Monday, May 07, 2012

The RIFing Season

March 15th is the date by which districts in California must notify teachers who could potentially be laid off, and they must give definite layoff notices by May 15th.  Unfortunately the "May revise", the springtime "report card" of the state budget, doesn't happen until after May 15th, so districts must always prepare for the worst case scenario--and have no doubt, this year will be a worst case scenario for the state budget.  What's the impact?
In a survey of 230 school districts, the state Legislative Analyst's Office found that roughly 75% of teachers who received layoff warnings were either never laid off or laid off and called back to work, according to a 27-page report that recommended changes in the layoff process.

That left, however, some 32,000 teachers who did lose their jobs over the past three years, 11% of the state's teacher workforce.

Districts say they have little choice but to overestimate the number of layoffs because state-mandated deadlines in the budgeting process leave them in financial limbo until late in the school year.
I wonder how many thousands of dollars our district had to spend on just substitutes for all the pink-slipped teachers who exercised their right to attend the layoff hearings in person.  Add in the cost of the administrative law judge, and of course all the work of the district personnel to analyze the budget situation and identify the several hundred teachers to be given layoff notices, and one begins to wonder if there isn't a better way of doing this.

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