From July 2 to August 15 of this year, school districts have an unusual second opportunity to conduct certificated layoffs in order to address budget gaps. Section 44955.5, an infrequently invoked provision of the Education Code, applies in any year when the enacted State budget provides for an increase in the net revenue limit of less than 2%.
On June 27, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed the State budget. The budget includes an increase in the cost of living adjustment of less than 2%, thereby triggering Section 44955.5. Section 44955.5 authorizes the governing board of any school district to lay off certificated employees, including administrators, where the board determines that its total revenue limit per unit of average daily attendance for the fiscal year has not increased by at least 2 percent, and that it is therefore necessary to decrease the number of permanent employees in the district.
The statutory period for layoffs under Section 44955.5 begins five days after enactment of the annual budget and ends on August 15 of the same year. Thus, if a school district chooses to lay off certificated employees during this time, the process must be completed before August 15, 2012. Section 44955.5 permits the governing board to adopt a schedule of notice and hearing. With that exception, however, districts must comply the generally applicable layoff procedures set forth in Sections 44951 and 44955.
If you have questions about these layoff procedures, you should consult counsel. You are welcome to contact any one of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore’s offices.