Today is the last of our three-part series about your rights during this time. We will occasionally look at the rights of educators in the Education Code so you can see if your district is doing what is right by its teachers. 

Have you signed your contract for next year? Is your district already speaking of layoffs and cutbacks due to budget shortfalls? Please remember that the district has until 10 days to the last day of instruction to inform you. 

Sec. 21.206. NOTICE OF CONTRACT RENEWAL OR NONRENEWAL. (a) Not later than the 10th day before the last day of instruction in a school year, the board of trustees shall notify in writing each teacher whose contract is about to expire whether the board proposes to renew or not renew the contract. The notice must be delivered personally by hand delivery to the teacher on the campus at which the teacher is employed, except that if the teacher is not present on the campus on the date that hand delivery is attempted, the notice must be mailed by prepaid certified mail or delivered by express delivery service to the teacher’s address of record with the district. Notice that is postmarked on or before the 10th day before the last day of instruction is considered timely given under this subsection. 

Do not let the district use the uncertainty and craziness of the times as a reason to make staff adjustments. Be mindful of the dates that can affect your job. Read your district policy as well to make sure that they are giving you enough time. 

This is not to elicit fear, but to remind you that the district does have guidelines to follow and you should not be caught off guard, in case the district decides to downsize due to budget constraints. 

Make sure to listen to your district’s board meetings to see if they are worried about budget shortfalls or a decrease in tax revenue. The uncertainty of the current climate is making people worry about the future. That is prudent, and honestly, a lot of districts could cut costs, but not at the cost of teachers in the classroom. Some districts are way too top-heavy, and those positions should be some of the first to go, not classroom teachers. 

Teachers for Texas is here for you and will help you with any questions that you may have. If you have ideas for a blog post, please contact me and we will work to get the information out there. Stay safe, and reach out if you need anything.