Jun 9 2012

Seniority-Based Teacher Layoffs Questioned

Education Group Opposes California Layoff System –

Only California and 10 other states base teacher layoffs on seniority.   Francisco Castillo of StudentsFirst, an education advocacy group, states,No one wants teacher layoffs to take place, but they are an unfortunate reality this year, and California’s current layoff system makes the situation so much worse.”  He notes a 2012 California Education Policy survey that found 75% of Californians supported ending seniority-based lay-offs.  “Support for such reforms is even greater in the Latino and African American communities. More than 84 percent of Latinos and 83 percent of African Americans favor ending seniority-based layoffs, while only 13 percent and 12 percent, oppose such reforms.”

In late May, StudentsFirst released a report, “Great Teachers for Every Child: A Matter of Social Justice” (GTEC) which analyses the impact of California state policies and budget crisis on schools.  Among the findings in the report is a $15,000 differential in salary for those laid-off and those retained in seniority-based layoff regimes.  When those retained earn the highest salaries, the number of classrooms impacted is maximized.  California’s revised budget proposal could result in more than 8,000 teachers laid off state-wide.  But, if the State changed its layoff policy, it could potentially save up to 2800 of those teachers, according to the GTEC report.  The report further predicts that schools serving minority neighborhoods will lose significantly more teachers since they tend to have teachers with the least seniority.

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