Anxious California teachers with pink slips await word on jobs next school year

  • by:
  • Source: EdSource
  • 04/19/2024
Second-grade teacher Jacob Willis has worked in the San Diego Unified School District in different roles since he graduated from high school in 2016. Now, he is one of hundreds of California teachers waiting to see if they will still have a job when campuses reopen next school year.

Declining enrollment, expiring federal funds for Covid relief, plus a proposed state budget with no new money for education made school leaders in 100 of California’s 1,000 school districts nervous enough about balancing their districts’ budgets to issue layoff notices to 1,900 teachers — 16 times more than the 124 that were issued last spring, according to the California Teachers Association. 

State law requires that districts send pink slips by March 15 to any teacher who could potentially be laid off by the end of the school year. Although many of the layoff notices are withdrawn by May 15 — the last day final layoff notices can be given to tenured teachers —  the practice is criticized by many for being demoralizing to teachers and disruptive to school systems.

“It creates serious insecurity and stress for teachers, including those who are ultimately asked to stay,” said Ken Jacobs, co-chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. “This will make it harder for districts to hire teachers and leads teachers to leave the profession.”

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