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Library Money Will Spare Some SD Teachers From Layoffs

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Aired 4/13/11

Some San Diego teachers will get a pink slip reprieve. Money once slated for the new downtown library will instead save some elementary school teacher jobs.

— About $7 million originally slated for the new downtown library and charter school will be used to recall pink slips for some kindergarten through third grade teachers. School board members passed the measure after deadlocking over the same issue two weeks ago.

Board Trustee Sheila Jackson argued using the money once earmarked for downtown redevelopment in the classroom is a victory for students.

“The builders – and I’m not opposed to people who are building buildings and providing jobs – but they have taken money from students for far too long," she said. "And we cannot provide an educated workforce if the people who have the ability to take money from students continue taking money from students.

The school district issued more than 1,300 pink slips in March as part of its plan to cope with a $115 million cut to its state funding for next year. But state legislators are still wrangling over how to close California’s remaining $15 billion shortfall. The school district estimates it could face up to an additional $55 million in cuts.

Until the state’s budget crisis is resolved rescinding any layoffs is irresponsible, said Board Trustee Scott Barnett.

“To me it’s imprudent to make any decision of this sort at this time, given the fact that we’re facing another $50 million of likely cuts. We don’t even know what the governor’s May revise is," he said.

Just how many pink slips will be canceled with the library money hasn’t been determined.

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