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L.A. school officials drop plan to lay off 1,900 teachers

Los Angeles school officials will drop a proposal to lay off as many as 1,900 permanent teachers. The decision, announced moments ago, spares jobs, disruptions at school sites and an expensive legal challenge that could have cost the Los Angeles Unified School District millions of dollars.

Officials spared permanent teachers who work at elementary schools, many of which will still face class-size increases and a decrease in services as the nation’s second-largest school system seeks to cut $596 million from next year’s budget.

Today’s move is not a wholesale retreat from layoffs. More than 6,000 other employees still could be affected, including several thousand less-experienced teachers who have not yet worked long enough to achieve tenure protections.

One school still at risk of losing more than half its staff is John H. Liechty Middle School, west of downtown. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa led a discussion forum this morning with teachers and parents at the school, stressing the need for “shared sacrifice” and “creative solutions” to save jobs and preserve campus reform efforts.

Liechty is not one of the 10 schools where Villaraigosa is overseeing reform efforts, but the mayor’s schools, too, would be heavily affected by the current proposed cuts.

The school board is scheduled to take up the budget proposal Tuesday, but Supt. Ramon C. Cortines and school board president Monica Garcia insisted that they will continue to work to minimize the number of layoffs, even if the board approves them as a precaution.

-- Howard Blume

 
Comments () | Archives (25)

How come the Mayor is asking the inner city schools for shared sacrifice and creative ideas? His dumbing down on education guarantees that we won't have an educated pool of students that will grow up to get into higher paying jobs that will result in higher tax base. We outsource jobs, yet we don't grow our school system to have a hand in creating the future workforce of America. How about the Mayor showing a little sacrifice and moving out of his Hancock Park mansion and live in at a tent city for a few weeks? Tony, who grew up in City Terrace, CA, has forgotten where he came from. Maybe living amongst the people that he says he loves will bring back the humility.

Or, better yet, how about we stop spending so much in police and more in education and community programs? I heard there are hundreds of thousands of dollars reserved just so that police officers get to dry clean their uniform. We could keep more teachers with all that money.

Why is he asking the inner city schools to sacrifice? Because the Valley pays most of the taxes for these drop out factories where parents fail to be involved after the elementary years.

They suck up tax money for free lunches, subsidized AP tests, no cost applications to CSU and UC campuses while those who make just a little too much to get the freebies have to subsidize those with a lesser work ethic. The 50% drop out rate is not a function of teachers, but of parents who fail to learn English, don't have books in their homes and fail to instill a love of learning or intellectualism in their children. Many of my female students got pregnant last year and only a few graduated. They immediately received WIC, food stamps, etc subsidized by the working class and the middle class.

When students and parents start taking responsibility for their schools and community, we'll talk about more money, but not unitl.

phantom71 - get a clue. Live in a tent city? Looks like you are a gleaming example of the quality (or lack there) of the educational system. While we should allocate more resources to the educational system - that would have best been done BEFORE there were economic problems. It is now too late and everyone will have to sacrifice some. I agree that those with more should sacrifice more but by choice and not by rule. I also understand that most will not choose to do that normally - and less at this point in time. So let's get out of FANTASYLAND and into reality.

So much for the lie that "thousands of teachers would be laid off." Our disgusting garbage schools continue falling victim to the poisonous teachers' unions. Aren't you glad you're paying sky-high taxes for this this crap?

Hey LA officials we need the teachers more than we need you! Lay-off and fires yourselves!!!!!!!!

The decision to not layoff 1900 teachers is a step in the right direction. No parent wants to send their child to a classroom with 25 kids in elementary, 35 in middle school, and 40+ in high school. We should preserve our current teaching ranks and allow downsizing to occur through attrition. It is estimated that thousands of baby boom teachers will be retiring in the next few years, and it only makes sense to keep our dynamic new teachers while we still have them.

"

Why is he asking the inner city schools to sacrifice? Because the Valley pays most of the taxes for these drop out factories where parents fail to be involved after the elementary years.

They suck up tax money for free lunches, subsidized AP tests, no cost applications to CSU and UC campuses while those who make just a little too much to get the freebies have to subsidize those with a lesser work ethic. The 50% drop out rate is not a function of teachers, but of parents who fail to learn English, don't have books in their homes and fail to instill a love of learning or intellectualism in their children. Many of my female students got pregnant last year and only a few graduated. They immediately received WIC, food stamps, etc subsidized by the working class and the middle class.

