Glendale Unified School District will eliminate between 60 and 80 teachers, officials said. In a 4-1 vote last week, school board members chipped away at a projected $18.5-million deficit in 2011-12 by increasing elementary school class sizes. The move saves the district $10 million in 2011-12, but also creates a surplus of teachers, district officials said.
“Teachers tell us things will be all right,” Melody said. “But I think we’re going to be disappointed [next year].”
Many students said they were familiar with the fiscal crisis facing California. But they didn’t know about the core issues facing the state, or how they affected school districts and their revenue. Whatever the reason, they said, they were angry their teachers were going to have to pay the price.
“They said new teachers will be laid off because they are new,” eighth-grader Erick Azarian said. “That sucks.”
Teachers and administrators said they weren’t convinced the rally would make Toll the UC Berkeley of Glendale Unified, but Anni Pakradouni, a seventh-grade English teacher, said she was pleased to see the peaceful student activism.
“I think it’s a great thing for them to speak up about things they care about,” she said. “As long as they’re safe, children have a right to exercise their freedom of speech.”
Sara Amirian, an eighth-grader and student body president, said her teachers haven’t addressed the layoffs directly, but have acknowledged the likelihood of a few missing faces next year.
“To see them let go is really sad,” Sara said. “We can let them stay by cutting salaries. I’d rather cut salaries than have no job at all.”
Glendale Teachers Assn. leaders have proposed implementing annual furlough days, which they’ve presented as a roughly 2.7% salary cut.
The district declined that offer, arguing it did nothing to alter the long-term fiscal picture of rising costs and declining revenues.
As soon as the bell rang Thursday, students began distributing homemade signs to classmates in the quad. They stood on the curb, eliciting honks from passing cars and cheers from Hoover High School students across the street.
“It’s good to see the kids supporting their teachers and doing it tastefully,” said Principal Paula Nelson. “They are being careful, which makes me happy.”
Eighth-grader Paola Villanueva said the rally was a success, but she wasn’t sure what would happen next.
“I hope it works,” she said. “It might help, and the teachers could use it.”
Get in touch MAX ZIMBERT covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3215 or by e-mail at email@example.com.