The San Francisco teachers union criticized the school district this week for shielding 50 temporary and intern teachers from layoffs while issuing pink slips to more than 400, many of whom have seniority.
The 50 teachers are posted at schools in the Mission and Bayview Superintendent’s Zones, a designation set up by the district to funnel extra resources to schools that serve primarily low-income black and Latino students.
The protected employees consist primarily of “academic acceleration teachers,” who focus on bringing up test scores, and “instructional coaches,” who work with classroom teachers. The positions are funded by the district’s federal School Improvement Grant, which runs out after next year.
“Part of the concern is that the seniority skip and the disruption that’s causing in the district is to save jobs for just one year,” said Dennis Kelly, president of United Educators of San Francisco.
School district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said that all but six of the teachers who would be skipped have full teaching credentials. The other six are intern teachers who staffed hard-to-fill positions, such as bilingual education.
Blythe said whether the federally funded teachers would remain employed after the grant money runs out in 2013 would depend on their seniority, district needs and the state budget.
Union officials maintained that it was unnecessary for the district to lay off so many teachers, especially since almost all layoffs could be rescinded by the time the school board votes on a budget.
A recent report by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the average layoff notice costs a district $706 for legal fees, human resources costs and mailings.
The number of workers who receive layoff notices and the number actually laid off differs year to year
2012*: 514 school employees who received layoff notices
2011: 403 Received layoff notices; 22 Actually laid off
2010: 912 Received layoff notices; 0 Actually laid off
*As of March 27
Source: United Educators of San Francisco