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L.A. Unified will propose pay cuts and loans to close budget gap

Kk2fmbnc School officials next week will formally propose a one-year budget-cutting plan that could eliminate most of a roughly $400-million deficit in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The plan includes 12 furlough days worth $144 million, a $100-million loan from the fund that covers health benefits, and the intentional underfunding of the workers’ compensation fund and other obligations in the amount of $60 million.

The specifics were outlined in a bulletin Thursday from Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, which represents principals and many other administrators. L.A. Unified confirmed the broad outlines of the proposal.

Other details have been disclosed in some meetings at school sites. At one, the principal said employees would have to sacrifice paid holidays. The 180-day school year is once again likely to be shortened by five instructional days, for which teachers and other employees would not be paid.

Union representatives often prefer furlough days to pay cuts or layoffs because the pay reductions are temporary and fewer jobs are lost.

If unions failed to accept the plan, and the district adopted no alternative for balancing its budget, officials would move forward with layoffs, which, at worst case, could number in the thousands.

The district’s preferred plan would still require at least an additional $100 million in cuts, which would probably still result in layoffs.

L.A. Unified is trying to close a “worst case” $408-million deficit if fund-raising proposals by Gov. Jerry Brown fall through. In that event, some legislators and analysts have said, the district’s deficit could rise well above $408 million.

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L.A. Unified moves forward in process to close Crescendo schools

-- Howard Blume

Photo: Inside a classroom of the newly completed Central Los Angeles High School No. 9 for the Visual and Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (7)

I have to "tip my hat" to the courageous leaders of LAUSD, and the Teacher's Union.

Borrowing from Health Benefits and underfunding workers compensation sounds like a great plan. "We have a budget deficit of over $ 400 Million, I have an idea? Let's borrow more money." Yeah!!! This is reasonable and rational because its not our money, it is the tax payers money, so what do we care.

How about firing teachers? You know the ones that don't teach.

LA Times: May 6, 2009

L.A. Unified pays teachers not to teach
About 160 instructors and others get salaries for doing nothing while their job fitness is reviewed. They collect roughly $10 million a year, even as layoffs are considered because of a budget gap.

Fire a teacher? Hell, NO!!! That will do "harm to the student's education!!!" Does that mean LAUSD graduation drop-out rate of 50%, and graduation rate of less than 40% could actually get worse?

Don't worry, LAUSD has wise people working out these problems. Forget that they spent 19 Billion Dollars on New Schools, including the $ 578 Million Ambassador School Site. A Site that Board President Monica Garcia called a "great investment in our students education."

Build Trade News Bulletin:
Garcia Takes Questions on LAUSD’s $27 Billion Construction Program
Q:Has the state budget crisis impacted the construction program?
"Yes, it is always a challenge. Part of our story involves changing the laws in California. Not only environmental laws but changing the formulas for how we get matching dollars. The conversation about state match was supposed to be at 50/50 and now we are closer to 75/25 – 75 percent local dollars.

We are impacted by their freeze. We are impacted by a lack of decision about where the dollars are going to be. Part of the benefit of our size is that our team has figured out a way to manage that. We have not had to cancel or slow down any of our projects."

Not embarrassed, but proudly LAUSD Board President talks talks glowing about a $ 27 Billion Dollar construction program, including the Western Hemisphere's two most expensive schools ever built, Ambassador Hotel School at $ 578 Million and the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center.

The public does not have to worry. This Board is wise, careful, and modest with tax payer dollars. How about the student's academic performance? Shhhh...

Many of the new schools have olympic size swimming pools. Nearly all of them are empty because the District has no money to buy pool cleaner.

BTW, many construction companies, design companies, architects, space planners, etc.. have all given awards to Ms. Garcia and members of the LAUSD Building/Construction office.

Give me $ 578 Million, and I will be sure to give you an award. I wonder if these construction folks were laughing hysterically behind Ms. Garcia's back when they asked her to step forward to accept that $ 80.00 plastic trophey (the cost of which was probably padded into the constuction cost).

how many people remember learning something from a teacher?

how many people remember learning something from a standardized test?

notice where discussion of the latter as a budget cut sits on the table. the District throws millions of dollars into its own standardized tests. one has to wonder why this sacred cow is so well fed.

As a former LAUSD student (1968-1980), I recall just taking an "Sharp and Write test". I believe these were exit exams for high school graduation requirements. Anyway, I must of learned something from my k-12 teachers. I earned one A.A., two B.A.'s, and two credentials, which have afforded me job opportunities and the so-called American dream. Many, many THANKS to my LAUSD teachers at Loreto Elementary, Nightingale Middle School, and Franklin H.S.

Was there room for improvement? YES.

Still no mention from the Board of Education or the Superintendent about the Governor's proposal to use Community Development money (CRA) for schools instead of helping billionaires with their grandiose projects like parking lots and providing billion dollar stadiums to NFL owners. That 100 million would pay the balance of the 400 million dollar deficit with NO loss of teaching positions. By the way the health benefits fund is an employee fund earmarked for health benefits so in effect the District is borrowing from itself. The workers compensation fund needs less money anyway because there are far fewer employees who can be injured on the job. And, critics of teachers should try doing their job for a week at an annual salary of $40,000 to start.

"Borrowing from yourself" is the first sign of a very dysfunctional buisness. I would like to underfund my workers compensation too, but it is against the law.

Grandiose projects? You mean the Staples Sports and Entertainment Project that cost $ 375M?

or are you talking about the LAUSD Roybal Center that was budgeted for $ 110M, but ended up costing $ 377M. Worth the money? The Roybal Center ranks in the bottom third of schools with similar demographics on state tests.

The Staples Center made a great return on its investment.

LAUSD's $ 27 Billion school construction, including the obscene $ 578 Million Ambassador School site, has had a terrible return on its investment.

Graduation rates are nearly 40%. 2nd worst in the Nation.

Teachers are so sensitive to criticism, I just wish they were accountable to the students. It is the students who truly suffer.

Rather than say, "critics of teachers" should try being a teacher for one week, I would respond, "It is probably much worse to be a student in your class, than to teach it."

Huge colossal education cuts are fine with me. It will be better for the kids if a few schools fall apart or a few teachers get fired than if the entire state goes bankrupt.

The union will not go for this deal.


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