I wanted to pull out a portion of this comment because it really deserves attention, in the post about pink slips from NAA:
We’re all fixated on a result, and should solve the problem instead. Pink slipping teachers wholesale every year is the result of (in)action in Sacramento- how the state doles out funds to schools, how they steal money from schools to pay other bills, and promise to give it back some time down the road. We all recognize the absurdity of that- we all have bills to pay NOW (and teachers to keep employed), and so do our school districts, so need the money now, not later. The solution lies not in Alameda, the solution lies where the problem is- in Sacramento.
The problem is the pink slipping deadline is also a state deadline. In 2012 the Legislative Analyst’s Office put out a report about the costs of teacher layoffs and what should be done to correct this practice. Essentially they said that moving the deadline for these pink slips from before the Governor’s May revise to after the May revise would eliminate all the heartache that comes with these premature pink slips, not to mention the cost. Here’s the table which summarizes the findings and recommendations:
I feel like the only person who knew about this on the School Board was Mike McMahon who brought up this very issue. Recently there was an attempt to pass legislation on the state level to move the pink slip noticing requirement later which would move the timeline after the Governor’s May release of his budget and give districts a better grasp on what their budgets would look like so they could better prepare and not need to be overly conservative and send out a mass of pink slips in mid-March. However, this legislation failed, and I have to say I was surprised to see who was against it, from the Cabinet Report:
The bill, authored by Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, would have pushed back state-mandated deadlines for issuing pink slips to teachers from March 15 to May 15 for preliminary notices and from May 15 to June 15 for final notification. He authored similar legislation in 2010.
Huff, whose position was supported by Republican colleague Sen. Bill Wyland as well as Democratic committee chair Sen. Carol Liu, argued that pushing the layoff notice dates back gives districts the time they need to have a clearer budget picture for the coming school year and, therefore, a more exact accounting of staffing needs – thereby potentially reducing the number of reduction-in-force notices, or pink slips, issued as well as the costs associated with the process.
In addition to saving hundreds of thousands of dollars that districts must spend on the process, the change would save hundreds of teachers from the emotional stress associated with not knowing whether they will actually be laid off or not.
The LAO estimated the cost under the current system to be about $700 per noticed teacher. But, out of 10 teachers issued a preliminary notice, only half received a final notice and, in the end, just two or three were not rehired, the LAO reported.
But advocates for the state’s powerful teacher and labor unions argued that changing the dates gives teachers little time to pursue due process, if they so choose, or to look for new employment since final notices are delivered after school is out in June.
“The only way to resolve this problem with pink slipping too many folks is to provide the kind of funding that will allow you not to have a need for pink slips in the first place; that will bring California out from the bottom of the 50 states with respect to the cost-per-pupil system,” said Seth Bramble, spokesman for the California Teachers Association.
Sigh. While I realize that moving the pink slipping date is not a solution to the overall inequities of education funding on the other hand it is the local unions and the teachers themselves that are highly affected by this early deadline for noticing. I cannot understand why there was push back from CTA to this solution which would solve this smaller issue of District’s having to send out mass notices in mid-March to meet some arbitrary deadline established by the state.
The argument by CTA is that teachers need enough time to find a new job if they will actually be laid off. The argument by individual teachers is that these notices are really detrimental to teacher morale, particularly if — in the end — enough enrollment is projected and enough older teachers retire and enough money is funnelled through that would allow all the pink slipped teachers to stay. In order to avoid the individual turmoil, it would only make sense that teachers should support the later noticing.
So at this point if local teachers want to unleash their wrath on someone over this state mandated noticing deadline, rage at the CTA which worked on a “grassroots” effort to defeat this bill which would better align these layoff notifications with the release of usable numbers for school districts. These efforts may be better spent making the larger teacher’s union understand the hardship of receiving these notices than railing against an individual school district which is simply making sure they meet requirements set forth by the state and the legislature which just rejected a proposal which would have saved probably 90% of those teachers from the misery of receiving a pink slip notice.