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Why are we laying off Lawrence public school teachers based on their seniority in the district? Why don't we lay off the worst teachers based on their evaluations?

Mary Rodriguez, the district's executive director of human resources, said the district was following the "reduction in force" article of the 2001-2002 master agreement negotiated with Lawrence teachers. That sets out ground rules for layoffs that forbids removal of tenured teachers, even if they are below-average educators.

Based on budget decisions approved by the Lawrence school board, Rodriguez will "nonrenew" for next school year the last hired certified staff in areas targeted by the board.

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