|Posted:||February 2, 2015 04:08 PM|
|From:||Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Allowing Economic Furloughs of School Employees|
|I plan to re-introduce a version of legislation from last session (SB 651) which would give needed mandate relief to school districts. The bill would assist school districts in better management of their personnel costs by allowing them to furlough professional employees for economic reasons.
Current law limits a school district’s ability to furlough professional employees to those instances where there is a substantial decrease in pupil enrollment, a curtailment or alteration of an educational program, or the consolidation of schools. This limitation is problematic, particularly in challenging financial circumstances, and sets school districts apart as one of the few employers in either the public or private sectors that cannot furlough employees for economic reasons.
With personnel costs comprising a majority of a school district’s budget, districts need the ability to exercise maximum flexibility and discretion to more freely manage their personnel costs. My legislation will provide districts with the utmost flexibility in hiring, maintaining, and managing personnel, giving districts another cost cutting option to consider in difficult economic times instead of forcing them to eliminate or reduce programs or increase property taxes.
Additionally, in making decisions regarding the furloughing of professional employees, school districts should not be limited to making those decisions solely on the basis of an arbitrarily last in first out (LIFO) system. It allows school districts to choose students’ academic needs first.
Co-sponsors of Senate Bill 651 last session were: WHITE, RAFFERTY, WAUGH, FOLMER, ALLOWAY, YAW, BAKER, BROWNE, MENSCH AND VANCE.
Introduced as SB586