I was recently offered a promotion in another district. However, I have already signed my contract with my current district and the penalty free resignation date has passed. Can I still get out of my contract? What’s the penalty?

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Just do it! Pay the penalty, whatever it is, and move on.

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I think our penalty is a percentage of your salary for the year? Maybe like one month’s salary? I have heard word of losing your teaching license but then that may have been a scare tactic. So hard to get with another district if one has you signing contracts while the other doesn’t interview until the summer! If you have a union, contact them. They will know. OR look at your negotiated contract online. Our district has a link on its website.

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Some places can't hold you if you're moving up with a promotion. Does your state have a union? Ask them of the state Dept of Public Instruction.

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Check your contract. If school hasn’t started yet for you, they have plenty of time to get a replacement.

Will the “penalty” be the deal breaker?

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It depends on what it is. I’ve heard that the penalty can include a one year suspension of your teaching license.

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It looks bad for schools to enforce the penalty clauses, but they may do it anyway. You might need a lawyer. From my experience, it’s pretty impossible for them to enforce and usually just a threat.

Please don’t take this as advice.

funny

I switched jobs internally and had to wait three months (until they found a replacement). It’s basically the same if I were to leave the district - I either wait until they find a replacement or I leave anyway and get “reported” (to the teaching commission maybe).

I’ve taught mainly in independent schools and they always put some kind of penalty in their contracts. This was tested by an employee in the communications department at that last independent school I worked. She wanted to leave without giving the required 60 days’ notice so she checked with her lawyer. He said that kind of stipulation would never hold up in court. I can’t remember exactly why, but it could be because New Jersey is an at-will state. Now mind you, the school reserved the right to terminate us without cause or notice. Not sure if that would hold up in court either. Your best bet is to check with a labor attorney.

I know, right? 😂

Interesting. 60 days notice is excessive. You would have to get hired immediately when most school years end.

In my district the penalty stated in the contract is monetary. However, in my state there is actually an agreement between districts that a teacher can't be hired by another public school district if he/she is currently under contract and has not resigned by the date to resign with no penalty.

Yes, Check to make sure because it is a promotion. In my District, we have to pay $1000

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