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Teachers Send a Message to State Lawmakers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Mark Leimbach
    Teachers and school staff held a public protest outside Chavez Elementary in Shelltown.

    Recipients of more than 1,000 pink slips from the San Diego Unified School District are preparing for the worst but are hopeful their voices will make a difference.

    SDUSD issued the pink slips earlier this month to help close an estimated $120 million budget gap. A spokesperson for the district says they're up against a wall -- forced to make painful cuts to jobs.

    Teachers, students and parents have been holding rallies over the last several weeks to share their concerns that layoffs that would mean fewer teachers and cause an increase in already overcrowded classrooms.

    Michelle Sanchez  has received three pink slips in the last four years.

    "It's incredibly disrupting and devastating, you don't know what the future may hold,” Sanchez said. "Do you hold out hope that you're going to be recalled back? When is that going to happen?

    "It's absolutely devastating if you're let go," she said.

    She joined a public protest Thursday outside Chavez Elementary in Shelltown.

    “We're here today not only to tell the school board to rescind layoffs but to save public education,” Sanchez said. “This is what the real fight's about."

    School counselors and health services at local schools are also in jeopardy.

    The pink slips are just warnings, for now. Many of the teachers who received them were facing the same fate last year.

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