Marathon Session Leads to SF School Break Through

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    TK
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    GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 05: Pupils at Willamwood High School attend a biology class on February 5, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland. As the UK gears up for one of the most hotly contested general elections in recent history it is expected that that the economy, immigration, the NHS and education are likely to form the basis of many of the debates. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

     A conceptual agreement reached by the San Francisco Unified School  District and its teachers' union Tuesday could reduce a portion of the  impending teacher layoffs, but about 200 teachers will likely still be out of  a job, district and union officials said today.

          The agreement was made just hours before a board of education  meeting Tuesday evening at which the board was ready to approve the sending  of final layoff notices to about 350 teachers and other staff members.
         
    After a 17-hour negotiating session between the district and  United Educators of San Francisco that lasted from Monday afternoon into  Tuesday morning, the two sides met again later Tuesday and hashed out the  conceptual agreement.
       
     If approved by UESF members and the board of education, at least  150 of those layoff notices could be rescinded, district spokeswoman Gentle  Blythe said.
         
    Blythe said the district is "happy we've been able to retain many  more teachers' jobs than we originally thought, but it's still a sad day for  public education in California."
         
    District and union officials are working to formalize the  agreement in writing, and the union hopes to have its members start voting on  the agreement by sometime next week.
         
    Susan Solomon, secretary for UESF, said "it sounds like we have  what could be something we can live with," adding that "a perfect settlement  would be no layoffs, but we recognize what difficult budgetary times there  are in California."
         
    Solomon said she is "confident and hopeful" that union members  will ratify the agreement if it is indeed similar to what has been described  in the conceptual agreement.
         
    The details of the agreement are being withheld until it can be  formalized and presented to the two sides.