INDIO- Victor Polanco and dozens more current and former teachers rallied Tuesday night to find a way to rehire recently laid-off teachers. The Desert Sand Unified School District laid-off nearly 120 teachers in May. Both Polanco and his wife lost their teaching jobs last month and neither have much chance of getting rehired.
“I’m really low on the list but that’s OK as long as we can save some teachers,” says Polanco.
These teachers want the district to take out $7 million of emergency funds to help rehire the teachers. It’s not just these teachers andfamilies that will feel the impact but also students. Class sizes will rise to 30 to 40 students per classroom. It could be too much for some teachers to bear.
“It’s hard enough now with 20 students andone teacher. To give each student the attention they need, it’ll be really tough,” says Polanco.
“The numberone thing that makes a difference in student achievement is a person in the classroom with those kids,” says DSUSD teacher, Carole Bailey
These teachers also worry the state budget crisis will force the district to lay-off more teachers. The teacher’s union and the district have discussed cutting teachers salaries through furloughs to cut costs. Some would rather the district cut programs instead of teachers.
“Teaching is not a job you get into to make a lot of money you do it because you’re a passionate about helping kids and I think that passion is very clear with them out here saying we really want to be teachers. It’s not just about money,” says Bailey.
These teachers will have another rally next Monday in Indio. They hope twice as many teachers will show up against future cuts.