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Long Beach Unified School District could lay off nearly 800 employees

Click through for a complete list of Long Beach private, public and charter schools in The Times' interactive project, Mapping L.A. Nearly 800 employees of the Long Beach Unified School District, most of them teachers, will soon get word about possible layoffs in July.

The school system of 84,000 students, the state's third-largest, this week joined a growing list of districts passing worst-case-scenario budgets for next year.

Most of the cuts to the district's $700-million general fund would be unnecessary if Gov. Jerry Brown is successful in extending expiring tax increases. Otherwise, the picture in Long Beach would be grim as a result of "the state's unmitigated budget disaster," in the words of Long Beach Unified officials. 

The Long Beach school board Tuesday approved $24.4 million in tentative cuts, two weeks after authorizing $27 million in reductions. The district's budget reflects an anticipated loss of $634 per student, although recent projections suggest the shortfall could be substantially more.

Under the budget plan, the average class size in grades six through 12 would increase by three students to 35. For kindergarten through third-grade, classes would rise by five to 10 students, depending on the school, for an average of 30 students per class.

Besides teachers, the job losses would thin the ranks of administrators, librarians, nurses, psychologists, counselors and others. About a third of the already limited transportation services would be slashed.

Los Angeles Unified also approved deep budget cuts this week.

Long Beach Unified spokesman Chris Eftychiou said the approved budget is "tragic, especially when you consider that we're widely regarded as one of the nation's leading school systems."

"New York spends about twice the amount per pupil that California spends," he said. "That's about $250,000 more per 35-student classroom per year. California kids are just as deserving as New York kids."

Long Beach Unified has reduced its budget by more than $200 million since 2008, officials said.

RELATED:

Long Beach schools receive $250,000 as Broad Prize finalist

Long Beach school district issues pink slips to hundreds of teachers

-- Howard Blume

Image: Map shows private, public and charter schools in Long Beach. Credit: Mapping L.A.

 
Comments () | Archives (38)

Awful. Just awful, yet we continue to give monstrous tax breaks to Exxon and other corporations who make billions in untaxed profits.

Time for lay-offs. No money and huge pensions equals less jobs. If we continue to pump money into these criminal pensions, then there will be less money for all other needs.

What is really awful is the amount we pay in overhead. Just did some quick math and if there are 30 students in each class we're giving each class (($700M/84K)*30)= $250,000 a year. Thing the average teacher is getting something in the $60~70,000 a year range. Books and operating suplies, janitors, other staff, utilities and maintenance consumming over $180,000 that is really awful!

At some point those collective bargaining agreements will result in some overpaid and some unemployed teachers/social workers/government bureaucrats.

Perhaps it would be good time to ask how those unemployed teachers how they voted on Arnold's propositions a few years back and whether they'd change their vote today?

The piper must always be paid. The only question is, "Who pays?".

Well, now we know.

If the teachers all took pay cuts, got rid of tenure, paid more for their healthcare, and went to a 401k retirement plan (like everyone else on Earth), none of this would be necessary. Guess they don't really care about kids, do they?

Welcome to Somalia!


I’m still baffled as to why we give new teachers grants to pay their student loans. I know a newbie teacher making over $51k a year and yet she complains she’s broke and deserves more money. I asked about teach grants and she said they pay a substantial chunk of her student loans every year. Apparently that’s a given, and does not count as income to her.

In the meanwhile I’m unemployed with the same level of education. I’d be happy just to find a job that paid $24k a year.

The Republican agenda to dumb down the country continues.

Perhaps the UC professors who retiring at age 50 will agree to retire later to help out. And the SF officials who just retired and cashed out accumulated "sick days" for thousands will return that money to help. Sick days are for when you're sick, they're not extra salary. Then there are the pensions.

In my local district, 80% of costs are labor (salaries, pensions, healthcare, etc). To make it worse, out of 2,200 employees, only 1,000 are actually teachers.. yes, less than half the staff are teachers.

In addition to pension reform, districts need to figure out a way to thin the herd non-teaching staff before impacting the classrooms... however, unions will have something to say about that.

That's still a lower percentage than the dropout rate at LAUSD!

Hard to feel sorry for them. I know teachers who could care less about their students, only work 9 months a year, and are talking about their full retirement after 20 years. And they are the "good" teachers at their schools. If it were up to me, I would cut cut cut the education budget even more.

I really don't understand all the negativity and hate towards teachers in this country. Perhaps this is why the educational system continues to be in decline in the United States. There doesn't seem to be any respect for our educators in this country.

When I went to visit Africa (Kenya) I met a teacher who was with the Peace Corps., and he told me that the village teachers are respected and loved. They are given a small house to live in for free and are paid well to keep them there. If a village is too poor to pay them well, the whole village brings offerings of food from their crops to get them to stay. They're also consider extended family and are always invited to family gatherings and events.

Somehow I can't imagine most communities in the U.S. banding together to support their local teachers. Sad. I guess we don't value what we have here.

There's not enough money for the welfare state, period. There's not enough for the welfare state for Americans, still less for the 5 Billion/year burden on California extracted by illegals.

how much do teachers make? Why are the cuts always on teachers? how about the admins in the office? They need to go before the teachers.

