DFFB(LOCAL) - REDUCTION IN FORCE: PROGRAM CHANGE

Applicability

This policy shall apply when a reduction in force due to a program change requires the nonrenewal of a term contract. A program change may be due to, for example, a redirection of resources; efforts to improve efficiency; a change in enrollment; a lack of student response to particular course offerings; legislative revisions to programs; or a reorganization or consolidation of two or more individual schools, departments, or school districts.

DEFINITIONS

Definitions used in this policy are as follows:

"Program change" shall mean any elimination, curtailment, or reorganization of a program, department, school operation, or curriculum offering, including, for example, a change in curriculum objectives; a modification of the master schedule; the restructuring of an instructional delivery method; or a modification or reorganization of staffing patterns in a department, on a particular campus, or District-wide.

"Reorganization" shall mean a change in positions due to:

A change, elimination, or addition of a function within a department or school; or

A change in the role, responsibility, qualifications, or skill level of a significant number of employees within a department, school, or within a category of employees.

"Nonrenewal" shall mean the termination of a term contract at the end of the contract period.

A reduction in force may take place when the Superintendent determines that a program change is required. A determination of a program change constitutes sufficient reason for nonrenewal.

GENERAL GROUNDS

Employment areas

When a reduction in force is to be implemented, the Superintendent shall recommend to the Board for approval the employment areas to be affected. The Superintendent, with input from campuses and/or departments, may assist the Board by making recommendations regarding the employment areas.

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. Each special program is a separate employment area.

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.

A job code that corresponds to the position/duties an affected employee currently performs.

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 an employee 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 area 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.

Superintendent recommendation

The Superintendent shall recommend to the Board the nonrenewal 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, as appropriate.

Notice

The Superintendent or designee shall provide each employee written notice of the proposed nonrenewal. The notice shall include a statement of the reason for the proposed action and notice that the employee is entitled to a hearing.

consideration for available positions

An employee who has received notice of proposed nonrenewal 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 to be considered for a particular vacancy. Assignments to new jobs shall be based on matching of skill sets.

An employee proposed for nonrenewal 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, the Board, or other person designated in DFBB(LOCAL), if the employee requests a hearing.

Hearing request

An employee receiving notice of proposed nonrenewal of a term contract may request a hearing in accordance with DFBB.

Final action

hearing requested

If the employee requests a hearing, the Board shall take final action after the hearing in accordance with DFBB and shall notify the employee in writing of its decision.

No hearing requested

If the employee does not request a hearing, the Board shall take final action in accordance with DFBB and shall notify the employee in writing of its decision.

effective date

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

Houston ISD

DFFB(LOCAL)-X

LDU 2014.14

DATE ISSUED: 1/15/2015