SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The San Diego Unified School Board on Thursday voted to save hundreds of teacher jobs, but more could still fall victim to the budget ax as the district struggles to deal with a huge budget shortfall.
Based on the numbers, half of the pink slips originally sent out to teachers are being recalled. The district said about 150 teachers retire a school year. Now, more than three times that number are going to leave.
Lauren Martinez is a first grade teacher at Zamorano Elementary School in Bay Terraces. She found out she will get her job back.
"I can't stand in front of 24 kids with a cold, with a headache, with a pink slip and mange to do it. It's when I get home and I sit and I am thinking about my bills and I am thinking about my future," said Martinez.
One group present during Thursday's vote all went to college together, began teaching and working together at the same school. Only fifth grade teacher Hayley Champine remains on the chopping block.
"It's about being in my classroom with my school and my administrators and my parents and my students," said Champine.
As of Thursday, the school district continues to deal with a $124 million in cuts to meet state standards. The board approved 473 layoffs, but with 528 teachers taking early retirement - 485 jobs were recalled.
"Those educators are going to be needed in classrooms. You need to do it now instead of putting students, families and schools through this turmoil," said Lindsay Burningham, San Diego Education Association president.
The board warned not every teacher will get their job back, but teachers said ultimately students will pay the price.
The board president said the exact number of teachers who will be given pink slips will be known before the budget is approved at the end of June.
Instead of layoffs, the board approved furloughs for office-technical business services, para-educators and police officers.
According to the district, the move will save $9.7 million.