William Hite Wants to Suspend Teacher Seniority

Hooboy, this oughtta go over well with Jerry Jordan and co.

Because the district is still facing a deficit of more than $270 million and reeling from massive layoffs, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said he would ask the SRC to suspend parts of the state school code dealing with seniority so that employees who are recalled can return to the schools where they worked in June.

Doing so would give the District more flexibility in hiring back whatever teachers and staff are needed to fill the various slots that have been left empty since this summer’s massive layoffs. Firing/hiring by current seniority rules means that only the oldest staff would get hired back first. (During fiscal crises, parts of the school code can be suspended.) But it might also convince the Governor to release the $45 million in funding he says is contingent upon union reforms. What to look forward to today: Critics will hammer Hite for trying to use a crisis to score political reforms, while supporters will point out that the unions haven’t ponied up a dime to help solve the school budget gap. [Inquirer]