Bills change criteria for Alabama teacher layoffs

— House and Senate committees have approved bills saying that seniority
can't be the most significant factor considered by city and county
school boards when they write policies for laying off teachers due to
funding problems or declining enrollment.

The Senate Finance and
Taxation-Education Committee approved a bill Wednesday sponsored by
Republican Sen. Del Marsh of Anniston, and the House Education Policy
Committee approved an identical bill by Republican Rep. Ed Henry of
Decatur. The bill says the annual performance evaluations for teachers
now being developed by the state Board of Education will be a
significant factor in determining layoff policies.

Henry says the bills ensure the most effective teachers remain in the classroom.

Opponents say it is a way to lay off veteran teachers with the highest salaries.

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