The ABA Journal reporting on an interesting trend. Law Schools are trying to deal with the current economic situation and the decline of law school applicants.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that LSAC’s (Law School Admission Council) most recent data shows that as of July 5th, applications for the entering class of 2013 fell by 36% compared to the entering class in 2010.
These faculty cuts are noted in the article:
- Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., has cut full-time faculty about 18 percent since 2010. Fourteen faculty members have left or plan to leave after accepting early retirement incentives.
- Eight professors at Vermont Law School have agreed to retire early, take pay cuts or give up tenure.
- Twenty-one professors accepted buyout packages at Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Del., and Harrisburg, Pa.
- Seven professors accepted early retirement packages from the University of Dayton School of Law.
- Seven untenured professors at Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, N.J., have received notice that their contracts might not be renewed for the 2014-15 academic year.
- The University of the Pacifics McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, Calif., is accelerating plans to cut the size of the law school and use some of its campus for other graduate-level classes.
via Law schools cope with declining enrollment by quietly cutting faculty – ABA Journal.
Public school teachers filed a class action against a public school district that claims it can cut their pay at will and fine them up to $2,500 if they don’t sign their contracts on time.
The class action, which has a putative class size of 230 teachers, alleges that the school district’s contracts have illegal and unenforceable provisions. For example, the contract allows
- The district to fire or reduced the pay and benefits of tenured teachers for vague and undefined reasons;
- The district can fine tenured teachers $1,000 to $2,500 if they don’t sign the contract by the time the school district wants it, or seek release from the contract.
The class action further claims:
- The 2012-13 contracts illegally allow the district to “make salary adjustments ‘due to disciplinary action and/or changes in full-time equivalency warranted by the district,'” in violation of Wis. Stat. § 118.21;
- The contracts illegally allow the district to cut salary and benefits “if in the sole discretion of the district, the educator fails to meet the expectations referenced in the contract, acts in a manner that is not in the best interests of the district’s students, fails to abide by the terms of the Employee Handbook, fails to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the job description, or if the district decides to reduce the professional staff for financial or other lawful reasons,” in violation of Wis. Stat. § 118.21, § 118.21, and state contract law; and
- The contracts illegally set up “a liquidated damages schedule that begins assessing damages on June 1,” with fines beginning at $1,000, escalating to 2,500, for failing to sign contracts by June 15, or seeking release from contract; this “unlawfully assesses damages to teachers seeking release from their contracts prior to the statutory date for acceptance.”
The contracts state “that failure to return a signed contract … would result in non-renewal of the teacher’s contract,” the teachers say: “A stigma is attached to being non-renewed by a school district, as it suggests that a teacher’s employment was not continued for performance reasons or misconduct.”
The class cites violation of Wisconsin Statute 118.21, under which the school district must fix teachers’ wages, violation of Wisconsin Statute 118.22, under which the school district must set the contract acceptance date at June 15, and violation of Wisconsin Statute 118.23, under which it can terminate permanent only employees for good cause.
via Courthouse News Service.