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California school districts send out far fewer pink slips

March 18, 2013 |  6:32 pm

Thanks to a boost in money for public education, California school districts have issued just 3,000 pink slips to teachers this year, a dramatic drop from the 20,000 sent out last year, the California Teachers Assn. reported Monday.

The passage last fall of Proposition 30, which will temporarily increase taxes to raise about $6 billion mostly for education, will help schools avoid the massive layoffs that have crippled art, music, science and other programs statewide since 2008.

Los Angeles and San Diego Unified, two of the region’s largest school districts, issued no pink slips this year for the first time in several years. Last year, L.A. Unified sent out 9,500 layoff notices, the state teachers union said. School districts are required to send teachers preliminary layoff notices by the state’s March 15 deadline.

Dean E. Vogel, the teachers union president, called the reduction in pink slips “great news” but added that California schools are still reeling from the enormous cuts of the last five years. In the last four years, more than $20 billion in education funding has been cut or deferred and more than 30,000 teaching jobs have been axed, he said. 

The state now ranks 49th in per-student spending, according to a January analysis by Education Week, a news publication.

“We still have a long way to go to heal our schools from billions in cuts they have suffered in recent years,” Vogel said in a statement.

San Bernardino City School District issued 166 layoff notices this year, a drop from 251 last year. But fewer than 50 teachers actually lost their jobs, a spokeswoman said.  

The teachers union is still collecting data, but 135 school districts had reported at least 3,043 educator pink slips as of Monday. The top 10 districts reporting the most layoff notices were: Los Angeles County Office of Education, 213; San Bernardino City School District, 166; Sacramento City Unified, 118; San Francisco Unified, 118; Pomona Unified School District, 108; Twin Rivers Unified, 100; Mt. Diablo Unified, 95; Stockton Unified, 95; Pasadena Unified, 81; Alum Rock Elementary School District, 80.

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