I was talking with a girl who is finishing up her education degree (music) and asking her whether she will have to look out-of-state for a job. She said yes, but she was not sure what school level she wanted. I asked her about trying to find the best location right away because I heard that seniority doesn't transfer between states. She said that seniority doesn't transfer between school districts! Is this true everywhere? I know that we lost a good math teacher because he didn't want to lose his seniority moving from one state to another. Why would unions agree to that? Is it because the contracts are by district? Is tenure transferred, but not seniority? What happens with pay? Isn't it tied to seniority, or is pay step separate from seniority?
In our lower schools, if there is a reduction in force, teachers with higher seniority who have lost their class can bump a teacher out of any other class if they have lower seniority. This isn't true for 7th and 8th grades where you have to be certified in the area you teach. This bumping has been a big problem for us. A reduction of one class can cause a chain reaction of bumping. The school has no say over whether they think the teacher would be appropriate for that grade. Parents are angry because of the wholesale change and how many kids will have a teacher just getting up to speed for that grade. I think we now have a back-room battle between the administration and the union over this one.
She also said that the biggest demand is for teachers who teach material that is tested. She was resigned to the fact that music is the first to be cut. We then talked about finding towns that have a history of support of music. However, that's probably not where the job openings are.