Education

Oakland Unified faces layoff notice deadline

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Teachers and staff members in the Oakland school district may soon get the letter that everyone dreads. A deadline is looming by which the district must warn workers that their jobs are on the line. The Oakland Unified School District has exhausted its bag of tricks, and warns it may now have to use its last resort of teacher layoffs.

In a statement by the superintendent, Tony Smith said "California's budget crisis has forced us to make tough choices; tradeoffs that were unthinkable just a few years ago. Through all this, we will do our best to mitigate the impact on children."

State law requires school districts to warn employees that they might be laid off by March 15. It's unknown how many letters will be mailed, but the superintendent says it's "significant."

The district also plans to notify principals and managers that they might be reassigned to a new position in the fall. Even though Governor Jerry Brown did not cut K-through-12 funding in the state budget, the schools are still struggling. Oakland has made do every year because of higher teacher attrition rates and one-time funds, but both those factors no-longer exist. Districts across the state have already shortened the school year and implemented unpaid furlough days, in an effort to save money.

Los Angeles, the state's largest school district, is facing serious money troubles. That district says it may have to layoff thousands of employees after releasing what's being called a "doomsday budget."

We're sure to see more possible layoff notices around the Bay Area by March 15.

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oakland, education, janelle wang
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