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

April 8, 2011 |  6:30 am

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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-- 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

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