ACSA: The Association of California School Administrators, is the umbrella organization representing school administrators in the state. Associations that joined together to form ACSA included:
California Association of Adult Education Administrators (CAAEA)
California Association of County Superintendents and Staffs (CACSS)
California Association of School Administrators (CASA)
California Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (CASCD)
California Association of School Personnel Administrators (CASPA)
California Association of Secondary School Administrators (CASSA)
California Elementary School Administrators Association (CESAA)
March 20, 2008 - The March 15 deadline for layoff notices has come and gone, leaving potential devastation in its wake.
Because of the skewed way education funding works, school districts were forced to prepare for the coming school year without knowing what form the final budget will take. If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget is what comes to pass, the thousands of teachers and administrators who received March 15 notices will find themselves looking for new employment.
ACSA Professional Standards Advocate Lloyd Wamhof said the effects on school leadership will be felt everywhere, but even more so in smaller school districts.
“As an example, a district recently asked an elementary principal to consider being reassigned to a full-time teaching position and continue the work of being the site principal for the same salary next year,” Wamhof said. “This isn’t an isolated situation. Obviously it’s very difficult to do two full time jobs rolled into one without ramifications of what gets priority.”
While the March 15 numbers are bleak, they only tell part of the story. The thousands of pink slips that are being handed to teachers and other educators represent only a small portion of the cuts that schools face if the governor’s proposed $4.8 billion cuts to schools – equating to $24,000 per classroom – are enacted.
Classified layoffs are expected to number in the tens of thousands. Such hard working people as temporary and probationary teachers, custodians, food service workers, nurses, bus drivers, librarians and counselors also are expected to be cut from school budgets for 2008-09. However, with only a 45-day notice requirement for these folks, they can be laid off at any time during the school year.
“There’s a direct link between pink slips and educational programs and services,” said ACSA Executive Director Bob Wells. “These cuts mean larger class sizes, shuttered libraries, abandoned art and music programs, and an end to many programs that serve California’s students struggling to meet our tough academic standards.”
“When teachers are laid off due to budget cuts, sadly, it’s California’s students who suffer the consequences,” said David Sanchez, president of the California Teachers Association. “If we want talented teachers to remain in the classroom teaching our students, we cannot constantly be pulling the rug out from underneath them. Some of these teachers will never return to the profession.”
“When pink slips are sent to educators, not only do our students feel the impact right away, but entire schools are disrupted and communities suffer,” said Pam Brady, president of the California State PTA. “When bright, enthusiastic teachers and school staff receive pink slips, they’re forced to find other jobs and we lose them to the profession forever. That’s not the way to build a world-class education system in California.”
“California has the highest academic standards in the nation, and experts agree that billions more are needed to ensure all students have the opportunity to meet these standards,” said Paul Chatman, president of the California School Boards Association. “Cuts to education funding hurt students, undermine school progress and shortchange California’s future.”
“Layoffs of school employees and teachers negatively impact everyone,” said Rob Feckner, president of the California School Employees Association. “Whether it’s less adult supervision on school campuses, fewer bus routes for students or other services cut because schools simply don’t have the people in place to provide them, the negative impact of these cuts to students and schools is immense.”
ACSA’s Wamhof added that it’s important to look beyond the numbers aspect to the human side of the story.
“Administrators are people who have mortgages to pay and families who need health insurance,” he said. “The anticipation of wondering what’s going to happen to you raises a lot of anxiety. It also raises questions of whether you should be looking for another job immediately or to wait to see what happens with the state budget.
“Districts will be able to move forward and educate students; however, some positions will be eliminated as well as programs. Some administrators will be taking on additional tasks for next year. More important is the personal side of this for our members.”
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