Time is running out for the San Diego Unified School District and the teachers unions to make a deal to prevent looming layoffs.
The board of education, president and superintendent just finished a news conference Thursday afternoon urging the teachers union to negotiate concessions.
SDUSD is calling this the 11th hour of negotiations, the board president says if a deal is not reached within two weeks, more than 1,000 teachers could get pink slips.
“In this fiscal crisis, we have only two choices, to issue layoff notices to more than 1,600 teachers and certified staff, or we reach an agreement for employee concessions to keep the current level of staffing," said Dr. John Lee Evans, SDUSD Board of Education President.
Facing a $122 million budget shortfall for next year, the board is asking the teachers union for $50 million in concessions to avoid job losses.
If the district and the teachers union cannot reach a deal before March 15th, the board says they will have to lay off 1,600 employees, cut academic programs such as music and art, and have larger class sizes.
Assemblyman Marty Block had proposed emergency legislation to extend the March 15 deadline. The hope was that waiting for accurate budget information would eliminate the stress that goes along with giving out too many pink slips, only to rescind them when the budget numbers come in later in the year.
But the head of the teachers union did not support that legislation, and now the district must come up with a solution later this month.