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San Diego Unified Budget Cuts Spare Classrooms, But Not Their Frequent Visitors

February 22, 2017 2:29 p.m.

San Diego Unified officials have said they'd keep budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. Indeed, class sizes are expected to remain the same despite a $124 million dollar deficit. But many of the cuts impact support specialists who are familiar faces in the classroom. KPBS education reporter Megan Burks says they came out in force to Tuesday's board meeting to fight for their jobs.

Related Story: San Diego Unified Budget Cuts Spare Classrooms But Not Their Frequent Visitors

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

San Diego Unified officials have said they'd keep budget cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. Indeed, class sizes are expected to remain the same despite a 124 million dollar deficit. But many of the cuts impact support specialists who are familiar faces in the classroom. KPBS education reporter Megan Burks says they came out in force to Tuesday's board meeting to fight for their jobs.
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SDUNIFIED 1 (MEB) 0:50 SOQ

There were so many people at Tuesday's meeting that an overflow room was needed. With each public speaker you could hear roars of applause through the walls.

SDUNIFIED 1A (waterfall)
My name is Colony Brown, board-certified occupational therapy assistant. I love my job and the tremendous value that it brings to the quality of life to the most vulnerable of the student populations that we have.

Sabrina Hannon, PARA president. We are eliminating one-third of the noon duties that cover 200 schools. I’m a health tech. Even with the current number of people that we have covering children, I’ve had concussions, broken arms.

My name is Mariam Ali. I’m a parent of Crawford. I am here tonight for all these cuts that are affecting English learners.

The school board will decide next week whether to move forward with layoff notices. Board President Richard Barrera says with such large cuts to make, the fact that class sizes have been preserved speaks to the care Superintendent Cindy Marten and her team took with the plan.

Megan Burks, KPBS News