Education Week's Stephen Sawchuk reports on the consequences repeated annual pink slips have on teachers, students, and our educational system. He writes:
This year was not the first in which Monica Iñiguez, a 4th grade teacher at Noble Avenue Elementary, in Los Angeles, received a pink slip.
But it is the first year that her husband, a teacher in a nearby middle school, also received a pink slip, the first year they’ve been in escrow on a house, and the first year she has doubts about whether teachers will agree to furloughs to stave off cuts, as they have in prior years.
And she is concerned about the frustration of her colleagues at her school, located in the heavily Latino North Hills neighborhood: Nearly half the school’s 52 teachers have received pink slips.
The situation has made it hard to keep morale up in the 1,200-student school, where teachers attribute recent increases in student achievement to teamwork, long hours, and hard work.
“Last week, I had a moment where we had to have a grade-level meeting, and I really didn’t want to be there,” Ms. Iñiguez said. “I thought, why am I going to go through all this data analysis if I’m not going to be there in the fall?”
Worse, one wonders just how many pink slips these teachers will receive before they decide to give up on the profession. Who are going to be the veteran teachers 10 years from now when the baby boomers are retired and the teachers we've been training have gone elsewhere because of the pink slips and the lack of support they are receiving?
Our failure to invest in our schools has real consequences. Not just this year, but for years–and perhaps a generation–to come.