Attention SVUSD Teachers: Lay Off Information.

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I am a public school teacher in Simi Valley. I don't write much about education or schools but the following forms were sent out by the school district today in the preparation of massive Reduction In Force notices ( Pink Slips) going out next week.

I like bringing readers behind the scenes of politics and it seems appropriate to see the entire memos circulating. I will write more about it later but i wanted to post it now for those that are looking for it.

Next Friday is Pink Friday to show solidarity for public school teachers impacted by the budget cuts. After reading the memos keep in mind these are preliminary notices. Imagine what would have happened if the state budget was all cuts as many advocated.


BEFORE THE GOVERNING BOARD
OF THE SIMI VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
SENIORITY LIST


WHERAS, California Education Code section 44955(b) provides that the District may reduce the number of probationary and permanent certificated employees when, in the opinion of the Governing Board, certain conditions make it necessary to decrease the number of permanent employees of the District including, but not limited to, the reduction or elimination of a particular kinds of service performed by certificated employees and the services are to be discontinued not later than the beginning of the following school year;

WHERAS, the District Superintendent has recommended to this Governing Board the reduction of particular kinds of services, specifically, as follows:
Counselor, Student Support 1 FTE
Counselor 4 FTE
District Office, Teachers on Special Assignment 6 FTE
Elementary, multiple subject 125 FTE
Elementary, 4-6 science 12 FTE
Elementary, literacy coaches 4 FTE
School Nurse 2 FTE
Secondary, English/language arts 17 FTE
Secondary, history/social sciences 12 FTE
Secondary, mathematics 12 FTE
Secondary, physical education 3 FTE
Secondary, science 21 FTE
Secondary, Spanish 4 FTE
Secondary, elective
art/graphic arts 1 FTE
choral music 1 FTE
computer technology 2 FTE
dance 1 FTE
home economics 1 FTE
industrial technology 1 FTE
movie production 1 FTE
due to a lack of funds primarily based upon the budget crisis in the State of California and the financial constraints resulting from revenue being insufficient to maintain the current levels of programs;

WHERAS, California Education Code Section 44955(b) provides that in the event of a certificated employee layoff, employees must be terminated in the inverse order of their employment based on seniority;

WHERAS, a certificated employee's seniority is determined by the first date of paid service with the District in a probationary position in accordance with the requirements of the California Education Code;

WHERAS, the services of a permanent employee may not be terminated pursuant to a layoff while any probationary employee or any employee with less seniority is retained to render a service which the permanent employee is certificated and competent to render;

WHERAS, the Superintendent's office has previously reviewed the existing personnel records of each certificated employee for the purpose of determining the certificated employee's original hire date and current credentials, permits, et cetera on file with the District to ascertain the employee's appropriate place on the Seniority List;

WHERAS, the Superintendent's office has prepared a Seniority List setting forth the seniority of each certificated employee and his/her hire date attached hereto as Exhibit "A";

WHERAS, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the certificated employee Seniority List attached hereto as Exhibit "A" and incorporated herein by this reference, is hereby adopted by this Governing Board.

PASSED AND ADOPTED this 3rd day of March 2009, by the following vote:

AYES: _____
NOES: _____
ABSENT: _____

SIMI VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT


_______________________________________
President of the Governing Board


_______________________________________
Clerk of the Governing Board

BEFORE THE GOVERNING BOARD
OF THE
SIMI VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
CRITERIA FOR ORDER OF
SENIORITY FOR THOSE EMPLOYEES WITH THE SAME
DATE OF FIRST PAID PROBATIONARY SERVICE


WHERAS, Education Code Section 44955 provides for the termination of certificated employees because of a reduction or elimination of particular kinds of services;

WHERAS, the order of termination is based on the date a teacher first rendered paid service in a probationary position in accordance with the requirements of the California Education Code;

WHERAS, as among employees who first rendered paid probationary service to the District on the same date, the law requires the Governing Board to determine the order of termination solely on the basis of the needs of the District and its students;

