SD Unified Votes To Send More Than 1,600 Layoff Notices

San Diego Unified School District Facing $124 Million Budget Shortfall

More than 1,600 teachers and staff within the San Diego Unified School District will receive layoff notices as part of a $124 million cost-cutting measure approved by the school board Tuesday night.

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Parents, teachers and students rallied until Tuesday's board meeting. They begged the board not to move ahead with the deep cuts to payroll and 1,633 layoff notices for teachers and staff.

"How can our education enrich us when the people we rely on are leaving?" said Mission Bay High School senior Lindsay Martinez. "Those people are role models… people who care and are there to support us when we're leaning over the edge of failing."

The board emphasized what a difficult decision cutting 20 percent of the school district's elementary school teachers would be. However, they said it was necessary as part of a $124 million cost-cutting measure ahead of next year's $1.1 billion operating budget.

San Diego Unified School District board member Kevin Beiser walked out after he broke down.

"This is a reality that nobody in this audience understands," he said. "Nobody knows what it’s like to have to push this button and call your best friend and tell her what you're doing."

The vice president of the school board suggested postponing the vote but his idea did not receive any support from his colleagues.

Within an hour, the votes were cast. The school board voted 5-0 to approve what many came to try and stop: cuts and layoffs they felt were completely unnecessary.

"We don't need any more being reduced," said a student who opposed the cuts.

School board members plan on having all pink slips delivered by March 13.

Last year, 90 percent of the 1,400 issued were rescinded. People are hoping something similar happens this time.

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