“We just felt that we can get through next year without the layoffs. However, if those taxes aren’t extended, we will be in a really challenging budget situation the following year,” Samuelson said.
State law requires districts to give notice by March 15 to teachers who may not be retained for the following school year. Official layoff notices must be issued by May 15.
Last year, Glendale Unified issued 112 pink slips. Sixty-six teachers were later laid off, prompting protests. The teachers were hired back a few weeks before the start of the school year after the district confirmed it would receive federal funds.
Avoiding the acrimony that comes with pink slips sent sighs of relief throughout the education community.
“Part of the reason we didn’t send out notices to our core teachers is we felt that we didn’t want to cause that disruption in their professional and personal lives without knowing what the state budget will be,” said Eva Lueck, chief business and financial officer for the district.
Tami Carlson, president of the Glendale Teachers Assn., said she and her colleagues were feeling “guardedly relieved.”
“As many in our community who have lost their jobs know, it is very unnerving to face being laid off,” Carlson said.
But the federal dollars that are helping to preserve jobs during the coming school year will be exhausted come June 2012, officials said. Their attention in now focused on Measure S — a $270-million school bond measure that goes before Glendale voters on April 5 — and Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax extension.
“If Measure S passes, that will free up $20 million in the General Fund to use in staffing, or however we want to use it,” Samuelson said.
The teachers union, which officially opposed Measure S, has thrown its support behind the tax extension.
“If the June ballot initiative doesn’t pass, it is going to be horrible for every public school in California,” Carlson said. “In [the case of] some of these worse-case scenarios, I don’t know if we could make enough cuts to save public education.”