SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Sweetwater School District teachers could face layoffs as early as Tuesday, but on Monday night, they and students showed up in force to a school board meeting.
“Principals are going to the district office [Tuesday] to pick up pink slips. Teachers are going to be called into their offices,” said Janel Bruan, a teacher.
Bruan believes she will be one of 237 educators who will receive a pink slip Tuesday morning due to her short time teaching in the Sweetwater School District.
Kris Elam is tenured but said Sweetwater District educators “are the lifeblood of our school. They bring in new energy and excitement and ideas and fresh perspectives.”
Elam has been at the forefront of the fight since the district’s vote to plug a $30 million budget shortfall from cuts to staff, learning centers, bus transportation routes, and laptops.
Just last week, students walked out of school to protest the district’s decisions.
On Monday, board members said they were not done making cuts as they dedicated the first half of the meeting to a financial presentation that discussed a drop-in enrollment, and as a result, a potential reduction in state funds.
Librarian Wendy Herrera asked and hoped the board would spread out the layoffs over a three-year period, or even spare educators’ jobs altogether by cutting from the top.
“We are coming up with plans to research. We really want to come up with plans. It is all for the students,” she said.
For now, any educator whose job is at stake will learn about it by March 15, the deadline for all California schools.