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.

The informal announcement came during Marten’s regular report at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. Marten credited “strategic implementation” of the early retirement program for the dramatic 79 percent decrease.

Marten offered no other explanation, and gave no formal presentation to the public or board about the anticipated layoff reductions. District communication staff said this week final layoff numbers are not yet available.

In the spring, a total of 1,128 district employees – including 528 teachers – chose to retire and will receive a year’s salary for doing so, paid out over five years.

At that time, the district estimated teacher layoffs would drop to 467 with the help of the vacancies created by retirements. But Marten’s announcement means teacher layoffs will decrease by hundreds more, surpassing retirees by at least 224 teachers.

Asked where the money will come from to rehire that many teachers the district recently claimed needed to leave the payroll, communications staff said only that the process of “matching up teachers, credentials and open positions” has continued.

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The cost difference between a retiring teacher and a newer teacher may mean the district is getting a sort of two-for-one special in some cases, or maybe more accurately a three-for-two special, allowing for the recall of more new teachers who’d received layoff notices than the number of veteran teachers taking retirement deals.

No such explanation was offered by the district, but it could explain the added reductions that presumably are coming at no additional cost.

Marten said layoff reductions for non-teaching employees won’t begin until July 1, although they are unlikely to see such a dramatic decrease below the original 624 layoffs planned, according to communications staff.

    This article relates to: Education, Must Reads, School Finances, School Leadership

    Written by Ashly McGlone

    Ashly is an investigative reporter for Voice of San Diego. She can be reached at or 619.550.5669.

    kkaponis subscriber

    Many of the call backs are due the the fact that there are many unfilled positions, especially at schools where most teachers do not want to work.  Calling back new teachers and placing them at schools where positions were not filled is what is happening.  The problem with this situation is that these schools (all south of 8) have a high turnover of teachers every year. In regards to moral, placing teachers at schools they normally would never consider, affects overall moral.    

    philip piel
    philip piel subscriber

    The budget process is almost finished. Step 1, per union contracts send out POSSIBLE layoff notices to as many people as possible. Step 2 Use the phrase "for the children" as much as possible when attacking education funding as the culprit. Step 3 Rescind layoff notices while attacking funding in general and "the Rich" specifically then pat yourselves on the back for "saving jobs" and making due with "sharp cuts" that were actually scheduled increases.

    Nicely done!