Teachers Fight to Keep Their Jobs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Travis MacKenzie

    Four teachers at Southwest High School who could lose their jobs are getting lots of support.

    Fellow teachers, students and parents praised the teachers at a Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting Monday night.

    The district is considering whether to renew the contracts of four probationary teachers.

    The principal of Southwest High and the superintendent are recommending they be let go.

    Education code allows a teacher two years so that the school and the district can see their abilities, said Lillian Leopold, the district spokesperson. Before that two years is up, and the new teachers gain tenure, the school can evaluate their performance.

    "Once they become a tenured teacher, there's a whole other process before they're allowed to be released," said Leopold.

    One of the teachers, Jennifer Waters who has been teaching at Southwest High School for three years, said she was shocked to find out her job is on the line.

    "Professionally, I have no idea what's happening to me. We've received satisfactory performance reviews, I've gotten support from the students and the faculty and the community," said Waters. "From my perspective, I see myself as a successful teacher, my students tell me I'm a successful teacher. That's the only thing I know at this point in time."

    The school district says these teachers are not being let go because of budget issues, even though the district is dealing with a budget deficit.

    The board will vote whether to renew the contracts in a closed session. If the four teachers are removed, it is unclear if those four positions would be filled at the end of the year or if their classes would be absorbed by other teachers, according to the district spokesperson.