When students and parents start taking responsibility for their schools and community, we'll talk about more money, but not until."

A-M-E-N. I could not have said it better

Very Simple: Irony apparently escapes you, considering that your reflections are clearly the thoughts of a "very simple" mind that doesn't even make a rudimentary attempt to grasp the deeper social issues effecting parents in the most poverty stricken areas of our state. Especially your narcissistic comments about "work ethic". In case you didn't know, the people who make the least money at their jobs tend to do the most "work". Having a good work ethic generally leads to nothing more that being taken advantage of by some scumbag boss who will squeeze every last bit of labor out of you while keeping you at the lowest wage possible. That's what the call "the working poor". You are obviously too privileged to be familiar with the concept.

Apparently that last comment was supposed to be directed at "LA Teacher", since all "simple" did was cut and paste and approve (what a surprise). So I redirect my previous post at YOU... and btw, I'm also a teacher, in the Inland Empire, and most of US (teachers, educators and anyone who cares to think past the shallow surface of their own experience, etc.) completely disagree with you.

With all of these teachers losing their jobs, how will our kids learn about anal sex, drugs, and proper drive by shooting skills?

I am really concerned about our kids.

I think it is ridiculous that they even thought to cut more jobs. First of all, education is a given to all but it is due to the government who decides to cut millions from education each time that the school system suffers. This causes to not only larger class sizes but also our future is jeopardized because the children are the future. If California does not invest in education, then ultimately our investment in the future looks bleak. Also, the parents do need to take more initiative but the inner city students and parents do try; it is not necessarily their fault; they might not have the resources to invest. It is ultimately down to California to properly fund education to make it accessible, affordable, and attainable to all that want it.

I also agree that the budget is out of whack right now. How can California prioritize prison funding and spend so much on the police force while giving up on education???

LA Teacher how are you going to solve the problem if you leave it there. As a teacher you should know that for some kids public education is the only way out of that cycle.
What are they going to do? Have less incompetent teachers that don't understand that a better education can lead to better communitites? Your parents probably provided you with that love of education because they were educated. Connect the dots!!!
LA schools need to be reformed and if you want to combat most community problems start by creating better education for those at risk. And if it bothers you so much that some pay for the education of others well look at it in the long run, if this kids don't see a better future for themselves you'll be paying for many generations to come, if you change their life and have them appreciate education and value the importance of it then your taxes do not go to them anymore, multiply that by thousands. It only makes sense.

Hey Sean, explain to me why the kids with the most free or low cost opportunities fail to take advantage of them

Also, poverty is relative. I have gone to student's homes and seen big screen tv's and SUV's but who is saving for their kids' college? They aren't. My point is that many families are not taking advantage of the opportunties afforded their kids.
Yes I know they "Work hard" but so do the middle class people who pay the majority ot taxes. The way out is not too hard. You can go to community college become a Registered Nurse in three years and in few years be making 70K. Yet so many don't take advantage of the relatively direct route out of "poverty." I know of what I speak. The students whose parents have developed middle class values have the best work ethic and the best grades. Coincidentally, they also are the students who never have electronic equipment hanging all over themselves and come to class prepared. These are observations of a long time teacher. Sorry if it hits you where it hurts.

Putrid: Your name says it all. Most juvenile, senseless and ignorant comment on these boards so far. What kind of person seriously thinks that TEACHERS are instructing children in anal sex, how to use drugs or how to handle a firearm at all, let alone using it for a 'drive by'? Maybe you think by making a witty and cynical comment someone out in cyberspace will be impressed by your grizzled sarcasm, but this is a serious issue that deserves a serious response. If you can't act like a grown up, don't bother to enter the discussion.

Putrid: P.S. Your website is fantastic. It has one link that leads to nothing. I suppose this is the complete collection of all of your intellectual insights.

I participated in the discussion attended by the mayor this morning and asked him why we are ranked 47th (soon to be 50th) in per-pupil education spending in the US, and yet first in spending on incarceration. I don't know anyone who thinks that this isn't a self fulfilling prophecy. No answer was forthcoming but he did make the point that we all need to accept responsibility for the system in its current state. That is to say that we are the public. We are the voters and it is our government making all these horrible decisions. We must recognize that we are powerful when we band together with a common purpose. We need to pay attention to who is making decisions that we find reprehensible. We need to remember when we are lied to. We need to communicate with each other when one of our employees in the government is not doing their job and we need to vote them out!

