Contacts: Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324 or Claudia Briggs, 916-325-1550
BURLINGAME – Thanks to California voters seeing the urgent need to pass Proposition 30 in November to spare public schools from nearly $6 billion in immediate cuts, the number of preliminary pink slips issued by the state’s March 15 deadline for educators has dropped dramatically.
More than 3,000 preliminary layoff notices have gone out for teachers, compared to about 20,000 at this time last year, according to CTA data based on reports from school districts across the state. By law, school districts have until May 15 to make final decisions on teacher layoffs, but many districts were able to budget with more clarity because of Prop. 30.
“If the governor’s Proposition 30 had not passed, California’s public schools would have been rocked by an avalanche of pink slips,” said Dean E. Vogel, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association. “Instead, we are seeing far fewer layoff notices as districts are able to better plan ahead. That’s great news for our students and teachers, but we still have a long way to go to heal our schools from billions in cuts they have suffered in recent years. Class sizes are still rising, California has the worst ratio of students per teacher in the country, and laying off any more will only hurt student learning.”
California ranks 49th in the nation in per-pupil public education spending. By raising taxes on the wealthy for seven years and increasing the statewide sales tax a quarter of a cent for four years, Prop. 30 will generate about $42 billion for public schools and local public safety needs over seven years. It means the state can start paying back some of the funds owed to public schools. In the past four years, more than $20 billion in education funding was cut or deferred, and the state lost more than 30,000 teaching jobs.
The state’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified, issued no teacher pink slips this time, but combined for more than 11,000 notices last year. Final pink slip data is still coming in to CTA, but 135 school districts had reported at least 3,043 educator pink slips as of today.
The 10 California school districts reporting the most layoff notices to CTA are: Los Angeles County Office of Education, 213; San Bernardino City School District, 166; Sacramento City Unified, 118; San Francisco Unified, 118; Pomona Unified School District, 108; Twin Rivers Unified, 100; Mt. Diablo Unified, 95; Stockton Unified, 95, Pasadena Unified, 81; Alum Rock Elementary School District, 80.
The 325,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.