The Student Board Member speaks about the impact of the pink slips.
Written by AVA CHENG / Published April 1, 2011
Earlier last month, Temple City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Chelsea Kang-Smith proposed a plan to balance the District’s budget by offering pink slips to all school administrators. The pink slips were to give notice that these administrators have their hours reduced or be re-hired as teachers or lower-paying positions.
In response, over a hundred teachers spoke at the March 9 school board meeting to voice opposition to the plan.
The Temple City Voice recently spoke with Derek Wan, the Student Board Member at Temple City High School.
According to Wan, the threat of seeing long-standing administrators, such as Emperor Elementary School Principal Kathy Perini, be fired was enough to prompt hundreds of Temple City High School students to act.
“There was a petition where over five hundred Temple City High School students signed it in protest of the pink slips,” Wan said.
Wan presented the petitions, which accumulated 567 signatures, at that March school board meeting.
After hearing the opinions of the crowd, the School Board voted down two resolutions: 1011-20 and 1011-21.
The 1011-20 resolution would have reduced administrators work during the year, compensation, or halt any pay raises. This was voted down unanimously.
The 1011-21 resolution would have given the District the ability to reassign administrators to teaching or lower-paying positions. This was defeated by a tie. School Board Members Matt Smith and Janet Rhee voted in favor, while Robert Ridley and Joe Walker voted against it.
When asked how he first reacted to news about the pink slips, Wan responded, “When I heard I about it, I felt distraught because I went to school with our current middle school and high school administrators and I had the best experience I could have.”
Although the two motions failed to pass, fear has spread throughout the District.
“I think the idea that the administrators could be leaving left the district in shock and we have lost our sense of community,” Wan said.
He continued,” Even though the motions did not pass, the lingering feeling that someone we care about might leave causes the morale of the district to fall sharply.”
The School Board will continue to discuss the budget at their next meeting on Wednesday, April 13.