Capistrano Unified School District layoffs

JOB STABILITY: District employees worry that the new cut will mean the loss of their job Photo from Capistrano Unified School District website

Sage Brislen | Writer

March 22, 2021

On March 3rd the CUSD board voted to potentially go through with laying off a total of 91 “full-time” employees within the district. The proposition was brought about due to the new education budget as well as the reduced income due to fully online classes. Overall the district would be operating under Newsom’s proposed budget of $89.2 billion for California. The layoffs would intend to cut costs by $9.987 million in order to meet our district amount.

“This is hard, and it should be really recognized as hard. These notices represent real folks that we know. This is their profession, their livelihood,” Trustee Amy Hanacek said. The families of these employees are also affected. “My mom was a single parent and laid off like 3 times around the time it happened. It was a lot of stress for her to have 2 kids, recently on her own, trying to find a job, and our house was sliding down a hill,” sophomore Addie Brislen, daughter of Ms. Brislen, said about her mom’s past layoffs. “I just have sympathy for the families that may be in a similar position when the layoffs happen because it sucked.”

But not only the kids of some teachers would be affected – what about students? Some worry that such a drastic change would be harmful to the students just becoming adjusted to their classroom. The district intends to actually hire more school counselors during the layoffs to account for the potential stress layoffs would cause to students and support them through the pandemic. “They’re the best asset you could possibly have. I just think laying off teachers at a time when students are falling behind is going to be harmful. You need experienced teachers and their support for their students,” teacher and mom Ms. Brislen said about the essential nature of teachers. There’s hope that Biden’s American Rescue plan could help ease some of the pressure caused by money. A $170 billion plan may pass due to NEA and activists who wrote and called with hundreds of thousands of messages to senators and representatives. California would receive a total of $20 billion, only $15 billion dedicated to K-12 schools, the rest going toward tech and coronavirus safety measures in colleges.

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