WHERAS, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that to meet the requirements of California Education Code Section 44955, the following criteria will be applied in the priority order indicated to determine which certificated employees meet the particular needs of the District in the event that all certificated employees with the same date of hire are not terminated. These criteria meet the particular needs of the District at the present time:

1. Special authorizations to provide critical services in order of priority to the District as follows:
A. Special education certification;
B. Cross Cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD)
C. Language Development Specialist Certificate
D. Supplemental Authorization for English as a Second Language
E. Specially Designated Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE)

The District reserves the right based on specific service needs at the time of layoff to retain employees with special authorization to provide critical services.

2. Primary credential authorization as follows:
A. Clear
B. Preliminary
C. Intern
D. Short-term Staffing Permit (STSP)
E. Provisional Intern Permit (PIP)
F. Waiver

3. Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT)

4. Years of service to the district, prior to seniority date as follows:
A. Certificated service
1. contracted service, prioritized by credential area as listed in 2 above
2. contracted service as a Title I teacher
3. service as a long-term substitute
4. service as a day-to-day substitute
B. Classified contracted service
C. Classified long term substitute service

5. Credential plus Supplementary Authorizations, by number of authorized areas

6. Subject matter authorizations, by number of authorized areas

7. Step on the certificated salary schedule

8. College degree as follows:
A. PhD
B. EdD
C. MA/MS
D. BA/MA

9. Total number of semester credits past BA/BS with the highest number being the most senior of those with the same date


In the event that after application of the above criteria, employees are still equally situated, then seniority will be determined by a lot.

PASSED AND ADOPTED this 3rd day of March 2009, by the following vote:

AYES: _____
NOES: _____
ABSENT: _____

SIMI VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTIRCT


_______________________________________
President of the Governing Board

______________________________________

22 Comments

If we can't screw the children of CA, in an effort to maintain taxpayer subsidies for private jets and yachts, who CAN we screw?

And why should we force CA's BigOil producers to pay the same extraction royalties to CA that it does to every other state in the Union, while we have our children to toss into the fire instead?

When did we lose our way?

Aw, Brian. I'm so sorry.

Yes, imagine what would happen with an all-cuts budget. Good thing they did not get their way.

How many of these positions will be saved through retirements/attrition? Do you know? Our own school district in Ventura is getting hit with a $10 million cut over two years. They've been very proactive at figuring out ways to save jobs. I have to hand it to our superintendent and staff. They've worked every angle and our layoffs will not be as severe.

What stinks is our final budget will depend on the vote May 19. If just one of those budget measures doesn't pass, it's back to the drawing board.

Without getting into the "necessary evil" that RiF forms are(and that's entirely a matter of opinion), how an actual reduction in force is realized is a crock of hooey. Seniority is a terrible way of deciding who gets fired and who doesn't. The goal of education should be to prepare young people to go out into the world, and teachers play the biggest role in how well prepared the students are when the leave the hallowed halls of All-American High. When a reduction in force takes place, the students are the ones that are truly hurt, particularly if it is the young teachers, who are full of optimism and hope for the students that they have, or have yet to have, who are "reduced." While I don't know of a better way of deciding who deserves to keep their job or not, I can say with full certainty that because of the seniority rules, the students will be left with a staff compromised of the calloused, battle scarred "old school" (pun intended), who will be kept due to experience, and that alone.

Maybe this was more suited as a blog post rather than a blog comment.

Claudio,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. In these tough economic times we are all going to pay it seems. Taxpayers, business, and government employees are facing many of the same problems of cutbacks.

I hope we take this as an opportunity to reform government.

Brian, I have not posted before but after witnessing the last 7 months I plan on coming out from my rock and letting my voice be heard. We cannot cut back on education as it is our investment in our future. And, I don't know if anyone is paying attention but we are giving these kids a huge deficit, the least we can do is educate them on how to deal with it.

