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About 19,500 public school teachers in state get pink slips

March 16, 2012 |  3:18 pm

Photo: State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times About 19,500 pink slips were issued to public school teachers this week, which was the state’s legal deadline to do so, according to an estimate from the California Teachers Assn.

The Los Angeles Unified School district issued 9,500 layoff notices, more than any other district in the state, according to the union. The district, California's largest, has laid off more than 8,000 teachers over the last four years but eventually hired many back.

While figures from some schools have yet to be compiled, so far 206 school districts have reported at least 19,500 notices being issued.

Dean E. Vogel, the union’s president, said notices hurt not only teachers, but also families and the surrounding community. The state ranks 47th in the country in per-pupil funding and has cut $20 billion in public education funding to schools and community colleges in the last four years.

“The wave of education layoff turmoil brought on again by state cuts is rolling through classrooms and the families of our students,” he said in a statement. “When you continually lay off teachers, you break the bonds of learning, and you send the message that education is not a priority in our state.”

The notices are preliminary pink slips and had to be issued by Thursday. Districts have until May 15 to decide on final layoffs.

The San Diego Unified School District sent out more than 1,600 notices, and the Long Beach Unified School District sent out 309.

State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in statement that the notices are devastating to the morale of the teachers who receive them.

“They should also remind all of us of the urgency of finding the will and the resources to end the financial emergency facing our public schools,” he said.

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-- Stephen Ceasar

Photo: State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

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