Pink-Slipped Los Angeles Teachers Worry About Students, Themselves
Teachers facing termination in LA are uncertain whether they’ll have jobs in the fall – or whether their current students will have the teachers they need.
Facing a $408 million budget gap for the next fiscal year, the Los Angeles Unified school district is sending layoff notices to educators from two-thirds of its 952 schools, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. To close the budget deficit, 5200 fewer teachers will report for work in the fall. A further 2100 district administrators and support staff have also been notified of possible termination.
Their jobs now hinge on the passage of the tax-extension measure proposed by Governor Jerry Brown as part of his state budget, which is slated to be voted on in June. However, with ongoing bickering over the budget in Sacramento, it is uncertain if the measure will even make it on the ballot.
As it stands, those affected are beginning to lose hope that a compromise can be reached in time to make a difference:
“If the state doesn’t want to fund public education, I don’t know where we get the money to pay staff and keep programs,” said LAUSD school board member Tamar Galatzan.
Still, it’s the people behind the numbers who tell the real story, the article reports. Manny Banuelos, who is a great motivator for his fourth-grade class and and of his Little League baseball team, teaches with his wife in the LAUSD schools. Both are slated for termination. Both have seven years of classroom experience, which makes it unlikely the will be able to retain their jobs. The district is required by state law to use seniority in laying off teachers rather than performance or ability.
In Cleveland High School, which is slated to lose 19 of its teachers, the article describes how the students are engaging in their own form of protest.
The narrow lobby of Cleveland High is filled with a row of 19 folding chairs. Each chair sports a sign with a name – one for each teacher who could be cut from the campus next year.
“This teacher changed my life,” one student wrote on one of the signs.
“Why her? … She is so smart,” another wrote.
“Don’t Fire,” was printed on nearly [every] sign.
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