Today in California, 26,000 school district employees will find pink slips in their boxes. Although the massive dispersal of such notices by the March 15 deadline is somewhat of a yearly charade, with most of them generally being rescinded when the budget is finalized in May, teachers are preparing for the worst this year—and rightly so. Education budget cuts are estimated to land between $8.4 and $11.6 billion (the unions are predicting the higher end of the scale) and even some district officials are admitting that the outlook is bleak. “I think we’ll be able to hire some back, but not as many as in years past,” Steve Betando, assistant superintendent in Fremont, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Nowhere close.”
Teachers are retaliating by organizing protests and asking supporters to wear pink today, for what is being dubbed Pink-Slip Friday. This seems like one of those rare issues where teachers, administrators, classified staff members, parents, and students are united in their opposition. And while many companies can justify budget-driven layoffs as a way to eliminate fluff positions or increase individuals’ productivity, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who’d admit to seeing the upside to laying off teachers. Let me know what you think.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.