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On March 5, the South Bay Union School District voted to eliminate 80 teaching positions, but it was not the slam-dunk many expected. District superintendent Carol Parish addressed those attending, saying, “We had to start reducing the budget seven years ago, so now each cut feels devastating.”

The reduction of the 12 librarians’ hours (from eight a day to five) sparked heated discussion. One speaker told the school trustees, “It is the librarian that has one-on-one contact with each student. They know each child’s name — first and last name. They are the interconnectiveness between the students and the school. How important do you think these people are in a child’s life?”

Trustee Chris Brown and David Lopez wanted more time and information on the cuts to the librarians’ hours.

“I am not convinced that this is the best route, “ said Brown.

Trustees Aletha Jones and Nick Inzunza seemed surprised at Brown’s and Lopez’s hesitation on the motion. Jones looked at Brown and asked, “What are you looking for?” Brown answered, “I need more time.” Inzunza then said, “I am ready to vote as it is — this is all a surprise to me!”

The resolution was subsequently passed with trustees Elvia Aguilar, Jones, and Inzunza voting approval and Brown and Lopez dissenting.

Reading specialists’ positions at all 12 SBUSD schools were also eliminated. One teacher was overheard saying that their entire school staff was appalled by that announcement. "The district,” she said, “was more interested in eliminating services to children but not the clipboard-toting coaches hired to teach teachers how to teach.”

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