After hearing the teachers union, the principals union and the district make their case in hearings last month, a judge has concluded that San Diego Unified didn’t make an arbitrary decision when it opted to warn hundreds of teachers that their jobs could be cut.

In a proposed decision sent to San Diego Unified yesterday, administrative law judge Donald Cole recommended that the school district go ahead and inform more than 300 educators their jobs are cut.

Forty-five educators will be spared because of technical errors in the process. The school district has also sent pink slips to hundreds more “probationary” teachers who are in the first few years on the job, who do not get this kind of hearing, so more than 800 educators are in jeopardy overall.

While the decision is technically not binding for San Diego Unified, it backs up their choice to lay off teachers. Testimony by the finance chief at these hearings gave rise to the teachers union arguing that San Diego Unified had an extra $66 million that it could use to cancel layoffs.

The judge didn’t mention the $66 million figure, which the school district says is already spent. He did, however, address a projected $9 million surplus that is part of that figure, saying with a $1.1 billion budget, that surplus is reasonable.

Please contact Emily Alpert directly at or 619.550.5665 and follow her on Twitter:

Emily Alpert

Emily Alpert was formerly the education reporter for Voice of San Diego.

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