Education

SF school officials shield teachers from layoffs

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In this economy, teachers have had to worry about their jobs. However, in San Francisco Tuesday night school officials voted to shield some teachers from the threat of layoffs. The layoffs are traditionally based on seniority, but the board voted to give some teachers immunity based on where they teach.

"We really are left with no options, but to pursue something like this," said Superintendant Carlos Garcia.

With 485 teaching jobs on the chopping block, math and science teachers will be spared, but the San Francisco Unified School Board also voted to give other teachers immunity.

"I'm here to really advocate to keep the zone teachers and to keeping them integral to our community, to the relationships they've built with each other," said Maria Dehghanfard from Horace Mann, a K-8 school.

Teachers in the designated Superintendent's Zone, which includes 14 schools in the Bayview and the Mission districts will also be saved. That's because these historically underperforming schools are finally showing improvement.

"The specialty of our program demands that we have that continuity," said Christina Velasco, the Bryant Elementary principal.

But other schools like El Dorado Elementary share the same demographics and underperforming test scores. Now they will lose teachers simply because they're located just outside of the Superintendent's Zone.

"I'm asking you to support all schools in need, not just the ones labeled in the zone. That's not equitable and that's what you're asking for," said Megan Caluza, an El Dorado Elementary teacher.

"Professional development in the zones is lessoned when the opportunity is not available for others. When you choose social justice for some, you choose social justice for none," said Dennis Kelley, the president of the teacher's union.

So far during this recession, San Francisco Unified has not had to lay off any teachers, but by law, the district has to notify them of any potential layoffs. The 485 layoff notices will go out before March 15th.

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Tags:
school cuts, school layoffs, education, alan wang
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