The March 15 deadline is upon California school districts to issue written notices to certificated employees who will be subject to a layoff.
Right in line with the deadline comes a new bill that proposes to shift the timeline for certificated layoffs to later in the year to better align with budget requirements. Of course this is not the first bill of this type and there have been several attempts in the recent years to streamline and revamp the layoff process.
SB 559 seeks to shift the March 15 layoff notice date to June 1 and the May 15 notice of termination to August 1. The findings of SB 559 explain why lawmakers have repeatedly sought to shift the layoff timelines:
Existing law requires school districts to issue preliminary reduction in force notices by March 15 and final reduction in force notices by May 15 of each year. As a result of this existing law and in order to guarantee that it will remain fiscally solvent, school districts have relied on the January budget proposed by the Governor to determine the number of layoff notices that it must give to its employees. This results in thousands of teachers receiving notices that are later rescinded when more accurate information is available in May when the proposed budget is revised and later when the annual Budget Act is enacted. According to the Legislative Analyst Office, this practice unnecessarily costs taxpayers $706 per teacher, amounting to millions of dollars annually that could be spent in the classroom and employing teachers. Given the evidence that the existing statutory deadlines hurt schools across the State of California, it will be more productive for the schools, pupils, and teachers if the deadlines for giving notice to certificated employees that the school district may terminate their services are extended by two and one-half months.
KMTG will continue to track the progress of this bill and issue updates as developments occur.