Monday, March 3, 2008

Teacher Layoffs in Motion

Just the Facts:

At the February 26, 2008 board meeting, the Board authorized a resolution to lay off 17 teachers. They have eliminated the Agriculture position at the high school, stating they intend to convert the program to ROP. They are also eliminating one secondary English position, one middle-school Math/Science position, 4 PE positions, and 10 elementary positions.

They plan to use CLAD as a "bumping criteria," meaning teachers who don't have their CLAD will be the first to go (if they're in one of the RIFd positions).

They give three reasons for these layoffs: 1) they state they're overstaffed, 2) the state's budget crisis, and 3) the March 15 requirement for issuing layoff notices.

Personal Notes:

I sat in on 5 meetings on Friday with teachers receiving notices. It was heartbreaking. I could offer only words of support, and promises of representation, while these members are learning that they're losing their jobs.

Things are hopeful for some of them - the District is advertising for reading specialists, and if current members take one or more of those jobs, positions will open back up. In addition, there might be more resignations or retirements coming in, and those would open positions back up, too.

Additional Information:

Many of you have asked about administration and classified, since it appears that the District targeted teachers only. No, they targeted teachers first (while Redlands, San Bernardino, Chino, Murrieta, Los Angeles, and other districts refuse to lay off teachers).

On Friday, they notified four administrators that they are losing their positions - though one of them has already made it clear he's leaving anyway. Two will go back in the classroom (they get to keep a job), and the last one is undecided as to whether she'll go back in the classroom or to another district.

CSEA will suffer, too - unfortunately. They have a 45-day notice requirement, so the District will decide later as to how many/who will be laid off.

We (YCEA and CSEA) have consistently stated that the cuts don't have to be the people who work with and for the kids. The cuts need to be as far away from the classroom as they can be:

1. The artificial turf and the all-weather track, for example.
2. Excess staff at the District Office. (Don't get me started - they've gotten HUGE the past few years)
3. SROs (School Resource Officers - for which we pay 4-5 times the amount we could pay a campus monitor to do the same job. )
4. Do we really need brand-new textbooks in these lean times?
5. Buffet spreads for board members on board meeting nights.

Other ideas? Let us hear from you. In the meantime, I have a dozen or so more layoff meetings to attend.