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Hartselle School Board looks at updating its RIF policy

Hartselle City Schools are considering adopting new regulations regarding laying off employees, an action that appears likely with a reduction of next year’s state education budget.
At a work session Monday, the Hartselle Board of Education held a public hearing on the new policies. Superintendent Mike Reed said the policy would give teachers the same due process afforded to them under the law.
“It is compliant with state and federal law,” Reed said. “We’re just updating our (reduction in force) policy because it looks like we may have to lay off employees before next school year.”
The new policy has different rules for certified personnel and non-certified personnel. The order of layoffs for certified personnel, which includes all classroom teachers, begins first with non-tenured personnel within the area or grade level that is being reduced. Non-tenured employees will only be retained if a tenured employee is not qualified by certification to hold the position that the non-tenured teacher holds.
Criteria that are considered when teachers are laid off include certification, being highly qualified, seniority, length of continuous full-time service, actual date of employment in the affected positions, source of funding for a certain position and the date an employee’s contract was ratified by the system.
If all of the criteria are equal, lots will be drawn for the termination of teachers.
The policy will be considered at the board’s next meeting on April 25 at 6 p.m.

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