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Faced with a growing deficit and a July 1 deadline to submit a budget balanced for the next three years as required by state law, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines today asked the Los Angeles Board of Education to approve another round of steep cuts. The new cuts would take effect in the 2011-12 school year barring additional funding.
The School Board is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, June 23 during its next regularly scheduled meeting.
"I want to be very clear that some of the recommendations go against my core beliefs and values. There is no choice," Cortines said. The recommendations-for 2011-2012-include: eliminating full-day kindergarten; increasing K-3 class size, which is currently 20 to 1 to 29 to 1; and laying off half of the elementary art and music teachers as well as half of the school nurses.
"We have used every federal stimulus dollar that is available to save jobs," Cortines said, referring to the rescission of more than 6,000 layoff notices for teachers. "We can't use bond money to pay the salaries of teachers or most of our 70,000 employees."
The superintendent also proposed a parcel tax, which must be voted on, to generate additional funds-a step several school districts have already taken. "Approval rests with the entire community," Cortines said. A parcel tax would increase property taxes by a certain amount dedicated solely to fund public schools.
As the economic crisis worsens for the State of California and LAUSD, Cortines is also asking state lawmakers to eliminate the requirement to submit a three-year budget, and allow greater flexibility in how funds can be spent.
For more information, please go to www.lausd.net