Resigning staff could pay higher fees to break contract with Queen Creek school district

The Queen Creek Unified School District Administration Center is at 20217 E. Chandler Heights Road. (Courtesy of QCUSD)

Teachers seeking to break their contract with the Queen Creek Unified School District could pay up to $2,000 — double the existing penalty — in fees to the district, according to changes being proposed to the school district’s resignation policy.

The fee increase is being proposed to help recoup the expenses associated with finding a replacement teacher and possibly the costs of a substitute if the teacher resigns before the completion of his or her employment contract, according to a presentation prepared by QCUSD Human Resources Director Dr. Patty Rogers.

The presentation will be discussed during the Feb. 6 study session of the local Governing Board. It will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the QCUSD Administration Center, 20217 E. Chandler Heights Road.

The school district’s current severance penalty to release a certified employee from his or her contract is $1,000. Twenty teachers have paid the penalty during the last four school years: six in 2014-15, four in 2015-16, two in 2016-17 and eight in 2017-18, according to the presentation.

The proposed increase would keep Queen Creek in line with school districts in neighboring communities.

The fees in other school districts are:

  • $1,000 for J.O. Combs and Kyrene school districts;
  • $500-$2,000 for Scottsdale;
  • $750 for Higley;
  • Up to $2,500 in Apache Junction; and
  • $2,500 for Gilbert.

In addition to resignation stipulations to be set, school district Chief Financial Officer Crystal Korpan will review the school district’s January expenditures and Dr. Cort Monroe, assistant superintendent of student services for the school district, will discuss a proposal to allow members of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps to bring selected weaponry on campus as part of Queen Creek High School’s interest in implementing an air rifle marksmanship program within the district.

The latter would require amending the school’s Weapons in School policy to include additional language to allow JROTC members to display or use a JROTC program-issued drill rifle, air rifle, or ceremonial saber on school premises with the proper permissions during authorized activities.

Other items of note:

The Governing Board’s regular session will begin at 6 p.m. The agenda includes the recognition of the Power of One award to employees of the month.

The consent agenda includes the possible approval of the following:

  • A grant awarded for portable outdoor classrooms.
  • Desert Mountain Elementary’s fifth-grade exploration field trip March 7-9 in California.
  • Desert Mountain Elementary Student Council fundraiser called Smencils.
  • Memorandum of understanding between U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program and Queen Creek High School.
  • Vouchers totaling $4,439,364 dated January 16-Feb. 1, 2018. These include payroll checks of $1,317,968.11, $664.89 and $1,662,364.08.
  • The possible approval to utilize cooperative purchasing agreements for fiscal year 2017-18. These purchasing cooperatives bid out goods and services in compliance with the laws and rules, and school districts then use these contracts to purchase to retain compliance, according to the agenda.
  • The possible approval to allow easement rights to Salt River Project to bring power to the Faith Mather Sossaman Elementary School being built at 22801 E. Via Del Jardin, near 226th Street and Ocotillo Road in the William Lyon Homes Meridian subdivision. Construction of the school is set to be finished in June in time for the start of the 2018-19 school year in July.
  • The possible approval of architectural services by Orcutt Winslow design firm for capital upgrades to Queen Creek High School and Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, both at 22149 E. Ocotillo Road.

The QCUSD governing board generally meets the first and third Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the school district board room. Study sessions begin at 4:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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