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Think Pink

When it comes to schools, New Yorkers are kind of like Texans – we think that everything is bigger here, including our problems. And most of the time, we’re right.

But occasionally something comes along that indicates that other systems are just as screwed up as ours is. And that deserves some grim recognition.

Today is “Pink Friday” in California. Due to the state’s financial troubles, public schools, colleges and universities are facing more than $11 billion in reductions in state funds in next year’s budget. Today is the deadline for school districts to notify teachers and other personnel that they may be laid off as of June 30th.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Unified School District’s School Board authorized sending pink slips to about 2,000 permanent certified elementary teachers, and 3,500 non-permanent certified teachers in various fields.

Yesterday afternoon, skoolboy received the following e-mail from a “Recruitment Specialist” for the LAUSD.

Dear Teacher College Instructor,

The Los Angeles Unified School District will be interviewing interested certificated Math, Science and Special Education Teachers for the 2009-2010 school year on March 26-28, 2009 in New York, NY.

Please share this information with your students so they may take advantage of this opportunity to explore the merits of teaching in Los Angeles.

Please encourage teachers and those earning their certification this year to contact me for interview information as soon as possible–interviews are limited.

“Interviews are limited.” I bet they are.

Update: I received an e-mail on Friday evening from the LAUSD Recruitment Specialist:

Although we are always eager to meet with credentialed teachers to discuss the benefits of teaching for the Los Angeles Unified School District, budget uncertainties have necessitated recent Board of Education decisions that may significantly alter anticipated needs for the upcoming school year. Therefore, regrettably, we request that you please disregard previous emails inviting students to meet with our representatives. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you or your students and look forward to working with you in the future.

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