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Bill Improving Teacher Retention Passes House

HB 138 pushes back layoff notices for tenured teachers

Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – A bill addressing a long-time issue known as “pink slips for teachers” today passed the Alaska House of Representatives.

House Bill 138, by Representative Shelley Hughes, changes the date that school districts are required to issue notices of non-retention for tenured teachers from March 16 to May 15.

“This bill is important for our children, for our students; the disruption of their learning environment is not a good thing when in those final two months of the school year,” Hughes, R-Palmer, said. “By passing HB 138 and moving the pink slip date to May 15, the school districts will have the time and final budget information to make important staffing decisions.”

Changing the date allows educators to focus on the quality of teaching through the end of the school year rather than focus on pending employment status. The bill also reduces unnecessary costs and administrative work by the districts, eliminating the need for districts to go through the determination process twice rather than just once, when the actual budget is known.  

Currently school districts have to make budgetary decisions prior to the end of the Legislative session and before the budget process is complete. Doing this causes notices to be given to teachers that, after the budget process is complete, won’t actually be cut.

HB 138 passed by a vote of 32-7 and now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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