The “last hired, first fired” policy in some states has claimed the Teacher of the Year of the Sacramento City Unified School District in California.
The termination of Michelle Apperson for budget reasons is getting a lot of media attention, although I assume there are other Sacramento teachers with impressive credentials and awards among the 400 losing their jobs. The nine-year veteran is garnering headlines because she was recently named Teacher of the Year for the system.
According to News10/KXTV, where you can see an interview with Apperson:
Michelle Apperson just found out she was named “Teacher of the Year” for the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Despite that and the fact that she has taught at Sutterville Elementary School for the past nine years, she’s still losing her job due to budget cuts. She received her final notice in May.
“It hurts on a personal level because I really love what I do,” said Apperson. “But professionally, politically, I get why it happens.”
“I hate to see any teacher lose their job,” parent Kim Ochoa said. “But when you have teachers who are also winning awards like Ms. Apperson, they shouldn’t be cut.”
The district spokesperson Gabe Ross said who gets notice is not at the school district’s discretion, it’s mandated by state law. He also said that teacher layoffs are based on seniority, not performance. “It’s an awful situation,” Ross said. “It’s another sign of how education’s funding really needs an overhaul.”
About $43 million in cuts were made to the school district this year. That’s on top of the $100 million worth of cuts in the past four years according to Ross.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog