The Board of Education approved 357 layoffs for teachers, counselors and social workers yesterday to help cope with the ongoing state budget crisis. The number of final layoff notices is unprecedented for the Long Beach Unified School District, which has cut more than $170 million over the past three years and plans to reduce its budget by another $100 million over the next two years.
Yesterday’s unanimous vote began with 557 final layoff notices being approved for next school year, but the school board immediately rescinded 200 of the notices as part of an agreement with the Teachers Association of Long Beach. The agreement with TALB calls for five unpaid furlough days next year to help save 200 teaching positions.
The approved layoff resolution and original list of affected employees is part of yesterday’s Board of Education agenda, though the list of the 200 spared teachers has not yet been released. Those 200 teachers will receive letters postmarked by this Friday, July 16, notifying them that their positions have been restored. Likewise, the school district also will postmark by this Friday the final layoff letters to the 357 affected employees.
The 200 restored employees will be selected based upon seniority, qualifications and other factors that a state-appointed administrative law judge recently determined to be appropriate.
The school district will continue its ongoing quest for state, federal and other funding – in addition to pushing for more legislative flexibility regarding the expenditure of existing funds – to mitigate these record numbers of layoffs and to restore as many positions as possible.