Some of the comments here suggest certain immediate solutions to the LAUSD budget shortfall:

Cutting money from inner-city schools would certainly harm those schools but would also recapture money that could be spent elsewhere...
Massive teacher layoffs and "senior" union members bumping young teachers out of the schools so they don't have to retire would certainly harm all schools but would also recapture money that could be spent elsewhere...
Increasing class sizes would certainly harm all schools but would also recapture money that could be spent elsewhere...

Problem is that most schools are functioning with reduced staff and insufficient resources and the tattered bits of tape holding it all together are dedicated teachers and parents desperately trying to provide their children with a decent education. Take away money, take away dedicated staff, and increase the class sizes - these actions will momentarily mitigate the LAUSD budget crisis but the long term impact will be counterproductive. We have to educate our children so that they can make better political decisions than we have!

I agree that LAUSD could stand serious change. Administrators are paid in sums well out of proportion to the teachers in the classrooms. There also needs to be a change in the ed code that currently fails our quality teachers and protects those who should not be in our schools. The union must also be willing to negotiate terms with LAUSD that are mutually beneficial before the whole house of cards collapses. But none of this will solve the problem. Again let me restate that California per-student spending is currently 47th out of 50 in the nation. After the current budget passes we will fall to 50th. While I agree that our tax dollars must be spent responsibly, transparently & with accountability I also believe that we, as the public in public education, must stand up and tell our legislators to stop building prisons and start putting that money into the best form of crime prevention ever invented: a good education.

I know our school system are full of illegals...if we could help their families become legal and have them pay taxes...we would definately have a larger tax base to school all children.
I don't want to kick them out- I want them to pay their share of the tax burden.

I have gotten a pink slip and am really mad and offended by it. I work so hard to give my students the optimal education they deserve. Being a good teacher is not easy, it take hard work and dedication and now I am in danger of losing my job. Give me a break, no respect whatsoever. I am also concerned as a parent with 3 children in LAUSD. I definitely do not want my children to be stuffed in an over crowed class with a teacher who is going to be overwhelmed with work and students. We need to invest in education if we want to have a better future. As parents we must be more involved in what is happening in our schools for the best of our children.

Let's get rid of the top-heavy administration of the USD before we cut teachers.

lausd lost 120,000 students in the last 6 years yet lausd did not lay off teachers as student enrollment dropped. instead, faced with decreasing revenues, from loss of student attendance, the district just created more out of the classroom positions for unnecessary teachers. gobbling up all reserve money to maintain the status quo of 2001, the district is now broke and is finally forced to lay off teachers it doesnt need. I know it isnt politically correct to cut education but it makes sense to cut these services if you dont have students to teach.

LAUSD needs to cut bare bone outside the classroom first. Trades are still getting unlimited overtime while teacher payoffs are pending. WOW!! Why are people working Dec 26 to Dec31? The day after Thanksgiving? July and August? Lets furlough classified personnel those days and you'll see no teachers will be cut. But thats the smart way. LAUSD always takes the "HARD" road.

LATeacher: you do realize that what you are saying, in a nutshell, is that EVERYONE who is poor deserves to be poor, since, as you claim, 'anyone' can become a registered nurse. I am beginning to sincerely doubt that you are a teacher at all, because if you were it would be obvious that some kids just aren't bright enough to pass the tests... Some can't even afford the transportation it takes to get to school. Only a person from a quixotically privileged background could fail to understand that REAL poverty does exist, or have even the remotest idea what it must be like as a reality. There are kids so poor they don't go to school because they can't afford clothes to keep from being humiliated. Try seeing the world from a perspective other than your own for once in your life.

LATEACHER: And just because a kid has 'electronic gadgets' doesn't mean their parents 'could be saving for their college fund'. Not unless you know of a good school that costs $50 or less. That's about how much it costs to get a cellphone. And as far as 'some poor people have flat screen T.V's, SUVs blah blah blah"... Great. But most don't. Your story sounds made up anyway. So you really don't have any point there at all unless your point is simply "some poor people are irresponsible with credit". No one would debate that. But that's not what you said. Your claim is an outright ridiculous blanket statement concerning all or most poor people, which is why you sound as ignorant as you do. YOU certainly aren't going to give poor kids the critical thinking skills they need to survive, that's for sure.


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