File photo (Dave Copeland/Andover News)

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Lisa Lazare, the executive director of Educators For Excellence Massachusetts. The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Andover News. You can learn more about our policy on opinion and commentary on our Mission and Policies page.

Re: APS May Cut 30+ Positions To Close Budget Gap (Jan 16)

With the end of Covid federal relief dollars looming, staff reductions are a very real possibility for districts throughout Massachusetts, Andover Public Schools are no exception. Because Massachusetts is one of only 13 states that allows “last in, first out” –or LIFO– layoff policies, any recent strides to increase teacher diversity in districts may be for naught. 

Due to recent state investments in diversifying the teacher workforce, teachers of color are more than twice as likely to be in their first three years of teaching than their white peers, despite teachers of color only accounting for 10% of the workforce. Eliminating these educators due to seniority as the only measure will be doing a disservice to students throughout the district. 

Massachusetts must act immediately in implementing policies that protect our diverse teaching workforce and their proven impact on student success.  H. 583/S. 340: An Act So All Students Thrive, would require districts to consider other factors–including working within a high-needs school, or speaking another language–in addition to seniority when determining layoffs due to budgets.

The Legislature must take action to protect its investments in a diverse teaching workforce. 

Lisa Lazare
Executive Director
E4E Massachusetts

Andover News accepts and encourage reader submissions, including letters to the editor and opinion columns. Submissions should be 750 words long or fewer and Andover-focused. Please include your name, title if applicable to your topic and connection or interest in Andover. We also need a phone number so we can confirm authorship. Send us your prose! 

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