I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

08 February 2011

Some things NEVER change.

Preparing for a $19 or a $330 cut per student in funding next year, SFUSD is as usual planning for massive teacher layoffs: 300 to 400, presumably with EduJobs and maybe with retirements counted in already.  This year, my school can actually anticipate more layoff letters; presuming the same plan as last year, the following will definitely be noticed:

  • all of 1st grade
  • 2/3 of 2nd grade
  • all of 3rd grade
  • 1/2 of 4th grade
  • all of 5th grade
with an additional four notices if they also send layoff letters to teachers with four years' seniority in SFUSD (in which case, they will notice all but three classroom teachers).

Undoubtedly there will be plenty of hand-wringing about how terrible it is that the Superintendent and BoE are required to utterly upend high-needs schools, but they're going to do it anyway and get hinky if anyone suggests that it's their fault.  It's that mean state!

So let me be the first to assure SFUSD that it is, ultimately, their decision.  Going "Beyond the Talk" is a radical action.  Inequitable layoffs are a status quo action.  You can't balance these things out.  Blaming union contracts, seniority, etc. doesn't exonerate you.  The shady self-dealing of the state GOP (I can balance the budget and increase school funding, leaving a three billion dollar reserve: bet you can too!) doesn't exonerate you.  We need to take responsibility for our actions.

I do think SFUSD has options other than massive layoffs that still allow them to sign off on a budget (although I am tired of hearing about STATE TAKEOVER from those who would lose their jobs in that case, gotta say!).  Some of them are straightforward: time to make some big cuts at the top at the Central Office.  Frankly, 25% paycuts to all EDs, Senior Directors and Superintendents of every ilk are not too much to demand.  Legal needs to cut down on its use of the unrestricted General Fund, and like the Special Ed redesign, should be forced to account for its legal decisions (SFUSD: Fighting Every Access Ramp Since 1901).  I recognize that Legal is used to being the end all on all law, but I must note that their opinion is just that.  (FYI, Legal?  Your opinion on layoffs and equity?  LAUSD settled.  Because they were going to lose ugly.)

In other news:

  • I have an offsite PD thingamajig today, which means that I cannot walk to work and must get on the bus.  BOO.
  • As of yesterday afternoon, I was 40% to filling a Donors Choose grant to get a big big fan and a space heater for my classroom.  We have already lost heat twice this year, and 40s classrooms with full-wall window exposures need the heavy artillery in air circulation technology.  Of course, going Beyond the Talk might be construed to mean the District should undertake liveability issues, but I still have lead pipes in my classroom so I suppose not.


Anonymous said...

Is there a link to your Donors Choose projects? I looked under "fan" and "heater" and couln't find it.

E. Rat said...

That project was fully funded, so it's no longer searchable. Yay for comfortable classrooms!

Anonymous said...

Oh, good, I'm glad it was funded!

E. Rat said...

Me too! The heater's been overwhelmed lately and the snails keep estivating because it's too cold for them.