Though the precise number of San Diego Unified employees actually laid off remains elusive, new numbers show overall employee ranks dropped by 857 from June 30 to Sept. 20, for a 6 percent decrease this school year. The number of people employed by the district was on the rise before the latest cuts were made, even though the student population was declining, district records show.
Ex San Ysidro superintendent Manuel Paul received $211,000 in severance pay when he resigned in 2013, after being indicted in a corruption case, as well as $80,000 in leave pay. If all goes well for the district, Paul will pay that back, plus damages and attorney fees.
Some Poway Unified School District non-teaching employees have racked up several years’ worth of vacation time beyond what they’re allowed. The district’s internal controls over vacation time were found lacking in two different audits over the last year, and former Superintendent John Collins was fired, in part, for allegedly cashing out vacation time he wasn’t entitled to.
A raft of complaints prompted a San Diego Unified investigation into the school, which found problems ranging from issues with special education to improper hiring practices. The school adamantly denies the findings. School leadership and the board have been disrupted by departures, and some parents have pulled their kids out.
San Diego Unified officials still won’t say how many of the 1,500-plus employees who received layoff notices earlier this year were actually laid off. Also unclear: just how many employees San Diego Unified has.
In the wake of John Collins’ departure, Poway Unified has taken some proactive steps to head off future financial problems. But a newly released audit shows internal controls are still lacking and district funds remain vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
San Diego Unified has said the high number of teacher retirements could mean schools in wealthier neighborhoods may be impacted by the turnover just as much as low-income schools. But even once layoff notices are rescinded, the process has a bigger impact on low-income schools, which tend to have more junior employees.
While communities across the region continue to struggle with addressing the root causes of homelessness, schools are dealing with the consequences. As such, they must be active partners in efforts to provide the homeless with a way up and out of these circumstances.
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten said Tuesday that teacher layoffs for the 2017-2018 school year may drop below 200, down from 952 notices this spring. Marten offered no other explanation, and district staff said this week final layoff numbers are not yet available.
Compare district staffing with district-run school enrollment and the trend is clear: The district budgeted more staff for fewer students in recent years.