Rally Against Teacher Layoffs at Desert Sands
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
70 teachers got their final layoff notices handed to them Tuesday.
Later Tuesday night, more than 100 people rallied for them at Desert Sands Unified School District.
Tuesday was the deadline for those 70 teachers to get the final layoff notices from the valley's largest school district.
And at the rally, emotions ran high.
"The California legislature cares more about ducks and geese than our children," said one teacher.
"it's just so horrible, that we're supposed to care for our students, and be there for them, and we're not," said another teacher.
These are just a few of the teachers getting layoff notices.
Adam Emmer, a teacher at Summit Continuation High School, received a pink slip last year, was brought back, but now is back on the chopping block.
"It's a long time to be left in limbo, especially in these times, tough to sit there and go I don't know how I'm going to pay my mortgage, or how I'm going to feed my kid, or not having health insurance, I mean it's tough," said Emmer.
The school district and teacher's association are negotiating.
"We're asking for five furlough days to begin with, and five days would allow us to bring back every single laid off teacher," said Desert Sands Assistant Superintendent of Personnel, Sherry Johnstone.
But the teacher's association says the cuts need to be fair.
"It's just more and more and more, and class sizes are going up, the teachers are doing twice as much, three times as much work with less money," said Desert Sands Teachers Association President, Mona Davidson.
The district is trying to make up a 7.5 million dollar shortfall.
"Custodians, secretaries, management, everybody, confidential, everybody gives up pay to keep all the jobs," said Johnstone.
Students cheering for their teachers, and some teachers say public education is under attack.
"There are people who would like to see our schools taken away from the public sector and privatized, and for me that is really an attack on our essential democracy," said Lincoln School teacher, Gabrielle Jackson.
The district and teachers have two more negotiation sessions, the last one June 5th.
Overall, Desert Sands approved 130 layoffs earlier this month -- 70 teachers and 60 staff positions.