Despite protests from teachers, parents and counselors about looming lay-offs, the San Diego Unified School District board of education voted to eliminate nearly 1,000 non-teaching positions, and 150 pre-Kindergarten teachers.
It means class size could go up to 40, maybe even more students in some classes. Grades 4 through 8 and pre-Kindergarten education may be gutted altogether.
"I'm a very highly qualified early childhood teacher. I have a master degree I'm not a babysitter. That service may not be available for children and families, “said early childhood education teacher Terrya Pruitt.
About 80 percent of the pre-school teachers in this program received pink slips. The program serves students from low income San Diego families, preparing them for kindergarten.
The board also voted to eliminate 1,000 non-teaching positions which include classroom assistants, cafeteria workers and office clerks.
These massive cuts are in response to the state's ongoing budget cuts to offset its projected budget deficit of $122 million.
"The cuts the state has made to education go across the board - one of them is to our preschool funding and I certainly understand people being here today and expressing their opinions because what's happening to education in our schools is terrible and we all need to sent that message to Sacramento," Chief of Staff Bernie Rhinerson said.
We've been hearing about class sizes as high as 40, even 50, in some classes grades 4 - 8.
But, the district as a whole cannot exceed an average of 36.5 students per year.