Michelle Apperson, recently awarded the title of “Teacher of the Year” for the Sacramento City Unified School District, has lost her job, the Huffington Post reports. Apperson is one of nearly 400 Sacramento City Unified teachers who received lay-off notices last month due to budget cuts. Neither her nine years at Sutterville Elementary School nor her best-teacher honor could shield her from state law, which carries a “last in, first out” policy, requiring that teachers be laid off by seniority — starting with the most recently hired. Sometimes, teachers who are more junior can avoid lay-offs if they are qualified in an area with a teacher shortage — like special education or math and science — or can teach across subjects and ages.

It hurts on a personal level because I really love what I do,” Apperson told KXTV. “But professionally, politically, I get why it happens.”

Sacramento City Unified district officials approved $28 million in cuts this year, the Sacramento Bee reports. The system could see another $15 million in cuts if Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike initiative fails to pass by voters in November, forcing additional furlough days…

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