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More than 100 employees who don’t teach classes are facing layoffs after the San Diego Unified school board voted last week to reduce or eliminate jobs for clerical and guidance assistants, mental health case workers and other workers who aren’t teachers.

The layoff warnings were the consequence of earlier school district decisions to thin and reorganize programs in the massive school system, as well as choices made at individual schools to eliminate or reduce some jobs, said Sandra Huezo, chief human resources officer. San Diego Unified is budgeting for an $87 million deficit next year, the third year in a row that the school district has had to address budget cuts from the state.

“If we don’t take this action tonight, we will cut into our savings … I don’t think we can do that,” said school board President Richard Barrera last Tuesday when the board voted for the cuts.

It is unclear exactly how much the cuts will save. Huezo and her staff originally estimated they would save $7.3 million, but the school board decided against cutting vacant positions, along with jobs in a program for pregnant and parenting teens that has funding until the end of October.

While San Diego Unified has tried to spare teachers, workers who do other jobs have complained that they’ve borne too much of the budget cuts. Labor relations representative Leticia Munguia said those other workers got little warning about who would be affected by the job cuts.

School district officials are still figuring out exactly who will lose their jobs under rules that allow employees whose jobs are cut to take other workers’ positions.

It is unknown how many, if any, teachers will also have to be laid off to balance the books. The teachers union has repeatedly given the school district extra time to figure out whether resignations and retirements will allow San Diego Unified to avoid teacher layoffs.

— EMILY ALPERT

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