The Board of Education this week approved layoff notices for 755 positions, including K-12 teachers, counselors, social workers, assistant or vice principals, and adult school educators. The notices are part of the Long Beach Unified School District’s ongoing effort to balance its budget in light of unprecedented state cuts to education funding.
“This is probably the worst day of my professional career,” Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Steinhauser said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “This is truly the fault of Sacramento and their abandoning of public schools in this state.”
Ever since Steinhauser became superintendent in 2002, LBUSD has cut its budget each year, with the exception of one year.
“The time has come to tell Sacramento that this has to stop,” Steinhauser said.
The school district is strongly pushing state and federal policy makers to provide complete flexibility to LBUSD so that it may use its increasingly limited funds as it sees fit, rather than follow archaic mandates established by lawmakers hundreds of miles away, the superintendent said.
The school district had hoped for an early retirement incentive to lessen the impact of layoffs but announced that insufficient numbers of teachers signed up for the plan.
State law requires certificated layoff notices to be received by March 15, and final notices to be received by May 15. The number of final notices will depend on factors such as retirements, resignations, the state budget and concessions in bargaining.
The list of layoff notices is in the Feb. 16 school board agenda available. The school district on Feb. 10 distributed information for employees affected by layoffs.