TX Teacher unpaid under contract
Date: August 26, 2012
I need some advise about several problems regarding my leaving a position and being hired for another position, both in Texas Public School districts. Instead of posting the district's real names, I will call them "A" & "B"
I was a Choir director in "District A", last year. I had signed a contract and planned on returning this school year. But, at the end of July, my 21 yr old daughter went into the emergency room for a problem with her heart. She lives 5 hours away from my job in "A". Her diagnosis requires follow up tests and could potentially be serious. At that point I decided I need to live closer to her for support. I was able to find a Choir teaching job at a school near her, "District B". Knowing that I was breaking my contract, I apologetically gave my resignation to "A" on August 8th, explaining the emergency situation. On August 10th, "A" HR replied stating that I would need to report to work for teacher inservice and plan on being there until I find my replacement. By then, I had already begun recruiting prospective teachers that were interested in the job. As well as emailing the Region's music circle, I also posted on some Texas and National Music Educator sites and I notified the Music staff of nearby colleges. I got many replies of interest, some from highly-qualified directors, and gave them the Principal's and HR's contact information. Meanwhile, the district had still not posted the opening on their website; they did not post it until almost a week after I resigned. Once it was posted, I alerted the candidates to apply online. I heard from many of the candidates that there was an error in the online application and some of the candidates were not able to submit their application when prompted. Some of them called the district for help, they were told that the problem has been reported. I know that as of Friday (Aug.24th) there were still highly-qualified candidates that were not able to submit their application because of the online error. I also found out that the only people that were called to interview were those who were able to submit the online application.
Onto another problem, on August 13th, I followed up my resignation with hand-delivered envelopes to the secretaries of my Principal, the HR director and the Superintendent. In the envelope was a follow up about my resignation. I stated that I am moving, and my daughter's health would take priority over inservice days. I also included a scanned copy of my daughter's actual discharge papers that stated the heart problems and need for follow up. I again told them that I was planning on teaching in "B", near my daughter. I also explained that this job was especially important since my daughter and I would need Medical benefits from "B". On August 14th, "A" HR called me saying that they can't hire anyone, or release me from the position until 10 days after the job was posted. I again explained that my daughter takes priority and I am moving, so she told me to go ahead and take leave since I was not going to be there. So I did, I put in a 2 week leave request and moved out of town. Meanwhile, "B" was understandably concerned that I had not yet been released from my contract in "A". They gave me until Monday night, August 27th to be cleared, otherwise they need to hire someone else.
August is the first pay-day for the new year in both "A" and "B". Obviously, I missed "B's" deadline for the August Payday because I'm not released from my contract from "A". So my assumption is that since "A" has not released me, and I had put in a leave request, that "A" would certainly pay me for August. But I DID NOT GET PAID UNDER CONTRACT. I called HR yesterday and her answer was: "We were concerned about possible overpayment since you had not yet reported to work."
I am a 51 year old single woman and I have not gone without a paycheck and medical insurance since 1999 The "B" principal, and other professionals, said that they have NEVER heard of a district who did not release their employees, especially when there was a family medical emergency involved.
Please let me know who can advise me.
All I know as of today is that they have started interviewing and there are more interviews next week and I am still not cleared from the conract. School starts tomorrow, August 27.