Our local school districts made some tough decisions Tuesday night.
Palm Springs and Desert Sands Unified School Districts both voted on how many teachers will get final notices, saying they will not have a job next school year.
The decisions made don’t only affect the teachers and other staff who get laid off. They will also ultimately affect the students. Fewer teachers means larger classrooms and less one-on-one attention. This is the biggest concern for all educators.
The DSUSD board voted to hand out 120 final layoff notices. They originally gave out 160 but they pulled 24 on Tuesday.
They hoped to pull back as many as possible before the next school year begins. By state law, all school districts have to hand out final notices by May 15th, and, at this point DSUSD, just doesn’t have enough in the budget to keep all teachers.
They are currently exploring all options to try and keep some teachers. The district is trying to save money and spend carefully. District leaders say they are sad to give out the notices, but have to take action due to the economy.
“It’s terrible for us all. The teachers are part of our family. They are great teachers,” said Sherry Johnstone, DSUSD Personnel Services.
Before the board meeting at DSUSD, members of the Desert Sands Teacher’s Association held a rally outside. Members say getting rid of more teachers will have a devastating impact on education.
“We are here supporting our friends and co-workers who may get laid off,” says Tom Burbank, Desert Sands Teachers Association.
Palm Springs Unified also voted on Tuesday. They will give out 15 final layoff notices.
Coachella Valley Unified voted Monday night to layoff 114 teachers and staff members.
All school districts hope the budget gets better and they’ll be able to bring some of the teachers back before next school year.