Better With Age: Seniority-Based Teacher Layoffs

This study focuses on the implications of seniority-based teacher layoff policies.

In the 2008-09 school year, over 2000 teachers in Washington State received layoff notices, and continued tough economic times suggest that there will be more.

Teachers who received these notices can be linked to Washington State data on students and schools to help answer four key policy questions:

  1. Are there characteristics, other than seniority, that predict the likelihood that teachers are laid off?

  2. What are the characteristics of students at schools where layoffs occurred?

  3. Given the prevailing salary structure in Washington, what are the budgetary implications of seniority-based layoffs?

  4. How effective are those teachers who received layoff notices as compared to those who did not?

For more information and recent findings, see the following publication:

Goldhaber, D. & Theobald, R. (2011). Managing the Teacher Workforce in Austere Times: The Implications of Teacher Layoffs. CEDR Working Paper 2011-1.2. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.pdf