Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Teacher Layoff Decisions Come Down to a Coin Flip

Posted By on Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM


NPR’s StateImpact Ohio, public radio’s ongoing look at the state’s public education system and the attending issues, has a troubling post about how the fine-print in some teacher union contracts dictates certain layoff decisions are made.

If a school district is looking for heads to send rolling, and two teacher’s with the exact same amount of tenure are up, a coin is flipped to decide who stays and who goes. That’s how it is in the Westerville and Lakeview districts. Other systems use a lottery to break up a deadlock, or resort to tallying each teacher’s years of service.

Little weird, right? We guess it makes sense, but something about hanging such an important decision on as arbitrary an outcome as heads-or-tails makes our stomachs a little queasy. Seems questionable, is what we're saying.

The practice does appear to be on the way out.

The 2011 state budget lets school districts give preference to tenured teachers in determining the order of layoffs. But after that, schools are supposed to look at performance evaluations, and seniority can only be used as a tiebreaker.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation