SAN DIEGO – A proposal by the San Diego Unified School District to cut up to $122 million from its 2012-13 budget was approved by trustees Tuesday night.

The first tentative plan, which includes around 1,200 layoffs, now goes to principals and administrators around the district who will decide how to make ends meet. 

“While all this budget garbage is going on, we have got good things going in the district,” said Board Chairman John Lee Evans, “We want to continue that.”

Key to the district saving jobs and programs are two controversial issues: a ballot measure Gov. Jerry Brown plans to put to voters in November which would help keep state education funding steady, and getting union concessions on furlough days and planned pay raises.

“This is not crying wolf,” Evans explained, “If that ballot measure doesn’t pass, we have to cut another $41 million in the middle of next year, which is impossible.”

The San Diego Education Assocation, which represents teachers in the district, recently put a letter out to its members that challenged the need for massive budget cuts and criticizing its information.

Attempts to speak with union president Bill Freeman were unsuccessful.

Still, district officials hope to get concessions by the end of February.  Layoff notices go out in March.