Thursday, March 17, 2011

20,000 teachers get pink slips in CA

Source: Press TV

California has put an estimated 20-thousand teachers on notice that they will lose their job unless the state budget improves.

Teachers across the state are protesting the layoffs, saying the cuts will devastate California's already failing school system.

The layoff notices come as California leaders struggle to find a way to fill a 27 billion dollar budget deficit

State officials say the only way to deal with the deficit is to impose massive cuts across the board, including education.

But over the past three years, the state has already cut 20 million dollars from education and laid off an estimated 40-thousand teachers and school employees.

Experts say these reductions are a main reason why California no longer has a leadership position in education in America.

The state is also expected to limit the amount of money available for higher education.

It's estimated that public universities will lose more than a billion dollars if the deficit is not filled.

But the universities have already seen a triple-digit increase in fees over the past few years and many are already being priced out of college.

Los Angeles has the second largest school district in America.

More than 7-thousand L-A teachers have been issued layoff notices as the district struggles with a more than 400 million dollar deficit.

David Goldberg is an L-A teacher and a member of the California Teachers Association.

Goldberg says working together is the best way to improve the state's education system.

For their part, state leaders say the layoffs and cuts will only occur if the budget does not improve.

Leaders say California residents can prevent the layoffs by voting to approve a series of tax extensions.

They say these extensions would generate more than 12 billion dollars toward reducing the deficit.

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