Parents and teachers joined together on Tuesday afternoon before a board meeting at the Education Center in University Heights to protest layoff notices that could end preschool education in San Diego Unified School District.
More than 80 percent of teachers in the district’s program for students younger than 5 years old have received layoff notices – with 150 out of 185 instructors facing unemployment.
The program helps students from low income San Diego families prepare for kindergarten.
Protesters have cited the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has found high quality early education is crucial for children’s health.
“Should we have more enrollment or should things change, there's a possibility we could receive a penalty from the state in our funding,” said SDUSD Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson. “So it's a precautionary application we need to take to protect the district's budget but it's not that we expect to exceed the limit, we budgeted below that limit.”
Protesters said they hope to send the message to California legislators that early education is necessary.