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.