San Diego Unified braces for massive layoffs - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego Unified braces for massive layoffs

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — The San Diego Unified School District faces a possible budget shortfall of more than $124 million dollars.

A number of solutions are on the table that include salary cuts for board members, layoffs for teaching positions and early retirement packages. 

"I love my students and I love my job, but with these cuts it's going to hurt us," said John Robinson, a food service worker at Lincoln High. "Most of all, it's going to hurt the school."   

Students with "save the arts" signs and emotional parents crowded outside the school board meeting on Tuesday night as they learned about 800 positions may be cut across the district.  

"We need our principal," said Angelica Cruz, a parent of a student at Audubon K-8.   

The superintendent Cindy Marten said starting in fall of 2017, the next school year, $124 million dollars will be cut from the budget because of high cost in pensions and declining enrollment.

"I want to assure parents that our students' needs will be met. We may have to redesign how we offer the service and look at other program models. We will keep these cuts as far away from the classroom as possible," said Marten.   

At a special school board meeting Tuesday night, the board considered layoffs that may include vice principals, support staff and the central office. Reduced work hours were also taken into consideration. 

"What is important, is that the decisions that are being made will ensure the financial stability in this district," said the executive director of the district's Family and Community Engagement Team, Stanley Anjan. 

The district assured parents that any actions taken will not impact class size. 

"Although there are cuts to our departments, potentially, there will not be an impact in class sizes and/or people working directly with our students," said Anjan.    

But that didn't reassure parents, especially a couple with two autistic children, as they hear cuts will also include positions in Special Education and P.E.  

"Our kids come first," said Carmen Ballina, a parent of a student at Audubon K-8. "We have a right to free and appropriate education and they are taking that from us."


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