Monday marked the last day of classes for some San Diego schools, but unlike students, many teachers don't see the summer ahead as a few months of carefree vacation time.
"Hopefully I'm back in front of a classroom teaching and inspiring," said teacher Ron Moya, who was one of more than 1500 teachers, nurses, counselors and other staff to receive final layoff notices from the San Diego Unified School District last month.
The teacher's union, San Diego Education Association, began negotiations with the district on Monday. The outcome of the negotiations could mean some of those teachers will return in the fall. But it may also mean pay cuts, furlough days or increased benefit costs.
Members of the union's bargaining team planned to meet into Tuesday night. On Wednesday, the union will meet with members, but no deal is guaranteed.
Both sides say they want to get a deal done sooner rather than later so teachers on hold about their futures can move forward.
"I'm hoping these eleventh hour negotiations will come through and they will resolve their differences and then we can all get back to work," Moya said.
The district has been hoping for such talks for months now. Since the budget crisis began, district trustees say schools are cut to the bone, and the only way now to have a balanced budget and to close a $122 million deficit was to lay off more than 1,500 teachers, nurses and counselors.
The district said the only hope to recall the final lay off notices, and bring teachers back to the classroom was for teachers to make concessions.
In a letter posted to the union's website Monday, the union's bargaining team wrote that although they still believe the district's mismanagement has created a burden for teachers, they can no longer ignore the impact of budget cuts.
The letter announced that the bargaining team had been selected, and would work try to nail down a tentative agreement with the board. The union members will then vote to approve and ratify it.
About 700 union member signed a petition criticizing the negotiations. The group of members calls themselves the Breakfast Club, and maintains the district is overstating its budget deficit.
Check back for updates on the negotiations.