As California prepares to pass a doomsday scenario to fight a gaping $28-billion budget deficit, one of the hardest hit segments of the public employment landscape is expected to be teachers.
Over the next two weeks, thousands of teachers across California may be fired as school districts sweat out the cuts proposed by Governor Jerry Brown.
A proposed June ballot for the extension and increase of taxes will decide the fate of many jobs, should it pass, but long before then school jurisdictions may send layoff notices to at least 30,000 teachers across the state (versus the 25,000 teachers who were fired last year).
Republican lawmakers in the state legislature have already expressed their opposition to higher taxes, further raising the likelihood that school districts will not have enough money to pay teachers.
Under state law, layoff notices must be issued by March 15 and be confirmed by the middle of May. Typically, those with the least seniority are the first on the chopping block.
I think it's safe to say it's not going to be any better than last year and it has the potential to be worse, Jonathan Goldman, California Teachers Association director of communications. told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Earlier this year, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson declared California schools to be in a State of Financial Emergency.
In Oakland, school officials are planning to fire 400 teachers, according to a district spokesman.
The San Francisco school board, is expected to lay off more than 400 teachers, aides and administrators.
It's an extraordinarily corrosive process, Arun Ramanathan, executive director of the Education Trust-West, an Oakland-based nonprofit, told the Chronicle.
You see these teachers who get these notices year after year after year. It doesn't have to be that way.
Meanwhile, the California Teachers' Association (CTA) has been lobbying Governor Jerry Brown for higher taxes in order to stave off massive layoffs in the public education sector.
The CTA reportedly gave Brown $49,300 for his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.