With the many questions swirling around about teacher pink slips, and how and who are rescinded, Sherry Whitmarsh, MDUSD Board Member graciously took on the question:
The process for school district employers conducting a Reduction In Force (issuing and rescinding pink slips) is dictated by the California Education Code (Ed Code). This Ed Code policy governs all the public schools in our state. It uses seniority and certification(s) to determine the order in which pink slips are issued and rescinded. For certificated staff, (teachers) those most vulnerable to layoff are probationary teachers, followed by teachers who have achieved permanent status with the district. Although not required by Ed Code, the district also noticed all teachers on temporary contracts. This was done to guard against any errors that, if corrected during the layoff hearing, would have afforded these teachers rehire rights.
Temporary teachers are those who have been hired for a specific time period, or who are holding a position for a probationary or permanent teacher on an approved leave. They are often assigned as long term substitutes, or serve in a teaching position over a portion of a school year. Correctly classified temporary teachers do not have rehire rights under the Ed Code.
In order to be classified as probationary, a teacher must have a valid credential, be teaching within their credential area and serve the district for a period of at least two years. Permanent status is given to probationary teachers at the district's discretion, after serving two years in probationary status. School district employers may also 'non-reelect" teachers in their second year of probationary service, provided such notice is given probationary teachers prior to March 15th, of their second year of probationary service. If no such notice of non-reelection is given, second year probationary teachers are awarded permanent status on the first day of their third year of employment with the district.
Ed Code also governs how laid off teachers will be rehired. Generally, all permanent teachers must be rehired, in order of their district seniority, before the district may rehire teachers who were laid off while on probationary status. Rehired second year probationary teachers become permanent teachers on the first workday of their third year of service with the district.
The Ed Code provides rehire rights to probationary teachers for a period not to exceed 24 months. Permanent teachers have rehire rights for a 39 month period, during which time they may refuse one (1) offer of reemployment from the district , and still retain rehire rights. Probationary teachers may not refuse an offer of reemployment within the 24 month rehire period, without forfeiting their rehire rights with the district. Both probationary and permanent employees, who are rehired within their respective eligibility periods, retain their original seniority date, as well as all rights and benefits they had prior to being laid off.