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Jobs bill to help re-hire laid-off teachers

August 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
With so many other school districts in financial crisis, Glendale Unified School District teachers got a real surprise Tuesday. Scores of teachers who were laid off this year are being offered their jobs back. This year, in the Glendale Unified School District, 66 teachers were laid off due to the budget ax to education. However, it was announced Monday the district will rehire all 66 teachers and vow that those teachers will be back in the classroom this fall.

At least six teachers were laid off at Mountain Avenue Elementary, which is where Jennifer Garruba was teaching when she got her pink slip. She can't believe that in the same year she was laid off, she's been asked to come back to the classroom.

"It's just been hard, over the summer, really hard, and this is a relief," said Garruba. "A huge relief."

Glendale Unified Superintendent Richard Sheehan says with $10 billion of the multibillion-dollar federal jobs bill set aside to rehire teachers nationwide, Glendale Unified is expected to get more than $5 million of that money. Sheehan says the district had pretty much found money to bring back the teachers anyway, but federal dollars will sure help.

"We definitely will be bringing the teachers back, whether this money comes through or not, and it's going to enable us to lower our class size," said Sheehan. "In K-3 it was going to go to up to 30 to 1 this year, and it's going to lower the class size back down to 24 to 1."

"It's very important to have our teachers back, because as difficult as it is to maintain educational integrity without books and supplies, it's impossible to do so without teachers," said Tami Carlson, president of the Glendale Teachers Association.

"I feel really good because all the teachers that got laid off and now are coming back were the best teachers ever," said student Dana Rian.

"I'm so happy, I'm about to cry," said Dana's mom, Rachel. "That is awesome."

With the passing of the bill in Congress, California is expected to get enough funds to rehire at least 8,000 teachers statewide.


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