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D.C. School System Eliminating 750 Jobs

Part of an “excessing” or annual redistribution process

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    Hundreds of D.C. Public Schools employees have just learned they may not have their current jobs by the time next month rolls around.

    About 750 positions, including some teaching jobs, are being eliminated because of budget cuts, curriculum changes and enrollment shifts.

    It’s part of a process called "excessing,” or an annual redistribution of jobs.  According to the Washington Post, schools with budget, enrollment or program changes will shed jobs, while others will gain them.

    It's a common process, Office of Human Capital Director Jason Kamras said. About 700 positions were excessed last year and about 850 positions were excessed the previous year.

    "These employees are not being laid off," Kamras said. "This is a very normal process that happens every year. This is an average year in fact. The most important reason we do this if for academics, for the change in an academic program, and we work very hard to place these people. In fact, the vast majority find placements at other schools for next schoolyear."

    Last year, 79 percent found positions for the next schoolyear, John Schriffen reported.

    However, that could prove to be more difficult this year. Under the teachers’ old collective bargaining agreement, "excessing" was handled on a seniority basis. However, under the new contract, teachers can be laid off based on performance. 

    Nathan Saunders, president of the union, told the Washington Post that under the new contract, excessing is a way to get rid of older teachers.  “Excessing is the new teacher firing,” Saunders told the Post. “It’s a lot more palatable, politically correct term.” 

    The school system has released a list of which positions will be cut.

    Those who don't find new jobs in the school district by summer have the option of a $25,000 buyout or a one-year grace period to find placement with full benefits, Schriffen reported.