Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Some of the most recently hired San Diego school teachers who were laid off in a round of budget cuts now find the jobs they lost are no longer available even as the district fills some teaching positions. More experienced teachers are in-line in front of them. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.
Ann Olson is a new teacher who got laid off over the summer. District officials say they didn't have enough money to keep her. But just this week Ann was told her old position has been filled by another teacher with more experience. Ann says she's upset and confused.
Olson: I don't know what to believe…(pause)…I just don't know.
Olson is one of about 200 new teachers who are caught in a human resource nightmare in the district.
The problem began before there was talk of layoffs.
San Diego Unified actually had more teachers than it needed late last year because attendance had declined.
Then in the summer, the Governor's proposed budget cuts resulted in the district laying off about to 200 new teachers.
Now, on the eve of the new school year, Superintendent Terry Grier wants to more bring back more teachers so he can reduce class sizes in elementary schools.
But instead of bringing back more recently hired teachers who had been laid off, the district tapped into the surplus of experienced teachers.
Olson says the disruption will hurt families and students.
Olson: Being able to get those parents to get to know you makes teaching those kids that much easier. You can focus on the child in the classroom more and you already built that relationship between the child, the parent and the teacher.
District officials sympathize but says their hands are tied because union contracts require they rehire teachers with the most seniority.
Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.