This bill requires school districts facing budgetary constraints to prioritize teachers for retention based on seniority, unless a teacher being retained has more merit and the retention of the teacher maintains the school district’s diversity ratio.
Currently when a public school district in Oregon needs to or chooses to do a reduction in staffing, they do the reduction based on seniority as required by ORS 342.934. It is also typically called out in the staff collective bargaining agreement. In a session where almost, every bill has been driven by diversity, equity and recognizing historically under-served populations, this bill seems to fit the theme but is receiving resistance. “Merit” is defines among other ways as the measurement of the ability and effectiveness of one teacher, as measured against the ability and effectiveness of another teacher, based on consideration of any of the following factors: Any languages spoken by the teacher that are not English. It says nothing about the additional language being applicable to the position, the school or needs of the students.
More experienced teachers will continue to be retained unless the district has a lower seniority teacher that meets a diversity ration and then that teacher would be retained over the other teacher, based on their skin color.