After passing a resolution to issue final layoff notices to more than 300 San Francisco Unified School District employees Tuesday night, all school board President Hydra Mendoza could say was a quiet "I’m sorry."
In all, Mendoza and the district’s Board of Education told 139 teachers, 13 administrators, 120 aides and 34 civil service employees their services would no longer be needed in the 2011-12 school year.
Though school district officials hope to rescind as many notices as possible, the continued dire state of the economy and California’s budget could make the layoffs permanent.
Superintendent Carlos Garcia said the cuts are painful to the district and the classroom.
"I hate this meeting," he said. "It’s deplorable. "But we don’t even know what our budget is going to be for next year. If we don’t take this action now, we limit our options if the budget comes out worse than expected."
The 306 employees will receive their notices by the state-mandated Sunday deadline.
In March, the district gave 140 teachers pink slips to warn them of layoffs; 139 administrators and 108 aides also received notices. By state law, the district is required to give notices of potential layoffs by March 15 and issue final notices in May.
The district has 3,323 teachers, 228 school administrators and principals and 1,713 classroom aides.
An estimated 350 final notices went out to employees in 2010, but most jobs were later restored, according to district spokeswoman Gentle Blythe.
The cuts to staff come in one of the worst budget years in recent memory. This school year and next, SFUSD has already cut $113 million from its general operating budget of $500 million. Because of a steeper decline in the economy, though, the district is anticipating a further reduction in funds by nearly $27 million next school year.
That estimate takes into account the $8 million the district expects to receive from The City’s Rainy Day Fund, due to a voter-approved initiative that provides the school district with a percentage of the fund during fiscal crises. The City has not yet approved the use of the funds, according to the Mayor’s Office.
The school district and many other agencies will have a better picture of their fiscal outlook following Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revise, which is expected to be released Monday.
Notices may be rescinded any time before the start of the next school year.
Teacher aides: 120
Civil service employees: 34
Source: San Francisco Unified School District