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Teachers organization investigating GCPS non-renewals

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Georgia Association of Educators is looking into Gwinnett County Public Schools' assertion that no teachers were laid off at the end of the 2009-10 school year.

The professional organization for educators wants any GCPS teacher who was recommended for non-renewal to e-mail gwinnettrif

@yahoo.com. GAE is particularly interested in hearing from the teachers who were not tenured, said Peter Toggerson, the GAE UniServ director for Gwinnett and Buford.

"We're trying to find out who those people are," Toggerson said. "We want to invite them to participate in some fact-finding. ... We're just trying to find out exactly what happened."

A GCPS spokeswoman said 155 teachers were recommended for non-renewal this spring. Of those, 139 were in their first three years of teaching. A number of those teachers chose to resign, and the contracts for 63 were actually non-renewed.

Non-renewal is a process the school system goes through every year. If the school system decided not to rehire a teacher for the next school year, the contract is recommended for non-renewal.

In Gwinnett, non-renewal is a decision based solely on performance-related issues observed in the classroom or at the local school level, GCPS spokesman Sloan Roach said.

GAE is investigating whether or not that is true, Toggerson said.

"We hope any probationary teacher who was dismissed will contact us whether they are GAE members or not," he said.

Roach has said the proof that the school system has not had a reduction in force is shown in the fact that the district has already hired more teachers for the upcoming school year than were recommended for non-renewal.