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S.D. School Board Approves 1,200 More Employee Cuts

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Aired 4/19/09

(Photo: Teachers and community members marched in protest of school budget cuts before the school board meeting on Tuesday, April 22. Ana Tintocalis/KPBS )
The San Diego Unified school board voted yesterday to eliminate 1,200 school employees jobs. That means teaching assistants, secretaries, custodians and other school workers will be out of a job by the end of this school year. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has the story.
 
San Diego Unified school employees spent several hours trying to convince the five school board members not to eliminate their jobs or reduce their work hours.

Custodians say schools will be dirty and unsanitary. Truck drivers say new textbooks and supplies will arrive late. And teaching assistants say kids will do poorly in class.

Union leader France Fiero says local schools will never bounce back.
Fiero: These cuts will perm hurt our schools and students. We are now down to the bar bones at our schools. How can we expect the school district to operate safely and efficiently?
The district is facing a possible 80 million dollar loss in state education funding as a result of the Governor's proposed budget cuts.      

School employees urged the board to stand up to the Governor by protecting these positions. But trustee Katherine Nakamura says the district cannot afford to do that.    
Nakamura: I know that feels good at the moment. But later when we run out of money in this district and our district is closed, and a state monitor has been appointed and out contract negotiations have been suspended...its not going to feel so good. 
Of the 1,200 jobs that will be affected, 240 are vacant positions.

It was just last month when the school board voted to send more than 900 teachers layoff notices. District officials say collectively these are the biggest cuts to in recent history.   
 
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News. 

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