Sweetwater gives pink slips to all its career-tech teachers

Despite a plea from one trustee that the move was premature, the Sweetwater Union High School District has issued pink slips to all teachers in the district’s Regional Occupational Program, which offers career-tech training, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Trustees voted 2-2, with one trustee abstaining, to give pink slips to 36.8 full-time equivalent positions. The newspaper did not say how many employees received the notices. According to board rules, an abstention counts as a positive vote.

“The district said it needed to eliminate the positions because funding from the state is so uncertain,” the newspaper reported. “No longer offering the program would save the district $3 million.”

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula would eliminate dedicated funding for career-technical programs. It would be up to school districts whether to continue funding them or use the money for other programs. A recent report from Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) concluded that removing all spending restrictions could lead to the dismantlement of important career-tech programs.

Those opposing the pink slips, including dissenting trustee Pearl Quinones, said the move was premature. Superintendent Edward Brand held out hope that “something can be worked out” to make the program available to students, the Union-Tribune reported.

Filed under: Career Preparation, College & Careers, Local Control Funding Formula, School Finance, State Education Policy

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3 Responses to “Sweetwater gives pink slips to all its career-tech teachers”

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  1. HunterGatherer on Mar 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm03/23/2013 12:03 pm

    • 000

    With only 1 in 10 of those entering high school ending up in a professional career requiring college level academic education, somebody needs to get a grip on just what type of high school education is best for the kids. No Child Left Behind virtually promises that 9 out of 10 will experience the “right to fail”. Only 20% graduate high school and college. All while the loan sharks are sucking at the college loan dollar bubble. The taxpayers do not get a good enough return on their investment when CTE is left out and neither do the students that are not destined to be the 1 in 10 that gets a decent paying job requiring the college degree. Half college graduates are underemployed. 40% of those entering high school drop out. These kids need training for their future and for the country’s future. They need advanced, work related skills that will enable them to earn, pay taxes and support the society.

    Moving CTE to the side is not the answer.

  2. el on Mar 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm03/14/2013 5:49 pm

    • 000

    So the proposed LCFF that I have in front of me says that CTE is funded at $215 per grade 9-12 student. Wikipedia says Sweetwater serves 42,000 high school students at 14 sites. That suggests that ~ $9m is generated for what the state intends to be CTE… significantly in excess of the projected savings from the layoff.

    I would also note that 36.8 FTE seems insufficient to serve a population of that size over 14 campuses, just off the top of my head. (~1100 students per FTE, meaning the existing program must only be accessible to ~ 10% of the students)

    Hard to say if this is just a shot across the bow/just in case move or if the district actually intends to dismantle the program.


    • John Fensterwald on Mar 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm03/14/2013 9:37 pm

      • 000

      el: You are correct regarding the exta $215 per student, although I don’t know if that is the final amount, after phasing in. Regardless, Sweetwater will continue to receive what it spends now on career tech, so the proposed layoff is puzzling.

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