduction in the percentage of employment of one or more certificated staff members even if the number or percentage of employment of the certificated staff overall may be increased by other hiring or increases in the percentage of employment of other employees. Reduction in force may result in termination of employment, an amendment to an employee’s contract reducing the employee’s employment, reducing an employee from full-time to part-time status or reducing a part-time employee’s percentage of employment.
    • A Performance Improvement Plan is a formal plan developed by the supervisor to improve personal/professional performance. The plan must be in place 60 days prior to the board implementing reduction in force to be considered as criteria for reduction in force. A Performance Improvement Plan shall include an introductory statement to include specific events leading up to the need for a plan; identify one to three improvement goals; a statement of performance expectations; staff member’s current performance; direction and support offered by the supervisor; expected performance outcomes; how performance will be measured; and a timeline for meeting expectations.
    • Seniority and length of service shall be defined as the number of continuous full-time equivalent years of employment in the district as a teacher. A full-time equivalent year is defined as employment on a full time basis for an entire school year. Less than full-time employment would reduce a teacher’s full-time equivalent employment for a school year. For example, a teacher employed on a half-time basis would be credited with a half-year of full-time equivalent employment. A break in service will terminate a teacher’s seniority and length of service under this provision. That period of time when a teacher is on a leave of absence shall not constitute a break in service; however, any years of absences or fractions of years of leave of absences will not count as years of employment for the purposes of determining the length of a teacher’s uninterrupted service.
    • For the purpose of this policy a teacher is defined as any certificated employee whose major assignment is not administrative in function.
    • Endorsement:  Shall mean area(s) of specialization or teaching majors and grade level(s).  Title 92, Nebraska Administrative Code, Chapters 21 & 24.
  8.  All employees, upon notification of possible reduction in force, shall be provided with copies of this policy and procedures.

Adopted                8/12/91
Revised                 9/11/03
Policy Reviewed     1/8/09
Policy Revised       08/11/2011

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6461.1 Administrative Procedures for Policy 6461

  1. Separate lists of certificated staff members shall be prepared for each area of endorsement annually as of January 1. The names will be listed in order of length of uninterrupted service with the district.  Leaves of absence, when officially granted by board action, shall not be considered as interruption in service.  Each list will contain the names in the proper order of all teachers endorsed in that area, regardless of their current teaching assignment. Additionally, each list will contain the names of teachers currently teaching in a given area who are not endorsed in that area.
  2. The data referred to in the above paragraph shall be maintained in the district's personnel files as of January 1 of each year. It is the responsibility of each employee to furnish any information concerning hours of credit, certification, and endorsement which would update the records.  An official transcript confirming advanced training must be filed in the Superintendent's office on or before October 1 if a teacher wishes to be placed on additional endorsement lists for the January 1 release. Failure to submit this information by October 1 will disqualify the employee from having the information changed until the following school year. Copies of all endorsement lists shall be available in all buildings as of January 1 of each year. Individuals may appeal their placement upon the list by February 15 through the Superintendent's office. Any challenge to the accuracy of information will be limited to information submitted by the teacher by October 1.
  3. In the event that the Board of Education acts to terminate any certificated employee through reduction in force provisions of the continuing contract law, the seniority lists will become the official lists from which the determinations of seniority will be made.
  4. When seniority in the area of endorsement is equal for two or more employees, as indicated by the seniority lists:
    1. Performance Improvement Plan: an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan will be the deciding factor;
    2. Number of years in that endorsed field in the district shall then be the deciding factor;
    3. In the event that parity still exists, the highest seniority will be given to those who have attained the greatest educational level approved by the district;
    4. Priority will then be given to the date of signing the original contract by the teacher.
  5. Following enrollment projections, program determinations, and financial estimates for the ensuing year staffing allocations will be provided to the building principals.
  6. Building principals, after reviewing the known possibilities of resignations, leaves of absence, and retirements in their respective buildings, will certify to the Superintendent that excess personnel exists, and in what areas.
  7. The Superintendent will review the lists of excess personnel provided by the building principals and compare them with known vacancies in an effort to determine whether any required reduction can be performed through normal attrition, by the transfer of personnel from one building to another, or by moving from one endorsed area to another.
  8. When the reduction in force cannot be accomplished through normal attrition or transfer, the Superintendent, by April 15, may notify teachers of the possibility of reduction in force and provide a seniority list for examination. The board may take action prior to April 15 to amend or terminate certain positions or the number of teaching positions, but should not be involved to any further extent because of the possibility of hearings involving RIF actions. After notification of possible reduction, if the employee wishes a hearing, he or she must submit a request to the superintendent within seven calendar days. Unless extended by written agreement between both parties, final action by the Board must occur before May 15. (79-831)
  9. Any employee who has been terminated to effect a reduction in force shall have preferred rights to re-employment for a period of twenty-four months commencing at the end of the contract year, and his/her name shall be placed upon a priority-recall list based upon length of service to the district.  He/she shall be recalled when a position for which he/she is qualified and/or endorsed by college preparation becomes available. At the end of twenty-four months the individual will be dropped from the recall list.
  10. During this twenty-four month period, an employee under contract to another educational institution may waive recall but such waiver shall not deprive the employee of his/her right to subsequent recall (79-848).  The employee shall be responsible for maintaining his or her current address and telephone number with the district's administrative office.  Offers of re-appointment may be made by telephone but shall be confirmed in writing by registered mail and the employee shall have one week to accept or reject the offer of re-appointment unless extended by mutual consent.  If an individual accepts re-employment, any request for change of assignment must be made through the transfer policies of the district.
  11. For the purpose of establishing seniority only, individuals who are re-employed from the recall list will continue the date of employment as that which was established when first placed on the recall list.
  12. Individuals on the recall list shall be given first consideration as substitute teachers.
  13. In case of termination the following opportunities concerning fringe benefits will be available to the affected individual:
    Health Insurance - Persons terminated may continue, while on the recall list, to participate in the group health insurance, subject to any limitations by the insurance carrier, by providing the established rate of monthly payment one month in advance to the Central Office Business Department.
  14. Nothing contained in this RIF policy denies the district or any employee any rights created by the reduction in force statute, §§ 79-846 through 79-849.

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