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Hundreds Of SD Teachers Could Face Layoffs

Audio

Aired 2/21/11

The San Diego Unified School District has pinpointed teaching jobs that could get cut due to its projected budget shortfall. Elementary school teachers would take the biggest hit.

The San Diego Unified School District has pinpointed teaching jobs that could get cut due to its projected budget shortfall. Elementary school teachers could take the biggest hit.

District officials identified more than 900 positions that could get cut.

Roughly 700 of those positions belong to teachers, from kindergarten to high school. About 495 elementary teaching positions could be on the line.

Linda Zintz, communications director for the San Diego Unified School District, said elementary schools may be adversely affected because the district may have to increase class sizes in the younger grades to fill the district’s budget hole.

“Increasing class sizes … means there will be a need for fewer teachers,” Zintz said.

District officials are proposing to increase class sizes in the elementary grades from 24 students per teacher to 29.

Zintz said it is important to note that this is the school board's first look at jobs it might be forced to cut.

“These layoff notices are not absolute,” Zintz said. “It's just a warning, based in the reduction in our budget, that these positions may be eliminated or reduced.”

Public schools must notify teachers by March 15 that they might be out of a job.

The budget picture regarding state funds, however, will remain unclear until an expected special vote in June on whether to extend statewide tax increases.

In previous years, the district has rescinded most of the layoff notices.

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