La Jolla High Foundation rallying for teachers

The La Jolla High School Foundation, in a response to proposed statewide school budget cuts, has initiated a special fund-raising project called Save Our Teachers.

The goal is to raise $200,000 in order to save the jobs of four teachers, a counselor and a librarian whose positions could be eliminated in the cuts.

To date, more than $45,000 has been raised.

The school is facing the position cuts as part of a state-wide education funding reduction in response to a projected massive state budget shortfall.

This is not the first cut district schools have faced. About five years ago, they faced a 7 percent budget cut. A couple of years later they were forced to cut another 2.5 percent from operating budgets.

“We’re already working without a net,” said La Jolla High principal Dana Shelburne.
Pink slips went out to first- and second-year teachers in January, with a second round being dispatched in March.

La Jolla High, which serves 1,625 students, stood to lose one English teacher, one social studies teacher, two world language teachers, a counselor and a librarian.

A recent softening of the statewide budget decrease has resulted in some of the layoff notices being rescinded, but many probationary-period teachers are still under the gun.

“In many cases, these are the most energetic, enthusiastic teachers,” Shelburne said.

The instability of the local job market is prompting teachers to look for jobs elsewhere, especially when recruiters “flock like buzzards, waving signing bonuses under the noses of teachers,” Shelburne said.

“It has all kinds of ramifications for the future of our schools,” he added. “I don’t think that anyone in Sacramento really knows that.”

Shelburne is still uncertain how much money the district is going to re-allot to the coming year’s budget.

“It is a fluid environment,” Shelburne said, adding that a call to the district’s human resources department made last week still had not been returned. “They don’t have the answers. I have to believe when the board rescinds these notices, they’re confident they’re going to be able to pay these people.”

“This is sort of shooting at a moving target,” said Jackie Helm, the school’s Foundation president. “There’s still a huge problem … even if this money is reinstated through the district. We still have two teaches we’re going to lose.”

Parents Mimi Swenson and Kerri Smith are the driving force behind Save Our Teachers. When they approached Helm, she couldn’t turn down their request to raise the $200,000 even though the Foundation already had other fundraisers scheduled.

“Our goal is 100 percent participation,” Helm said. “We don’t care how much. We want the kids and parents involved.”

A student rally was held Wednesday, June 4, at 7 a.m. to promote the Save Our Teachers campaign. It is being followed by a telethon through Friday, June 6.

Donations can be made online at (click on Foundation, then Donate Online) or mailing checks made payable to la Jolla High School Foundation to 750 Nautilus St., La Jolla, CA 92037. Call (858) 551-1250 for more information.

“I think the issue is pretty well documented,” Helm said. “That, as a state, we don’t value education. It’s an issue.”

Related posts:

  1. Market history does not always repeat itself
  2. Many still misunderstand Social Security
  3. Making your summer the best one yet
  4. Magical effects pilot ‘Sky Captain’
  5. Long-term parking nearly thing of the past

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Jun 5, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Del Mar makes additional adjustment to its turf racing August 2, 2014
    Del Mar plans further adjustments to racing on its turf course following injuries on the new surface, which had been expanded and installed this past winter to replace its previous course that was more than 50 years old. The changes, which will take effect immediately, will consist of the following items: […]
  • At Stand Down, veterans get the respect they deserve August 2, 2014
    San Diego is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the nation. Sadly, many men and women who have served our country now need our help. In our community, the nonprofit Veterans Village of San Diego steps in to provide assistance. Earlier this month, Veterans Village hosted its 27th “Stand Down,” a three-day event that converts the field at San Di […]
  • Sheriff’s Department and response times August 1, 2014
    The newly appointed captain of the San Diego County Sheriff’s department, Encinitas branch, recently provided the city of Del Mar’s budget and finance committee with the average response times for the four major types of 911 calls. The response times as stated by the captain appear to be consistent with our neighboring cities, including Solana Beach. Priorit […]