For several years, March 15 has been a day of dread for new teachers. It's the deadline for being notified that schools might let them go in June due to anticipated budget shortfalls.
But this year, many fewer teachers than before are receiving the tentative pink slips. The California Teachers Association, which represents the majority of the state's K-12 teachers, on Friday estimated that just over 1,000 members would be told they risk being laid off.
Of those, nearly one-fifth are from one agency, the Los Angeles County Office of Education.
"We credit Proposition 30 with the sharp drop in pink slips, as well as the improving financial picture for the state," said Mike Myslinski of the CTA. Proposition 30 is Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure that state voters passed in 2012 to help fund schools.
The smaller California Federation of Teachers did not have an estimate of layoffs. But CFT spokesman Fred Glass said, "we're expecting much fewer." Its 120,000 members include K-12 teachers as well as community college and UC lecturers and librarians.
The pink-slip numbers contrast with about 3,000 teachers who received notices last year, and about 20,000 teachers in both 2012 and 2011.
The numbers don't include probationary teachers who are being laid off for performance reasons.
In the South Bay and on the Peninsula, schools are issuing few, if any, layoff notices. Redwood City Elementary notified just one teacher and a part-time counselor because of funding uncertainty, spokeswoman Naomi Hunter said. Neither East Side Union High, the largest high school district in Northern California, and the Franklin-McKinley School District sent out pink slips for budgetary reasons.
That's a big change for administrators, who sometimes agonized over the expense, lengthy layoff and appeals procedure and emotional toll of letting teachers go.
Not having to lay off employees this year, Franklin-McKinley Superintendent John Porter said, is wonderful. "I can sleep at night."
Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.