Martin Breen

Did the district announce layoffs for non-teaching positions? Also, will the top administrative staff be taking a pay-cut? Seems the appropriate thing to do. Wouldn't teachers sweep the floors of their classrooms if it meant keeping their jobs and educating our youth?

Alan,

Besides the memo above I don't know how administration might be impacted but I will look into it. There are positions called teachers n special assignment which includes former classroom teachers. If some of those positions are eliminated as outlined above then many of them would be expected to go back to a classroom, which could bump another teacher.

Custodians have already been cut back this school year and I expect further cut backs.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.


Martin,

I think that when the public hears cuts they imagine that it will come from areas that don't directly impact education. There are cost savings that the state and local districts can and should do, but the current cuts will directly impact education. We as a people have tough choices ahead and none of the answers will be easy.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

Thanks Brian. I, for one, will do everything in my power to stop the powers that be from further reducing the funding of our education system. California is already in the lower tier of funding (per student) and performance. Kids need more school, not less school. Recent studies have shown that those students who spend more time in the classroom perform better than those that don't. And, I disagree slightly, I think the answers are easy -- doing the right thing, usually is. I am dating myself but whatever happened to women and children first. Well, now women are equals so what about putting children first?

I'll go back to my original premise, if America is going to successfully compete in the next 50 years we need kids who are well-educated, innovative and industrious. We must rebuild our educational system. More must be done. Does anyone remember when it part of the American dream that you worked hard so your kids could be better off than you? Well, I think somewhere between the Starbucks latte and the High Definition Television we veered off course.

As many as 230 teachers in Simi will be receiving their pink slips this week. The numbers of teachers receiving "RIF" notices seems to grow daily. Rumors run rampant. Tensions rise. However, much of the public and many affected teachers are quite unaware of the magnitude of the coming slaughter.

Pink Friday is the opening salvo in what may prove to be a losing proposition for California's kids and educators. The CTA is quietly acquiescing to painful cuts in education in exchange for getting Proposition 1B on the ballot May 19th in hopes of restoring some $9.3 billion the Union would have sued the state for anyway to comply with Proposition 98 funding mechanisms. While it is not possible to predict the actual numbers of employees that will ultimately be affected, it will only get worse when California voters predictably refuse to vote themselves a tax increase in the middle of an economic depression.

As day follows the night, It is a certain as sunshine that teachers will be asked to take pay cuts in an effort to stave off job losses that will result in crowded, dirty, and unsafe classrooms and schools. When I proposed discussing the possibility of taking furlough days next year (which could save the district as much as $600,000 a day) there was an attempt to shame me into silence by the SEA for undercutting their delicate bargaining position. There is nothing delicate about a $10 million shortfall and everyone knows that collective sacrifices will need to be made, but it seems no one is ready to deal with that harsh reality out of fear that it would be perceived as weakness or timidity. Well, I'm still not sure how wearing a pink armband or waving a pink placard on a street corner will indicate strength or save a single job on March 13th. In fact, it will do neither. Rather than saving jobs, Pink Friday is an attempt to save face by maintaining the appearance of fighting for jobs while accepting the inevitable cuts this year that will eliminate them.

I will stand arm and arm with my brothers and sisters on Pink Friday and help to inform the public about the plight of California's schools and the hardships that will be felt by students and teachers. But I am equally concerned about the deafness of our local and state leaders who seem content with playing their familiar parlor games while all the folks doing the heavy lifting are left in the lurch or used as cannon fodder to further other motives and political agendas.


rjlebeck,

Do you support the only criteria for selecting who loses and who keeps their job being seniority?

Seniority is and should be the first criteria in the RIF process. As bad as the RIF process is, it shouldn't be used as a tool to separate the wheat from the chaff if I'm reading you right. In practice, the loss and rehiring of teachers will by necessity consider other factors such as CLAD certification and NCLB mandates. But seniority should weigh heavy in either case.

In light of the recent threat by SVUSD to remove veteran teachers from the classrooms without recently added CLAD certification, it appears to me from a labor perspective, that first they attacked the old, now they threaten the young.

