CCSD Issues 400 Pink Slips to Teachers - 8 News NOW

CCSD Issues 400 Pink Slips to Teachers

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Teachers protest the cuts Monday morning. Teachers protest the cuts Monday morning.

LAS VEGAS -- More than 400 teachers received layoff notices from the Clark County School District on Monday, the next step in the district's process of cutting more than 1,000 total positions as a result of budget cuts forced by an arbitration loss to the teachers' union.

Teachers with multiple suspensions and those with the least seniority will be first to go. A group of teachers rallied for support at the district's administrative offices after pink slips went out Monday morning.

"You keep thinking, what am I going to do, where am I going to go?" eighth grade teacher Chris Rinaldi said. "You are working so hard for them and then every day, you keep hearing you may not be here next year."

The district asked its teachers to accept a pay freeze to ease the budget crunch, but an arbitrator ruled this spring that teachers should get their scheduled raises for the current and next school year. In response, the district followed through on its assertion that it would need to cut nearly 1,000 positions to balance the budget.

These 400 cuts are part of the 1,000 that will be eliminated either through layoffs or through retirements and defections.

"The teachers' union demanded those raises through arbitration," CCSD spokesperson Amanda Fulkerson said.

Fulkerson said the district has made as many cuts in other areas as is possible, but teacher salaries make up an enormous part of the budget. Union president Ruben Murillo does not want jobs to be cut.

"It doesn't make sense what they are doing," Murillo said.

The protracted battle wears on everyone in the school district, which faces a deficit because of both massive cuts in state funding and declining tax revenues resulting from the poor economy and housing troubles.

"Things have changed a lot. Morale is the lowest I've seen it," teacher Andrea Liebl, a 33-year veteran, said.

For now, though, morale could sink even lower with each school expecting to lose teachers and each class expecting to gain up to six students in the 2012-13 school year.

"It breaks my heart. You come in with such high standards and they are slowly getting squashed," Liebl said.

Frustrations are being felt by both veteran and new teachers hoping to keep their jobs.

"It's not right when you are trying to do your job and you are being told that you're not really valued," Rinaldi said.

District officials say the average class sizes will increase by three students as a result of the cuts.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More than 400 teachers will receive layoff notices from the Clark County School District on Monday, the next step in the district's process of cutting more than 1,000 total positions as a result of budget cuts forced by an arbitration loss to the teachers' union.More than 400 teachers will receive layoff notices from the Clark County School District on Monday, the next step in the district's process of cutting more than 1,000 total positions as a result of budget cuts forced by an arbitration loss to the teachers' union.
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