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Teachers will keep jobs for now Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Jun 04 2011 12:00 PM

Chula Vista Elementary School teachers are out of the woods for now.

Last week, 310 layoff notices were withdrawn in response to Gov. Jerry Brown's revised May budget proposal, which rescinded the classroom teacher notices.

The district was able to keep primary grade classrooms at a 22 to 1 ratio, however it still remains one of the lowest student-to-teacher ratios in the county.

Superintendent Francisco Escobedo said it was the teachers, parents and community who worked together to help raise the public's awareness of the emergency that all schools were facing.

"It's great news," communications officer Anthony Millican said. "We expected the worst, it's not the best but it's not as debilitating as we all had feared."

The notices were authorized in advance of the state's March 15 deadline and issued to teachers, psychologists and associate principals.

The district estimated it would face a $14 million deficit in its $184 million projected budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year under a worst-case funding scenario.

However, a brighter side would have the district facing a $6 million shortfall, a deficit it could cover with its $32 million reserve fund at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

"It was unfortunate that we had to go through the noticing process again; however, our teachers have been terrific on keeping the focus on the students and not getting caught up in what could have been a major distraction," Millican said.

Millican said the district is relying on reserves to meet the fiscal challenges of future years.

"We have a very healthy reserve that we've been able to use and it's enabled us to offset the revenue cuts handed down from the state," he said. "But there are only so many years we can do that."

Millican said the district is hopeful the state legislature will come to some type of long-term solution to the ongoing financial emergency faced by California schools.

Although state revenues have improved, the governor continues to include a tax extension measure as a major part of his budget reduction strategy.

There are 45 schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District with 27,700 students and approximately 1,400 teachers.

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