L.A. school cuts could be reversed if Jerry Brown's tax plan passes
Citing a $360-million budget deficit and more cuts coming from Sacramento, the Los Angeles Unified School District has voted to shorten the school year by one week. But a district spokesman said that could change if voters pass Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative in November.
Brown is hoping to place before voters a measure that would hike sales taxes by a quarter-cent and raise taxes on incomes of more than $250,000 a year by 1 to 3 percentage points. The Department of Finance estimates that the new taxes would bring in as much as $8 billion in the next budget year.
If those taxes are rejected, Brown and Democratic lawmakers are calling for $5.5 billion in cuts to public schools and community colleges. State universities would also be cut by $500,000.
LAUSD spokesman Tom Waldman said the board's Tuesday vote on shortening the school year assumes voters reject Brown's initiative.
"We have to budget based on the current fiscal situation, not what we think might happen or hope might happen,” he said.
When asked if those instructional days might be restored if Brown’s tax proposal passes, Waldman said, "There could be some change to the agreement if the state approves the governor's initiative."
-- Anthony York in Sacramento
Photo:. LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, right, and Schools Superintendent John Deasy listen to deliberations at a March board meeting. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times