There was much relief when teachers who had received pink slips last spring were called back to work. But are local schools in for the same panic and tension again as the cuts in next year's budget loom perhaps even larger?
“The board hasn't taken it up yet, we're still trying to get through this year,” San Diego Unified School District spokesman Jack Brandais, said.
Brandais said the district has until March 15 to send out pink slips for the next school year.
Meantime, though, it must find ways to make up for a mid-year $40 million to $50 million shortfall.
It already has recalculated workers compensation pay, and has frozen vacant positions for four months. It also is considering closing administrative offices during Easter and reducing staff. Cuts that are still less than what ultimately might be needed.
There is still a lot of concern about what is happening in our schools but unlike last spring, there is optimism that there will be no teacher layoffs, according to Camille Zombro from the Teachers Union.
She said teachers and the community sent a loud and clear message to the board that cutting teachers is a last resort.
“I don't think they're being unrealistic,” said Zombro. “They're committed to doing this in a certain way and not just go through slash and burn and damage teaching profession and public education as a whole.”
The board has made it clear they hope to keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, according to Brandais.