RVA Teachers: No more job cuts

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RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) - In a last ditch effort, the Richmond Education Association says it will fight for teachers and others who may lose their jobs.

 "It's the worst.  It's been a very long process."

 The teacher's union is speaking out to keep school board members from moving forward on a proposed plan to lay off more than 100 employees, including teachers.  What they want instead, is for school leaders to implement more furlough days.  Essentially, saving those jobs.

"We some people that work just so that they can have healthcare for their families," said Angela Dews, Chair of the Richmond Education Association, "and those are the people who are in the position that could be losing their jobs."

Richmond public schools is trying to close a $15 million budget shortfall.  After city leaders rejected their request for the money.

 "We are really working now with bare bones.  And we're really looking at cutting personnel.  The personnel that we need to keep our kids successful," said Dews.

 And School Board member Donald Coleman agrees.

 "We're not about just cutting jobs as a way to meet this deficit," said 7th District School board member, Donald Coleman.

But the challenge for the board is to balance the budget by June 4th, without taking away too much from the classroom.

"Close to 80 percent of what we spend is on personnel.  So, that's another reality we have to look at when it comes to balancing this budget," said Coleman.  Eventually, it's going to affect jobs at some point."

Richmond School board members will meet tonight for a budget work session at 5pm at George Wythe high school.  There's no public comment.  But you will be able to speak on the issue next Monday before school board members vote on the budget.

Stay with CBS 6 for updates.