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California Teacher Pink Slips Far Fewer than Last Year

Mar 14, 2013

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Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Friday is the deadline for California school districts to issue teachers layoff notices for the academic year that starts in the fall.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, there’s a huge drop-off in the number of pink slips this year.

At this time last year, 20-thousand of the state’s K-12 teachers received the bad news.  This year, the California Teachers Association says the number appears to be 2,500.  That’s because of the state’s recovering economy and the passage of Proposition 30.  And, says Democratic State Senator Mark Leno... “it’s very nervous-making and quite unsettling, but with the full hope that the pink slip will not actually be realized,” says Leno. 

California law requires districts to send out termination notices by March 15th of each year.  But that’s months before the state passes a budget, so districts play it safe by overestimating their layoffs.  Of last year’s original 20,000 pink slips, districts pulled back all but 3,000 by August.  Republican Senator Bob Huff says that makes no sense.

“So if we move that timeline to June 1st, the May Revision of the budget has come out, schools can better make a decision based on facts – rather than on what might happen,” says Huff.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office backs Huff’s proposal.  But Democrats and teachers unions have blocked similar bills in the past.  They argue teachers need as much time as possible to find new jobs.