La Jolla Elementary parents, teachers rally against layoffs

San Diego Education Association President Bill Freeman, with back to camera, addresses the rally at La Jolla Elementary School. Photo: Kathy Day

By Kathy Day
Staff Writer

Students, parents, teachers and union representatives made it clear they don’t want any teachers laid off during a rally in front of La Jolla Elementary School Thursday morning.

Gathering at the main entrance on Marine Street as well as along Girard Avenue, where they handed out fliers and carried posters, the crowd at its height totaled 100 or so people. Others dropping off their children honked in support.

The school currently has “seven or eight” teachers on the list, according to SDEA President Bill Freeman who led the rally. One layoff notice has been rescinded, he said.

Prinicipal Donna Tripi, who was attending to school business Thursday morning including directing students towards class after the rally, was not immediately available for comment.

Melissa Roy-Wood, a fifth-grade LJES teacher who has been teaching for seven years, had good reason to be there. For the third time, she has received a pink slip notifying her that she may not have a job in the fall.

“When I’m here I try to put it out of my mind,” she said. “When you’re with the kids, you don’t think about it, but when I’m home … It makes you feel like a worker ant.”

She said she has gone to several school board meetings about the budget crisis and is running for an at-large seat on the San Diego Education Association board so she can represent the La Jolla Cluster as well as the Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa schools.

Parent Fran Shimp, who represents LJES on the La Jolla Cluster Association, and her daughter were standing there with others. Her fourth-grader was wearing the same sandwich board she had worn as a kindergartner that read “No Education Cuts.“

Shimp said she wishes people would focus their attention on Sacramento where the decisions will be made that affect the local school districts.

Patricia Jimenez, a mother from City Heights who came to show her support for the teachers, was there with her third-grade son Adrian along side her, both carrying signs. She also has a son in high school and works in the area, she said.

“We need our teachers,” she said. “I’m so happy with this school. We need our teachers.”

SDEA leader Freeman led the rally, the 25th such gathering to help inform the community about the pending layoffs as the district faces a budget crisis that stands to grow worse, depending on action in Sacramento.

This week, the school board agreed to cancel 80 pink slips — of the 1335 issued, using redevelopment money to backfill what is currently estimated to be a $120 million budget hole. That deficit could grow by $55 million, depending on what happens in Sacramento.

If nothing is done in terms of extending the state tax that is expiring this year, some have proposed cutting the school year by five days, Freeman said. It is now 180 days, with San Diego teachers forced to take five furlough days.

“These are terrible times for education,” he said before the crowd gathers. “Of all the things that shouldn’t be touched, it should be our schools.”

He said he believes “we are not too far from people coming together and saying ‘Enough is enough.’”

When that happens, he added, people will be saying that we must “take care of those at home before other countries. The first night of bombing in Libya would have eliminated the problem here.”

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Posted by Kathy Day on Apr 14, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

2 Comments for “La Jolla Elementary parents, teachers rally against layoffs”

  1. go go

    i go to jolla elementary and i think

    NO LAYOFFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    keep going !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. guest

    For the past two years dozens of workers have descended upon the 8 miles of property adjacent to H76, in Fallbrook, spraying the Arunda (giant Bermuda grass) and assorted other undesirable plants with poison. Under Prop.50 Caltrans plans to eradicate ALL “nonnative” plants as well as the Arunda in order to build a park. CalTrans has hired people who have driven tractors, bulldozers and 4-runners all through this delicate landscape. Now they have spent even more tax dollars buying and planting 1000’s of the same plants that are already established in this area, plus, they have put tiny flags at each spot where they put a plant. The landscape has literally become a sea of flags of assorted colors. There is a complex watering system for these “native plants”, that require workers to hand water these thousands of plants, weekly. They work a lot on weekends, we think, for double pay. Some of these plants are are in the same area that will inveriably be taken over by the freeway. California must have millions of dollars to waste! Weeds are MORE important than schools and teachers?

    I ride my horse along the San Luis Rey River just west of the 15 freeway. The horse riders are the only people who are witnessing the devastation of this landscape. Every year, since I’ve been riding along the river, (I ride nearly everyday in this riverbed), there have been conservationists hired by the STATE to track the endangered Bell’s Vireo, a small bird. Six months out of the year for 9-10 years I’ve seen various PAID state workers tracking birds, endangered frogs (moved from Pala), carnivores, and even weeds. They have built traps to kill unwanted Cowbirds and even certain toads. I’m sure the several conservationists out there, were paid a decent salary and over the years it adds up. We, the tax payers spent money to CONSERVE the creatures here but recently it looks like it was just a legal obligation of some sort, so that CalTrans could do what ever they want to with the land. Our 8” single track horse trails are crisscrossed with wide swaths cut by tractors mowing down everything in their paths and 4-wheelers carrying huge vats of poison that they spray on plants IN and along the river. Caltrans says it’s safe poison,what an oxymoron! What a HUGE waste of TAX dollars! Why pay conservationists all these years when they obviously could care less about the wildlife? To add insult to injury, CalTrans has told the people who ride horses along this area, that WE are damaging the sensitive habitat and will be required to stay on a path that they will build. It’s documented that this year the numbers of Bells Vireo are down… big suprise!

    Caltrans plans to drive poison spewing tractors through different areas of our once beautiful river bed for the next 5 years so they can build a park that will invariably be washed away with every rain storm each year!! All the poison going into the water table and into the river and ocean can’t be justified by simply stating that it is “safe” poison. The massive quanity alone should make it questionable. DDT was thought to be safe form 1920-1970, until we had no Condors or Bald Eagles! They’re making a mess that will not be repairable for many many years. They say these nonnatives are using valuable water, but all the river water just goes straight into the ocean. Unless they are doing the same exercise all over Southern California I would be surprised if the water table will be affected, as the nonnatives are everywhere! What a bunch of propaganda! Between what we paid the conservationists and the “Poison patrol”, plus building a park, we could’ve built a reservoir up river!

    With all the trouble California has had with OVER spending and balancing the budget how can we justify spending millions on a park that will wash away each year???Fallbrook already has Live Oak Park, only 4miles away. It has 25 acres of trails and picnic areas in an old Oak forest.

    Shouldn’t schools and children have a priority over weed pullers??? I know they will say that the money has been earmarked for this project and MUST be spent or lost….I say re-appropriate it!

    PLEASE, tell me WHY this is so important??? Come out to Faubus Farms and see the devastation for yourself!
    WHEN YOU SEE HOW OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE BEING SPENT
    ALONG HIGHWAY 76.
    Are weeds more important that students?
    CALIFORNIA’S FINANCIAL PROBLEMS ARE OBVIOUS

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