AirTalk for July 1, 2010

Fixing California’s teacher layoff process

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A demonstrator holds a sign during a Pink Friday protest March 13, 2009 at the Berkeley Unified School District building in Berkeley, California. Teachers, students and parents were protesting billions of dollars in proposed budget cuts to education that threaten more than 26,500 across the state with pink slips.

Low-performing schools are often staffed by newer teachers, and since layoffs in a school district are based on seniority, those newer teachers are usually the first to go. Under a bill introduced by California State Senator Darrell Steinberg, layoffs at the lowest-performing schools could not exceed the average percentage for their district. Proponents say this requirement would keep low-achieving schools from being adversely affected by layoffs, but teachers unions want to keep seniority rules, and Governor Schwarzenegger and LAUSD want to be able to lay off the least effective teachers. How should districts staff their schools?

Guest:


Darrell Steinberg, President Pro Tem of State Senate, California State Senator, 6th District. He is the sponsor of SB 1285

AJ Duffy, President, United Teachers Los Angeles


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