SACRAMENTO, CA - Michelle Apperson just found out she was named "Teacher of the Year" for the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Despite that and the fact that she has taught at Sutterville Elementary School for the past nine years, she's still losing her job due to budget cuts.
She received her final notice in May.
"It hurts on a personal level because I really love what I do," said Apperson. "But professionally, politically, I get why it happens."
"I hate to see any teacher lose their job," parent Kim Ochoa said. "But when you have teachers who are also winning awards like Ms. Apperson, they shouldn't be cut."
The district spokesperson Gabe Ross said who gets notice is not at the school district's discretion, it's mandated by state law. He also said that teacher layoffs are based on seniority, not performance.
"It's an awful situation," Ross said. "It's another sign of how education's funding really needs an overhaul."
About $43 million in cuts were made to the school district this year. That's on top of the $100 million worth of cuts in the past four years according to Ross.
"It's our children and the people who spend time with our children who are suffering," Ochoa said.
"I'm going to think positively and believe that it can be turned around and everybody has a say in November to make education first," Apperson said.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org