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San Diego Unified Superintendent Terry Grier has proposed reinstating roughly 480 positions that were earlier slated to be cut, including 379 teachers, in light of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s revised budget proposal.

If approved by the school board Tuesday, the plan would leave 206 probationary teachers and 223 non-educator employees on the chopping block, a significant reduction from the district’s original plans to cut nearly 1,000 teachers and cut or reduce the hours of nearly 1,200 classified employees, who include custodians and landscapers.

This rollback parallels the school budget crisis in 2003, when layoffs were proposed, then canceled. Is anyone else getting dèjá vu?

In a weekly update to staff, Grier wrote:

Even though this is an improvement, I reminded staff that we should not celebrate a $53 million cut to our district. We are still in a very difficult financial situation. The May Revise is not the final state budget. We must continue to advocate for an education budget that fully funds our district.

And he added:

We will be reviewing our Special Education program to determine if restorations are required to ensure the implementation of our recent Special Education program evaluation. We will also be reviewing classified staffing at the school level to ensure that each school has the support it needs. These analyses may produce further restorations once the bumping process has been completed and we receive the final state budget.

The weekly update also explains Grier’s thoughts on reorganizing the central office, and changing the area superintendent system for overseeing schools.

EMILY ALPERT

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