Talk Back: What do you think of LAUSD's shortened year?
Members of United Teachers Los Angeles approved a one-year labor contract that would shorten the school year and reduce pay to save more than 4,000 district jobs, The Times’ Howard Blume reported.
Under the agreement, teachers will forfeit up to 10 days of pay and the 2012-2013 school year could be shortened from 180 days to 175. This will be the fourth-straight year the school year has been shortened as a result of budget cuts.
Members voted 58% for the agreement with 42% opposed. The union represents nurses, librarians, counselors, psychologists and psychiatric social workers in addition to classroom instructors.
Readers on both sides of the debate chimed in on The Times' comment boards, advocating solutions to the budget cuts ranging from privatizing education to fully funding it.
"There is a simple solution ......... PRIVATISE ALL PUBLIC EDUCATION and get rid of Public Sector Unions," commenter Jimmy Biggs wrote.
Reader Colleen Ancrile, who identified herself as a union member who voted against the contract, called for a long-term solution rather than a series of quick fixes each year when budget cuts roll around.
“I realize there may be some unnecessary expenditures and expenses in education, but we are expected to do MUCH more with MUCH less on our school campuses. And I am not talking only about teachers, it is the entire system. Our schools need to be about what is best for our students and what is best for our future as a country. We need to FULLY FUND EDUCATION,” she wrote.
— Samantha Schaefer
Photo: UTLA members, parents and students demonstrate outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters in February. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times