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Of the 20K Pink Slips Sent to California Teachers Yesterday, More Than Half Went to LAUSD Staff
Being a public school educator is a challenging, unglamorous profession, and as of yesterday, for 20,000 California teachers, it's not even a job anymore. Pink slips, or "preliminary layoff notices" went out around the state yesterday. Local districts are are among those who sent off the most, but the Los Angeles Unified School District takes the cake: They sent out 11,700 notices, which is over half of the total sent state-wide.
The core issue: Budget woes. The state and school districts are struggling to make do with what they've got. For the top-heavy, test-centric LAUSD, this usually means wiping out enriching programs completely and firing teachers and vital school support staff, like nurses and librarians.
Interesting fact: No other portions of the State Budget has been cut as much as K-12 education— Los Angeles Unified (@LASchools) March 14, 2012
Oftentimes, however, the school districts rescind the layoff notices by the end of the school year. Until that happens--and, this time, with the budget crunch, if that even happens--20,000 California teachers are poised to take up a spot in the unemployment office line.
The pink slip game is nothing new; it happened at this time last year, too, prompting protests and a teacher to create a YouTube rap video about the dire situation.
According to ABC7, the layoff notice process takes a toll:
Unions say the notices are bad for morale, accusing the school district of using a scare tactic to prod employees into giving concessions such as furloughs and pay cuts. The union and the district are currently in arbitration over furloughs that would save the district $60 million.
Three initiatives proposed for the November ballot could trigger more education funding, but would also raise sales and/or income taxes, something California voters aren't fond of supporting.