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Layoffs? San Diego Unified Says Nay

Above: Young students raise their hands in a classroom.

Aired 6/17/14 on KPBS News.

San Diego Unified School District says they will reshuffle employees rather than letting anybody go in order to cover a budget shortfall affecting districts statewide.

Rumors have been swirling about teacher layoffs within the San Diego Unified School District for a few weeks now. Then the district clarified there won’t be layoffs: instead, they’re eliminating positions left vacant by outgoing employees.

Dr. John Lee Evans is a San Diego Unified board trustee. He said the district gave about 470 teachers a retirement deal this year to pare down its budget deficit. Now some of those positions won’t be filled.

"So that’s just important to understand – it affects the applicant pool, not the existing staff," Evans said.

The positions that will be filled will be reshuffled from within schools, he said.

Bill Freeman is president of the San Diego Education Association, the local teachers' union.

“I think that what the district is attempting to do is something that we’ve asked them to do for years, and that is use attrition to reduce the number of educators that we have, if there is a reduction required.”

But Freeman said he’s concerned that the deal was made too hastily.

The district made the changes after receiving the governor’s budget, which proposed deep spending cuts in exchange for directing more money into the statewide teachers’ retirement system.

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