Sunday, March 24, 2013

SB 559 -- End the Pink Slip Tsunami

Torrance Unified struggles with less revenue, larger class sizes. Now administrators must teach classes.

Manhattan Beach Unified plans on laying of twenty-four teachers. In 2012, the district projected fewer staff reductions. Hermosa Beach City School District mailed out ten pink-slips last year, but sixteen this year. These pink-slip "tsunamis" force teachers into untenable, stressful positions throughout the summer, as they wait and wonder whether they will be welcomed back to their teaching positions the following year. These preempted layoffs increase costs for districts, who hire substitutes while teachers contesting the layoffs, then waste more money when scrambling to rescind the notices.

State senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) introduced another bill, SB 559, which would move the deadline for preliminary layoff notices from March 15 to June 1, and the final notices from May 15 to August 1, which are more in line with school districts' final budget projections. Teachers already deal with more students, fewer supplies, and no pay raises. They should have some security about whether they will have a job the next school year.

As a reminder, the tax increases from Proposition 30 are not bring in the projected revenues, after all. Tax increases on "the rich" are taxes on our students, teachers, and communities. Nineteen businesses planned to leave the state after Prop 30's passage. California's tax hikes are great for Arizona and Nevada, since businesses and their tax dollars are resettling in these business-friendly states.

Hate to write it, but: "I told you so!"


  1. Sir,
    You are ignoring aspiring teachers too. There are MANY "teachers" out there who can't even entertain the notion of a teaching job themselves. They are trying to make due on a substitute teacher's income (which basically amounts to federal poverty levels). We constantly hear about the plight of teachers receiving RIF notices, but by and large, those teachers seem to be retained "for another year".

    OTOH, those who lack in seniority, are left holding the bag. What is ignored, is just how many teachers are currently UNDER-employed, working as sub teachers (as I mentioned), support staff, or just outside the profession altogether. This number is RIDICULOUS, particularly when you consider the relative disconnect (in terms of understanding of the financial plight) of the most veteran teachers. Both essentially do the same job--teach a group of kids. One is basically completely insulated from the situation, paid the most, and has no worries when it comes to job security... and the other has no present or future.

    What sense does that make?

  2. "You are ignoring aspiring teachers too."

    I was not ignoring any teachers.

    I am supporting SB 559, which will allow teachers to know more clearly whether they will have a job or not next year.