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LA Unified, teachers and administrators agree to shorten school year

March 27, 2010 |  1:24 pm

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a55d0d3c970b-600wi

Los Angeles school district and union officials announced Saturday that they have agreed to cut a dozen instructional days over the next two years to balance the budget.

If approved by members of both the teachers and administrators unions, the move would save the district about $140 million, according to Los Angeles Unified School District officials. The district is facing a $640-million deficit.

District officials had been urging unions to make concessions to help with the budget crisis, and several have already agreed to furloughs.

Administrators agreed to the furlough days on Monday night, and the teachers union reached a deal late Friday, representatives said at a news conference Saturday.

"It is extremely important in going forward that we have this kind of partnership," said Supt. Ramon C. Cortines.

Five days would be cut from this year's calendar and seven from next year's calendar, although educators would have two extra paid professional development days next year.

Under a new state law aimed at easing the budget crisis, school districts still will receive full funding for a year even if they eliminate some instructional days. 

The deal also would preserve current student to teacher ratios in elementary and middle schools and would save about 1,800 teacher jobs as well as 300 librarian, nurse and counselor positions.

-- Jason Song

Photo: Students arrive for their first day of school at the new Central High #9 for the visual and performing arts downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times. File photo.

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