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By Ed Sibby

Leaders of the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association (ASTA) held a community rally at 7:00 AM Wednesday morning at Sycamore Junior High School to protest layoff notices that have solely targeted classroom teachers who ensure that Anaheim students are prepared for academic and future success.  

Over fifty educators and parents participated in the layoff protest as they communicated their displeasure with losing nine educators from their local junior high school. 

ASTA has continuously argued for the Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) Board of Trustees to prioritize retention of its outstanding teaching staff  by utilizing its state-required funds for economic uncertainty to avoid layoffs. 

“We are excited after ASTA’s Tuesday morning rally at Katella High School, with over 130 parents, students, and teachers participating before the morning school bell.”

–Geoff Morganstern, ASTA President

CTA President David Goldberg also walked the protest line with fellow members, and criticized AUHSD for unnecessary layoff notices in the wake of all the work ASTA members undertook to create community schools in Anaheim; “Of the one thousand districts in California, about one hundred of them are inappropriately weaponizing the layoff process.”

ASTA’s ongoing concerns include: 

  • Despite a history of doing so, AUHSD DID NOT bring educational partners into the process before determinations on layoffs were made. 
  • Damage to the reputation of AUHSD as a stable employer, making it harder to attract and retain top talent. 
  • Exacerbating the existing teacher shortage by deterring potential new teacher recruits, especially in critical areas like special education. 
  • Causing unnecessary disruptions to our academic programs, extracurricular activities and other student support services. 

ASTA believes the AUHSD could make staffing adjustments without resorting to layoffs. 

ASTA urges AUHSD to explore all available options to avoid layoffs, including:  

  • Spending down the AUHSD’s significant unrestricted reserves meant for this purpose.   
  • Utilizing state Supplemental and Concentration Grant funding sources in the AUHSD budget.  
  • Optimizing allocations for supplies and other categories to free up resources for staffing.  

“By prioritizing the classroom, the AUSHD can ensure our schools remain well-staffed and equipped to offer the best possible education for all. The stability of our classrooms and our school communities is of paramount importance. Teacher layoffs are a surefire way to create instability in our schools,” Morganstern concluded. 

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