Pasadena Unified to Issue 80 Layoff Notices

The board will meet next Tuesday to issue the 80 notices, though it is likely far fewer could be laid off.

The Pasadena Unified School Board will meet next Tuesday to vote on issuing 80 layoff notices to teachers to meet state deadlines requiring districts to give advanced warning to any teacher that could lose her job.

The notices will go to 78 full-time employees with teacher credentials and two part-time ones.  

The biggest hit groups listed by the district are elementary school general subject teachers and elementary school resource teachers.  Together, those groups total 47 potential layoffs.

The notices do not mean the teachers will definitely lose their jobs - Adam Wolfson, the district's communications director, described the plan as a "worst-case scenario."

Because the state requires notices to be issued by March 15, it is an annual ritual for districts to list more employees as potential layoffs than ultimately end up losing their jobs.

Wolfson noted that PUSD has laid off 20 teachers in the past two years, despite issuing .  In the spring of 2010, the district issued 160, according to media reports at the time.  

The district also has to contend with changing state budget information that makes it difficult to predict its financial situation for next year, Wolfson said.

The ultimate decision on layoffs for next year will be made around mid-May, he added.

At this week's meeting, the board also gave notice to unions representing its employees it would continue to negotiate over potential furlough days, an alternative to layoffs.

Wolfson noted that PUSD has had five furlough days scheduled for this academic year, and that the furloughs save approximately $600,000 per day, making it often a viable fiscal alternative to layoffs.

The meeting where the board will discuss the meetings will be on Tuesday March 6 at 5:30 p.m. at PUSD headquarters at 351. S Hudson Avenue in Pasadena.  A full-list of positions that could be impacted are listed on right.

Editor's note: The original version of this story said furloughs would save $600,000 for PUSD, rather than $600,000 per furlough day.

Monica Hubbard March 03, 2012 at 03:13 PM
The state has made drastic cuts to public education year after year. We have watched PUSD valiantly try to keep the cuts away from the classroom by cutting administrative positions and other staff support positions. They have cut to the bone. Now, with still more cuts pending from Sacramento -- maybe as much as $6 million - there are few options left. PUSD has made great strides despite the draconian cuts in the past 5 years. How can the community wrap its arms around all its kids and assist in sustaining the positive gains made in student achievement? Helping provide after-school and vacation programs is one way. Joining PTA, school site councils and other student and parent support groups is another. Our community's kids are counting on us. We cannot let them down.
Laura Monteros March 03, 2012 at 05:19 PM
PUSD does this every year to balance the budget. Most teachers get the pink slips rescinded after the budget passes. It is typical PUSD chicanery, another reason so many parents--who may love the schools and the teachers--do not want to deal with the district.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) March 03, 2012 at 06:04 PM
To be fair it's not just PUSD that does this - districts all over the state do it. PUSD does seem to issue a whole lot of them compared to how many end up being laid off though - the 160 notices from two years ago were a huge amount and probably got a lot of parents pretty concerned, needlessly, as it turned out. Any California district has to face the challenges of figuring out financing with a late state budget process each year. But I would note that even in NJ, where I have friends who teach, they do this same procedure. In fact, a couple I know there decided not to travel to my wedding in 2009 because they received a notice like this and were planning for the worst. By the time the wedding came around, they found out they would keep their jobs and were kind of ticked off that they could have made the trip.
navigio March 03, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Laura, they're required by law to do that if there is any possibility they will be laid off. If they dont issue the notices they are required to retain that person for the entire following year. Given that Sacramento determines the districts' budgets, and that the revenue generally isnt actually known until the summer (in this case not till November) they arent given much choice. Even if that were not the law, would you rather wait until the beginning of the school year to let people know they might be laid off? I dont think its fair to label this chicanery on the part of the district and/or board. I think doing so misrepresents the realities of who is responsible for school district budgets. Also note that one reason so many people's notices were rescinded (or they were hired back) in recent years was due partly to federal economic stimulus money that came after the fact; partly due to other teachers retiring.
navigio March 03, 2012 at 06:16 PM
here's an idea, lets not put school districts through this every year with our cockamamie sacramento 'funding' shenanigans. how about we let districts spend their time focusing on education rather than always reacting to greedy taxpayers and legislators? there was a time in our state's history when schools were first in line for state revenues. everyone else came after them. there was a time when school campuses were a priority for a community. now schools come after everyone else (we need extra ballot initiatives just to give them what they need) and lately they are forced to sell off land to cover budget shortfalls (that shouldnt even be legal). and our cities could care less about our schools. are they even mentioned in the guiding principles... .? hello?
navigio March 03, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Hi. The fiscal stabilization plan is also an interesting read. Also being discussed on tuesday: http://pusd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=12&event_id=104&meta_id=63508
Dan Abendschein (Editor) March 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Navigio, thanks for pointing out the 2010 stimulus funding issue - Adam Wolfson also pointed this out when I spoke with him for the article, and he said it was a major factor in the board rescinding the layoffs.


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