Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thousands of California teachers scheduled for layoffs.

State Schools Chief Jack O'Connell and Members
of Education Coalition Announce Number
of Pink Slips Issued to Education Personnel

O'Connell Urges Passage of Parcel Tax Measure to Help Schools
SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell today joined with members of the California Teachers Association, California School Employees Association, California State PTA, California Association of School Administrators, and California County Superintendents Educational Services Association to announce nearly 22,000 teachers have received notices of potential layoffs.
"Effective teachers are the most essential element to student success," O'Connell said. "Our state budget crisis has forced districts to lay off thousands of teachers over the past few years. The Governor has proposed cutting another $2.4 billion from public education. While the education community opposes these cuts, our schools are forced to prepare for this potential outcome by issuing a massive wave of potential layoff notices. To date, 21,905 pink slips have been issued to teachers and other staff around the state this year. While I understand the Governor and the Legislature have tough decisions to make, these budget cuts are devastating our schools and impacting our ability to do the most important job in our society, that is, to teach our children."

March 15 is the annual legal deadline for school districts to send preliminary layoff notices, or pink slips, to teachers and other certificated school staff in California. More than 16,000 teachers lost their jobs last year, and roughly 10,000 classified school employees have met the same fate over the last couple of budget cycles.
"Today, nearly 22,000 educators, including librarians, counselors, and nurses have received pink slips," said David A. Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association. "Class sizes will increase once again meaning less individual attention for each student. It means fewer classes like art, music, career technical education, and physical education. Lawmakers must stop the billions in cuts to our schools and students, and make the hard decisions to close corporate tax loopholes and find additional revenues.The future of our students and California hang in the balance."
 During the last two budget cycles, funding for public education (K-14) in California has been cut by a staggering $18 billion. The Governor has proposed another $2.4 billion in cuts for this current fiscal year. To help schools through these difficult economic times, O'Connell is calling on the Governor and Legislature to support SCA 6, which would give voters the authority to pass a local parcel tax with 55 percent of the vote, which is the same threshold required to approve local school bonds. Currently parcel taxes must be approved by a minimum of two-thirds (66.6 percent) vote.
"I urge the Governor to reconsider the proposed budget cuts for schools, and I call on both the Governor and the Legislature to give our communities more control over their schools' destiny by approving SCA 6," added O'Connell.
SCA 6 is authored by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). For more information on the bill, please visit: SCA 6 Assembly Bill - Status (Outside Source).
           For a continuing update on the number of teachers and other education staff receiving layoff notices, please visitStand Up For Schools (Outside Source).
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