Approximately 50 percent of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) teachers who received preliminary pink slips earlier this year will be back at school this fall.
The SDUSD Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to rescind layoff notices to nearly 500 teachers. Many of those teachers are physical education and music teachers, according to a statement from the school.
Board President Richard Barrera says the savings from educators who took early retirement made it possible to save those jobs.
Among those smiling ear to ear in the gallery was Lauren Brill. The Kit Carson Elementary teacher just found out she'll keep her job next year.
“I'm feeling relieved, honored and humbled, but I am hoping that people that have not been rescinded can be rescinded as well,” Brill said.
The vote comes more than two months after the district first handed out preliminary layoff notices to 958 teachers.
Of those notices, 371 were final notices sent to probationary teachers, or recently hired teachers. Most of these teachers will likely still face layoffs, according to the district.
The remaining 581 pink slips went to other teachers in March. Of those remaining slips, only 96 will receive final layoff notices.
More than half the teachers -- 485 teachers -- once thought to be facing layoffs will now return to school in the fall, according to the district.
Those instructors include physical education teachers at Birney Elementary School and Crawford High School, as well as the music teacher from Pacific Beach Middle School.
The decision prompted a standing ovation from teachers, parents and community members.
Unfortunately for some teachers, their jobs are still on the chopping block.
"It makes you feel like you are a number on the list and they are going down the list and it's heartbreaking," Zamorano Elementary School Teacher Hayley Champime said. "I don't want to go anywhere else. I love my school. I love my school community."
Since the start of the year, 528 teachers took advantage of an early retirement plan, raising the number of retirees this year by 14 percent. In a typical year, 150 SDUSD teachers retire, the district said, and all but 10 retirees will be replaced.
"Those educators are going to be needed in classrooms," San Diego Education Association President Lindsay Burnham said. "You need to do it now instead of putting students' families and schools through this turmoil."
Last month, board members voted to get rid of a plan to lay off some of the district's librarians. On May 16, the Board will vote on the district's third interim budget.