SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education gave its initial approval Friday to an agreement with teachers that cancels layoffs of nearly 1,500 educators and defers scheduled pay increases.
"The real winners in this are the students of San Diego," board President John Lee Evans said before the 4-1 vote in the rare Friday afternoon meeting.
"We're going to have reasonable class sizes next year in our San Diego Unified School District by calling back all of our teachers, our nurses and our counselors."
Board Vice President Scott Barnett cast the lone no vote.
"This board is rolling the dice and gambling completely on a tax measure," Barnett said, referring to an initiative to raise sales and income taxes backed by Gov. Jerry Brown that will appear on the November ballot.
The agreement would defer scheduled pay increases until funding becomes available and make employees take five unpaid furlough days. The number of furlough days could increase by 14 if the initiative is defeated, which prompted Barnett to vote against the agreement because that would begin summer vacation about one month earlier.
Barnett said that instead of the additional furlough days the district could bid out health care services; cut administration, transportation and other non-school programs; and reallocate some existing expenditures.
Evans disagreed, stating every board member opposed increasing furlough days and would do everything possible to avoid it.
"We have cut administration. We have cut transportation. This is not a reasonable proposal," Evans said.
The San Diego Education Association, the union representing the district's teachers, will begin the three-day ratification process Sunday. The agreement is scheduled for adoption at Thursday night's board meeting.
The board also discussed its budget for the next academic year, which without the deal with teachers would have a shortfall of around $120 million.
Even if the agreement is adopted and the tax measure is approved, the district could face an $80 million deficit for the 2013-14 academic year, said G. Wayne Oetken, interim chief financial officer.
Total planned district spending next year will be about $1.8 billion, compared to about $2 billion this year. The next academic year marks the fifth consecutive year of funding reductions, Oetken said.
Final budget approval is expected Thursday.
A woman was transported to the hospital Sunday after being bitten by a rattlesnake on the cliffs above Torrey Pines State Beach, according to a spokesperson for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
There was a special reunion in La Jolla on Sunday with surf dog Ricochet jumping on a surfboard with quadriplegic surfer Patrick Ivison. Ivison surfed with Ricochet 10 years ago and they got to chance the ride the waves together once again.
Weekend temperatures were mild at 0-7 degrees above average. Mountain and deserts humidity will decrease through Monday as high pressure moves over Southern California.
The investigation continues into the tragic killing of a pregnant mother and her two young daughters in Colorado. The girls' father remains behind bars accused in their deaths.
At least two children had to be hospitalized Sunday as a result of a major crash that blocked multiple lanes of Interstate 8 in El Cajon.
On Saturday, the community of Alpine turned out to help the victims of the devastating West Fire. Dozens packed the Alpine Community Center for a special fundraiser hosted by News 8’s Shawn Styles.
A suspected drunken motorist in a Mercedes Benz on Sunday suffered "numerous serious facial injuries" in the Skyline community of San Diego when he crashed his vehicle into a house, which sustained minor damage, a police officer said.
Military officials on Saturday identified the San Diego- based Marine at the center of a search in the seas southeast of the Philippines that was called off earlier this week.
As the heatwave continues to torment people, shockingly high electricity bills seem to be an added annoyance this summer.