BILL WOULD ALLOW TEACHER FURLOUGHS
(AUSTIN) — Teacher furloughs and salary cuts would help schools deal with a loss of funding under a bill approved by the Senate on Monday. SB 8, by Plano Senator and Education Committee Chair Florence Shapiro, is intended to give districts new flexibility in handling labor costs as the state looks to an education funding cut in the next two years.
The bill would allow districts to furlough teachers, that is give them unpaid leave, on non-instructional days. This provision remains in effect only as long as education funding remains below the 2010-2011 levels. Shapiro said it is not her intent that this become the new model of labor management in public schools, and will only apply while the current funding crisis continues.
The bill also offers a number of other tools to help districts cope with a loss of state money. It removes the current salary floor for teachers, and does away with the "last-in-first-out" policy when terminating teachers. The bill will also void the contract of any teacher that doesn't keep up to date with certification requirements.
The Senate will reconvene Thursday, June 9 at 2 p.m.