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L.A. Unified may cut school year by 6 days

February 13, 2010 |  7:39 am
Los Angeles schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines proposed Friday cutting six days from the school year to help reduce an estimated $640-million deficit and avoid the need for widespread layoffs in the nation's second-largest school system.

The move, announced by news release Friday evening, would save the district $90 million and could spare up to 5,000 jobs, Cortines said. The alternative to this drastic action, he said, would be to let the district go bankrupt.

"Do I think [this] is good education policy? No," he said. "But we are in a real crisis."

Cortines has repeatedly said that he did not want to shorten the school year. This is the first time in recent history that a Los Angeles school superintendent has made such a suggestion.

Five of the affected days would be classroom days and the sixth would be a noninstructional day.

Union leaders would have to agree to the move. Nonunion employees, including senior district staff, have been ordered to take four furlough days by May, and Cortines criticized groups that have not been willing to make concessions.

Read the full story here.

-- Jason Song