District Prepares for the Worst with Layoffs
LA QUINTA-- Parents are reacting today to the news of more teacher layoffs. Desert Sand Unified School district voted last night to send 82 pink slips out.
"Sadly this has become a fairly routine event the district, laying people off, and it hurts the students," said Mona Davidson, President of the Desert Sands Teachers Association.
Eleven preschool teachers are getting notices, but elementary and high school teachers will be feeling the worst of it: 55 will get notices. With fewer teachers, students will see more packed classrooms.
"They need more of that one on one time then them just being thrown into a group," Kimberly Parra, a district parents, who says she worries about her kindergardener in a crowed classroom.
The 3-2 school board vote in favor of the layoffs comes just in time in for the March 15th deadline. That's when disctricts are requied to notify teachers of possible layoffs.
"[It's] is way too early to know anything because we won't have a budget until May," said Sherry Johnstone, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel for the Desert Unified School District.
The final word will come down May 15th. Teachers with less time on the job could be sent packing.
"It's kinds of hard because we're teaching to, along with having to bring in income for your kids and doing everything else you have to do, it kind of makes it hard on both parents and teachers," said Melissa Bates, a district parent, who worries her child won't get as much attention in the classroom.
In past years, when the district has laid off teacher it's rehired them, and they hope to do so again this time around. The district could look to furlough days to close the budget gap.
But what they're really hoping for is more money from the state. Governor Jerry Brown wants voters to approve a tax hike to fund schools on this November's ballot.
"We've had millions and millions of dollars in cuts...and if the Governor's initiative doesn't go through, another 9 million," said Johnstone, "we have to prepare for the worst."
Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.