San Diego Schools Consider Pink Slips For More Than 1,100
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Aired 2/29/12 on KPBS News.
San Diego Unified is considering laying off more than 1,100 teachers.
SAN DIEGO Last night, San Diego city school leaders saw the list of teaching, counseling and other certificated positions that will have to be eliminated next year if no other solution to the district’s more than $120 million deficit arises.
School board trustees called for employee unions to come to the bargaining table to avoid drastic layoffs.
City schools will have to shed about 1,600 counseling, nursing and administrative potions next year to balance their budget. Considering normal attrition and leaves of absence the district estimates that could mean about 1,100 layoffs.
Much of next year’s deficit is tied to current employee contracts which include the reinstatement of five furlough days and a pay increase.
Board President John Lee Evans joined other trustees in calling for employee unions to help close the budget gap without layoffs.
“We can’t do without these teachers and counselors," he said. "This is just ridiculous. And that’s why we’re talking about the other solution in terms of us working together. All of the unions, we need them to at least agree to sit down at the table, to represent their members and say ‘what can we do together to find a solution?’”
But negotiations seem unlikly to happen any time soon.
Teachers union President Bill Freeman said the district’s budget is based on uncertain state projections and he believes it would be irresponsible to give up pay increases teachers need to fix a problem that’s still poorly defined.
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