The state of California is facing a budget crisis, and as part of its fiscal belt-tightening, the state is making cuts in its education spending. As a result of the spending cuts, many school districts are laying off teachers. In a sensible world, you would first lay off those teachers who were contributing the least to their schools, relative to what they were being paid.
But public education is not a sensible world — especially in California.
Thanks to state law bitterly defended by the state’s teachers unions, school districts facing cuts are required to lay off teachers in order of their hire dates. The result is that some very good teachers get pink slips, like San Diego teacher Precious Jackson, who “has two years of teaching under her belt and two school teacher-of-the-year awards to show for it,” the Associated Press reports.
For an in-depth look at these absurd seniority-based layoffs, check out this April 10 article from Voice of San Diego, which profiles Guillermo Gomez, a 2006 San Diego County Teacher of the Year who recently got his own layoff notice. Lame union defenses of seniority are also included.