Friday, March 4, 2011

Layoff Notices (again)

This Monday, the Board will once again have to vote to issue layoff notices to many of our teachers. This is an unpleasant process, to say the least. I didn't join the school board to lay off teachers. Unfortunately, we can't ignore reality- we have to balance our books.

One strange thing about layoffs for us is that we have to plan for the worst case scenario. We are obligated by state law to notify teachers by March 15 if they may not be brought back for the following school year. In reality, our budget doesn't get finalized for many more months, so we often recall some or all of those teachers who are notified. This has to be unnerving for the teachers, but the Board of Trustees is bound by the law of the State, so we'll do what we have to do. In a better world, we'd be able to wait longer and have a better view of our actual income for 2011-12 before we had to do this.

This year will be particularly grim, because of the variables in the process. Gov. Brown has proposed some tax extensions for the State. Likewise, LASD has placed a parcel tax on a May 3 mail-in ballot. If either of those two tax measures fail, we need to reduce our spending. We don't get to wait until those measures are voted up or down- we have to issue layoff notices by March 15. So, we'll do what is responsible- we'll send out enough pink slips that we are still financially solvent in the worst-case scenario. Once we have the outcome of those elections in hand, hopefully we will be able to reinstate some or many of those teachers.

As an aside, I have heard that certain lawmakers are trying to block putting the Governor's proposal onto the ballot in June. As a voter, I find that idea insulting. The people of California are entitled to vote on a matter as important as this. Grandstanding on ideological grounds puts individual beliefs ahead of the will of the people. I believe we deserve the chance to vote on this important issue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.