Valley Teachers Fear Layoffs

January 27, 2009 11:56:43 PM PST
Sanger Unified called Tuesday's meeting to address rumors that layoffs were imminent.There's no getting around the grim state budget problems. With massive layoffs everyday in every industry, many teachers were wondering if they could be next.

Sanger Unified Superintendent Marc Johnson said, "Every dollar we invest in a child today will pay off is going to bring a 100 fold return in our future."

Close to 200 teachers know Sanger Unified is facing a seven million dollar shortfall, Tuesday night they came to find out just how bad the situation is and the likelihood it could affect their jobs.

"Our goal was to really bring as much confidence as we can to our employees that we are doing everything we can to protect them, to protect their jobs because we need them to make a difference for kids," said Johnson.

Some teachers who attended said the superintendent's remarks were comforting even though the cuts could be devastating.

Paula Kanagawa said, "I think that as employees of Sanger Unified, our administration really we have to believe is looking out for us and looking out for the students."

Administrators are hoping a federal stimulus package will help cushion the blow, one thing unique to Sanger Unified is more than half of all teachers are new to the profession.

"60 percent of our workforce is new so if the budget is going to impact sanger we have a lot of new teachers and they have questions," said Mark Coffman.

For now the future of these teachers lies in the hands of state and federal leaders. Anxiety still exists and will until the March 15th deadline to issue layoff notices.

The district is putting contingency plans in place, in case they are necessary. The superintendent says the way the budget stands every school stands to lose a lot.

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