Thousands of Reduction in Forces (RIF) letters will be issued to teachers and other school employees in the Sacramento area by March 15, the Sacramento Bee reported this week. The Sacramento City Unified school board voted to lay off 700. San Juan Unified plans to lay off 616. Elk Grove Unified is laying off 239. Center Unified has plans to reduce its teaching staff by 10%. And Placer County officials say they will need to lay off 125 teachers.
Along with the layoffs (assuming they aren’t rescinded in May, as sometimes happens) will be mushrooming class sizes, program cuts, and several school closures. As terrible as it is for those teachers who will be forced to join the ranks of the unemployed, students will suffer from more crowded classrooms, less one-on-one attention from their teachers, less access to electives and special programs, dirtier campuses due to cuts in custodial staffs, shuttered libraries, and longer commutes if their neighborhood school happens to get closed.