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SD School Ends Year With Protest

— The last day of classes at Del Cerro's Hearst Elementary School started with teachers, students and others rallying outside the school building and chanting "save our teachers."

Aired 6/12/12 on KPBS News.

The last day of classes starts with protests at one San Diego school

Teachers, students and others protest teacher layoffs outside Hearst Elementary School, June 12, 2012.
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Above: Teachers, students and others protest teacher layoffs outside Hearst Elementary School, June 12, 2012.

With more than 1,500 teacher layoffs set to go into effect June 30 it isn't clear what the classrooms San Diego Unified students return to in the fall will look like.

Late last week San Diego’s teachers union agreed to limited bargaining with the district to bring back at least some of the laid off teachers.

But those protesting outside Hearst want to keep the school's six laid off teachers without foregoing scheduled pay raises or continuing five furlough days.

“If we have the support of all of our parents and the students I think we can actually get the word out and put the heat back on the board and show them that this is not what we want,” said Amy Varas, one of the school's teachers who has not been laid off.

Until last week teachers union leaders said the district’s budget numbers were unreliable. After a review by the California Teachers Association they said it was clear the financial challenges creating the district’s $122 million budget deficit for next year aren’t going to disappear.

Comments

Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 12, 2012 at 3:19 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

"After a review by the California Teachers Association they said it was clear the financial challenges creating the district’s $122 million budget deficit for next year aren’t going to disappear."

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That is the first intelligent thing I have EVER heard the CTA say! Are they finally taking off their blinders and viewing reality?

Either that, or the union recognizes they have lost a lot of public support and need to at least appear conciliatory.

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Avatar for user 'sdfrank'

sdfrank | June 12, 2012 at 9:08 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

I am a laid off teacher and I am of two minds on this issue. I spent years in the computer industry before choosing to take a 50% pay cut and return to teaching. I love teaching and feel it is in the children's best interest for the teachers to give in and take less money. These are extraordinary economic times so I see why it seems to make sense to negotiate. On a personal level, I love teaching and want nothing more than to continue in my profession. I am not here for the money, obviously, and will make due with out a bunch of stuff I don't need. In addition, if you work, you are poor, so why quibble over a ten thousand here or there. San Diego's kids are awesome, if you haven't met them you are missing out on what I would argue are the best kids in our country and of course therefore the world. Go USA. They really do deserve the best.

Unfortunately, the California public simply doesn't value education. and they have the right not to. We are Americans, we don't have to value anything we don't want to. We will not pay more taxes. Not for roads. Not for hospitals. Not for orphans. Not for old people. Not for the kids in our community. We are not "The Greatest Generation". We are not our fore fathers who built temples to education, the highway system, and famously put a man on the moon. Visit a school site some time, we are a public who schools their children in parking lots full of movable trailers.

Most teachers have never taken economics 101. They do not understand that they should not do anything for anyone unless there is a monetary incentive. They are soft hearted souls who love their students more than money, more than their own well being. They are being emotionally black mailed to give a few dollars more. To keep their friends from going hungry. To keep their kids from being packed into classes of 30 to 50. These fools are acting without being incentivised. You can't spend the joy of learning. The bank doesn't accept broadened horizons.

Maybe the union should be in the business of informing the district how much it costs to employ a teacher and that's all. You don't argue with McDonalds that you don't have money for the happy meal so they should give you 10 happy meals for the price of 8. You choose how many happy meals you want to buy and you purchase them at the price McDonalds charges. You can choose to buy them or not. McDonalds can choose to raise or lower the price or not. The SDEA should only be concerned with the determining the living wage for a teacher in San Diego. How many living wages to purchase is the choice of we the public. Though emotionally painful in the short term maybe it is better to have 5000 living wages than 7000 working poor.

I am of two minds on this issue. I don't have an opinion.

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