Posted on May 03, 2012
Educator layoffs across the county number more than 2,500, with nearly 1,700 in San Diego Unified. Almost one in four teachers in San Diego Unified received layoff notices. Layoffs would leave most schools without school nurses, counselors, or librarians, and with increased class sizes. The early childhood education program for students from low-income San Diego families would be gutted by layoffs of more than 80% of the teachers.
Teacher Rebeca Reynoso-Luna, who received a pink slip after 20 years in San Diego Unified, said, “I teach preschoolers, so I know the difference a strong educational foundation can make in a child’s long-term success. Laying off nearly 1,700 San Diego educators will hurt our kids and cost our community in the long run. It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.”
San Diego Unified claims layoffs are necessary due to a budget hole that itestimates could be $122 million. However, the district has a poor record of accurately predicting its budget. For example, while in March 2010 the district predicted a budget surplus of only $29 million for the 2010-11 year, its actual surplus was $117 million, a difference of $88 million. San Diego Unified doesn’t have a grasp on what its actual budget is likely to bebecause the state has not yet passed its budget indicating how much money San Diego will get.
“Teachers have already taken cuts to our pay and healthcare. But our school board needs to get real — if we want an excellent education for our children, we have to make teaching a good job that talented and motivated people want to have. Laying off teachers year after year doesn’t do that,” said teacher Guillermo Gomez. Gomez, who brought 50 of his students from Lincoln High School to march with him, has received a pink-slip each of his 5 years in San Diego Unified, only to be brought back to work each time.
The educators, parents, and students who marched demand that the school board rescind the layoff notices and save quality education in our schools.