More than 170 teachers and other employees in the Sacramento City Unified School District are being laid-off.
This week, an administrative law judge upheld staffing reductions, which were announced earlier this year.
Alex Barrios with the district says "lack of resources" triggered the layoffs.
“It's very difficult that we will be losing these committed team members,” he said, “but unfortunately, given the dire financial situation we are in and the need to balance the budget to avoid a state takeover, this decision is necessary."
But Nikki Milevsky with the Sacramento City Teachers Association says teacher layoffs could've been avoided.
“The district has done very little to actually cut from its budget and cut from areas that do not impact the classroom,” she said.
The district is grappling with a $35 million budget deficit and has about a month-and-a-half left to close the gap before facing a state takeover.
A special Board of Education meeting is set for Thursday night to authorize district staff to issue final layoff notices.
Meanwhile, a one-day teachers strike is scheduled for May 22. It is the second strike by teachers this year.
Last week, an arbiter also found the that teachers would be eligible for pay raises at 3.5 percent and above, which the district had challenged.
Fisher says the raises are needed to encourage teachers in the middle of their careers to stay in the district. The new pay scale would allow them to earn raises more quickly depending on experience and education.
"Previously, it took 26 years to get to the top, which is six or eight years longer than surrounding districts," Fisher said.
The district says it didn't realize it had agreed to the raises, which were presented by the union in 2017, and Barrios says it has not budged to pay for next year’s increases.
“What the arbitrator's decision does is leave us liable for $14 million," Barrios said.
He says the arbitrator's decision increases its deficit to $35 million.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.