Although the Pine-Richland School Board cut 6.5 teaching positions from the 2012-13 budget, no teachers will be furloughed this year, according to Superintendent Dr. Mary Bucci.
The district worked out a plan that enables physical education and music teachers—who were in danger of being furloughed—to fill vacancies in other areas, Bucci said in an email message sent to parents and guardians in the district.
Here's how it works as outlined by Bucci:
- Two physical education teachers will serve as the acting deans of students for only the 2012-2013 school year at and They will help administrators with day-to-day responsibilities and overall management of the building and students. To accomplish this, the district will not fill two vacant assistant principal positions at these buildings.
- One physical education teacher and one music teacher will be assigned to fill vacant gifted/enrichment teaching positions at the high school. These teachers have backgrounds that will help to expand and diversify the range of experiences available in the GATE program at the high school. Similarly, one music teacher at Eden Hall scheduled for a reduction from full time to part time, will be reassigned to supplement the gifted/enrichment programs in that building.
- Two physical education teachers will be reassigned to fill vacant positions in which they have certification—high school English and special education support.
"The district has been trimming the budget for the past few years and has been fortunate not to lose people, while providing a strong academic program for our students," Bucci wrote in the email.
Generally, the district faces a number of constraints when it decides who will be laid off, Bucci explained.
"The Pennsylvania School Code mandates that such determinations be made based on seniority. In addition, our current collective bargaining agreement requires the district to realign its existing teaching staff, so that the least senior possible employees are selected for layoff," Bucci wrote.
That means teachers within the department or program being cut can displace, or "bump," other teachers out of their positions in other departments if the teachers possess the necessary certification for that position and the bump would result in the furlough of a less senior employee, according to Bucci.
That complex practice is sometimes referred to as "checkerboarding."
What do you think about this plan for the 2012-13 school year? Are you relieved to know no one was furloughed? Or are you confused by how it all works? Tell us in the comments.