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When teachers get laid off, disadvantaged schools often get hit hardest because they tend to have the newest teachers, and the newest teachers usually get laid off first.

Civil rights groups launched a suit to try to curb that phenomenon in Los Angeles, arguing that if teachers were laid off strictly by seniority, the neediest kids would lose the most.

Los Angeles worked out a controversial settlement that spared some schools from layoffs but worsened them elsewhere. But what will happen here? Though teacher layoffs have been lessened, hundreds of San Diego teachers are still getting the ax, resulting in big disruptions at schools.

Come listen to Camille Zombro, vice president of the local teachers union; Catherine Lhamon, one of the attorneys who lodged the Los Angeles case; and your humble education reporter (me) talk about teacher layoffs, their many impacts, and the debate over whether schools could find a better way at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law this Wednesday night.

There will be a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the panel will run from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties and the San Diego Lawyer chapter of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

Want a refresher on how teachers are placed and cut from schools before the big event? Check out this handy editor’s note for a roundup and links to our coverage.

Update: I just found out that Bill Freeman, who was originally going to be on the panel, will be out of town. Camille Zombro, vice president of the teachers union, will fill in for him.

Emily Alpert is the education reporter for What should she write about next? Please contact her directly at

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Emily Alpert

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

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