Calif.'s 4th year of teacher layoffs spurs concern

By CHRISTINA HOAG | May 5, 2012 | 11:05 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Unified teacher Mike Newman sighed when he saw the now familiar certified letter in his mailbox last month — a pink slip, for the fourth year in a row.

A new term is being bandied about in California schools — "the RIFing season," which refers to the "reduction in force" letters notifying teachers they may be laid off at the end of the school year.

Some want the annual practice changed because it unnecessarily saps morale and incurs administrative expenses since most of those employees will not be laid off.

School districts sent out 20,000 warning notices in March, but if the past three years are anything to go by, roughly only a quarter of those teachers will actually lose their jobs.