More than 45 teaching positions across Sonoma County could be eliminated next fall as districts deal with the uncertainty of a proposed state tax measure on the November ballot and ongoing cuts from Sacramento. The Sonoma County Office of Education also has warned that about 40 more of its positions could either be lost or cut back for the 2012-13 school year.
At least 63 of the 97 Sonoma County teachers who received layoff notices in March lost their jobs Thursday as districts prepared for the worst in advance of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget, expected to be released Monday. Local school districts are crafting budgets based on the presumption that per pupil cuts will average about $350 next year. But with the state’s $15 billion deficit unsolved, lawmakers could potentially double the size of the cuts.
Two dozen teachers gathered in downtown Santa Rosa on Tuesday to demonstrate what teachers do after the final bell rings on campus. The teach-in was part of a statewide campaign spearheaded by the California Teachers Association to focus attention on looming state budget cuts. Teachers are urging lawmakers to support tax extensions that would help close the state’s remaining $15.4 billion deficit.
More than 97 teaching positions across Sonoma County could be eliminated next fall as school districts seek to weather reductions in state financial support. Today is the deadline to notify tenured and probationary teachers that their jobs are at risk. Many districts are choosing to impose up to eight furlough days rather than pink-slipping more employees.
Some have seized upon the budget crisis as an opportunity to scapegoat educators and undermine our public education systems, according to SRJC Philosophy Department chairman Michael Aparicio and Associated Students vice president Jessica Jones. They encourage the public to educate themselves and collaborate on solutions.
Sonoma County schools are preparing to issue layoff notices to 200 teachers and administrators. Santa Rosa school board member Frank Pugh and SEIU representative Maria Peluso want Sonoma County residents to contact lawmakers and urge them to place an extension of temporary taxes on the June ballot. Without it, they say, schools across the state could be forced to cut four or five weeks out of the school year.
“Ineffective teachers detract from our profession. We believe they should be dealt with just as the public does, but to prevent arbitrary firings, we must have a fair and consistent process for doing so.”