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 School Leaders Decry Lay-offs, Point Finger at Sacramento

​​With nearly 2,200 San Diego County teachers and administrators due to receive layoff notices in the coming days, education leaders from throughout the county called on the Governor and state legislature to fix California’s budget cycle and restore funding for public schools.

“This is an impossible situation for school board members,” said Penny Rantfle, a member of the Poway Unified School District board, and chair of the San Diego County chapter of the California School Boards Association.

“Anyone who runs for school board believes public education is vitally important,” Rantfle added, “yet year after year, board members must vote to cut programs, reduce services for students and lay-off staff.”
At a news conference at the County Office of Education, Rantfle was joined by County Superintendent Randy Ward, San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Bill Kowba, 2011 California Teacher of the Year Darin Curtis, San Diego County superintendents’ association chair (and Carlsbad Unified superintendent) John Roach and 9th District PTA Vice President Jay Steiger.

Each of the school leaders addressed the immense challenges that budget cuts have created. Ward cited the timing of the mandated budget cycle, which requires school districts to notify teachers of potential lay​offs by March 15, even though school district budgets are not due until the end of June. Further complicating school funding this year is the importance of the November election, when as many as three school funding measures may be on the ballot.

School districts can’t rely upon voter approval of those measures, Ward said. The County Office of Education’s Business Services Division has advised local school districts to budget $370 less per student for the 2012-13 school year.