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San Diego Schools Will Issue Hundreds of Final Layoff Notices

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Aired 5/11/11

More than 700 San Diego public school teachers will get final layoff notices next week. The notices go out about a month before the district’s final budget must be completed.

— Board of Education trustees approved sending final layoff notices to about 760 teachers by a vote of 4-to-1 after nearly an hour of debate Tuesday night. Board members could not agree on alternative plans floated by board president Richard Barrera or trustee Sheila Jackson to reduce the number of notices that will go out next week.

Trustee John Lee Evans supported sending the notices. But, said the district may be able to reinstate teaching positions once Gov. Jerry Brown releases his revised state budget proposal.

“We still have a chance to fight. We still have a time to look at this and figure this out – but we need to look at it all at once because there’s so many things. We said what about this decision? What about this decision? Doing it in isolation doesn’t work – we have to have a full package.”

District staff say the teacher layoffs will save city schools about $66 million next year. That’s just part of at least $115 million in reductions the district must make.

The necessary cuts are based on the budget proposed by Brown earlier this year, which included extensions of temporary vehicle license fee and sales tax increases. Since Brown was unable to gain support for a special June election on the extension, further cuts to state spending are likely to be part of his revised proposal, which is expected out next week.

San Diego Unified's final 2011-12 budget must be ready for a first reading June 15 -- a month after the governor's May revise is issued and probably long before state legislators reach an agreement on state spending.

While the board's debate centered on teacher layoffs about twice as many non-teaching employees of the district will also get final layoff notices.

In a special meeting Tuesday morning, San Diego trustees also directed staff to bring back a proposal to phase out all of the district's non-mandatory student transportation over the next two years. The district must provide busing for special education students and those whose neighborhood schools have been designated as failing under No Child Left Behind.

Those students account for just over 6,000 of the more than 17,000 kids the district bussed this year.

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