The following is a letter sent to members of the House of Representatives from PennCAN’s Executive Director urging support for House Bill 1495:
Dear Honorable Members of the House,
In the coming days you will have an opportunity to once again vote on a piece of legislation that PennCAN has long supported because it ensures that districts have the ability to keep the best teachers in the classroom.
HB1495, sponsored by Rep. Bloom, addresses an outdated state law that requires school leaders to make personnel decisions (in times of economic hardship) based solely on seniority. Pennsylvania is one of only six states that still requires these seniority-based layoff decisions which is often referred to as the “Last In; First Out” (LIFO) policy.
The current seniority-based system leads to the furlough of effective educators and does not value an educator’s impact on kids. In the unfortunate case of a reduction in force, this legislation will help schools protect excellent teachers by factoring an educator’s performance into furloughing decisions.
On behalf of the PA’s high-quality educators and the students they serve, I urge you to vote YES on HB1495 and send this important bill to the Senate for consideration. If you have any questions regarding PennCAN’s support of HB1495 please feel free to reach out to me at 215-704-4880 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Cetel, Executive Director
P.S. – Here are a few resent examples of why this legislation is important and effects schools across the Commonwealth:
How Pennsylvania school districts are trying to balance the books for next year: By slashing staff, hiking taxes
Beaver County Times | June 6, 2017
No tax increase but 34 staff cuts in final Bensalem School District budget
Bucks County Courier Times | June 14, 2017
Pottsville Area: 6 faculty members will lose jobs
Republican Herald | June 8, 2017
Greater Johnstown board approves middle school closure, to furlough more than 20 employees
The Tribune-Democrat | June 6, 2017
New-Ken Arnold: More teacher furloughs possible
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | May 25, 2017
DASD notifies teachers that could be furloughed next school year
The Courier Express | April 21, 2017
Wilmington furloughs teachers, explores new bus strategy
New Castle News | April 26, 2017