School authorities across the nation are warning thousands of teachers that they could lose their jobs in June, raising the possibility that America’s public schools may see the most extensive layoffs of their teaching staffs in decades.
Though many of the warnings may not be acted upon — school systems, their budget outlook unclear, routinely overstate their likely layoffs at this time of year — when layoffs do occur, they cause a chaotic annual reshuffling of staff members.
Thousands of teachers are forced to change schools, grade levels or subjects, creating a chronic instability that educators call “teacher churn.”
Kaitlin Donovan, Nicholas Melvoin, Emilie Smith, and Tyler Hester didn’t expect to get a layoff notice. They were the kind of teachers typically romanticized in Hollywood movies. Young, energetic, and idealistic, they sought out the challenge of teaching in high-poverty urban schools and set high expectations for their students. Yet, each of them went to their teacher mailbox and found a pink slip.
New Ed Trust—West Report Shows the Damaging Impact of Teacher Layoff Policies on California’s Highest Need Schools and Students
(OAKLAND, CA) With school districts across California announcing budget cuts and plans for massive teacher layoffs, a new report by The Education Trust—West titled, Victims of the Churn: The Damaging Impact of California’s Teacher Layoff Policies on Schools, Students and Communities in Three Large School Districts, shows the negative impact of California’s teacher layoff policies on students in high-poverty schools in three urban school districts. These students were found to bear more than their fair share of the pain when it comes to teacher layoffs, with their schools 65 percent more likely to have a teacher laid off than a low-poverty school. Some high-poverty schools lost more than 15 percent of their teachers. (As seen on NBC San Diego)
Remember the old song “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel from the ’60s? I thought about the song last week after the results of the NAEP science tests showed that California students were at or near the bottom in our nation in nearly every measure of performance in science. The lack of outrage from our leaders in Sacramento that greeted these depressing results made me “picture the sound of silence.”
(OAKLAND, CA) – Dr. Arun Ramanathan, executive director of The Education Trust—West, issued the following statement regarding the release of Governor Brown’s proposed budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year:
“The proposed budget by Governor Brown identifies painful cuts in education. These could be worse without legislative action and public approval of a potential proposition to extend tax increases - both of which have been difficult to secure in the past.”
“We are deeply concerned about the cuts to education and the potential for deeper cuts. Over the past three years, our state’s budget has been balanced on the backs of our children. These cuts have disproportionally impacted students of color and students in poverty by increasing class sizes, cutting summer school and eliminating intervention programs that support student learning in districts across California. For far too long, our education decisions have been made based on adult interests, not the needs of students.”