San Francisco

San Francisco School Board Approves Hundreds of Teacher, Staff Layoffs

Officials say staff cuts are necessary as the district is facing a $125 million budget deficit

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The San Francisco Unified School District board Tuesday night approved cutting about 300 staff positions, including 151 teachers, to balance a $125 million budget deficit.

Tuesday’s meeting provided clarity into the district's plans for preliminary layoff notices expected to go out to hundreds of district staff later this month.

The district staff cuts approved include 151 teachers, counselor and social workers; 51 top-level managers and 62 additional staff members.

The preliminary layoff notices are expected to be completed by March 15. But a district spokesperson says not every employee who receives a notice will be laid off. Early retirement and resignation incentives are being offered with hopes of filling vacancies with existing staff.

District officials said they hope to see the number of proposed layoffs to decrease throughout the spring.

School board vice president Jenny Lam explained why the the cuts are crucial for the district.

"As hard and difficult and painful this is … because the alternative is there is going to be high risk with the state," Lam said. "We are in our seventh year, probably going into our eighth year, of declining enrollment, with a portfolio of schools that is really beyond our means."

Also approved in Tuesday night's meeting were bonuses for union teachers: two one-time bonuses of $2,000. Daily wages for substitute teachers and paraeducators also will increase substantially to promote higher rates of classroom coverage.

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