Teachers seek jobs as kids head back to school

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LOS ANGELES - As a high school basketball coach, Jeff Breuklander teaches his players to never give up.

But he's now finding it hard to follow his own advice. He was laid off in May.

"It's based on seniority - when you were hired," Breuklander tells CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy. "I had eight years in this district. I thought that would be enough."

American Federation of Teachers

Breuklander was the physical education teacher at Millkin High School in Long Beach, California. He was let go when 750 jobs were cut in his school district.

Calif. budget cuts silence teacher's success

"It's a really bad time for us," Bureklander says. "We're trying to stay positive and hope that something is going to work out for us."

His wife Tiffany, also a teacher, is now bringing home the family's only paycheck. "There's no way we can survive - live the lifestyle we're living now - with just my income," she says.

"We're also currently trying to have another child ourselves, which the timing for that is really, really tough," Breuklander says.

Union: 19,000 educators get pink slips in Calif.

Back in 2009, $97 billion in federal stimulus to states saved an estimated 325,000 school jobs. But that money is now gone and schools have shed 200,000 jobs nationwide. Gym, art, and music teachers are often the first to go.

Music teacher Gene Amato was laid off after 20 years in New Jersey schools. He lost his job 14 months ago.

"I never thought I would be in a position to be 50-plus-years-old and no job," Amato says. "I have a masters in music and have some experience. And all of a sudden you're kind of thrown on your back."

Yet with all the cuts, some school districts find themselves short on teachers just as the school year starts.

Less than two weeks ago, Amato got a phone call. "They asked me if I wanted my job back and I said 'now wait a minute let me think about it for a second - yes, yes I do!'"

Jeff Breuklander however is still waiting. "I just got to keep my fingers crossed and hope the phone rings."

Until then he'll coach basketball and hope for a shot as a substitute teacher.