Personnel Issues - Dr. W.A. Kritsonis


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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis
Personnel Issues
Public School Law Series
National Issues & Concerns - New Answers To Lingering Problems in Public School Law

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Personnel Issues - Dr. W.A. Kritsonis

  1. 1. Personnel Issues PEDG 5344 William Allan Kritsonis, PhD
  2. 2. “Subject to Assignment Clause” <ul><li>In teachers’ contracts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>most Texas teacher and administrator contracts contain a clause to the effect that the employee may be assigned and reassigned at the discretion of the superintendent. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Jett v. Dallas ISD <ul><li>An athletic director/head coach was reassigned to another school as a teacher with no coaching duties. There was no reduction in salary or supplemental pay. Although Jett came out evenly financially, he complained that he was unfairly deprived of a “property right” in the position of AD/head coach. The reassignment was done without any formal hearing and without due process. The 5th circuit ruled that because Jett’s property right included only the economic benefits of the contract and because he received all of those economic benefits even after reassignment, he was not deprived of any property right. Therefore, he was not entitled to due process. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Smith v. Nelson <ul><li>The courts ruled that the commissioner did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal of a man who was reassigned from head coach/AD to PE teacher. There was a written contract involved, but the man’s salary remained the same after the reassignment. He tried the argument that his loss of status would make it harder for him to find good coaching jobs in the future, but allegations of speculative future losses are not enough to give the commissioner jurisdiction over such a case. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Finch v. Ft. Bend ISD <ul><li>The principal was reassigned to the maintenance department she was told she would be a facilitator for staff development of the nonprofessional staff. The supervisor gave the principal a memo outlining the reasons for the reassignment and advising her that she could file a grievance over the matter. The principal filed a grievance and a lawsuit alleging that she was being constructively discharged, retaliated against for the exercise of constitutional rights, and deprived of both procedural and substantive due process. The 5th circuit rejected all of the arguments stating the written notice and the grievance process was her due process. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Briggs v. Crystal City ISD <ul><li>the school board reassigned the superintendent to a teaching position. Briggs sued and won in the TX court of appeals held that a superintendent occupies a unique position and that any reassignment would be a material change in the contract. A superintendent is one of a kind. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Compensation Disputes <ul><li>Penalty-free resignation date </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the date is calculated to be not later than the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the following school year. This usually falls around the 1st of July in most districts in Texas. This is the date in which a teacher can get out of their contract without penalty. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Professional Development and Appraisal System (PDAS) <ul><li>The PDAS is based on observable, job-related behaviors. It involves a single appraisal by a single appraiser, assessing performance in 8 domains which include: (1) active, successful student participation in the learning process, (2) learner-centered instruction, (3) evaluation of and feedback on student progress, (4) management of student discipline, instructional strategies, time, and materials, (5) professional communication, (6) professional development, (7) compliance with policies, operating procedures, and requirements, and (8) improvement of academic performance of all students on the campus, based on indicators included in the Academic Excellence Indicator System. In each domain each teacher is rated as (a) exceed expectations, (b) proficient, (c) below expectations, or (d) unsatisfactory. </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher can demand a second appraisal by a different appraiser and can file a written rebuttal to the appraisal. </li></ul><ul><li>Rules of PDAS require that a teacher be identified as “a teacher in need of assistance” if the teacher is evaluated as unsatisfactory in one or more domain, or if the teacher is below expectations in two or more domains. If the teacher is so designated, the supervisor and teacher must develop an intervention plan . The teacher can be nonrenewed without all this </li></ul>
  9. 9. Planning and Preparation Period <ul><li>Each classroom teacher is to have at least 450 minutes within each two week period for instructional preparation, parent teacher conferences, evaluating students’ work, and planning. </li></ul><ul><li>Each planning and preparation period must be at least 45 minutes long, and must be scheduled during the school day. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Duty-Free Lunch <ul><li>Classroom teachers and full-time librarians are entitled to at least a 30-minute lunch period free from all duties and responsibilities connected with the instruction or supervision of students, unless </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the district is faced with such dire situations as personnel shortage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>extreme economic conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>or unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In any event a teacher may not required to supervise students during the duty-free lunch more than one time per week. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Personal Leave <ul><li>There is no limit on the accumulation of personal leave, and it moves with the employee from one district to another. </li></ul><ul><li>TEC 22.003- A person can use personal leave for any reason; in fact the law specifically states that the local school board “may not restrict the purposes for which the leave may be used”. </li></ul><ul><li>School districts cannot restrict the purposes for which employees take personal leave, it can impose other restrictions. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Personal Leave <ul><li>Castelberry ISD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adopted a policy containing three restrictions that were challenged. Employees were (1) not permitted to take more than two days of leave consecutively; (2) not permitted to take personal leave if another employee in the same category was already on such leave; and (3) not permitted to take personal leave on the day before a holiday. The court of appeals approved the district’s policy. The policy did not restrict the purposes for which leave could be taken, it just limited the timing. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Health Insurance <ul><li>TEC 22.004 requires each school district to offer its employees health insurance. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Assault Leave <ul><li>Assault leave is established for school employees who are physically assaulted during the performance of their duties. They are entitled to take “the number of days of leave necessary to recuperate from all physical injuries sustained as a result of the assault.” This paid leave can continue for up to two full years. Upon investigation of the claim, the district may change the assault leave status and charge the leave, first against accumulated personal leave, and then, if necessary, against the employee’s pay (TEC 22.003(b)). </li></ul>
  15. 15. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) <ul><li>Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(1) to care for newborn, adopted, or foster children </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(2) to care for a spouse, child or a parent with serious health condition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(3) or when a serious health condition prevents the employee from performing the essential functions of the job. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To be eligible, the employee must have been with the district for at least 12 months and must have worked at least 1250 hours. </li></ul>