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San Diego Unified Begins Layoff Process

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San Diego School officials plan to balance their budget by laying off 1,300 school workers, including 500 teachers. The rest are nurses, librarians, counselors and classroom assistants.

— San Diego School officials plan to balance their budget by laying off 1,300 school workers, including 500 teachers. The rest are nurses, librarians, counselors and classroom assistants.

The San Diego school board has avoided sending layoff notices over the past two years thanks to stimulus funding and a number of budget fixes.

But this year they’re not so lucky. The school board voted 4-to-2 to begin the layoff process. Under state law, public school districts have to notify teachers that their jobs are in jeopardy by March 15.

This is the fifth straight year of state budget cuts. Principals wielded the budget ax this year. Their suggestions were factored into the district’s overall plan.

San Diego Unified now faces a budget deficit of up to $120 million. Their operating budget is $1.1 billion dollars.

The school board also voted to cut bus routes and possibly close or consolidate small schools. Scaling back on magnet school programs, special education and music and art programs is also in the works.

The trustees, however, also voted for a Plan B. That hinges on a successful special election in June. If voters extend state tax incentives it would help protect education funding.

If that happens, many of the cuts voted would be restored.

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