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Performance considered in Indianapolis teacher layoffs

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The planned layoff of about 80 teachers by Indianapolis Public Schools will be among the first under a new state law that allows teacher performance to be considered in deciding who will be let go.

The layoffs are a result of the state's takeover of three high schools and a middle school because of poor student performance. The district is notifying the teachers and about 70 other workers this week about the possible layoffs, The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.

The layoff process, which used to rely heavily on seniority, was changed last year after the state Legislature passed a bill limiting union bargaining rights and granting greater authority to districts.

In IPS, the new layoff system awarded teachers up to 20 points based on six factors: evaluation, seniority, level of education, discipline and attendance, plus extra credit if a principal declared a teacher added extra value to the school, said Ann Wilkins, president of the district's teachers union.

The district's 2,200 teachers don't face a cutoff score for layoff, as decisions were based on what teachers were needed, district spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said. Teachers in high-need positions could be kept at lower scores than those in low-need positions.

"It has been a fluid process," she said.

Wilkins said teachers received midyear reviews in December that should have alerted them to any danger of layoffs.

"Everyone should have known where they stood," Wilkins said. "If they had concerns, they should have called me then."

Some teachers at the takeover schools have been offered jobs at other IPS sites, and some have accepted positions with the takeover organizations to stay with those schools next year.

Bewley said the layoffs — including among support staff and custodial and administrative workers — are largely because of the state takeovers. The district's board is expected to vote on the layoffs in late May.

The district had earlier expected that about 260 staffers would face layoffs.

"I'm glad it's not what we were projecting," Wilkins said. "We did the best we could."

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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