What else is new in the animal kingdom?

I teach in another one of the local districts, and we too are facing the cuts. Iwill find out on Friday if I fall into the same category. We have not been notified nor has it even been hinted out, who will be the lucky recipients.

I teach in another one of the local districts, and we too are facing the cuts. I will find out on Friday if I fall into the same category. We have not been notified nor has it even been hinted out, who will be the lucky recipients.

Evan,

If you want to send any documents for me to post or other information let me know.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. How did you find it?

The State Education Code (The Law) states that seniority shall be the first, but not only, consideration in teacher layoffs.

The way the system works is that only seniority counts and everything else is a tie breaker. If one teacher is much higher performing by every last measure they will be fired to keep a teacher with more years in the classroom.

An option we have not considered is a 4 day school week, with Monday "off" for dental appointments, teacher inservices, etc. MC Cray public schools in Minnesota has done it for the past year. "In all, students will spend 149 days in school under the new system vs. 172 days last year; but because school days are 59 minutes longer and there are fewer lunch periods and passing times between classes, they will spend 17.6 more hours in class throughout the year.

It was a move the school district made to save $100,000 a year. That $100,000 goes a long way toward saving valuable electives, including music and Spanish, for the students and 52 teachers in the district, officials say."

I think its a great idea in terms of "green" operations, not to mention the number of car trips to school reduced substantially. Granted, this is a small school district, but I think we need to have some new ways of thinking. One complaint might be for working families, but we have a few great facilities that could remain open to accomodate the "Monday kids." Boys & Girls Club, YMCA, etc. If you subtract the extra 59 minutes a day in school from day care, it might be close to a wash.

Just a thought,

Jacquie, a 4 day school week is an excellent suggestion. I do, however, think that President Obama has already rejected this suggestion as he announced today that kids should spend more time in school. There has been a lot of recent work on why some schools perform and others do not -- the bottom line is that more time in school is the answer, not less. And, I am afraid if you compress everything into 4 days, we may see some more quality reduction -- which we can ill afford.

I agree with President Obama that many students need to be at school more and not less.

Martin, technically, they have more time in school since the school day is 59 minutes longer. As it is, thousands of kids are dumped onto the street in the middle of the day (2:30), and as a former gang prevention worker, we know that most juvenile crimes happen between 2:30 and 6:00 PM. Kids left unsupervised until their parents get home is not such a good idea either. How do we know that being in school longer, as in a longer day, wouldn't benefit everyone? Mondays are a perfect day for teacher training, conferences, and whatever currently digs into the school calendar. I have worked in schools before, and in a 55 minute period, at least 10-15 minutes are consumed by taking roll, announcements, getting kids settled, etc. With a longer period, there would be more teaching time. I'm just saying that what we have now is not serving the children and the money the schools could save would leave more for the budget needed for actual education.

Jacquie,

I believe you and I have had this discussion about a 4-day school week with extended hours. I agree it should be looked into, but I would have it apply to only secondary schools. The daycare issue for parents of elementary schools could be a dealbreaker. The school district could also have students take online classes to make up for the lost dqay as well and provide more electives.

It also seems that there are so many weeks that end up being four days as it is with vacations, holidays and staff development.

I also agree that taking cars off the road one day a week and the utilities savings are good to consider.

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  • Wade Anderson: Hello all! Not sure if this will help or not read more
  • Donna Prenta: Jacquie, I believe you and I have had this discussion read more
  • Jacquie Richardson: Martin, technically, they have more time in school since the read more
  • I agree: I agree with President Obama that many students need to read more
  • Martin Breen: Jacquie, a 4 day school week is an excellent suggestion. read more
  • Jacquie Richardson: An option we have not considered is a 4 day read more
  • Senors Rule: The way the system works is that only seniority counts read more
  • Facts: The State Education Code (The Law) states that seniority shall read more
  • Brian: Evan, If you want to send any documents for me read more
  • Evan Postal: I teach in another one of the local districts, and read more