The economy is taking its toll on California teachers.
Public school employees throughout California have been warned of wrenching classroom cuts as local officials faced a deadline for issuing layoff notices to educators. The State Department of Education estimates that preliminary pink slips will be given to more than 26,500 teachers. Another 15,000 bus drivers, janitors, secretaries and administrators were also expected to receive the written warnings, according to Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.
California's 1,000 K-12 school districts will be forced to absorb more than $8 billion in funding cuts over the next year. To draw attention to the situation, teachers and parents wore pink clothes and waved pink protest signs for a day California's largest teachers' union dubbed, "Pink Friday."
To avoid issuing layoff notices in the San Diego Unified School District, the school board committed to a series of cost-cutting measures. Although fewer teachers and other staff members are planned for the 2009-10 school year, no layoffs of permanent teachers are planned as a result of this budget. Increasing class size, eliminating some bus transportation, imposing furloughs, early retirement incentives and higher health care costs for all employees have been suggested as ways to eliminate the $146.7 million deficit in next year's San Diego school district budget.
This news is certainly distressing, but thankfully SDUSD if making an effort to retain its teachers. Lets all hope for the best.