The Pennsylvania school code says teacher layoff decisions can only be made according to who has the least seniority.
The Republican-held general assembly passed a bill this week to change that, but it's facing a veto pledge from Governor Tom Wolf.
The bill does two main things. It changes the conditions under which layoffs can happen and it changes which teachers should be laid off.
It allows districts to make layoff decisions based on budget shortfalls. Right now they can only lay off teachers when enrollment drops, when whole academic programs are cut, or when schools consolidate.
Opponents of the status quo say this forces districts to make decisions more in the interest of teachers than students.
Read the full version of this report at Keystone Crossroads' website. Keystone Crossroads is a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a participating station.