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 DEAB];

Furloughs, if the District has received certification from the Commissioner of a reduction in funding under Education Code 42.009 [see CBA and DEAB];

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.

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

Applicability

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

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.

General grounds

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.

Employment areas

When a reduction in force under this policy 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.

District-wide programs.

An individual campus.

Any administrative position(s), 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 or designee shall apply the following criteria to the employees within an affected employment area based on the employee's assignment at the time the Board approves the employment areas affected by the reduction in force. 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. However, if there is only one individual in the identified employment area or if all individuals in the employment areas will be affected by the reduction in force, then there is no need to apply the criteria to the individual(s) in the affected employment area(s).

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, but not limited to, disciplinary information and directives previously issued.

If the Superintendent or designee 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/Supplemental: Currently performing an extra-duty or supplemental assignment, for example, department or grade-level chair, band director, athletic coach, activity sponsor, and the like that the designee believes would have a detrimental impact on the school. In making the determination of whether this criterion applies, the principal may consider whether a replacement from among campus members, who are not subject to the reduction in force, can be found who can perform these duties at the same level.

Seniority: Length of continuous service in the District, as measured from the employee's most recent date of hire. An authorized leave shall not be considered an interruption of continuous service.

Professional Background: Professional education and work experience related to the current or projected assignment.

The Superintendent shall recommend to the Board the nonrenewal or discharge of the identified employees within the affected employment areas.

Board vote

After considering the Superintendent's recommendations, the Board shall determine the employees to be proposed for nonrenewal or discharge, as appropriate.

Notice

The Superintendent or designee 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, if applicable, 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. Assignments to new jobs shall be based on matching of skill sets.

An employee proposed for nonrenewal or discharge under this policy shall be considered for positions for which he or she applies and is qualified up until:

Final action by the Board to end the employee's contract, if the employee does not request a hearing; or

The evidentiary hearing by the independent hearing examiner, if the employee requests a hearing.

Hearing request

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.

Final action

Hearing requested

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.

effective date

This policy shall be effective as of the adoption date, December 12, 2014.

Houston ISD

DFFA(LOCAL)-X

LDU 2014.14

DATE ISSUED: 1/15/2015