@UnemployedCollegeGrad: Your situation is unfortunate; hope it improves for you soon.

Your friend who makes 51k a year really does not take home a whole lot, when you consider that after taxes, take-home pay is probably close to $37,000. Divide that by 12 months, and you're left with about $3,083 a month. Minus rent, utilities, insurance for the car (assuming she has one), gas, food, cell phone, internet (who doesn't have internet these days), and that $3,083 p/month dwindles down to not a whole lot for savings. Just today's reality.

What are the myths and what are the facts about California public employees?

First, there are not "too many" public employees in California. According to the California Budget Project (CBP), we have the second lowest ratio of state workers per 10,000 residents in the nation. In addition, more than 70,000 public sector jobs have been eliminated in California since the crash of 2008, and public sector job loss is proportionately greater in California than in most other states.

Second, public employees in California are not overpaid and they do not receive lavish benefits, compared with the private sector, according to the UC Berkeley Institute for Labor and Employment (IRLE). Economists Sylvia Allegretto and Jeffrey Keefe authored the IRLE report, "The Truth about Public Employees," in which they examined wage and demographic data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and found that the average California public sector worker is older, more experienced, and more educated than their private sector counterpart – 55 percent of public employees have completed a bachelor's degree, compared to 35 percent in the private sector.

The report indicates that the typical private sector worker receives higher wages, but public employees with the same characteristics earn somewhat better vacation, medical and retirement benefits. The researchers conclude that an "apples to apples" comparison that takes into account age, experience, and education reveals "no significant differences in the level of employee compensation costs on an annual or per hour basis between private and public sector employees."

Third, public sector employees do not receive "gold plated" pensions as alleged by the corporate media like the Economist magazine. Again, reality defies the myth.

The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), which administers and manages a pension fund for 1.6 million public employees, reports that the average CalPERS retiree receives a pension of $25,000 per year. Half of CalPERS retirees receive less than $16,000, and 78 percent receive less than $36,000 annually. Less than 2 percent of CalPERS retirees receive a pension of more than $100,000 per year, and the majority of these are highly paid managers and supervisors – not union members – with 30 years' service.

Often forgotten is that public pensions are not paid from operating budgets of state and local government but are earned through monthly employee and employer contributions over 20 to 30 years. CalPERS professionals manage the $225 billion trust fund, and 75 cents on every dollar of retirement benefits are investment earnings. The taxpayers contribute 14 cents for every dollar of benefits.

PLEASE, before you post about pension reform. Do a bit of researchbout teacher pensions. We are covered under STRS, not CalPers. We contribute a majority if not all the our STRS accounts, depends on the district. Some district contribute inlieu of salary increases.

STRS the rate of return for our money is about 2% a year, we have no say in this. This is an automatic deduction every month. I figured it out that if I retire at 30 years in education I would get about 2/3 of my salary about 50k. A comfortable but not extravgant retirement, but it does not matter since it's my money....

Contrary to popular perception, a teachers pension is very modest. And, in most school districts teachers pay a large amount for healthcare.

Time for lay-offs. No money and huge pensions equals less jobs. If we continue to pump money into these criminal pensions, then there will be less money for all other needs.”

I don’t know of any teachers receiving “huge pensions.” I might be able to support this argument, if it were fact-based. Just makes me wonder about something. Many Americans are outraged about teacher salaries and benefits. I haven’t read about any outrage over the salaries, benefits, pensions, and product endorsements by professional athletes, or higher ticket prices for fans. Begrudging teachers their pensions is very small-minded attitude.

Just as an aside, many teachers augment what districts provide, and buy many of their own supplies.

I’m not a teacher. I believe free, high quality, compulsory education is a cornerstone of a health democracy, and that good teaching is worth paying for.

This is a great start. Now cut the salaries and pensions at the top.

Jerry threatens the schools so they can send out IF you don't vote for taxes layoff notices. A blatant attempt to recruit people to campaign for tax increases. The problem is we have heard it all before. The campaign scare tactics of the 1970's don't work any longer. This tax will never pass.

All you folks bloviating about how eeeeevil pensions are just don't get it. If a one large institution (like the state) can't invest over the long term to assure that its clients get a comfortable payout over the last few years of their earthly existence, that means that whatever Wall Street puzzle palace has been taking those 401(k) deductions out of your paychecks can't (or won't) either. Do you really think that stuff's being managed in "your" interest? Nope--it's going to enable those clowns to hop in their Maseratis and toodle off to their shacks in the Hamptons, and pay for those $40,000 first-class airline tickets to go party in Tahiti. And if skimming your hard-earned cash isn't enough to support their lavish tastes, you can bet their sock puppets in Congress (of BOTH parties) will borrow against your great-great-great grandchildrens' paychecks to make up the difference, just as soon as they've got all the PR mileage they can out of flabbering about "reducing the deficit".

It continually amazes me how education,the only thing that will ensure the continued success of the American agenda, is always the first budget item to be cut. How stupid is that?

this is what happens when union is involved in anything!! Over paid teachers will just run the well dry that much sooner, get rid of unions and collective bargaing agreements.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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