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Appeal Hearings Begin For 1,000 Laid Off Teachers

Appeal hearings began today for more than 1,000 San Diego Unified School District teachers, counselors and nurses who received layoff notices.

Administrative Law Judge Roy Hewitt is listening to arguments, mainly about seniority issues, at Kearny High School on why employees with certification should not be laid off. The hearings are expected to last through Friday.

Layoff notices were sent to 1,666 workers last month because the SDUSD is trying to close a budget gap for the next school year that could top $100 million, according to district spokesman Jack Brandais. Not all of those who received notices are appealing.

"We don't want to raise class sizes -- we don't want to lose our quality teachers -- but unfortunately the state has decided to continue to cut education,'' Brandais told 10News. "This is now our fifth year of cuts.''

The notices have gone out to teachers several times in the past, with many of them eventually called back to work. Brandais told CBS8 that district officials are not optimistic that recalls will occur this year.

The laid-off employees who lose their appeals will continue to work through the end of the current school year.

Several hundred of the affected employees demonstrated in front of the school before the hearings started to protest the layoffs. The San Diego Education Association, which represents the district's teachers, has been pushing for changing the system that produces the pink slips and, sometimes, subsequent recalls.

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