Reductions in Force: California

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy

Goal

The state should require that its school districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off when a reduction in force is necessary.

Does not meet
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Reductions in Force: California results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/CA-Reductions-in-Force-10

Analysis of California's policies

In California, the factors used to determine which teachers are laid off during a reduction in force consider a teacher's tenure status and seniority. Permanent employees may not be terminated "while any probationary employee, or any other employee with less seniority" is available to be terminated in their stead.

Citation

Recommendations for California

Require that districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
California should give districts the flexibility to determine their own layoff policies, but it should do so within a framework that ensures that classroom performance is considered.   

Ensure that seniority is not the only factor used to determine which teachers are laid off.
Although it may be useful to consider seniority among other criteria, California's current policy puts adult interests before student needs.

State response to our analysis

California recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

See National Council on Teacher Quality, "Teacher Layoffs: Rethinking 'Last Hired, First-Fired' Policies." (2010); The New Teacher Project, The Case Against Quality-Blind Teacher Layoffs (2011); Boyd, Donald; Lankford, Hamilton; Loeb, Susanna; and Wyckoff, James, "Teacher Layoffs: An Empirical Illustration of Seniority v. Measures of Effectiveness" The Urban Institute, CALDER (2010);  Goldhaber, Dan and Theobold, Roddy, "Assessing the Determinants and Implications of Teacher Layoffs." Center for Education Data & Research, University of Washington-Bothell (2010); Sepe, Christina and Roza, Marguerite, "The Disproportionate Impact of Seniority-Based Layoffs on Poor, Minority Students." Center on Reinventing Public Education (2010).