SAN DIEGO - A battle is brewing over a controversial plan that would help save money for the San Diego Unified School District.
The plan would reassign one staff position from every school in an effort to reallocate resources for the upcoming school year. The district says the plan was in the works for more than a month, in a time where it is facing a $115 million deficit.
However, members of the San Diego Education Association tell 10News it was news to them.
"It's demoralizing. It's stressful. It's just not how we want to end this year at all," fourth grade teacher Adam Goldstein said. "This literally got dropped on our heads and the directive was have a decision by Friday."
Goldstein said his principal emailed staff members of the decision following a principal's meeting Monday afternoon.
"We're just concerned about the lack of communication that took place," said SDEA President Bill Freeman. "It's just disrespectful like this to happen this fast, this quick, with no notification in advance."
Dozens packed the board meeting Tuesday night to take up the issue with school trustees. Many made signs likening the decision to "The Hunger Games," with some signs that read: "It was decreed that each year, the various schools of San Diego would offer up in tribute one young teacher to fight for their job."
Moises Aguirre, who is with the district, told 10News the plan was not about cutting jobs.
"We're not doing layoffs. We're asking that our resources be directed at the classroom level," Aguirre stated. "Maybe it's not as timely as we would've liked, but we're trying to get these decisions in place by the time we finalize our budget that's coming up by the end of June."
Aguirre says 150 to 200 jobs would be affected. He says the district's priority is to keep staff members at their respective schools, though he adds relocation is a possibility.
"They're saying, 'Oh well, we'll get you a teacher three weeks from now once we figure out how to shuffle everybody around', but those teachers have no time to prep the classes, or know what they'll be teaching," said teacher Shane Parmely. "It's like 'The Hunger Games.' They all just want us to send somebody to sacrifice."