Many with Selma Unified School District fighting to keep their jobs

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's an emotional plea from teachers, and many of their jobs with the Selma Unified School District could be on the line.

Baljit San Miguel says she could be one of the ones on the chopping block.

"I really wanted to make a difference in those kids," San Miguel said.

San Miguel is a math intervention teacher within the district and helps at least 80 students a day.

"A lot of these kids' parents are field workers, just like mine were," San Miguel said. "They don't speak the language just like mine did. It's hard for them. The only people they have to get help is us."

She and many other teachers were at Tuesday night's board meeting as school officials consider cutting programs and jobs. They say cuts are because of declining enrollment, overstaffing, and increased costs.

Officials say the deductions are needed to increase reserves and improve the budget.

"We're not here to cut programs to the detriment of students," says Superintendent Tanya. "However, some of the recommendations will include streamlining some of our existing programs to reduce redundancies."

Some of the potential cuts could be to certified PE teachers, all five intervention teachers and teacher librarians.

"It's not a salary conversation," says Rachel Starbuck with the Selma Unified Teacher's Association. "It's about making sure vital programs are maintained for our students, especially our most vulnerable populations."

The board will now have to decide what direction to take and will have to take action on February 25th.

It'll be a nerve-wracking couple of weeks for San Miguel as she hopes she'll be able to stay with her students.

"I'm hoping," San Miguel said. "I'm going to keep praying, but we will see."
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