Monday, March 15, 2010
SAN DIEGO Hundreds of San Diego County teachers and school workers will receive notices this week that their jobs could be in jeopardy. March 15 is the contractual deadline for public school districts to tell their employees they may out of a job by summer.
The layoff notices are sent by mail. They are not official pink slips. School districts issue notices as a precaution as they grapple with massive state budget shortfalls.
The Chula Vista Elementary School District is noticing about 460 employees, most of them teachers. Vista may lay off 165 workers. Oceanside could lay off about 120 teachers.
State Superintendent Jack O'Connell says the tentative pink slips hurt morale.
“Here we are, about a month away from our statewide standardized testing which are high stakes tests for these schools, and we're asking these teachers to do more at the same time we're sending out these layoff notices that quite frankly shatter a lot of dreams and careers,” O’Connell said on KPBS Radio’s These Days program.
Districts can rescind the layoff notices if their budget outlooks improve. But O'Connell says he doesn't think that will happen this year because federal education stimulus money is drying up.
The San Diego Unified School District is one of a few large urban school districts that will not send layoff notices to its permanent, veteran teaching force for a second year in a row. However new and temporary teachers will not be so lucky.
School board president Richard Barrera says those teachers are employed under a different set of contractual rules.
“We (district officials) will be able to get through this again without having to issue pink slips to permanent teachers. There is still the question of 'will we need to issue pink slips to probationary teachers, teachers who have been with the district for less than a couple years.' The answer to that is probably 'yes,'” Barrera said.
Barrera says about 250 to 300 of these probationary and temporary teachers could be let go. The number is expected to be revised based on how many permanent teachers decide to retire or go on-leave. Barrera says they should have a final figure by next month.
The San Diego school board is managing to piece together a spending plan for next year through a combination of furloughs, programs cuts and central office cuts.