Pink Slips Handed Out To Thousands Of California Teachers

SAN BRUNO (CBS/AP) – School districts in California have issued nearly 19,000 layoff notices so far to teachers amid uncertainty over the state budget, the California Teachers Association estimated Tuesday.

The union announced its estimate of preliminary notices on the day school districts must let employees know they could lose their jobs.

Some districts had yet to fully report how many warnings had been distributed as they prepare for worst-case budget scenarios.  The union said it expects to have a final count Friday.

Its early estimate includes almost 500 school employees in San Francisco, 540 in Oakland, nearly 900 in San Diego, and about 5,000 educators in Los Angeles.

The situation is not unique to California. School districts throughout the country are warning of cutbacks involving teacher and other employees, as state legislatures seek to close massive budget shortfalls by cutting education spending.

Not all of the estimated layoffs will be carried out in California.

Schools have until May 15 to issue final layoff notices. Two years ago, districts handed out layoff notices to a record 26,500 teachers, but only 60 percent of them ended up losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, teachers and parents rallied around the state Tuesday to drum up support for Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal.

Brown’s plan for closing the state’s nearly $27 billion budget deficit seeks to maintain current K-12 spending levels by asking voters to extend temporary increases in the sales, personal income and vehicle taxes for five years.

But so far the governor has not secured enough Republican support to hold a special tax election.

Without the tax extensions, school districts would face another round of deep budget cuts that education officials warn would prompt widespread layoffs and campus closures.

In Union City, between San Jose and Oakland, kindergarten teacher Quyen Tran was one of about 60 school employees in her small school district to get a layoff notice. She started teaching in New Haven Unified School District in 2006.

Quyen, 30, said she was laid off last spring but hired in August right before the school year began. She is expecting her first child in June.

“It’s very stressful,” she said during a news conference, “just not knowing where I’m going to be next year or how secure my income will be.”

Quyen, however, said she’s more worried about the impact of state budget cuts on her students.

“With all these layoffs of teachers, they will have no choice but to stuff more kids into these classrooms,” she said. “They’re going to be cheated out of their education just because there are not going to be enough teachers around.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

  • Jason

    What in the world is Charmaine Kawaguchi talking about? She is the New Haven Teachers Association president and she is making ridiculous statements like, “…I worked in industry for seven summers; they only expect four hours of productivity per day. We’re expected to be productive all day, and there’s a stack of papers we take home every night (to grade).” Isn’t this a huge slap in the face to the hard working — and especially those recently laid-off — parents of the very students she teaches? How out of touch with reality is this woman? It’s good to know what the New Haven Teachers Association president really thinks of those working in “industry”. I wonder how she would feel if someone told her she is in one of the highest paid districts in the country and doesn’t work year round.

  • Jane

    Totally agree with the above comment. Kawaguchi’s quote is just ridiculous. I want to know what “industry” she worked in that only expects 4 hours of productivity a day.

  • David

    I feel terrible for Kawaguchi! I didn’t realize teachers have been asked to do more with less funding…WOW…and coming home exhausted at the end of the day…my heart goes out to her…poor thing.

    Although…one might call that being a grown-up and having a job. We’re all being asked to do more with less these days.

  • jay

    Unitl you’ve taught–don’t knock it. I have worked in industry–when you go home for the day–you are done.
    What you don’t realize is teachers are paid per diem–not for the time we get off. We don’t get summer paychecks unless we take the money out of our paychecks the rest of the year.

    And let’s look at it–at your job–if you need a printer cartridge–you get one, you need a pen–you get one–teachers need these things for their classrooms to do their jobs and they pay for them.

    For the amount of time we’ve spent in school and the amount of time we are expected to continue our schooling–we are poorly paid.

  • ptown

    “when you go home for the day-you are done”…really? if that was your work ethic in private industry I guess I understand why your a teacher.

  • Jason

    Jay, I wrote the original comment and I believe you have made my point: for someone to say people in “industry” (I don’t even know what that means exactly…non-teachers?) are only expected to be productive four hours a day is the equivalent to someone telling a teacher they do not work year round. My comment was not to argue a teacher’s worth, but rather to point out the foolish, erroneous generalizations stated by Charmaine Kawaguchi.

  • Gina

    Under paid? Even with all the time a teacher has spent in school and the amount of time they are expected to continue their schooling (typically by correspondence…I know…I was a teacher and quit due to the fact I had to be around teachers all day), the New Haven Pay Schedule doesn’t look too bad. Also, please take note of pay increases that accompany the additional schooling:

  • Bob

    working in private industry don’t have guaranteed pension and if I work for 4 hr a day…I would not have a jobs.

  • noggin

    Public schools suck in California. At a school district office a lady working there said she could not open the door for me because its not in her Union Contract, I was delivering water for the cooler.

  • WealthyWASP

    The failed gov’t-run public school system with its lousy unionized teachers and garbage curriculum serves only to create more opportunity and space at the very top of the ladder for elite privately-schooled kids like my own.

  • Callie369

    Get rid of illegals and you won’t need half the teachers you have now!!!!

  • Issac

    Callie369 is right on with that comment, and I’m a mexican-american.

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