Bill passes to alter Pennsylvania schools’ seniority layoffs

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Legislation to change a system of seniority-based layoffs for public school teachers is headed to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who says he’ll veto it.

The Senate on Monday voted 28 to 22 in favor of a bill that would require school districts making layoffs to first eliminate the jobs of educators deemed to be failing or in need of improvement, rather than those most recently hired.

Districts would have to use the state’s 4-year-old teacher performance rating system to guide decisions about layoffs and reinstatements.

A Wolf spokesman says the issue should be settled by districts during negotiations with labor unions.

The bill’s supporters say Pennsylvania is among a small number of states that use seniority as the sole factor in determining which teachers should lose their jobs during tough economic times.

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