DFFA(LOCAL) - REDUCTION IN FORCE: FINANCIAL EXIGENCY
Plan to Reduce Personnel Costs
If the Superintendent determines that there is a need to reduce personnel costs, the Superintendent shall develop, in consultation with the Board as necessary, a plan for reducing costs that may include one or more of the following:
- Salary reductions [see DEA];
- Furloughs [see DEA];
- Reductions in force of contract personnel due to financial exigency, if the District meets the standard for declaring a financial exigency as defined by the commissioner [see CEA and provisions at Reduction in Force Due to Financial Exigency, below];
- Reductions in force of contract personnel due to program change [see DFFB]; or
- Other means of reducing personnel costs.
A plan to reduce personnel costs may include the reduction of personnel employed pursuant to employment arrangements not covered at Applicability, below.
- See DCD for the termination at any time of at-will employment.
- See DFAB for the termination of a probationary contract at the end of the contract period.
- See DFCA for the termination of a continuing contract, if applicable.
- See DCE for the termination at the end of the contract period of a contract not governed by Chapter 21 of the Education Code.
Reduction in Force Due to Financial Exigency
The following provisions shall apply when a reduction in force due to financial exigency requires:
- The nonrenewal or termination of a term contract;
- The termination of a probationary contract during the contract period; or
- The termination of a contract not governed by Chapter 21 of the Education Code during the contract period.
Definitions used in this policy are as follows:
- "Nonrenewal" shall mean the termination of a term contract at the end of the contract period.
- "Discharge" shall mean termination of a contract during the contract period.
A reduction in force may take place when the Superintendent recommends and the Board adopts a resolution declaring a financial exigency. [See CEA] A determination of financial exigency constitutes sufficient reason for nonrenewal or sufficient cause for discharge.
When a reduction in force is to be implemented, the Superintendent shall recommend the employment areas to be affected.
Employment areas may include, for example:
- Elementary grades, levels, subjects, departments, or programs.
- Secondary grades, levels, subjects, departments, or programs, including career and technical education subjects.
- Special programs, such as gifted and talented, bilingual/ESL programs, special education and related services, compensatory education, or migrant education.
- Disciplinary alternative education programs (DAEPs) and other discipline management programs.
- Counseling programs.
- Library programs.
- Nursing and other health services programs.
- An educational support program that does not provide direct instruction to students.
- Other District-wide programs.
- An individual campus.
- Any administrative position, unit, or department.
- Programs funded by state or federal grants or other dedicated funding.
- Other contractual positions.
The Superintendent's recommendation may address whether any employment areas should be:
- Combined or adjusted (e.g., "elementary programs" and "compensatory education programs" can be combined to identify an employment area of "elementary compensatory education programs"); and/or
- Applied on a District-wide or campus-wide basis (e.g., "the counseling program at [named elementary campus]").
The Board shall determine the employment areas to be affected.
Criteria for Decision
The Superintendent shall apply the following criteria to the employees within an affected employment area when a reduction in force will not result in the nonrenewal or discharge of all staff in the employment area. The criteria are listed in the order of importance and shall be applied sequentially to the extent necessary to identify the employees who least satisfy the criteria and therefore are subject to the reduction in force. For example, if all necessary reductions can be accomplished by applying the first criterion, it is not necessary to apply the second criterion, and so forth.
- Qualifications for Current or Projected Assignment: Certification, multiple or composite certifications, bilingual certification, licensure, endorsement, and/or specialized or advanced content-specific training or skills for the current or projected assignment.
- Performance: Effectiveness, as reflected by the most recent formal appraisal and, if available, consecutive formal appraisals from more than one year [see DNA] and any other written evaluative information, including disciplinary information, from the last 36 months. If the Superintendent at his or her discretion decides that the documented performance differences between two or more employees are too insubstantial to rely upon, he or she may proceed to apply the remaining criteria in the order listed below.
- Extra Duties: Currently performing an extra-duty assignment, such as department or grade-level chair, band director, athletic coach, or activity sponsor.
- Professional Background: Professional education and work experience related to the current or projected assignment.
- Seniority: Length of service in the District, as measured from the employee's most recent date of hire.
The Superintendent shall recommend to the Board the nonrenewal or discharge of the identified employees within the affected employment areas.
After considering the Superintendent's recommendations, the Board shall determine the employees to be proposed for nonrenewal or discharge, as appropriate.
If the Board votes to propose nonrenewal of one or more employees, the Board shall specify the manner of hearing in accordance with DFBB(LOCAL).
If the Board votes to propose discharge of one or more employees, the Board shall determine whether the hearing will be conducted by a TEA-appointed hearing examiner [see DFD] or will be a local hearing under Education Code 21.207 [see DFBB].
The Superintendent shall provide each employee written notice of the proposed nonrenewal or discharge, as applicable. The notice shall include:
- The proposed action, as applicable;
- A statement of the reason for the proposed action; and
- Notice that the employee is entitled to a hearing of the type determined by the Board.
Consideration for Available Positions
An employee who has received notice of proposed nonrenewal or discharge may apply for available positions for which he or she wishes to be considered. The employee is responsible for reviewing posted vacancies, submitting an application, and otherwise complying with District procedures.
If the employee meets the District's objective criteria for the position and is the most qualified internal applicant, the District shall offer the employee the position until:
- Final action by the Board to end the employee's contract, if the employee does not request a hearing.
- The evidentiary hearing by the independent hearing examiner, the Board, or other person designated in DFBB(LOCAL), if the employee requests a hearing.
Nonrenewal: Term Contract
An employee receiving notice of proposed nonrenewal of a term contract may request a hearing in accordance with DFBB.
Discharge: Chapter 21 Contract
An employee receiving notice of proposed discharge from a contract governed by Chapter 21 of the Education Code may request a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with DFD or the nonrenewal hearing process in DFBB, as determined by the Board and specified in the notice of proposed discharge.
Discharge: Non-Chapter 21 Contract
An employee receiving notice of proposed discharge during the period of an employment contract not governed by Chapter 21 of the Education Code may request a hearing before the Board or its designee in accordance with DCE.
If the employee requests a hearing, the Board shall take final action after the hearing in accordance with DCE, DFBB, or DFD, as applicable, and shall notify the employee in writing.
No Hearing Requested
If the employee does not request a hearing, the Board shall take final action in accordance with DCE, DFBB, or DFD, as applicable, and shall notify the employee in writing.