SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) keeps looking for ways to make cuts in order to avoid being taken over by the state, some employees are already getting word that their positions will be eliminated.
"They have given us notice that our department will be closing, and we will no longer have jobs effective June," said Patricia Payan, a Head Start home visitor.
SCUSD Spokesman Alex Barrios told ABC10 the district is focusing on K-12 education and is getting out of the childcare business. By eliminating programs like Head Start, Barrios says the district will be able to save $2 million a year.
Even though Head Start is partially funded by the state and federal government, the grants don't cover all the costs, which is why the district is eliminating about 130 positions. Barrios says most of them are part-time positions.
"Many tears were shed," Payan said. "We were concerned about the families that we serve. We not only go into their homes, but we facilitate. We partner with them to help in rearing their children to prepare them for their education and a better future."
As for the kids, Barrios says the district is working on finding other providers for them that will cost them less money. For employees like Letisia Anguino, a Head Start home visitor, she's worried about more than just losing her income.
"It's a lot of emotions at once, especially having to tell the families that our program is ending," Anguino explained. "They were very crushed because we connect with the parents a lot closer than in a classroom setting. We are their guidance, we are the ones that help the parents in a lot of crises."
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Parents and leaders from different organizations such as the NAACP, the Hispanic chamber of commerce, and several labor unions came together Thursday with one message: Save Sacramento Schools. They are fighting to keep the Sacramento unified School District from being taken over by the state, due to the ongoing budget crisis.