Districts, State Clash Over Teacher Layoff Policy

Oct 19, 2012

State Supt. John White is scolding four school districts for including seniority as a factor for consideration in teacher layoff decisions.

new law reads that no reduction in force policy shall, "include seniority or tenure as the primary criterion."

Like officials from St. Tammany, Vermillion, and St. Bernard, St. Martin School Board President Jack Loup said his district is complying by giving seniority low priority.

"If you go down the list and the effectiveness, the demand, and performance, etc. all bring you out a tie, rather than flip a coin, we can say in our policy that we can use seniority at that point," Loup said.

Loup said the state Department of Education wanted seniority to be struck from consideration altogether.

Supt. John White said Thursday the state doesn't plan to take action against St. Martin or the other three districts he says are defying the law regarding layoff policy, but he says fired teachers might sue.

The law was passed as part of the education overhaul package Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed through the legislature this spring.