by Eduardo Calderon | Staff Writer
With many Americans facing economic troubles, some of the top concerns are layoffs and unemployment. Now, schools are impacted by budget cuts, and teachers face layoffs.
“The reason for the layoffs is the budget; we have no money,” principal John Mehlbrech said. “Most of the money goes to paying teachers. The only way to cut back, and save a lot, is by eliminating positions; in retrospect you lay people off.”
Being laid off is not the same thing as being fired.
“When you lay people off, you don’t eliminate the person, but you eliminate the position. If there was a termination, then I would be getting rid of you but rehiring someone for the replacement position,” Mehlbrech said. “Teachers who are eliminated have their certification revoked – mostly they’re not teaching anymore. There are many ethical situations to revoke certification and poor performance is documented. If you’re laid off, you are not hurt credentially when you’re looking for another job.”
When teachers lose their positions at one school, they often look for openings at another school.
“When a teacher is laid off, they are still an employee of the district,” Mehlbrech said.
Specific factors are taken into account when layoffs are being considered.
“It’s usually the last one to be hired is the first one out. First hires are let go most likely,” Mehlbrech said. “There are exceptions such as if they have certain niches and ties, like they are coaches, sponsors, etc. Usually it’s the electives – there is more of an emphasis on core classes, so electives and extracurricular activities would be in jeopardy before core classes.”
Losing a job is difficult under current economic conditions.
“Finding another teaching would be near impossible; it would be really difficult to find another school or district,” English teacher Daniel Farias said. “It’s their life, it’s their family, they have bills, responsibilities, obligations, so it is difficult when someone loses their job during this economic climate. You never know how long you will be out of work and all of those factors.”