Protesters urged the San Diego school board not to eliminate district jobs.

San Diego district proposes cutting 850 jobs to close budget gap

Feb. 22, 2017
District says it is facing a $124 million deficit in its $1.3 billion budget.

The San Diego Unified School District plans to eliminate 850 positions to close a $124 million budget deficit.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the planned cuts would include elementary PE teachers, arts instructors, police, counselors, library clerks, food service workers, custodians and occupational therapy specialists and their assistants. Cuts also would be made to licensed mental health clinicians and dozens of noon duty assistants, Head Start employees and library assistants, plus workers in many other positions.

The school board is not scheduled to vote on the proposed cuts is scheduled until Feb. 28.

Superintendent Cindy Marten has said that cuts to the district’s $1.3 billion 2017-18 budget would come first from the top and wouldn’t affect classroom size or vital programs.

On Tuesday, employees, parents, students and community members came to a board meeting to object to the cuts. In a closed session before the meeting, the board authorized layoff notices to 79 certificated administrations, including central office administrators, vice principals and principals who have been receiving support or are on special assignment. The board also voted to release all temporarily certificated employees at the end of the school year.

The board also voted to create an early retirement plan, cut Marten’s salary by 5.6 percent for a reduction of $15,400 from her $275,000 salary and cut their own annual compensation of $18,000 by 5.4 percent.

Under state law, the district must notify by March 15 all certificated employees who may lose their jobs this year. The layoffs may be rescinded later because the notification deadline is months before the adoption of the final state budget, which could have more money for education than predicted.

Video from KSWB-TV:

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