The SAUSD is considering laying off another 153 of their teachers




The SAUSD is cutting their school budget again, and considering laying off 153 of their teachers

The Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) is considering laying off another 153 teachers, according to the O.C. Register.  The district needs to cut $34 million from their budget.

At the same time the district is in the process of reassigning teachers due to the fallout from having six SAUSD schools placed on the state’s “persistently low performing” list.

How exactly are teachers at SAUSD supposed to be happy about working there under these conditions?  And will voters react by tossing out the incumbent school board members in November?  Two of them are up for reelection, including Audrey Noji and John Palacio. 

More importantly, what will these layoffs do to the quality of education, such as it is, at the SAUSD?  The teachers already have their backs up against the wall!  How much more bad news can they take?

I am told that the SAUSD School Board members are paid health insurance benefits.  Time to end those!  And time to cut their pay!  And are they paid a car allowance?  Time to cut that out too!

What about the administrators?  Time to cut their pay too, if they haven’t already done so!

And the district needs to think about finding other ways to cut their budget, such as going to a shorter school year.

What about the SAUSD’s huge budget surplus?  Isn’t it time to start using some of that?  I am told they have some ninety million in reserve!

And why is it that the Garden Grove Unified School District is considering laying off only 95 teachers when they have a larger budget deficit, of $59 million, compared to the SAUSD’s $34 million dollar deficit?

The Anaheim Union High School District has a larger deficit than the SAUSD too, at $35.6 million, and they are only proposing to lay off 136 teachers.  What gives?

These are drastic times.  Any ideas readers?

UPDATE: Santa Ana Educator’s Association President Susan Mercer says that no one is going to be laid off.  Yet the SAUSD told the Register that they are planning layoffs.  So who is lying?  I guess we’ll find out when the layoffs begin.  The district’s budget crisis is real.  Why Mercer won’t cop to this is anybody’s guess…

SECOND UPDATE:  I dug further into the SAUSD website, which is very difficult to navigate.  I found a presentation regarding their budget, which is to be given at this week’s School Board Meeting.  Click here to see that presentation. You can see an excerpt in the graphic above.

Per that graphic, it appears that they have found a way to cut almost all of the $34 million dollars that they needed to cut.  So why did they not share that with the Register?  They supposedly have to cut three million more from the budget.

The bigger concern is this item, numbered 18, in the agenda for Wednesday night’s School Board meeting:

18.0       Call for Public Hearing to Reopen Santa Ana Unified School District’s Initial Bargaining Proposal and Entire Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2010-13 School Years to Santa Ana Educators’ Association (SAEA)

What does this mean exactly?  Has Mercer told her troops about this?

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  1. I think that it is time that we get a petition going to fire Juan Lopez & Jane Russo. They are not supportive to any of the teachers. All they do is cut, cut, cut while they continue to count their perks. Let’s get a petition going to get them out.

  2. Yes, How much do those Robo Calls Cost? I get messages everyday from my kids schools. Those calls come from (213) If they call every student every night how much is the SAUSD phone bill?

  3. You know what…people were happy enough to vote Susan Mercer back into office so the chances of any petition signing is 0 to none. I don’t see anyone caring enough until they start firing and closing schools down. The people who teach in SA don’t care what really happens to the education there because when the day is over they all drive to better cities in their nice cars holding their $50,000 checks…start firing staff and maybe you’ll start seeing people care.

  4. I did NOT receive a RIF this year so naturally this post upset me. I contacted Susan Mercer at the Union and she said that it is absolutely “false”. The district already sent out the RIF notices and will not be sending more, so please do not take this OCRegister article to heart. I understand that is the source for Mr. Pedroza’s article.

    • Usually Given a RIF,

      I hope you are right. The SAUSD told the Register they were considering making these layoffs. That is undeniable. Why the administration would tell Mercer something else is a good question.

      The district is facing major budget cuts. All the school districts are. Unless Russo and the School Board are planning to finally dip into their reserves, they have to cut somewhere. Teachers are usually the first to go.

      Let’s see if Russo clarifies this to the press…

  5. Apparently SAUSD is terminating the high school course, Foods, the last remaining home economics course. Those Foods teachers with only a home economics credential have just been rif’d; some have taught here for 2 decades. Foods is a vocational course teaching skills for entry level into the foods industry: restaurant cook, catering, etc. It’s a shame. There’s a lot of good jobs in foods that can’t be outsourced overseas, but home-ec courses arn’t tested for a schools API scores and so are not relevent to those who live and die by API (academic performance index) and AYP (adequate yearly progress).

  6. Maybe they are talking about letting 153 classified folks go…just a thought. I hope not. You are correct, though…teachers will go first. I will never understand how an “underperforming” district can and “will” justify that they are supporting their staff and students by “increasing” class sizes. What kind of support is that? Adding “more” underperforming students to the classrooms will only create more of a monster than they already have on their hands. Let’s try to remain “positive” and “optimistic” in this dismal time and hopefully, Juan, Jane and Chad will NOT add even more students to each classroom when the entire district is on alert in (tiers 1, 2, and 3). Crossing fingers.

    • Usually Given a RIF,

      Me too! My kids all go to SAUSD schools. One is at Godinez. One is at John Muir. And the third is at McFadden. My fourth already graduated from SA High and is at FIDM now.

  7. Rep council was tonight. There’s nothing sinister about reopening bargaining — normal stuff. Biggest issue is health benefits. We’ve had 1st class benefits for years but annual double-digit cost increases are killing the district budget. We know it – they know it – what to do is the question. Of course district would like us to shoulder all rate increases. We would like a different insurance system that would lower costs, but require district to share its management, something they’ve been reluctant to do. So, we bargain.